Las Vegas Sizzles This Summer!

by Steve Weinstein
Friday Jun 14, 2013

Summer means vacation, and no place on earth offers more than Las Vegas. Where else are you going to get performers like dance-music hitmakers Ke$ha and Beyoncé, legendary rock group Journey and rapper Lil Wayne - plus the opening of the largest gay entertainment complex in the country?

When it opens June 15, the aptly named Krave Massive will offer gay visitors the biggest, sexiest, most-comprehensive gay venue anywhere. The 80,000-square-feet venue will immediately take its place as the largest gay nightclub in the world.

The complex will include five - count ’em, five - themed dance floors, three bars plus a martini lounge, a VIP lounge, a comedy club, performing arts space, gift shop, girls-only dance space and a cinema. And it’s all gay, all the time.

Partnering with Caesars Entertainment for specific ticket, hotel and transportation packages, the owners of Krave really do want to be something for everyone. The dance clubs will be themed for hip-hop, Latin, Top 40 and Country. There will be 3D effects, with patrons receiving 3D glasses for a mind-blowing experience. The venue even offers an in-house "Boy Hunter," who will wander around the VIP area taking matchmaking information on an iPad.

Now that’s full service!

Gay Nightlife in a 24-Hour Town

Krave is only the beginning of gay nightlife in this 24-hour town. The Affair Nightclub, a multi-level 25,000-square-foot venue, offers a gay-dedicated mega-club right on the Las Vegas Strip. Every Sunday, guests will experience a night of brilliant chaos from state-of-the-art interactive elements, hot go-go dancers and live performances. The club is open Saturdays as well, both nights until 4 a.m.

Sunday is hardly the day of rest in Vegas. The Mirage goes gay for Revo Sundays at The Beatles Revolution Lounge. The hottest guys will be dancing to the driving beats of DJ Brett Rubin, along with headlining (or head-spinning) entertainment. Kaskade presents Summer Lovin every Sunday through Sept 1 at Marquee Dayclub at The Cosmopolitan and this year marks the 10th anniversary of REHAB at the Hard Rock Hotel. Every Sunday, go into REHAB all over again!

Before all that hard partying, relax during the city’s original and longest-running LGBT pool party. Entering its fifth season, Temptation Sundays at Luxor is the perfect way to work on your tan while working a hot crowd packed into speedos.

Hosted by J.Son, Temptation Sundays provides a chance to play in the water or just show off your best assets (take that any way you want). Those in the know book a cabana or daybed beforehand by calling 702-730-5730 weekdays.

There will be plenty to do the rest of the week. Every Wednesday, Bond at The Cosmopolitan hosts Confidential where you can sample handcrafted martinis while ogling the crowd.

If you want to experience some of the best DJs on the planet, you can’t do better than the Electric Daisy Carnival. Insomniac’s 17th Annual EDC returns to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway June 21-23. This iconic festival, which helped solidify electronica’s dominance on the dance floor, fills the 1,500-acre speedway with musical acts, DJs and theatrical performances, along with thousands and thousands of fans.

The roster includes the biggest names in electronica, such as Armin Van Buuren, Calvin Harris, Tiësto, Above & Beyond, Avicii, and many, many more - more than 500, in fact.

More Partying by the Pool

If you want to go above it all, check out the views and the action at The Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. This multi-level rooftop offers an unobstructed view of the world-famous neon-lit Las Vegas Strip.

The "Set Your Life to Music" concert series, through Oct. 24, is an all-encompassing backyard barbecue experience that only Vegas can deliver. DJ Mike Attack spins in the early evening until specialty acts take the stage after sunset. Late summer line-up includes Elan Atias (July 18), Gary Clark, Jr. (Aug. 8) and Blink-182 (Sep. 19), among others.

Hankering for the beach? You don’t have to deal with the traffic and hassle of getting to prime ocean resorts. Las Vegas has one of its own!

Only at "The Beach Concert Series" at Mandalay Bay Beach can concertgoers lounge in the sand or wade into the surf while experiencing some of the biggest chart-toppers, such as Smash Mouth and Vertical Horizon on July 6, and Sublime with Rome on Aug. 17.

Dance-music and gay fave Ke$ha will be performing with Pitbull on June 15 at the 12,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center. One Direction plays Aug. 2 and 3, and country giant Brad Paisley Aug. 31. Also at Mandalay Bay, Fall Out Boy will be playing the legendary House of Blues Music Hall on June 15, among many other notable acts this summer.

If you want to party by the water, you can head to SOUNDWAVES at Hard Rock Hotel’s Paradise Beach. Here, music aficionados can enjoy their favorite bands while basking in the sunshine with a hot crowd and cool drinks. The outdoor stage will heat up with performances from Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley and Stephen "Ragga" Marley on June 28.

