By: Michelle Gargano
When you think of Las Vegas several things may come to mind: the infamous Strip, gambling, and 24-hour entertainment. Music is held with the highest regard here, however the EDM scene is predominately flooded with mainstream artists who are hosted in overpriced nightclubs with a dress code. It’s rare that you will find a venue with good sound, great vibes, and out of-the-box artists.
But when you pull back the curtains of glitz and glamour and the social stigma attached to the EDM world in Sin City, there you will find a weekly event, Nickel Fucking Beer Night, that has been working hard to forge a pathway for the underground. Held in the comfort of one of the Fremont Street Experience’s most prestigious bars, NFBN has been the host to some of the best and freshest talent in the scene, as well as making a spotlight for new up and coming artists.
For the last eight years, every Tuesday NFBN has been showcasing unique talent that you won’t find anywhere else in Las Vegas. During the last year it has received the attention of some of the original dons of the bass realm, creating an environment unlike any other for the locals.
I got a chance to catch up with the men responsible for all this magic, Joe Borusiewicz and Lonnie Hill, to find out more about their history, day to day operations, and future plans, and here is what they had to say!
What was the original vision for NFBN?
Joe: The original NFBN started off very loose, conceptually—we had open format DJ's, punk bands, rap battles, themed parties, all sorts of out-there stuff. We tried to incorporate a piece of everything we loved about Downtown Las Vegas at the time into what was essentially a weekly backyard kegger you’d invite all your friends to and just go ham.
Do you plan to keep NFBN as a weekly event or is there hopes of it becoming a weekend event as well?
Joe: Right now we're focused on hosting the best weekly event in Las Vegas. We're always thinking of ways to expand, the table is piled high with ideas, but priority #1 at the moment is cultivating something vibrant and inclusive that serves the people who support it week after week. There's something really different and really exciting about what's happening here and now. New artists, new sounds, new faces in the crowd, and a lot of old friends who've been inspired to start coming around again… let's keep cultivating that and see where it goes.
What is your scouting process like and how can artists get involved with NFBN?
Lonnie: For local support acts, we scout with our ears. It's really that simple. Social media followers and such are obviously nice things to have, but quality is truly everything to us. Some people make great music, some people have serious DJ skills, and some people just seem to just know when to play the right track. We don't expect perfection, but we expect everyone who plays has put some time into their craft. The days of people who can't DJ or craft a good Ableton/controller set but have 10,000 Twitter followers and are getting the best gigs are over. We're constantly seeking out new local acts and we hope the Las Vegas scene sees this as a place where the best can develop their skills and fine tune how they play to a crowd. If you're a Las Vegas based DJ or producer, and the music you play fits what we're doing, we're always an email away at: email@example.com.
What kind of sound system are you using?
Joe: Commonwealth recently installed the only Void Acoustics rig in southern Nevada, it’s been a game changer for us and the depth of programming we can accommodate. One of the barriers to bass music events in general establishing a footing is the lack of intimate venues with proper sound systems. Our front-facing system consists of 4 Staysis Xair dual 18’s with a pair of Void Tri Motions handling the mids and highs.
NFBN is giving a whole new meaning to “turning up on Tuesday,” with its roster for 2019. Thus far they fully melted the minds of DTLV with some of The Untz Festival favs. With performances by Bleep Bloop, Ivy Lab, DMVU, Esseks, and Yheti they have created a thriving niche for bassheads. They are just about to kick off “HELLA BASS” for the month of April with some truly noteworthy artists: Caspa, CharlestheFirst, Bukez Finezt, The Widdler, and Pigeon Hole. Check out the stellar lineup at Nickel Fucking Beer Night for your bass fix and a truly one-of-a-kind Las Vegas music experience.
By using their passion and knowledge of music and their love for production NFBN has managed to create something that generations to come will hear stories about. It is taking the history and culture of the original Vegas image and combining it with the community that gets overlooked in such a flashy city, and it really is a beautiful thing.
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