Area 15 is a curious immersive mash-up of a deeply satisfying sensory experience. The massive warehouse space is full of vendors that don’t seem to have a rhyme or reason for being there. There’s no central theme. Instead, you get this magical hodgepodge of exciting and interesting sensory experiences. There’s so much to experience in the space that you won’t have time for it all in one day. Hell with Meowolf alone you could spend 15+ hours & still not experience it all or make sense of it all. Regardless, you definitely carve out some time to experience all that Area 15 has to offer.
Their website explains the space as, "AREA15 is an immersive playground, all rolled into a vast and vibrant space. Throw an ax, wander through a bamboo volcano, race on a zip line, or explore other mesmerizing realms. From the throwback to the futuristic, the family-friendly to the thrill-seeking, there’s an experience for everyone here." A good friend of mine is plugged into their management team so I was able to experience quite a bit of the space. There is still a great deal more I want to see and experience so I will definitely going back next time I pop into Vegas.
Here's my take on a few of the elements of the space.
Ru Paul's Drag Race Viewing Party With Elliott with 2 T’s
Elliott with 2 T's was on this season of Ru Paul's Drag Race. During each live broadcast of the show, Elliott or another drag queen hosts a watch party. Elliott's nights are emcee'd by her husband. There are performances from Elliott and her dancers, audience showdowns and more. It is a really fun and interactive experience. Chris Wink who is famous for being one of the three Co-Founders and the Chief Creative Officer of Blue Man Group was there & his partner Sonia Sheron put on one hell of a runway show with the rest of the audience members during a runway walk off. Chris Wink also has experiences in Area 15 so he's an integral part of the scene.
Meow Wolf's Omega Mart
When you see Meowolf on the surface level it doesn’t look that intriguing. It’s basically a cartoon-looking quirky grocery store simulation complete with eclectic products for purchase. Once you get through the store & find your way into the secret entrances, you are immersed in a world of electric, neon, wonderment & insanity. You have to consider that everything could have an ulterior purpose. That storage cabinet might have a door in it. That hut might have a tunnel near the floor you should crawl through and get to another space.
Once you figure out how to obtain an access card, you have an opportunity to learn more of & engage with more of the story that’s happening alongside the mesmerizing experience. There's a whole plot interwoven throughout the space. It is reportedly also tied to the Arizona location. It will soon also be tied to the Denver and Atlanta locations that are in development. There are phones that will play conversations if you dial the right number. Your access card might let you unlock secret files on computers. There are buttons, robots, lights, music, stairs, tunnels, boxes, paintings.
We spent a few hours in the space and I was still left feeling like there was so much more to explore, understand and experience. I will definitely be going back to the Vegas location and I'd like to soon add the other locations as well.
Area 15 describes Oddwood as "cocktails and conversation under a digital forest." The cocktail bar is an open space bar nestled in the middle of the main Area 15 corridor. A you sit at the bar, you are covered by a mesmerizing canopy of 5,000 leaves on a 25-foot maple tree. There are over 50,000 individually programmed LED lights that illuminate the branches. There is a really cool collision of textiles & surfaces meshed together from the vibrantly lit tree to the brass, bronze and worn wood. This venue was brought to life by Corner Bar Management's founder, Ryan Doherty.
Museum Fiasco “Cluster” by Playmodes Studio Museum Fiasco is probably one of my favorite spaces in Area 15. The way the infinity mirrors, music & lights interact is orgasmic for your brain & senses. I could have spent a long time in the space. Their website describes the space as: "Cluster is an immersive audiovisual installation that explores relationships between space, time and perception. Through a carefully crafted synchronization between sound and light, and a will for exploring the limits of human perception, a very special experience is created which transports you into a psychic journey of abstract geometry. The audiovisual discourse is formed by a set of sequential abstract scenes which explore different concepts, for an overall show of around 12 minutes."