The old MGM Studio used to brag about having "more stars than there are in heaven," but you can dance to one of the world’s biggest DJs, super-remixer/producer Calvin Harris, who has a summer residency at WET REPUBLIC events at MGM Grand.

The Mandalay Bay’s DAYLIGHT Beach Club is a massive pool club, which can accommodate 5,000 people and brings the mega-club experience to the pool party concept. The 4,400-square-foot pool has three decks. On the stage, six huge LED screens reproduce the light effects of clubs in New York, South Beach, Ibiza - or Vegas!

You’ll find another jaw-dropping combination of mega-club and swimming pool at XS, a nightclub at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas that surrounds a pool. On Sundays at Nightswim, dance to a state-of-the-art sound and light system in your speedos, then dip into the pool. Then do it all over again.

Even MORE Partying by the Pool

Thought that was it? Other must-experience pool venues include:

  • Palms Pool at Palms Casino Resort’s Ditch Fridays brings performances and DJs all summer long.

  • The at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino is a $30 million complex complete with shark tank, three-story waterslide and private cabanas.

  • Party like a Roman god at Caesars Palace’s Venus Pool Club. From the people who created PURE Nightclub, Venus will make you feel like you’re on Mt. Olympus, with light fare (sushi rolls, salads); signature drinks; and cabanas, chaise lounges and, of course, couches for reclining.

  • Set in lushly landscaped gardens, Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas’ pool complex includes an outdoor pool, two whirlpools, chaises and arbours for shade. Attendants pamper guests with an Evian spritz, fresh fruit and cold water.

    Some of the Best Vegas Venues

    With multiple outdoor stages and Viva Vision, the largest big-screen TV on the planet (truly!), the Fremont Street Experience has become one of the most popular spots off the Strip. Fremont’s "Rock of Vegas" summer concert series will boom out to Downtown Vegas and have you dancing in the streets with Three Days Grace on July 4, Third Eye Blind on Aug. 17, Puddle of Mudd on Aug. 31 and more. Best of all, every concert is free and open to the public.

    The Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms is a state-of-the-art, fully equipped venue that can seat 2,500 people. Journey will be rocking out their hits on Aug. 28 and 29.

    The Grand Garden Arena at MGM Grand is one of the biggest arenas in town, with a 16,800-seat capacity. The venue is famous for its innovative acoustics, lighting and sound systems. This summer, tween phenomenon Justin Bieber will be crooning on June 28. On June 29, you can experience the fabulousness that only Beyoncé brings to the stage. Her live show rivals any dance diva for spectacle and sexiness. Bruno Mars plays on Aug. 3 and Lil Wayne on Aug. 31 -- just a few of the acts that will rock the MGM Grand.

    As a pioneer in presenting musical acts, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has a reputation to live up to -- which it does this summer and fall with some of the music industry’s most iconic performers including Daryl Hall and John Oats (Aug. 2-3) and Pet Shop Boys (Oct. 11). With its commitment to remarkable sound and unforgettable live music experiences, The Joint is widely considered the most authentic venue in Las Vegas.

    The Smith Center for the Performing Arts’ Reynolds Hall brings the best of Broadway to Las Vegas including "Les Misérables" (Aug. 7-11) and "The Wizard of Oz" (Sep. 10-15). Among other acts this summer is a real, live American legend, the redheaded stranger himself, Willie Nelson, on Aug. 13.

    The worlds of tattoo artistry and old-school rock-’n’-roll come together at The South Point Arena in the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa for the inaugural Art & Ink Festival. This weekend-long celebration (June 28 - 30) features one of the greatest disco acts of all time, KC & the Sunshine Band, plus Tommy Tutone and more. Attendees will enjoy classic cars, live music, burlesque performances, art shows, pin-up fashion and renowned tattoo artists while sampling the best of Las Vegas’ premier food trucks.

    If it’s reggae you’re into, mon, put on your rasta best and head to the Reggae in the Desert festival at the Clark County Amphitheater on June 15 and 16. Located amidst canyon rock and prickly pear, the outdoor amphitheater will feature Jamaica’s most famous performers, plus arts and crafts, libations and cuisine from the Caribbean island.

    Located in the Fremont East district of downtown Las Vegas, Backstage Bar & Billiards, also known as Triple B, is hailed as one of the greatest spots for rock and soul in town. The eclectic décor includes custom furniture by rock outfitter Anvil Cases, original print concert posters from some of the most famed concerts in the history of rock-’n’-roll and a "turntable library" covering eight memorable decades. This summer, Triple B will once again offer the best in rock and R&B.

    For more information on any of these concert series or other summer concerts, or to book a summer getaway in Las Vegas, the one-stop shop is

    Steve Weinstein has been a regular correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, the Advocate, the Village Voice and Out. He has been covering the AIDS crisis since the early '80s, when he began his career. He is the author of "The Q Guide to Fire Island" (Alyson, 2007).


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