Vegas Seven

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    The Holidays Start at Sunset

    By Erin Timrawi

    Three years after the Gift of Lights decamped for the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, holiday dreaming returns to Sunset Park. From December 6-22, Sunset Wonderland will host winter activities.

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    Tackling a Larger Audience

    By Sean DeFrank

    The Lingerie Football League is putting on the moves this year in an attempt to gain greater exposure in Las Vegas and around the world. Since debuting in 2004, the league’s primary showcase, the Lingerie Bowl, has been a pay-per-view Super Bowl halftime alternative featuring women playing tackle football in skimpy uniforms on a 50-yard field. Lingerie Bowl IX, however, will kick off at the Orleans Arena at 1 p.m. Feb.

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    Celebrity Magnet

    Showing the kind of cutting-edge thinking that got them to where they are today, the powers that be of the music industry decided that what the world really needed was a showcase for the top-selling artists in their stables. Thus, the I Heart Radio music festival, Sept. 23-24 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

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    Best Branded Party

    Since its creation, Wet Republic has been the pool party leading the electronic-music takeover in Las Vegas. When world-famous DJ/producer David Guetta decided to launch his bash in the rising headquarters of electronic dance music, it was no surprise that he found Wet Republic to have the perfect accommodations. Launching on April 10, the 10-year-running international party with the X-rated title, F*** Me, I'm Famous, has been a success of "sensory feasting" in dance palaces such as Ibiza, Miami and Cannes. Sin City's version stood to be nothing less.

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    Best New House Night

    Haze Nightclub was designed with the idea that DJs are the new rock stars. The 25,000-square-foot venue is composed of interactive projection screens, a 70-foot-high light wall and an impeccable sound system that earned the club our award for Best DJ Booth last year. Haze put that booth to good use when it launched its weekly event, In the House Fridays, over Labor Day Weekend.

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    Keeping the Celebrity Torch Alive

    It's hard to say exactly why the celebrity club-host influx has slowed down so drastically in the last year. Is it that the economy no longer makes $20,000 appearance fees feasible? Boredom with rampant B-listers? The rise of the celebrity DJ signaling a fundamental shift in public taste? The cancellation of The Hills? Sure, you still get your occasional Kardashian drop-in here or Diddy party there, but for the clubs that are driving the scene now, twice-weekly paid appearances are a thing of the past.

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    The Biggest Score

    Heidi Klum's Halloween parties have become the stuff of greasepaint-covered legend over the years. Klum has put on gear that has ranged from a Garden of Eden-inspired apple circled by a snake (eating Klum's head) and Shiva to some sort of purple-and-red robot alien with torpedo boobs. But this year, Tao finally got Klum to celebrate somewhere other than New York, and the German model didn't take her foot off the gas.

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    Best Party Under the Stars

    There are not many places in the world where you can enjoy electronic music in an outdoor setting with local and international DJs spinning musical magic while being surrounded by the mesmerizing lights of the Las Vegas Strip. It's all been made possible thanks to Angel Management Group and its weekly happening of high-energy sounds, Tuesdays on the Terrace at Pure. To differentiate this party from others, they eschew Top 40, sticking instead to the genre they know and love: pure house. And they keep the dance floor actually dancing well past 4 in the morning.

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    Most Thrilling One-Off Party

    Known more for splash fights and muscled men than booking indie DJs, Rehab surprised Las Vegas—and probably itself—by booking alternative darlings Cut Copy and Chromeo to play the notorious end-of-season party. To ensure the bash had something for everyone, Z-Trip closed the day out with sounds that ranged from electro to hip-hop for Rehab's final hours.

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    Most Thrilling One-Off Live Performance

    It was freezing March 25, with wind cutting through every nook at the Cosmo's Boulevard Pool, and all of our crannies. And here comes producer Gregg Gillis, marching out onstage in a blue hoodie, headband and giant, metaphorical eff-you to both Mother Nature and record-industry sampling laws. That night's Girl Talk show had more energy than the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, with Gillis cutting through his normal ADD mash-ups with fresh new mixes that kept everyone in the crowd from fleeing to a warm, safe haven.

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    Best Weekend of the Year

    With three days of dance music from dusk till dawn, inhibitions were lowered and pasties were in full bloom in June for Insomniac Events' first Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas. Sure, you could see many of the famous headliners such as Swedish House Mafia, Skrillex, ATB, Paul Oakenfold, Afrojack and Above & Beyond at clubs on the Strip, but there's something about the outdoor multisensory environment at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway that could never be duplicated on a single dance floor.

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    Best Original Party

    Once a month, Marquee Nightclub guests come for industry night dressed in neon with glow everything and lots of animal print. Even more neon swag such as plastic, lensless glasses and glow-sticks are scattered across the tables for the taking. Party Rock Mondays, with resident guest DJ, Redfoo of LMFAO, is fete for our times, and the hipster youth laps it up like pups. But Redfoo doesn't like to party alone, so his partner in crime, LMFAO's SkyBlu, often shows up along with the rest of the energetic Party Rock crew.

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    Best Reason to Roadtrip

    There's something about the vibe in Southern California that can never be duplicated. While 2011 saw Insomniac Events' Electric Daisy Carnival make the move to Las Vegas, the company's longest-running event, Nocturnal Wonderland, continues to wow at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, Calif. Expanding to two days in September, the energy and fan base is incomparable, friendlier and full of hard-core fans who know—and worship—everyone in the lineup.

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    Best Reason to Sleep in Your Makeup

    Just because the pools are closed doesn't mean the daytime party has to end. Just ask the flocks of partiers that descend on Ghostbar Day Club each Saturday at the Palms. The 1 p.m. party is a perfect way to start your night early, or extend an epic all-nighter. The house-party-esque setting and encouraged debauchery is what sets "GBDC" apart from its daytime counterparts. Beer bong? Check. Forty-ounce beers in paper bags? Check. Giant piñata? Check. Now you just have to decide whether you're going to go home afterward or ride this one out.

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    Your Labor Day Weekend Pool Party Itinerary

    By Natalie Holbrook

    Friday Sept. 3 The Captains of Industry—otherwise known as DJs Graham Funke and StoneRokk—take over Ditch Fridays, Vegas’ famous industry gathering, at the Palms Pool & Bungalows. Doors at noon. $25 cover, local ladies free. Las Vegas resident DJ Twisted sets the mood with fresh house tracks and the classics you love at Azure Luxury Pool. DJ Twisted also spins Monday. In the Palazzo. Doors 11 a.m. $20 cover.

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