Everything You Need to Know About Decadence Arizona 2017

The scene at last year's Decadence Arizona festival.
The scene at last year's Decadence Arizona festival. Benjamin Leatherman
If there’s one constant to New Year’s Eve – other than countdowns, fireworks, and hastily made resolutions – it’s the massive amount of parties. That’s definitely the case here in the Valley, as countless NYE celebrations happen on the final night of every year at bars, clubs, and venues across metro Phoenix.

One of the biggest, especially among electronic dance music fans, is the annual Decadence Arizona festival, which typically features a huge selection of superstar DJs and EDM artists performing for enormous crowds. And this year’s edition of Decadence is so big that it’s taking place across two nights and will offer at total of 24 hours of beats and bass at Rawhide Event Center in Chandler.

Three stages will host sets by more than 30 different DJs and dance music producers on both Saturday, December 30, and Sunday, December 31. And the daily lineups are loaded up with big names.

Steve Aoki, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Zedd, Party Favor, Borgore, and Zeds Dead will all perform during the first night. New Year’s Eve, however, will include a DJ sets by Justice, Armin Van Buuren, Boys Noize, Chet Porter, Deorro, TOKiMONSTA, and others.
Needless to say, this year’s Decadence is going to be huge, and thousands of EDM fans will be at Rawhide this weekend to rage during the final hours of 2017. 

If you happen to be one of 'em, here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about the two-night festival.

click to enlarge Steve Aoki is scheduled to perform on Saturday, December 30, at Decadence Arizona 2017. - COURTESY OF MSOPR
Steve Aoki is scheduled to perform on Saturday, December 30, at Decadence Arizona 2017.
Courtesy of MSOPR
When and Where: Decadence Arizona 2017 will take place on Saturday, December 30, and Sunday, December 31, at Rawhide Event Center, 5700 West North Loop Road in Chandler. Gates open at 3 p.m. and the festival runs until 3 a.m. both nights.

Prices: Tickets are available online and at Zia Record Exchange locations with prices varying depending on what days you’d like to attend. General admission is $119 on Saturday, $139 on Sunday, and $209 for both days.

If you’d like to party in style, however, there are a few different options. VIP tickets – which include quicker entry, a souvenir lanyard, exclusive viewing areas, and passed deserts – are $209 on Saturday, $219 on Sunday, and $329 for the weekend.

Platinum VIP packages are $399 for Saturday, $499 for Sunday, and $799 for the entire festival and offer complimentary drinks, a side stage viewing area on the main stage, the chance to hang out in the artist hospitality lounge, a gift bag, steakhouse dinner, and other perks.

Age Limits: The festival is open to anyone 18 and older. You’ll have to be at least 21 to drink, however.

Weather: As you’d expect, it’s going to get really chilly on both Saturday and Sunday night. Temperatures will start plunging after dark and should get down into the 40s by the late evening. It will likely be warm inside the tents, however.

Our advice? Consider wearing some furry accessories or incorporate a jacket or thick hoodie into your ensemble just in case.

Wristbands: Just like at Gold Rush Music Festival in November, every attendee is required to wear an official wristband to enter. The RFID chip in each will serve as your ticket and will be used if you want to purchase anything at Decadence Arizona.

Wristbands can be picked up at will call at the event (unless you had it shipped in advance) both days. Several booths will be available where you can put money on it using either cash or a credit/debit card.

click to enlarge TOKiMONSTA is scheduled to perform on Sunday, December 31, at Decadence Arizona 2017. - NIKKO LAMERE
TOKiMONSTA is scheduled to perform on Sunday, December 31, at Decadence Arizona 2017.
Nikko Lamere
Getting There: Rawhide Event Center is located near Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler. Take Interstate 10 East to Exit 162 for Sundust Road/Wild Horse Pass Boulevard. Head west from there and follow the signs (and all the other cars) to Rawhide.

Shuttles: Need a lift to Decadence this year? The good news is that a couple of companies will provide shuttle service to and from Rawhide throughout the weekend.

FestRides will transport people from the Arizona Grand Resort, 8000 Arizona Grand Parkway, to the event departing on the hour from 2:30 to 9:30 p.m. both days. Return trips back to the resort will take place no later that 30 minutes after the festival finishes each night. Fares are $25 per day, $40 for the whole weekend.

OCTIV Entertainment will also offer “party bus” service to Decadence. There’s a pregame beforehand at Zuma, 605 South Mill Avenue in Tempe, both days starting at 3:30 p.m. (18-and-over can attend, 21-and-over can drink.)

Buses will pick people up at 4:30 p.m. and arrive 30 minutes later. They’ll pick everyone up for the return trip from 3 to 3:15 a.m. each night. Tickets are $10 per day, $20 for the weekend if you get ‘em early and $20 to $40 per day, $35 to $70 for the weekend if you don’t.

Parking: It’s $10 per vehicle, per day to park at Rawhide and $30 for premium parking, which is closer to the entrance.

click to enlarge A map to Decadence Arizona 2017. (Click the upper right corner to enlarge.) - COURTESY OF RELENTLESS BEATS
A map to Decadence Arizona 2017. (Click the upper right corner to enlarge.)
Courtesy of Relentless Beats
Getting Inside: Like with any EDM festival at Rawhide, security will screen patrons upon entry. Expect a little bit of a wait depending on when you arrive and have your ID handy. (See below for a full list of what is and isn’t allowed at Decadence.)

Daily Lineups and Set Times: The Diamond Atrium, Sapphire Ballroom, and Ruby Courtyard stages will host performances by each of the 33 artists and DJs that are scheduled to appear at Decadence Arizona 2017. The daily lineups and schedules for either stage are as follows:

Saturday, December 30
Gates open at 3 p.m.

