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EDM havens top the year's most profitable nightclubs

February 21, 2013|By August Brown
  • The popular EDM club Vanguard is one of the highest grossing nightclubs in America, according to a trade journal.
The popular EDM club Vanguard is one of the highest grossing nightclubs… (Jorge Mercado )

For the top brass in the Las Vegas and Los Angeles EDM club scenes, dance music is proving a heck of a payday.

The hospitality trade journal Nightclub & Bar released its annual list of the 100 highest-grossing nightclubs in America, and EDM-heavy clubs in Las Vegas dominate the upper reaches.

Tied for first are a pair of venues that pioneered and cemented the superstar-DJ club concept as a major moneymaker. Wynn Resorts' XS and Marquee in the Cosmopolitan are tied for first place, each with estimated revenues of $80 million to $90 million in 2012. Each club features a constant roster of major EDM talent such as Kaskade, Avicii, Skrillex and Afrojack in one-offs and recurring residencies.

In the L.A. area, SBE's Greystone Manor clocks in at No. 11 with an estimated $25 million to $35 million  in revenues. The newish venue has proved to be a major win for SBE by following a similar mega-DJ booking philosophy -- and, surprisingly, its latest acquisition, Vanguard, checked in at 80th despite spending much of 2012 in a major revamp.  

Longtime dance-scene staple Avalon came in at 19th, with a steady clip of mainstream and underground acts and recurring club nights such as Control, which hits its fourth anniversary this Friday. Other L.A.-area EDM notables on the list include Playhouse, which hit No. 46, and Exchange L.A. at No. 66.

With so many new EDM-heavy clubs opening in the greater L.A. area (not to mention Las Vegas, where the new Hakkasan club in the MGM Grand will host Calvin Harris as its first resident), one has to wonder how sustainable this crush of new rooms will be  in the long run. Plus, these figures are gross revenues -- and EDM clubs are now famously having to pay six-figure (and rising) fees for DJ talent.

But for now, these  numbers suggest that if there is a bubble, it isn't popping quite yet.

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