One of the biggest New Year’s Eve events in Arizona each year, especially among local electronic dance music fanatics, isn't necessarily found in any club or local nightspot. Instead, it's out at Rawhide Event Center in Chandler during the annual Decadence Arizona festival, which serves up an enormous selection of superstar DJs, producers, and EDM artists performing for crowds of thousands across two nights.
It's a big deal each year, to say the least.
The event’s latest edition takes place on Monday, December 30, and Tuesday, December 31, and will feature multiple themed stages and performance areas with more than 60 different EDM superstars and local DJs scheduled to perform.
Headliners include Skrillex, Diplo, Dillon Francis, Illenium, Zeds Dead, Space Jesus, Tchami, Malaa, GRiZ, Subtronics, Whipped Cream, AC Slater, and Decadon.
In addition to the usual mix of dance music artists, this year’s Decadence Arizona 2019 will feature the debut of Weird & Wonderful, an area featuring an array of dancers, acrobats, and aerialists. There will also be vendors, food trucks, and more.
What else is in store for Decadence Arizona 2019? Check out our exclusive guide to the event, which offers everything you need to know before heading out to the event.
When and where is the festival? Decadence Arizona 2019 takes place on Monday, December 30, and Tuesday, December 31, at Rawhide Event Center, 5700 West North Loop Road in Chandler. Gates open at 6 p.m., and the festival runs until 3 a.m. both nights.
How much is general admission? It's $129 for Monday, $139 for Tuesday, and $190 for both nights. Tickets can be purchased here.
Is there VIP admission? Yes. If you’d like to attend in style, VIP tickets are $219 for Monday, $229 for Tuesday, and $360 for both. It includes a souvenir lanyard and badge, express entry, and access to a VIP lounge and viewing areas.
Platinum VIP packages are also available for $439 on Monday, $459 on Tuesday, and $789 for the entire festival. You get up to four complimentary alcoholic drinks per day, access to a side stage viewing area on the main stage, the chance to hang out in the artist hospitality lounge, a gift bag, a catered dinner, an exclusive gift bag, and other perks.
Are there age limits? Yes. The festival is open to those 18 and older, but you have to be at least 21 to drink.
What's the weather going to be like? As you’d expect, it’s going to be cold both nights. Temperatures will be in the high 50s and low 60s both evenings before getting down to low 40s. Things will be warmer in the tents and inside the Rawhide Event Center building due to all the people. Plan on wearing a jacket, thick hoodie, or extra-furry rave clothing.
How do I get 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 staff directing you to the Rawhide parking lot.
And how much is parking? It’s $10 per vehicle, per day, for regular parking and $30 for premium parking, which is closer to the entrance. You can purchase both options in advance on the festival's website.
Will there be lockers available? Yes. Each will have a phone charger inside for Androids and iPhones. It's $30 for a two-day rental, which you can purchase online in advance.
Will there be wristbands? Yes. Every Decadence Arizona attendee is required to wear an official wristband at all times. The RFID chip in each will serve as your ticket and will be used to make any purchases anything at the festival. You can link a credit or debit card to your wristband through the Decadence website beforehand or use “top-up” stations at the event, which will also accept cash.
Where can I pick up my wristband? Unless it's been shipped to you already, wristbands can be picked up at the off-site box office at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, 20000 South Maricopa Road in Chandler (use Gate 3). Festival attendees can swap hard tickets, pick up wristbands, or have them replaced. Operating hours are from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 28; 2 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 29; or 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, December 30. Wristbands can also be obtained from the on-site box office at Rawhide during festival hours.
What will security and getting inside be like? Like at most music festivals, security will screen patrons and conduct pat-downs and bag checks upon entry to Rawhide. Expect a little bit of a wait depending on when you arrive and be sure to have your ID handy. (See below for a full list of what is and isn’t allowed at Decadence.)
What's the schedule like? It will be extremely busy on both days of the festival. Performances start immediately after gates open. Most of the bigger artists can be seen at the Grand Pavillion and Royal Circus stages.
Meanwhile, The Playhouse will feature a wide variety of local DJs working the mixers in three areas: RB Deep, Weird & Wonderful, and Bass Face. Each area will feature a "silent disco" format where the mixes laid down by each DJ will be broadcast to headphones being worn by attendees. (Headphones can be checked out in exchange for your ID.) As we said, various aerialists and artists will be performing in the Weird & Wonderful area.
Here's the full rundown of which DJ is performing when at Decadence Arizona 2019.
