Elation Continues To Bolster Las Vegas Dancemusic Spectrum

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Friends and progressive dance music lovers Christian Jones and Ryan Barth travel to Southern California every weekend to see their favorite trance, techno and house DJs and artists when they realize they're not alone. There are others who want more sonic diversity in a local scene dominated by the more traditional megaclubs of casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip.

"There's a huge void to fill," said Jones, who has worked at Wynn Nightlife Encore Beach Club and XS locations.

Together they launched the Elation event in late 2018, inviting mostly European artists whose performances extend beyond big club music. Techno-trance DJ Adam Ellis' three-hour set at Thunderbird Lounge was one of the company's first major promotions, and Elation quickly expanded into hardstyle and other techno genres.

"We really played what Europe played. They're still ten years ahead of us in this genre," Jones said.

Excitement hosted nearly two dozen events in and around Las Vegas in 2019, and that number is expected to double in 2020 before the Covid shutdowns. But the company is "in action" when the restrictions are lifted, Jones said, and plans to host about 85 events by 2022. I haven't heard anything yet.

Commonwealth Elation in Fremont East has been a top party destination, notably a Thursday night Terminal 51 event on Sept. 15 with Spanish DJ Koyu and Sept. 22 with Belgian techno producer Marco Bailey. In recent months they have been learning dance styles and inviting new artists to Las Vegas and Elation has been instrumental in this development. Next: Break with Doss and Simon Doty at We All Scream on October 1.

But Elation's biggest recent impact has been with Area15, an arts and entertainment complex that's fast becoming home to music festivals and dance events. Portal's immersive space hosts some of the artist-led parties that Jones and Burt dreamed up years ago, and American electronic music artist BT took the stage on September 17.

"He was very cautious during Covid and put it off for a while, but we finally made it," Jones said of the 50-year-old musician who is often credited with popularizing the trans genre. "It seems like every year we reach out to a lot of artists on our wish list for ourselves and promise to do more next year."

Elation will then take Marcus Schulz to Portal for a marathon on September 30 and then meet up with Dutch hard-style phenomenon Brennan Hart on November 5 at Tripto Event Center (formerly Sahara Event Center) on Karen Avenue to share their Elation event poster. . . With DJ Isaac, Geo, Darksiderz and more.

Future plans may include a New Year's Eve party at Area15 and a boutique festival called Elation. With a strong presence in Las Vegas and a strong focus on select genres, anything seems possible.

BT with Christian Jones, Erica K., Vanger. September 17, 9:00 p.m., $20. Portal area 15, elationlv.com.

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