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As recently as the early 1990s, Las Vegas was considered the place where headlining bands went to die; the Entertainment Capital of the World didn’t attract a major touring act until 1993.
Compared to the rest of the country, Vegas wasn’t only far behind the live-music curve, but the paradoxically conservative instincts of the casino bosses and city fathers made it very difficult for touring bands, especially rock and rollers, to gain a foothold. In the past 20-odd years, however, Sin City has evolved into the number-one live-music market in the world.
How did that happen? How did Las Vegas make the transition from Sinatra, Newton, and the Folies Bergére to a city with more than 500,000 seats for live-music events that draw more than 5 million fans annually, 75% of them from outside Nevada?
Las Vegas Rock City chronicles the contemporary history of concert bands, venues, promoters, and marketers, as seen through the eyes of one of the most active participants in the process, with 500 live-music events in 35 years under his belt. Author Pat Christenson was deeply involved in the events and intimately connected to the characters who made Vegas come alive!
For nearly 35 years, Pat Christenson has participated in the evolution of live-music events in Las Vegasworking on more than 500 concerts. From 1983 through 2001, he managed the major arena (Thomas and Mack Center) and stadium (Sam Boyd Stadium) in Las Vegas. Since then, he has been president of Las Vegas Events.