Monday, December 30
6 to 7:15 p.m. – Blossom
7:20 to 8:50 p.m. – AC Slater
8:55 to 10:10 p.m. – Tchami and Malaa
10:15 to 11:30 p.m. – Dillon Francis
Midnight to 1:30 a.m. – Illenium
1:45 to 3 a.m. – Skrillex
6 to 7 p.m. – Bardz
7:05 to 8:05 p.m. – Whipped Cream
8:10 to 9:10 p.m. – Space Jesus
9:25 to 10:25 p.m. – Dab the Sky
10:40 p.m. to midnight – Nora En Pure
Midnight to 1:30 a.m. – Jamie Jones
1:30 to 3 a.m. – Adam Beyer
The Playhouse: Weird & Wonderful
6 to 7:30 p.m. – DJ MyKill
7:30 to 8:30 p.m. – Elwer
8:30 to 9:30 p.m. – Alaska
9:30 to 10:30 p.m. – DJ Slippe
10:30 p.m. to midnight – Housekneckt
Midnight to 2 a.m. – Cafe Caderas
The Playhouse: RB Deep
6 to 7:30 p.m. – Evan Allen
7:30 to 9 p.m. – Avitas
9 to 10:30 p.m. – Qlank
10:30 p.m. to midnight – Michael Hooker
Midnight to 1 a.m. – Lance Fairchild
1 to 2 a.m. – Special Guest
The Playhouse: Bass Face
6 to 7:30 p.m. – Storytime
7:30 to 9 p.m. – Bigstabes
9 to 10:30 p.m. – Skelefriend
10:30 p.m. to midnight – Mike Dao
Midnight to 2 a.m. – Youms
Tuesday, December 31
6 to 7:25 p.m. – Gerry Gonza
7:30 to 9 p.m. – Diplo
9:05 to 10:20 p.m. – Zeds Dead
10:30 to 11:45 p.m. – Galantis
11:55 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. – Joyryde
1:45 to 3 a.m. – Griztronics (GRiZ and Subtronics)
6 to 7 p.m. – Ekonovah
7:05 to 8:20 p.m. – Decadon
8:25 to 9:55 p.m. – Tony Romera
10 to 11:15 p.m. – Arius
11:25 p.m. to 12:25 a.m. – G Jones
12:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. – Ardalan
1:30 to 3 a.m. – Fisher
The Playhouse: Weird & Wonderful
6 to 7:30 p.m. – Kody Black
7:30 to 8:30 p.m. – Fairydust
8:30 to 9:30 p.m. – Mustache Sweat
9:30 to 10:30 p.m. – AtLast
10:30 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. – Guity
12:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. – Decadon
The Playhouse: RB Deep
6 to 7:30 p.m. – Ghost Effect
7:30 to 9 p.m. – Muzhak
9 to 10:30 p.m. – Orenda
10:30 to 11:45 p.m. – Disco Zombie
12:30 to 2 a.m. – DJ Lujan
The Playhouse: Bass Face
6 to 7:30 p.m. – STVTC
7:30 to 9 p.m. – Chiief.
9 to 10:30 p.m. – 2Soon
10:30 to 11:45 p.m. – DJ Dark Mark
12:30 to 2 a.m. – Voodreau
What will the festival’s layout be like? The Grand Pavilion stage will be located in the Rawhide Event Center building with vendors, picnic tables, and outdoor bars situated along the adjacent Sonoran Lawn. Meanwhile, the Royal Circus stage and The Playhouse area (which will host the “Weird & Wonderful” performers) will be north of the event center.
Will there be food and drink available? Yes. A variety of vendors and food trucks will have eats and drinks available for purchase, including such fast-casual options as pizza, mac and cheese, burgers, and fries. Soft drinks and adult beverages can be bought from several drink booths and bars on the premises. As we said, you can only use your wristband for purchases.
Where can I get water? Free water stations will be located outside of the Royal Circus stage. You’ll be allowed to bring empty water bottles (either disposable or reusable) into the event, as well as water bladder systems like CamelBaks.
Just because it will be cold out doesn’t mean you won’t run the risk of getting dehydrated. 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. If needed, you can also get water from one of the many “Relentless Rangers” working at the event. Speaking of which …
Where is the Relentless Rangers tent? It will be on the north end of the festival next to First Aid. If you need a place to chill out for a bit or recuperate from raging, it's the place to go. The Relentless Rangers, a group of volunteers in neon green shirts who 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.
What should I bring? You’ll want to have a government-issued ID and a fully charged cellphone, 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.
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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 a 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.
What shouldn’t I bring? Drugs, illegal substances, and any sort of related paraphernalia are all forbidden. The same goes for fireworks, laser devices, chains or spiked jewelry, knives or any other weapon, and anything else considered to be dangerous or destructive. Massagers, eye drops, outside food or alcohol, tents, chairs, blankets, large bags, balloons, balls, and Native American headdresses are also forbidden. Any open packs of cigarettes, tampons, or ChapStick will also be confiscated by security.
Is there an after-party? Absolutely. The annual Afterglow dance party will begin promptly at 3 a.m. on Wednesday, January 1, at Rawhide immediately after the second night of Decadence concludes. Fisher and other DJs from the festival will perform. The festivities go until 6 a.m. Tickets are $40.