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Show Review: Decadence AZ drops balloons and beats to ring in 2022

Arizona has become a destination zone for some of the biggest events in EDM over the years and, in case you missed the spotlights in the clouds this week, partygoers from all over the state (and even the country) rang in 2022 with some of the largest acts in electronic music. Decadence AZ descended upon Rawhide Event Center, featuring DJs like Excision, Marshmello, Dillon Francis, DJ Snake and so much more for two days of balloons and beats.

Day one was just the appetizer to the New Year’s Eve event, but the lineup read like the whole meal. DJ Snake and Chris Lake were the main attractions, but supporting slots were filled with the likes of Alesso, Alison Wonderland, Madeon….and the list goes on. Attendees either bundled up or ignored the cold but either way, Decadence provided the perfect runway for everyone’s rave gear best. 

Both the Grand Palace main stage and the Royal Ballroom second stage were packed all night long as rail riders headbanged and fans of all ages raised their glasses and bounced till well into the early hours of the morning. The silent disco showcased a number of smaller artists, letting everyone experience all the different flavors of EDM.

After a whirlwind of a warmup day, everyone was ready to wash away 2021–literally. Intermittent rain showered Rawhide throughout Day 2, but it didn’t deter the crowds eager to see Excision, Loud Luxury, Marshmello, and the rest of the stellar New Year’s Eve lineup. Of course, it helps to have so many options for staying dry. Three stages, a roller disco, and dozens of food and shopping booths ensured fans were always entertained and could close out the year and welcome 2022 however they wanted.

The main stage, however, was the place to be for ushering in the new year, courtesy of Dillon Francis and hundreds of balloons. The DJ is a Relentless Beats favorite, equally loved by attendees, and he kept the party going with his signature tracks and visuals. He counted down to midnight with a series of “affirmations” (prime example: I will not give a fuck or shit in 2022) and brought the heat with pyrotechnic effects announcing the new year. But the best moment: a Betty White tribute, complete with the Golden Girls theme song and photos from over the (many) years.

2021 was the year we came back to live music and ringing in 2022 at the gig really set the tone for a hopeful new year. There were smiles on every upturned face as the balloons showered the crowd, closing out another incredible year at Decadence thanks to EDM stalwart promoter Relentless Beats. As for Atlas- we can’t wait to be back at the party next year.

Check out all the photos from the show!

Story and photos by Olivia Khiel and Taylor Knauf