Holy moly. Celebrating the new year at Decadence Arizona left me speechless. The lineup on day one had just about every artist I stream day-to-day in the car, at the gym, etc., so I was jumping and dancing every hour of the night on day one. Covering this festival pleasantly fell into my lap as a California journalist here at The Festival Voice since we had no journalists in AZ until recently. So, I planned the festival with three other SoCal women and planned a fun weekend and adventure in Arizona for the first time.
The Necessities of a Good Festival
I hadn’t even imagined walking into the festival grounds since I wanted to keep my expectations open, and I was surprised. When I got through the security search, it was interesting to see how this festival differed from the Insomniac festivals I was used to back home in Southern California. Relentless Beats displayed the lineup and map to the guests by projecting them onto tall pillars covered by a fabric, which was a fun twist on the usual expectations for those things. The map Decadence posted on their Instagram was easy to navigate once you figured out where you were. There was one water station for GA and GA+ with one secluded for VIPs in its section. The containers had numerous water spouts on each side, keeping the flow consistent as people needed to fill. I will say the waterspout was interesting for me to use since my water bladder doesn’t have a handle for me to hold so I can dispense water effortlessly, which led me to struggle since these water dispensers looked like big jugs that didn’t have spots for you to rest your bag onto. However, it’s an excellent excuse to bring a friend from your group to help you or make new buddies while you are filling up. Rest assured that though they looked like a big jug that was soon to run out, it had an endless water supply from the bottom (pic attached below).
There were five stages within the map of Decadence Arizona. Two of the stages, Grand Palace and Royal Ballroom, were the prominent two of the festival, which held the closers Subtronics, Claptone, Getter, and Loud Luxury alongside other well-known artists like Wax Motif, Illenium, Steve Aoki, and so many more. There were three more stages: The Bazaar, The Playground, and Quiet Quarters, which surrounded the festival’s amenities. The Playground was next to the Beatbox truck, where you could play dodgeball and see some cool festival designs of lights and vines—the Quiet Quarters hosted the silent disco, with two DJs playing for the listeners to switch back and forth while dancing under a disco ball. The final stage was The Bazaar, surrounded by hammocks, live painted art, signed DJ posters being silent auctioned, and arcade games. Regarding room going from stage to stage, there was plenty since the festival grounds were highly interactive. The audio was heard from the back of the stage when the crowd began to pile up, and this was especially true at the stage Royal Ballroom, which had the VIP section feeling the bass in their chests.
There was so much interactive stuff within the festival that made it feel like there were so many friendly vibes from anyone you interacted with. As I briefly discussed dodgeball, if you wanted to do something fun to get the energy out, that was an excellent way to bring your squad over and show off your arm. However, if you wanted a super chill spot away from the music with snacks, hand warmers, and blankets, there was a spot called The Ranger, which had lawn chairs, a heater keeping the tent warm, and people to ensure you were doing okay. It was right next to the med tent and to the left of GA entry, which was a nice little area to catch a breath and I actually was able to have a good conversation with a new friend while sitting in there. With plenty of bathrooms for its guests, places to relax, and plenty of hydration, the festival, Decadence Arizona, was run well by its owner by thinking about its guests and what they might need at any hour of the night. Seeing this festival and how there were no hiccups throughout its two-day celebration inspires me to say I could see Relentless competing with EDC one day with a 12-hour 3-day festival as it grows bigger and better.
VIP and platinum pass holders were taken care of extremely. There was the Skydeck, which offered an unlimited bottle service for those who paid the fee. Rumor has it only the best of the best were up in the bottle service section since it cost around 20k for that luxury spot. With leather seats and an excluded wristband scanner on this lifted deck, it was the perfect place to chat comfortably with your friends and hear good music. If you were holding a VIP ticket, you had an up-close view of the stage, and you could see the DJ pretty clearly if you’re into that sort of thing. VIP had the rail closest to the DJ, and security enjoyed their time interacting with the ravers who were in VIP. A few guards were in the VIP pit to ensure no GA ticket holders would hop the rail into VIP. This was a good idea for Relentless, the owner of Decadence, to think of since there have been many festivals that I have been to where people hopping the rail has been a common occurrence. If you didn’t pay the $20,000.00 to get into the platinum deck, don’t worry. If you want VIP and still want a boujee experience, VIP was able to have their sky deck, which offered a standing view to see the stage and onto the pit below.
This festival was a lot of fun from a personal perspective and a viewpoint as a media pass holder. I made many friends, and the drive and the money I spent on the hotel and other things were worth it. While I will keep this review professional to share the best things that came out from the creatives behind Decadence, I will release a more personal article about my time here at Decadence AZ since so much happened to me within the four days I was near Phoenix. I genuinely enjoy the rave culture in Arizona (from what I was able to see), and witnessing what Relentless Beats has created as an Independent owner has made it jaw-dropping to see their product live in action. Let’s see what they create for Decadence going into 2025. Cheers to the New Year.