Las Vegas shows are some of the most popular and well-known productions in the world. But what goes into making these extravagant spectacles? From start to finish, here’s a look at the process of how a Las Vegas show comes together.
Las Vegas is a city that is known for its luxurious and over-the-top entertainment. Shows are a big part of what makes Vegas unique, and there are dozens of productions to choose from. But how does a show get chosen for Las Vegas in the first place?
In the “good old days,” the Las Vegas casinos used to produce and pay for their own shows, but that model has changed dramatically over the past few decades to rely on third-party producers to cover those costs. Even so, the decision is generally still up to the casino operators, as the venue owners, to select the entertainment.
As the casino ownership model has become more corporate, this generally means that the final decision falls on a corporate-level head of entertainment or marketing.
Putting on a show in Las Vegas is a complicated process that takes months of planning and coordination. There are a number of steps that need to be taken in order to make sure everything goes smoothly, from getting the right permits to hiring the right crew.
Here’s a look at some of the key steps in putting on a show in Las Vegas:
It typically takes between four and six months to mount a show in Las Vegas. This includes time for planning, coordinating, rehearsing, and opening night. There are a lot of moving parts that need to come together in order to make a successful production, so there isn’t much room for error.
But there is more to the process than physically making the show happen. You need to have enough time to market your show, so you can sell advance tickets. The window for advance-marketing is constantly changing, especially in Vegas, which relies on tourists from all over the world. The pandemic has made potential ticket buyers wary of purchasing too far in advance, because they have experienced many shows and concerts (and flights!) getting canceled due to Covid-related concerns. At the time of the writing of this article, the trend is for most ticket sales to happen in the three weeks preceding the date of the show.
There are a myriad of other factors that will affect the date of an opening night, including seasonal tourism and the schedule of celebrity performers (if applicable).
Behind the scenes of any Las Vegas show, there are a number of talented and hard-working people who work tirelessly to make the magic happen. These are the people who are responsible for everything from designing the set to coordinating the dancers. Here’s a look at some of the key roles that need to be filled in order to mount a show in Vegas:
The producer is the one who is ultimately responsible for the success of the show. They are in charge of fundraising, securing permits, and hiring staff.
The director is responsible for bringing the vision of the show to life. They work with the choreographer to create the dance routines, and they also work with the technical staff to make sure the set is designed correctly.
The choreographer is responsible for creating the dance routines for the show. They work closely with the director to make sure the routines are in line with the overall vision for the show.
The technical director is responsible for making sure the set is designed correctly and that all of the technical elements of the show are in place. They work closely with the director to make sure everything runs smoothly on opening night.
The dancers are the performers who bring the vision of the show to life. They rehearse tirelessly to make sure they are ready for opening night.
The musicians provide the soundtrack for the show. They work closely with the choreographer to make sure the music is in sync with the dance routines.
As you can see, it takes a village to put on a Las Vegas show! There are a lot of people who work behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly. For a more detailed list of the members of a typical production team, check out this site.
Certainly the most important challenge that producers typically face is the financing of their show. Most shows in Las Vegas are extremely expensive to produce, and oftentimes the producers have to take out loans or secure investors in order to make their vision a reality.
Additionally, producers have to be mindful of the competitive nature of the Las Vegas entertainment scene. There are a lot of shows vying for attention, and it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. Unlike in other cities, your show is not just competing against other shows, but it is also competing against a host of attractions that don’t exist in the tourists’ hometowns: celebrity chef restaurants, exhibits, gambling, and free attractions like the Bellagio fountains.
While these challenges can certainly be daunting, they are also what makes putting on a show in Las Vegas such an exciting and unique undertaking. Producers who are able to overcome these challenges and mount a successful show in Vegas are rewarded with the opportunity to put on a world-class production that will be seen by millions of people and potentially bring in a lot of revenue.
If all of this intrigues you more than it scares you, and you want to learn how you can dip your toe in the water as a Vegas producer, then check out Fan Rebellion. As a fan-owned live production company, they are allowing investors to participate for very small amounts of money.