The show was going so well. An hour into the set from Kx5 — the electronic music supergroup of genre leaders Kaskade and deadmau5 — it was, as intended, a dazzling feat of light, sound, video and the emotional punch of those elements combined. Then the power went out, and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum — and the 46,000 fans assembled there on that drizzly night in December — were thrust into silent darkness.
From the front of the house, deadmau5’s longtime manager, Dean Wilson, sprinted backstage — where, he says, he found “everybody running around like headless chickens, screaming, ‘Generator’s on fire!’ ”
The generator was not supposed to be on fire. However, it had turned itself off due to overheating and was emanating smoke. Its programming had then instructed three backup generators to also shut down to avoid igniting the 17,000 gallons of diesel fuel inside. Frantic staffers worked to salvage what had been billed as a landmark live performance — one that cost “almost seven figures to design and over seven figures to execute,” says Kaskade’s manager, Ryan Henderson.
Success seemed unlikely. “When you have a major failure like that, normally something then doesn’t work,” Wilson says. “Something’s not rebooted properly. Some configuration can’t restart because it has crashed so badly.” But when deadmau5 hit the button that would, in theory, restart the show, restart it did. The performance, co-produced by Live Nation affiliate and powerhouse electronic music promoter Insomniac Events alongside both artists’ teams, set a record for the biggest ticketed global headliner dance event of 2022.
Read Kx5’s full Billboard cover story here. Kx5, presented by Carnival, will perform at Billboard Presents The Stage at SXSW, on March 18. Penske Media Corp. is the largest shareholder of SXSW; its brands are official media partners of SXSW.
On Kaskade: Dior jacket, Oscar & Frank eyewear. On deadmau5: Amiri jacket
On Kaskade: Dior jacket and sneakers, Mouty pants, Oscar & Frank eyewear. On deadmau5: Amiri jacket, pants, and sneakers.
On Kaskade: Louis Vuitton jacket. On deadmau5: Amiri jacket.
Grooming by Christina Guerra. On-Site Production by Kayla Landrum.