The crown jewel of EDM festivals, Lights All Night, celebrates its 6th installment December 31st and January 1st at Dallas’ Market Hall. Trance, house, techno—everyone’s fancy will be tickled by such EDM sensations as Hardwell and Porter Robinson, who headline the party on New Year’s Eve, and Kaskade and Flosstradamus, who’re throwing it down New Year’s Day.
The annual festival is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Hank Keller and Scott Osburn, who joined forces to create Highland Entertainment. What began as college party and event promotions has exploded into a global party platform.
LAN hosts the who’s who of the EDM world. Past performances include EDM heavyweights like Calvin Harris, Diplo, and the mighty Skrillex.
With the popularity of EDM increasing, the LAN festival draws record crowds every year. Organizers anticipate the event to sell out.
Organizer Keller recently spoke to Fusion and shared his thoughts on EDM and recommendations on who to check out at Lights All Night.
What rave or EDM concert was the first you ever went to? Who did you go see?
Honestly, I had never really been to a ‘rave’ or EDM concert before my first show I threw (Ghostland Observatory in 2010). Of course I had done house parties and smaller events, but nothing that was as massive as what Lights All Night is now. Since then I’ve been all over the country, going to EDC, Governor’s Ball, etc., but LAN was my first big show and still has a place in my heart.
What kind of connection did you feel between you and the music during that event?
It was one of the most inspiring things in the world for me–I mean, I’m still doing it 6 years later, so it must have had some effect. Seeing everyone come together with their friends and make new ones all to music I helped curate was an amazing experience I want to continue for years to come.
How have you witnessed EDM evolve since then?
EDM went from being a niche genre for the underground crowd to something literally anyone can appreciate. Some would argue that it was better left underground, but personally I love the vibe and love that it’s growing to include more and more people.
Outside of Lights All Night, what is your favorite festival to attend?
Definitely Hangout, I love the beach, the atmosphere, and their diverse lineup always delivers.
LAN has grown substantially, not only in popularity but also with the caliber of DJs featured year in/year out—tell us a little about this year’s line-up.
This lineup is one of my favorites we’ve ever had—it’s so diverse and I think there’s something there to make everyone happy. I’m really excited to see Jauz and Claude Von Stroke. Jauz has had such a massive year, and having him end it with us is going to be icing on the cake. Claude is one of my all time favorites, and a legend in his own right who always delivers. Also really exciting for all the locals playing, on the main stage and in the super disco. One of my favorite locals, Colton Carlyle is opening up the main stage on NYE, and that’s going to be a treat, as well as Houston native PRISMO on the first.
What have been your all-time-favorite performances at LAN?
Lights All Night has lent itself to some pretty incredible end of the year moments in the last 6 years. Ghostland Observatory playing the first ever LAN for 6,000 people on top of a covered ice skating rink was pretty incredible, as well as bringing in our first international headliner Tiesto a year later. In 2012 at Fair Park I don’t think anyone will ever forget Bassnectar and Calvin Harris playing right after one another. Everyone showed up at the beginning of Calvin’s set and not one person left until Bassnectar’s set was over. Also loved Major Lazer bringing the party in 2013. Diplo never disappoints in the big D.
What is your biggest sense of accomplishment with putting this thing together for so many years?
Every year we’re so stressed and busy leading up to the event, it always feels so amazing walking into the event and seeing 20,000 faces having the time of their lives. There’s nothing that can beat the feeling knowing you pulled off something that is a defining experience for so many people.
What recommendations do you have for first-time LAN festival goers?
Be excited, get into it, make friends, embrace the culture. I think the people that have the most fun are those that really are determined to make friends and have fun. As long as you go to an event with an open mind it doesn’t matter if you know all the acts playing or not, you’ll be having a great time with your friends, new and old.
GA and VIP Passes are available now at www.lightsallnight.com
New Years belongs to Lights All Night | Text: Alex Durán