Tiesto on choosing Vegas: “It’s not just about the money”

One of the big dance music stories this year has been DJs like Tiesto and Erick Morillo moving on from their high-profile residencies at Pacha Ibiza, with house and techno dons like Solomun and Guy Gerber stepping up to take their place. While this could be framed as the underground’s centre stage moment, when Tiesto chatted with DJ Mag for its latest U.S. edition, he revealed he was lured away from the White Isle by the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip.

His new Las Vegas residency – inside the MGM Grand’s multi-million-dollar Hakkasan and the Wet Republic pool, which is consistently rammed with bodies each time he’s in the booth – has been in effect for a few months now. In Tiesto’s view, it’s a brave new world.

“Las Vegas has changed a lot even in just the past couple of years; it’s really become like the new Ibiza,” Tiesto told DJ Mag. “People were telling me that three years ago, and I never thought we’d see it. But now with all he new superclubs opening, and with all the superstar DJs playing there every week, it really made the difference.”

While he assures that “Ibiza has always been a great place for me,” he also articulated his growing lack of enthusiasm for his big-ticket residencies on the White Isle. “Europe is a little bit behind in dance music. We’ve have seen it all, and it’s all been done. When you grow in this dance culture for 15 years… It just feels like people are less excited.”

“When you come to Las Vegas, they welcome you with open arms,” he went on. “Whatever you need, they’ll make it happen. When I go to Ibiza, I don’t even meet the owners of the club. You don’t meet anybody. The attitude is ‘whatever’. They don’t really care that much.

“It’s not just about the money. Maybe for some people it is, but I didn’t move to Las Vegas for the money, that would have been crazy. I don’t even need that money. For me it’s more like a challenge. It’s a new generation out there, dance music is blowing up big and it’s a new culture.”