Those “EDM is going to flame out fast” takes really aged well, didn’t they?
To think that, in 2013, Hakkasan was such a newbie in nightlife—it had made its name in restaurants—a competing Las Vegas club actually went through with its grand opening on the same April weekend.
That’s like opening your flick against Black Panther. You’re forgiven if you didn’t see Hakkasan becoming such a force.
But it did, with a debut that featured Steve Aoki, Calvin Harris and Tiësto (all remain resident artists) behind the decks and Jennifer Lopez, Vanessa Hudgens and Pharrell Williams partying in the VIP. In an instant, MGM Grand became cool again, and EDM had planted its flag on the southern end of the Strip.
Five years later, Hakkasan Group’s nightlife brand is slowly taking over the planet, but the namesake nightclub remains the center of the universe for dance music fans eager to see A-list headliners.
As the club celebrates its fifth birthday—a four-night celebration featuring Lil Jon, NGHTMRE, Tiësto, Illenium and untold surprises—we asked ourselves: Is there anything we don’t already know about Hakkasan? Those of us who have spent long nights (and even daytime hours) in the club are surely familiar with its arrangement, down to the path an artist will take to the stage or where to spot the servers as they emerge with a bottle presentation.
With the help of Hakkasan insiders, we dug up some facts and club secrets that might widen the eyes of even the latest late-night partygoer.
Back of House Prop Room
Ever wondered where those aforementioned bottle presentations—with their fancy props and costumes—come from? The magic is hidden back of house in a closet that includes a 6-foot dragon, a throne, Minions costumes (hey, people have fantasies), flags, oversize letter cards and other pieces that we’re not privy to see.
The next time you’re on the dance floor, take your eyes of the DJ booth and look up to the lighting truss, which is in the shape of Hakkasan’s famed “HK” logo.
Ling Ling Club
Hakkasan’s a bit like a theme park: You’re never going to experience it all in one trip. For your next visit, tear yourself away from the main room to see the Ling Ling Club on the third level. It’s a space strictly for open-format lovers and has hosted live shows by everyone from The Weeknd to Miguel. This is also where Pharrell Williams celebrated his birthday during Hakkasan’s grand opening.
Ling Ling Lounge
But wait, there’s more. Across from Ling Ling Club is Ling Ling Lounge, the place you’ll want to go for an intimate conversation. It’s also the only other place where you can sample signature cocktails from the Hakkasan Restaurant menu.
The two-story LED screen in Hakkasan’s main room adds a visual element to the party, capable of displaying customized graphics for any occasion. But we had no idea how many. There is currently a library of about 4,000 different graphic designs available. Yes, your name is probably in there, in case you’re making birthday plans.
Located on the mezzanine level, this is where you’ll find J-Lo or Christina Aguilera watching the show. It’s strictly VIP and you may only catch a glimpse of an A-lister if you’re looking at the right moment. Try to make it look like you’re not trying to look. Respect celebrity privacy.
Tiësto considers Hakkasan to be his home, and since christening the club during its grand opening, he’s played for approximately 27,600 minutes. That’s slightly more than 19 days. Imagine that in a row—you could never stay on your feet that long.
Hakkasan Nightclub’s fifth birthday celebration begins April 5. Tickets can be purchased via the Hakkasan Group website.