Stage-Life Is Beautiful

Ronn Nicolli of XS lays out the very important people’s party imperative


Life Is Beautiful 2013

As executive director of nightlife marketing at XS, Ronn Nicolli works hand in hand with managing partner Jesse Waits to curate all of the club’s promotional activations year-round. Nicolli’s also gearing up for a massive nightlife pop-up at Life Is Beautiful with his Encore Beach Club and Surrender Nightclub compatriots. As the duo prepares to bring their concept of “stage-life” (you know, like nightlife, but onstage) to the festival’s VIP deck, we caught up with Nicolli to see what VIPs can expect for their considerable investment.

Why did XS get involved with Life Is Beautiful?

Over the last two years, we’ve been approached by almost every major festival about cultivating and curating their VIP experience. We had a heavy out-of-market initiative in 2013, but this year we focused on initiatives in Las Vegas. It just made sense. Life Is Beautiful is a very eclectic, cultured event, very different from other music festivals. The collaboration of music, food and art, with heavy elements of VIP nightlife, was intriguing to everyone involved.

Ronn Nicoli

Ronn Nicolli

How does XS benefit in the long term from participation?

We’re looking at every angle. Guests will be at Life Is Beautiful throughout the day, till midnight when it closes, and their after-party destination is going to be Wynn. It’s the instant gratification as well, because it’s not like some festivals that we’ve done out of market, where your hosts cultivate a relationship and then your hope is that that customer is going to come [to Las Vegas] a few times during the year, based on that introduction that was made out of market.

What goes into curating a Wynn-quality pop-up nightclub Downtown?

It’s hard to replicate the Wynn’s aesthetics and attention to detail. We could never do that in a pop-up. But re-creating the XS guest experience—the customer service, the energy and overall atmosphere—are the things that we try to emulate. We want you to feel like you are at XS in our stage area behind the DJ. We bring in promotional products, confetti and production elements to create energy, because these are things that will help connect that experience that’s going on onstage.

All right—I’m in. Now, how do I get onto the VIP deck?

There are a few ways. A VIP ticket gets you into the immediate area. Now, to get to the actual VIP table area you’re going to need to be one of the … I don’t want to say “lucky,” but it’s a limited inventory. So you need to be the one purchasing a table, or be lucky enough to be invited by one of those people to be in the area.

The view from behind the DJ booth at XS in Encore.

The view from behind the DJ booth at XS in Encore.

Do you expect your regulars to be among those?

We’re going to have a few of our VIP guests. I don’t want to call them the usual suspects, but you’re going to see the tastemakers, that eclectic group of people who always seem to be at XS.

In addition to tables, you’re offering cabanas and bungalows—what’s the difference?

The cabanas are designed for a larger group experience, a corporate group experience. It’s a little bit higher of a price point. So if you’re a company, you have the opportunity customize the decor. You have a place and an allotment of tickets for three days. We’ve also had a couple of regular customers who like what they’ve seen in that area and purchase those for the weekend.

What’s so special about that area?

We have a lot of repeat customers from Friday to Saturday to Sunday. So, similar to what we’ve done at past festivals, we try to make the VIP area dynamic. We don’t want the customer to feel that they’re “groundhogging,” that is, re-living the day before. So we’re trying to change a little bit of the décor each day. Obviously, with the selection of artists each day, it’s already going to have a different feel from Kanye West on Friday to Outcast on Saturday. But with the changing style of music and with the modifications we’ll do each day to heighten that experience, the VIP deck is going to be something you could visit Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and have an amazing experience, but a different experience each day.

Inspired to join the bacchanal? Email or call 702-770-0097 for VIP deck reservations.

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