Anticipation and excitement could be seen on the faces of thousands standing under the lights and lasers at Decadence Arizona 2018, watching as the numbers counted down on the screen. And when the clock stuck midnight, an enormous wave of positivity and love flooded Rawhide Event Center, welcoming 2019 with open arms. Many traveled from out of state this year to join us for Arizona’s biggest New Year’s Eve experience on December 30th and 31st, getting a chance to see how truly relentless Arizona’s rave family is. Despite the cold, rain, and mud, thousands gathered for two full nights of amazing artists, captivating visuals and good times.
If you’ve attended Decadence AZ in the past, you may have noticed the major changes Relentless Beats made this year in order to make the festival the ultimate New Year’s Eve experience. The Diamond Atrium was moved to a massive tent meant to accommodate thousands, but with a lineup so good, it wasn’t long before it was absolutely packed from front to back. Luckily, there were screens set up throughout so that everyone could get in on the magic happening on stage. The Sapphire Ballroom was our personal favorite stage this year because of its overall production. The sound was booming, the vibes were on point, and the lights and lasers had us mesmerized! In the middle of the venue this year was the Ruby Courtyard, where our talented local artists like Brett Ortiz and TokyoNotJapan took the stage and showed off their insane skills!
There were so many amazing sets at Decadence AZ this year; it’s impossible to choose favorites! On day one San Holo, who has an incredible ability to bring the audience together through his guitar skills and dreamy music, blew us away. Skrillex followed San Holo, and to say his set was a good time is a serious understatement. For many of us, “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” brings back memories of being middle schools kids screaming “YES, OH MY GOD!” at the drop. Skism B2B Trampa was also an insanely good time, with the entire Sapphire Ballroom breaking their necks in sync. Rezz, Porter Robinson, Valentino Khan, Drezo, Above & Beyond and many more artists had us dancing all night on day one.
Festivalgoers were even more hype on day two, getting down to Paz who dropped so many fun songs including Fergalicious and the Spongebob theme song. Alison Wonderland had us fucked up on a spiritual level, playing her hit “Church” and closing her set by having the entire main stage singing along to “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” Other highlights from day two include Marshmello, Eric Prydz, Green Velvet, Anti Up, and Gryffin. The party never stopped, especially with the most highly anticipated back-to-back set in Arizona this year, Nghtmre B2B DJ Diesel! The crowd went absolutely insane at midnight and it was truly the perfect way to start the New Year.
With plenty of food and drink options, vendors with dope clothes and festival accessories, and carnival games and rides, Decadence AZ was the place to be for NYE 2018. No amount of rain or mud can stop Arizona ravers from having the time of their lives and celebrating the New Year! There were definitely some improvements that needed to be made, but overall we had a great time at Decadence Arizona and hope you did too! We are excited to see what 2019 brings and can’t wait to be back at Decadence in a year from now! Happy New Year from all of us at GDank!
Written by Jeinie Prang (@jeinie.xo) Photos by Andrew Pierson (@theheadyculture)