Diamond Atrium
3 p.m.: Highline
4:25 p.m.: Bijou
5:30 p.m.: Medasin
6:35 p.m.: What So Not
7:45 p.m.: Black Tiger Sex Machine
8:50 p.m.: Party Favor
10 p.m.: Zeds Dead B2B Jauz
11:20 p.m.: Oliver Heldens
12:40 a.m.: Borgore
1:45 a.m.: Steve Aoki

Sapphire Ballroom
4:05 p.m.: Paz
5:15 p.m.: Chet Porter
6:35 p.m.: Petit Biscuit
7:55 p.m.: Big Wild
9:15 p.m.: Duke Dumont
10:35 p.m.: Rüfüs Du Sol
12:10 a.m.: Zhu
1:45 a.m.: Tchami

Ruby Courtyard
4:15 p.m.: Krug One
5:45 p.m.: Klu
7:15 p.m.: Michael Hooker
8:45 p.m.: Michelle Sparks
10:15 p.m.: Juheun
12:15 a.m.: Sean Watson
1:30 a.m.: Lujan

click to enlarge Justice is scheduled to perform at DJ set on Sunday, December 31, at Decadence Arizona 2017. - PAUL HEARTFIELD/ATLANTIC RECORDS
Justice is scheduled to perform at DJ set on Sunday, December 31, at Decadence Arizona 2017.
Paul Heartfield/Atlantic Records
Sunday, December 31
Gates open at 3 p.m.

Diamond Atrium
3 p.m.: Sluggo
4:30 p.m.: Loud Luxury
5:35 p.m.: Crywolf (live set)
6:45 p.m.: Louis the Child
8 p.m.: Armin Van Buuren
9:25 p.m.: Zedd
10:50 p.m.: Deorro
12:30 p.m.: Snails
2 a.m.: Galantis

Sapphire Ballroom
5:05 p.m.: Brett Ortiz
6:15 p.m.: Gerry Gonza
7:20 p.m.: TOKiMONSTA
8:25 p.m.: K?D
9:30 p.m.: Destructo
10:50 p.m.: Boys Noize
12:15 a.m.: Madeon
1:45 a.m.: Justice (DJ set)

Ruby Courtyard
4:15 p.m.: Ghost Effect
5:45 p.m.: Eddie Pitzul
7:15 p.m.: Michael James
8:45 p.m.: Brando
10:15 p.m.: Dan Lunsford
12:15 a.m.: Orenda
1:30 a.m.: Norris Division

Food and Drink: A variety of vendors and food trucks will have eats and drinks available for purchase, including such fast-casual options as pizza, mac 'n' cheese, burgers, and fries. The lineup will include El Jefe Tacos, The Spot, Farmboy Foods, Island Noodles, Gypsy Cup, Sonoran Kettle Corn, Tee's Concessions, Treaty Ice Cream, Tropical Sno, and Southern Fried Vegan Food.

Soft drinks and adult beverages can be bought from several drink booths and bars on the premises. As we mentioned, you can only use your wristband for purchases.

Water: Look, it's winter (more or less), but don’t let that dissuade you from staying hydrated. You’re probably going to be dancing at the festival and (depending on how warm it gets in the tents), you might work up a sweat.

Put simply, you’ll need to drink water. Organizers will allow you to bring empty water bottles (either disposable or reusable) into the event, as well as water bladder systems like CamelBaks. A free refill station will be available inside the festival grounds. If needed, you can also get water from one of the many “Relentless Rangers” working at the event. Speaking of which …

Relentless Rangers: Need a place to chill out for a bit or recuperate from raging? The Relentless Rangers, a group of volunteers in neon green shirts that offer assistance at most Relentless Beats festivals, will have a tent on-site that’s equipped with couches, heaters, water, and snacks. Rangers will also patrol the event and provide help and directions for anyone in need.

Vendors: Apparel, swag, flow toys, and other items will be for sale at the festival. Local vendors that will be there include Elite Wear, Risqwear, Pop Icon, Art Glitter, Woven Ivy Massage, Boom Boom, and The Flow Shop.

click to enlarge All of this stuff is cool to bring to Decadence Arizona 2017. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN
All of this stuff is cool to bring to Decadence Arizona 2017.
Benjamin Leatherman
Bring: You’ll want to have a government-issued ID and a fully charged cell phone, for starters. A small bag or fanny pack, sunglasses, and hats are also allowed. If you want to deck yourself out with glowing jewelry, kandi, or costuming, that’s cool, too.

Sealed packs of smokes and gum are permitted, as are sealed tampons, ChapStick, and lip gloss. If you have an e-cig or vape device, it will only be allowed in if its refillable chamber is empty and your fluid or juice is in sealed bottle.

Feel free to bring flags, banners, and handmade signs — so long as they're not advertising anything or corporate-branded. A festival totem is okay, provided it’s less than 10 feet in height and built from lightweight materials like foam, PVC, pool noodles, or lightweight wood. Inflatable items also must be deflated when you enter.

Don't Bring: Drugs, illegal substances, and any sort of related paraphernalia are all forbidden. Ditto for fireworks, laser devices, chains or spiked jewelry, knives or any other weapon, and anything else considered to be dangerous or destructive.

What else is verboten? Massagers, eye drops, outside food or alcohol, tents, chairs, blankets, large bags, balloons, balls, and Native American headdresses. Any open packs of cigarettes, tampons, or ChapStick will also be confiscated by security.

After-Party: The annual Afterglow dance party will take place on Monday, January 1, at Rawhide immediately after the second night of Decadence concludes. Snails and other DJs will perform. Doors open at 2:30 a.m., and the festivities go until 6 a.m. Tickets are $30.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.