Viva Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas 16 Wrap Up: Final Thoughts

11:32 AMDollie DeVille

Over all Viva Las Vegas was great, it always is! I think this was my 8th consecutive year of attending, so while I have not been as much as some people I feel like I have a pretty good amount of experience to base my opinions on. I do think that this year and the year prior were not as fun for me as the years before that. I don’t know if I am changing or if it is just how the event changing. Either way, every year I try and come up with good and bad aspects of that year. This year was hard, but this is what I came up with. Remember, this is just my opinion. 

The Good:

Car show: I thought the car show had really improved over years prior. The car show was now in a much closer lot so we didn’t have to walk as far. I loved the new car show layout, the addition of the bleachers, and the food trucks. The stage set up was awesome as well with a great sound and lighting system. I liked how the vendors were all grouped together; it made it so much easier to hit all of the vendors. The vendors in general seemed better this year- more vintage and more high quality repro, less junk. This year they also added a pinup contest to the car show. I am actually really surprised they didn’t do that sooner, as it seems like all car shows have them nowadays. This one was different because all of the girls where wearing like pageant gowns. They looked really uncomfortable and hot. So, I’m indifferent on that I guess. I still don’t understand why they keep putting the main headliner for the weekend on the car show stage. It definitely isn’t comfortable for the audience and I imagine the legends would rather be inside the Ballroom as well. They must do it just to sell more car show day tickets. I would like to see that changed next year and maybe just have someone like Deke play the car show with a few other bands. But in general the car show was a huge improvement.

Charles Phoenix: His slide show is one of the most consistently good events at Viva. You sit down. It’s cold and dark. You can drink. You laugh a lot. You learn about kitshy mid-century things. Charles dresses funny and sometimes throws free food into the audience. What more could you possibly want?

Rev Martini Presents: I loved this new show by Karen Momaunt thrown in the Pub. You get to see the most popular acts of the weekend play a few songs each all in succession in just a few hours. There were even some acts that weren’t on the Viva bill but where there and played anyway, like Marky Ramone. There isn’t a big dancing area in the pub so it is really all about drinking and watching the bands. It really was a huge treat.

Friday Pool Party: The addition of the official pool party on Fri and Sat is cool. I always went to the pool on Friday anyway but now I get to hear some cool music and a swimsuit contest! Its great to just relax and have a drink by the pool after being up really late the night before. They have pretty good food too, so we just ate lunch there. It’s really the best thing to do on Friday afternoon.

The Bad*:

*It was pretty hard to come up with something bad to say, so these are far reaching. 

The Dancing: My favorite year was Viva Las Vegas 13. I am not exactly sure why, but that year was awesome. The bands were great, a lot of my very close friends went, and I loved my outfits. I also did a ton of dancing that year. The last two years have really sucked for dancing in my opinion. They started closing the ballrooms earlier and moving us to a downstairs record hop in Big Al’s. I hate dancing in that room because the dance floor is so little and an odd shape. It gets really hot in there too. Really, all that room is good for is sitting and drinking, which is normally what we end up doing. I also have not been digging the music the DJ’s are playing. They seem to be playing a ton of rhythm and blues, blues boppers, and garage. I like all of that music, but sometimes when you want to dance late at night you really just long to hear some good old rockabilly. I never even heard some songs that used to be played without fail multiple times in other years. I know the DJs and dancers get tired of hearing them so they stopped playing them, but I really long to hear them at Viva. In LA the DJs all play only that type of music, so at Viva I look forward to finally hearing all the songs I want to dance to, and it just never happened. Maybe I am alone in this line of thinking though.

Swimsuit Contest Emcee: I heard a lot of bad feedback from people about the Swimsuit Contest Emcee at the pool party on Sunday. I was kind of doing my own thing during the contest, but I heard a bit of it. I am hearing that women felt the male emcee was a bit womanizing. I specifically didn't care for the question he asked all the girls. I think it was something like, "If you were a cocktail what would you be?" It really didn't have anything to do with anything, specifically vintage swimsuits. It seemed like an attempt to make sexual innuendos. I'm all for adult themed entertainment in Las Vegas, but I feel like the participants in the contest are always being told to keep it classy (and they do a really good job at it), so the host should as well. I just don't think the emcee accurately represented the hosting company or the participants. He is a cool guy and I know that is just his shtick, but I guess it didn't translate to some people.  I think they had a female emcee for the other swimsuits contests and she rocked. I think people would appreciate having her or one of the hosts from years prior do it next year. Maybe he would be better suited (pun intended) for the couples contest? Other than that I really like the swimsuit contest and everyone involved in it. The judges did a great job picking the suits this year, they were top notch! 

Hotel Booking: It's nuts how fast the hotel sells out. I think it was booked in full like the day after Viva. I'm not complain though because we booked our room early. 

How many days until next Viva? I can't wait! Thinking about it just makes me miss it more. What made your good and bad list?


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  1. This year was my first time, a bunch of us flew over from London and had the greatest time ever! it's so huge compared to similar European events so was quite a contrast. We truly loved the atmosphere, so friendly, not to mention the music, cars, shopping and fabulously dressed crowd!! I would go back in a heartbeat. I love buying 50's stuff and struggle to buy it in England as it's either imported from the states (making it super expensive) or there's a real limited selection to choose from, if you're buying on a regular shopping budget!! so events like Viva gives such a golden opportunity for shopping. I think the only bad part for me was lack of comfy footwear!! (which is my own darn fault) It could be amazing for you to put together a survival guide, hints, tips for other newbies. Here's a few of my Vegas posts, & hope you like them! Big love, Christine xx

    1. What a fun blog! You are stunning!!! Thanks for reading!

    2. Thank you!! you are too kind. I love your blog and have some serious wardrobe envy going on, wish the vintage shops in England had a better range of mid-century. Might have to plan another trip stateside soon for shopping purposes oopsy Christine x

  2. Very much looking forward to next year. I hope I didn't miss all the good years. We also booked our room for next year.

    1. No, not at all! Any year you can go is a good year. I'm just being extra picky for comparison sake.

  3. Good points! I agree about the headliner always playing the car show. I would much prefer seeing them inside. Charles Phoenix is definitely one of the highlights for us each year as well!

    Had a great time this year and am counting down 'til next year!

  4. I agree on pretty much all of this, especially the swimsuit contest emcee. I was actually starting to feel bad and uncomfortable for the girls. I would have loved to hear where the girls got their suits, the stories behind them, and maybe even have them explain a little about them for the people that are farther away and cannot see the detail. It's not a T&A show. Plenty of that to be had it the car show. And double YES on the hotel booking. I hadn't even heard they opened up the booking and it had already sold out and I missed the boat. I'm totally bummed about that.

  5. Its really great review to know about this information..Thanks a lot for sharing your post.

  6. I had only a few cons this year too- in all it was a great show and I am with you that prior years had been more fun for us too. (This year my husband was super sick so that didn't help matters) Reverand Martini's show needs to defiantly go into a larger venue. We tried getting in and I was so overcome by smoke and heat I almost got sick in there so we couldn't enjoy the bands and just went back to crushing around, eating and catching some sleep. Also the car show was great this year in the lay out but my pet peeve was that they made everyone throw away there drinks when walking in. ( I let Tom know and he apologized actually and said he didn't know they were doing that and that was the fault of the hotel and he was going to look into it next year) they were even making people throw water bottles away!!!! Really?!?!? All in all always a good time ;) hope to party more with you next year doll!!


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