The Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend is an annual event that takes place in April at the Orleans Casino Resort. The Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend offers four solid days of everything rockabilly and each day features special events. The daily events include burlesque bingo, pinup model meet & greets, bowling tournamentss, tattoo fests, swimwear contests, pinup contests, burlesque contests and a classic hot rod car show. Of course, dozens of rockabilly bands perform on stage, which includes surf guitar, rockin’ swing, ’60s go-go, doo-wop and psychobilly genres. There are several band stage locations and the cool sound of rockabilly can be heard all day and all night long. To sum it all up, Viva Las Vegas is the biggest, baddest and bawdiest rockabilly party of them all!
The Saturday Pre-’64 Hot Rod Car Show is one of the most popular events during the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend. I first attended this event in 2014 and I did the hot rod experience once again in 2018. There are a couple of band stages at the car show event and the main stage features classic headliner rockabilly musicians from the early days, as well as the modern age. In 2014, every great rockabilly band ranging from the Barnyard Stompers to the Tequila Worms could be heard. The great Imelda May was a headliner and the main stage top billing performer for the Saturday Car show was the original Trashmen. When the Trashmen did their smash hit Surfin’ Bird, the entire audience was doing the classic dance associated with this song and it was truly a wild sight to see!
There are countless rockabilly merchandise vending booths, beer tents and food trucks at the car show, so if you do not look rockabilly enough when you get there, you certainly can look like you are part of the scene by the time you head back home. A famous classic burlesque star or pinup model usually hosts the car show event at a meet & greet booth, which adds a little bit of classic rockabilly charm. In 2014, Sabina Kelly hosted the Viva Las Vegas Hot Rod Car Show. Sabina Kelly happens to be the most famous tattoo model of all time, so she was the perfect choice for representing this cool event.
The absolute star of the Viva Las Vegas car show is the pre-1964 hot rods! Everything from early hot rodder flat heads to multi supercharged twin engine pavement melters were on site. Bucket T’s, Lead Sleds, desert rat rods, flame jobs and some super hot engine mods could be seen everywhere in the car show grounds. This event usually features well over 500 pre-’64 custom cars, so there is plenty of eye candy to go around.
In 2014, it was easy to get Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend event tickets, but the same cannot be said in recent years. The tickets for this big rockabilly event now completely sell out well ahead of time. If you really want to do the entire four day event or just want to attend the big car show, it is best to purchase tickets ahead of time before they are all gone. Because of security measure changes in Las Vegas, ticket sales numbers are limited to a set amount and there is no such thing as “standing room only” tickets sold at the gate anymore.
If you are into rockabilly music and the rockabilly lifestyle, then Viva Las Vegas should be the number one destination in the month of April! The same can be said for classic hot rod fans too. The annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend is a music festival like no other, so it is well worth checking out this cool scene!
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