Afrojack, Above & Beyond, more Announced as New Residents at Hakkasan Las Vegas: Exclusive

Al Powers

Tiesto performing at Hakkasan

The megaclub goes all in on big talent for the coming year, adding new names to its lineup while Tiësto and Calvin are continuing their residencies.

A new year means new alliances on the Vegas Strip as Hakkasan Las Vegas unveils its lineup of DJ residencies for 2014. Afrojack, Above & Beyond, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano and W&W will join returning residents Tiësto, Calvin Harris, Hardwell and Steve Aoki for a fiercely competitive roster of talent at the megaclub inside the MGM Hotel and Casino. Afrojack comes to Hakkasan after a successful run at the Wynn properties (including XS nightclub and Encore beach club).

“I've been home for four years at XS where I had a great time,” Afrojack, aka Nick van de Wall, told Billboard exclusively. “But Hakkasan provided me with the option to try something new in a new venue, so I'm looking forward to trying a new kind of party there.”

While Above & Beyond also move to Hakkasan from the Wynn, their relatively short tenure there was preceded by a stint as one of the original residents at Marquee Las Vegas. This latest shift in talent underscores the ongoing competition between Sin City clubs to attract top DJs in a high stakes game the clubs’ power brokers – like Hakkasan’s CEO Neil Moffitt – are eager to play.

In a statement, Moffitt expressed his continued confidence in his club’s grand scale and big-budget concept. “We are pleased to welcome back world-renowned artists from last year as well as introduce new exciting DJs to ensure all of our guests have an extraordinary experience they will not forget,” Moffitt declared.

As recently as last summer, van de Wall publicly pledged allegiance to Wynn, telling Forbes he had turned down offers to double his reported six-figure per-gig fee to play Hakkasan, which opened last April. Although Afrojack signed an album deal with UMG imprint Island Def Jam in early 2013, his recent single, “Spark,” failed to catch fire, perhaps leading to a refocusing of his live efforts in 2014.

While the trance trio has been a consistent presence in Sin City since the opening of Marquee in 2011, they haven’t invested in their time on the strip quite like van de Wall, whose wild boy reputation (and his erstwhile liaison to Paris Hilton) is more custom-made for the party town.

Afrojack was one of the first in a line to sign long-term contracts with a Vegas club when he inked with Wynn in 2010. He was joined by other DJs who are also now at Hakkasan like Tiësto, Harris and Aoki, the latter served for a year as artistic director of Wynn’s club Surrender.

One of Hakkasan’s original residents, Deadmau5, is not returning to that DJ booth this year. The outspoken DJ unceremoniously defected in November, returning to his previous home of XS for an impromptu and unannounced slot opening for Wolfgang Gartner.

James & Marciano and W&W both end residency arrangements at Marquee to join Hakkasan. In addition to its residents, the club plans to host special one-off events with other artists (Moby plays the club February 8). Also confirmed are returning artists Dada Life, Danny Avila and Bingo Players, the latter now expected to continue as a solo act after the untimely passing of one of its members, Paul Bäumer, last month. Other Hakkasan DJ talent includes R3hab, NERVO, Michael Woods, Eva Shaw (formerly known as Bambi), Fergie (DJ) and Mark Eteson.