written by Mia Nissen
photos from Decadence CO Facebook
Decadence in Colorado is perhaps the best place in the country to spend your New Year’s Eve. Dj’s that are currently on the radio, touring the world, and even artists you have never heard of make a stop in Denver for the celebration. The ticket price may appear steep at first, but attendees are getting a rare opportunity to see many greats all at once. This was my third year attending Decadence, and each year I have been impressed with the lineups they curate. This year, Bassnectar, The Chainsmokers, GRiZ, and Eric Prdyz were some of the hot names who attended. It is always a breath of fresh air coming to Decadence, because there aren’t very many festivals going on at this time of year and it’s the time that we could all use some quality music. After the crazy year that 2016 was, I think we were ALL in need of a two day long dance party.
I will tell you, this event IS a rave. People of all sorts of backgrounds attend, and there is definitely a fair share of half-naked girls and guys running around covered in glow sticks. Be open-minded and you will fit right in.
Music genre: Each and every genre of electronic music. Many of today’s most visible dj’s and producers are invited to attend Decadence. This festival is a great way to cross seeing many world class artists off of your bucket list.
Camping: No camping. This event is held in the middle of Downtown Denver where there are tons of options for hotels and AirBnB’s. There are lodging options for everyone no matter what your budget may be, it all just depends on how far you want to walk or how much you want to pay for an Uber.
Capacity: Medium, just under 30,000 people attend between both days.
Crowd type: Kandi / Ravers
Water stations: Yes. Camelbacks accepted!
For the first-timers
The Colorado Convention Center is located right in the middle of Downtown Denver. Within a half mile radius of the venue, you have many hotels at your convenience. However, these being Marriot’s and Hyatt’s and many other 4 star hotels, the prices to stay are an estimated $250 per night. Worth it to be close to the venue, especially if you have several friends to split to cost with you. This year, I opted to stay at a smaller hotel about 3 miles away from the convention center, and it cost half the price. While not the most luxurious lodging, it came with a free shuttle that ran to and from the venue up until 2am on New Year’s Eve. Perfect!
Make sure to come prepared with extra money, because it’s easy to spend a lot more than anticipated. For example, drink tickets are $10 each and one Red Bull Vodka can turn into three before you know it. This is the holiday for balling out, just do it consciously! The city of Denver is one of a kind, and you’ll want to do some exploring during the day.
Two main stages are separated by a smaller silent disco stage. Each had beautiful light productions, and live art installments mingling through them. The concrete walls of the Convention Center do a perfect job of blocking the music of the major stages from every conflicting with one another. There was a massive disco ball hanging over the Daydream Stage which I couldn’t take my eyes off of (and I am now trying to figure out how to get a replica in my house.)
For the most part, I chose to stick with what I knew this Decadence and end the year by being with my favorite artists rather than checking out too many new ones. Disclosure put on one of my favorite sets by them to date and I was so happy to catch them. Seeing a Disclosure DJ set is fun because attendees get a perfect mix of Disclosure originals and songs the boys like and chose to include, and they just understand house music. Flume was who I chose to ring in the New Year with, and it was the best decision. His futuristic sounds are the perfect motivator. And, I just couldn’t stop grooving!
Bob Moses was an electronic band I got to check out for the first time and I fell in love! The band of 3 originates from Vancouver, Canada, and offered a fresh sound that wasn’t experienced at any other time during the two-day event. Check out their Soundcloud here.
Things to do
-Silent Disco! The Decadence Silent Disco is one of my favorites that I’ve been to. 3 separate dj’s have their own channels, and getting to see the people getting down around me to the dj of their choice, quietly, is always a fun and funny experience.
-Brunch. There is a lot of time during the day to spend on exploring and sight-seeing. Grabbing brunch at Rialto Café on the 16th Street Mall has become a staple of my Denver stops. The restaurant offers $13 all you can drink mimosas, with a self-serve juice bar featuring about 10 different juices for you to mix with your champagne. It is so much fun!
VIP or Nah
I am going to say that VIP at Decadence is totally worth the splurge. VIP ticketholders get access to: a separate VIP entrance, exclusive VIP area in main arenas, elevated decks for viewing and private bars.
The separate VIP entrance makes the ticket worth it in itself. in previous years I would do coat check at the General Admission entrance and it took hours to receive my coat at the end of the show. However, coat check was the speediest process ever being a VIP. Also, private bars made buying drinks a much quicker process as well. Lines were practically nonexistent at the VIP bars. The viewing areas were also a great perk for those who would rather like to watch their favorite dj’s spinning over the light production.
This was my boyfriend’s first electronic music event of any type, so needless to say I was a bit worried about how he would like it. He was definitely a trooper, and kept up with me all night long, both nights! My favorite moment throughout the event was seeing him get “plur’ed” when a guy came up to him to give him a kandi bracelet. I had to chuckle because I could see how awkward my boyfriend felt during the whole encounter. This definitely leads me to reiterate my point- Decadence IS a rave! If you are not into the fuzzy boot and kandi trading scene, I would keep that in mind when deciding to attend Decadence next year.
Glitter and sequins are a must when attending Decadence!