Inside Justin Bieber's 21st Birthday Celebration at Las Vegas' New Omnia Nightclub
Formerly the legendary Pure nightclub at Caesars Palace, Omnia joins Hakkasan Group's ever-growing pantheon of venues.
Thanks to multimillion-dollar talent, a 22,000-pound kinetic chandelier and the first "legal" club appearance by Justin Bieber, Omnia Nightclub in Caesars Palace made a big splash during its opening weekend. Three nights of only-in-Vegas revelry kicked off Thursday with a headlining set by the world's highest-paid DJ, Calvin Harris.
Formerly the legendary Pure nightclub, Omnia joins Hakkasan Group's ever-growing pantheon of venues, including Hakkasan-brand restaurants worldwide and Omnia San Diego, scheduled to open this spring. Hakkasan Group is also the largest nongaming company on the Las Vegas Strip.
"When I came to Las Vegas [in the early 2000s], it was an interesting time for the city. There were a couple of nightclubs, not very good ones at that," says Neil Moffitt, Hakkasan Group CEO and one of electronic dance music's most influential figures. "With this opportunity, I wanted to kick the ball so far down the street that it's even difficult for the haters to hate this venue. I feel a sense of complete fulfillment."
Moffitt has developed a venue that can handle music-lovers and celebrity-seekers equally. "What I wanted to do was create a timeless piece — for example doing Justin's 21st birthday and Martin Garrix headlining — two ends of the spectrum musically, but we can accommodate both of them very well."
Omnia unfolds over 75,000 square feet and is divided into three spaces: the main club, including a mezzanine with skyboxes; a terrace with a panoramic view of the Strip; and the Heart of Omnia, a super-exclusive, open-format club-within-a-club led by L.A.'s H.wood Group. (Hakkasan Group acquired the company founded by John Terzian and Brian Toll last year.)
"John and Brian are the right partners for us, period," Moffitt says. "We made an investment into their company after I met them once in L.A. We will help them develop their business in other markets. Heart is luxurious and cool. … I wanted a second room that was a different experience."
The focal point of the main room is the kinetic chandelier, consisting of eight concentric rings, embedded in a 65-foot dome. Throughout the night, the fixture acts as a canvas for various production elements including theatrical lighting effects, video projections and LEDs. Moffitt says it offers an infinite number of possibilities.
"I am not a big fan of mezzanines so I challenged the team to come up with something to make the people in the balcony feel part of it," he says. "I wanted it to be spectacular. I wanted to create a category killer in terms of design, luxury, space and technology. The chandelier was something that came about to bring the mezzanine down and what we finished with is the most spectacular piece of production in the world."
Saturday night was an equally spectacular one for Bieber, Omnia's guest of honor on the occasion of his 21st birthday (which was actually March 1), who was coming hot from the taping of his Comedy Central roast earlier in the night.
Sources say the Biebs was paid an estimated $500,000 for his Vegas stint. Fans surrounded the red carpet on the casino floor of Caesars Palace, inciting a near stampede when he arrived shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday. His second stop was the club's main room where he immediately grabbed a bottle and poured shots for his friends. Posing for pictures with Moffitt, Bieber playfully rearranged the numbers on a birthday cake — in the form of his '65 black Lincoln Continental — to read 12 instead of 21. He then briefly addressed the crowd and greeted fellow School Boy recording artist, 18-year-old Omnia headliner Garrix.
The rest of the evening Bieber spent in Heart of Omnia acting as any 21-year-old would: poppin' bottles, dancing on the DJ booth and singing "Happy Birthday" … to himself.
Questlove, David Arquette, Pasquale Rotella, Miguel, Kris Jenner, Katherine McPhee, Elyes Gabel, photographer Steve Shaw and a gaggle of models, including Margaux Brooke, from Shaw's Los Angeles-based publication Treats!, also partied at Omnia opening weekend.
Next up, Miley Cyrus hosts Saturday, March 21.