Kicking off the new year at Forever Midnight Las Vegas taught me that sometimes it’s best to take the road less traveled.
As we turned the page to 2024, the West Coast came correct with some of the best New Year’s Eve parties in the world. Events like Proper NYE, Countdown, and Fresh Start boasted some of the most popular DJs in the industry. Meanwhile, the inaugural Forever Midnight rivaled the competition, featuring massive acts like Kaskade, John Summit, FISHER, and Eric Prydz.
The brainchild of Insomniac, Forever Midnight offered two prime venues to choose from: The Los Angeles Convention Center or Resorts World Las Vegas. I opted for the latter and was thrilled to dance under the disco ball as the Earth completed its orbit around our star. But while I entered this party with a plan, I came out of it knowing who I am as a music consumer more than ever before.
I felt a familiar balance of peace and excitement as I stepped through the gates on day one.
Two grand tents stood side by side — Forever hosted by Factory 93 and Midnight hosted by Club Space Miami. They were connected by the VIP tent that featured a large bar, goodie stand (with candy, FM poker chips, noise makers, and NYE jewelry), and a warm and toasty chill zone.
While it was still early in the night, the top-tier production at each stage demanded my gaze. Every inch of the dancefloor had a lighting effect overhead, which made all the difference for back row dwellers such as myself. The sound was just as impressive; even with the bass at maximum capacity, you could still hear all of the intricate highs.
But, oh, that beautiful disco ball. The select moments when they pointed all the moving heads directly to its spinning circumference, it became the star of the show.
With my average-priced drink (a $15 vodka soda) in tow and my belly full from a delicious chicken slider and sweet potato fries, I embarked on my music journey.
My plan for the day was to focus on three sets in particular: Cristoph, Mind Against, and Solomun. What I didn’t realize was how much my heart would guide my feet this weekend. It first happened during Mind Against.
Melodic techno has been all the rage lately, and while I do love the grandeur of it as a whole, the labored drive and often anti-climactic drops are starting to lose my attention. Let me be clear, Mind Against are masters at their craft, but they were not what I was craving at the moment. Halfway into the set, I had a feral urge to hightail it over to DJ Tennis b2b Chloé Caillet. As soon as my feet stepped into that tent, my entire attitude shifted.
Together, they delivered a festive, energetic set that sparked life in every human lucky enough to be there. It was the perfect transition into Solomun, who dug into his unique deep tech soundwaves for three life-altering hours. When a sound palate sends chills over every inch of your existence, you have to pay attention.
Utterly satisfied, I chose to forgo the legendary Eric Prydz, whom I never miss, to reflect on my revelation in silence.
Day two is when the lesson started to sink in.
I had planned to go into day two with a focus on the golden boys of house, MK, FISHER, Green Velvet, and John Summit. But considering what drew me in the previous night, I already knew that my body may have something else to say about it. Boy, was I right.
Of course, you can’t go into a music marathon without feeding the body first, so I indulged in the best pepperoni pizza I’ve ever had at any festival, making up for the lackluster VIP beef tacos I had the previous night. The Midnight stage was calling my name. I answered, hammering down my spiritual connection to the edgier tech house vibrations being served up in this special space.
Across the way at the Forever stage, the crowd was becoming increasingly massive. It made sense because that was the spot to catch the mainstream legends. But, the thought refused to leave my mind; Does mainstream popularity trump spiritual connection? Aren’t the best experiences found on the roads less traveled? I was determined to test my theory.
After ringing in the new year with confetti, fireworks, and Dennis Cruz handing the decks over to Nicole Moudaber, I went on my mission. I made a quick pitstop at the mirrored art installation just for funsies, and then it was over to FISHER. I didn’t last even fifteen minutes. The crowd had grown so big that it stretched beyond the tents and up to the food truck garden, making it impossible to get the full production experience without being sardined.
I had to decide: Do I need to hear “Take It Off,” or would I have a more fulfilling time basking in the dark tones of Nicole Moudaber?
I think you can guess where I ended up. Nicole’s crowd was thin but the energy was thick, and there was a strong sense of camaraderie between the souls who speckled the dancefloor. The rest of the world faded away. As she wrapped up, I swung by Green Velvet to check the vibes — but once again, I was met with overwhelming surges of bodies pushing me out of the way roughly. I was concerned to see how much worse the size of John Summit’s crowd would be.
Now, I didn’t say all of that to attack the draw of any DJ on the Forever stage. They’re all incredibly deserving of their popularity and there’s no denying how much fun their sets can be. All I’d like to do is plant the seed for festival attendees to explore beyond the hype. Seek out the soundwaves that speak to you on a primal level, and find a comfortable spot to express yourself with the art of dance. With the right pieces in place, your experience will transcend time and space.
In retrospect, I’ve accepted that I’ve grown out of some flavors and I’m resolving to dig further into others. How about you? As you cultivate your interests in the new year, I offer a reminder to be self-aware and kind to one another on the dancefloor. This community was built on peace, love, unity, and respect. No matter how massive the scene becomes, we can’t forget where we came from.
Cheers to Insomniac and Club Space for a transformative New Year’s Eve weekend! I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us this year!