Excellence Awards 2015
Drai’s Beach Club & Nightclub

Drai’s Beach Club & Nightclub

Drai’s Nightclub is one of Vegas’s most popular clubs thanks to an owner and lighting designer with unique vision

Clubbing in Las Vegas is again running in high gear and much of the thanks should go to club owners like Victor Drai, as well as the club industry’s most in demand lighting designer, Steve Lieberman of SJ Lighting. 

Victor Drai’s new Drai’s Beach Club & Nightclub atop the Cromwell Hotel is perhaps the hottest club in town. The 65,000 sq ft venue features both indoor and outdoor areas, including an iconic rooftop party porch and all the VIP amenities you would expect from a club of this stature. The sophisticated and sexy club embodies the attention to detail we’ve come to expect from nightlife mogul Victor Drai as well as Steve Lieberman, who has surrounded clubbers in an adrenalin-producing immersive lighting atmosphere. 

An Elation lighting package integrates with video throughout the 4,500-capacity venue. Surrounding the dance floor’s custom-built 80-sided polygon centerpiece ball is a complement of spots, beams and washes, “the 3 basic food groups of lighting” as Lieberman describes it. Given a high degree of autonomy in creating the lighting, he layered into the design Platinum Spot 5R Pro and Platinum Beam 5R Extreme moving heads, along with Rayzor Q12 Zoom LED wash lights and Protron LED strobes. 

The system is used for broad washes, edgy spot and strobe lighting, as well as aerial effects with each night requiring anything from big lighting looks for those energetic peaks to more subtle moments with atmosphere-generating details. Other effects like laser and blinder effects as well as video are layered in. “Between those fixtures it gives a lot of different options and elements to make the space more dynamic from a live show where you need more traditional elements to dance floor lighting,” Lieberman says.

The successful result at Drai’s is the outcome of Lieberman’s thorough design process, part of which involves turning on only one layer of lighting at a time to see if the pattern makes sense and also to make sure that it fills out the room and feels right. Designed with flexibility in mind to keep the lighting fresh and stimulating, the design forms a single cohesive element with all lighting elements working together. 

Additionally, true to his design ethos, the lighting design at Drai’s works with the geometry and infrastructure of the space, including the nightclub’s massive ceiling. The second-level ceiling extends all the way out to the main dance floor with LED video on the facia of the upper wall soffit with Cuepix Strip WW blinders lining the soffit’s bottom. Opting for a more classic white light blinder look, the Cuepix Strip WW blinders give a variety of incandescent looks. “I didn’t want color changing or rainbow chases,” Liebrman says. “I wanted something that looked as close to incandescent as possible and had the look of a traditional blinder.” 

Officially opened over Memorial Day Weekend in May, 2014, Drais’ one-of-a-kind experience and immersive atmosphere has proven a huge success with Victor Drai himself exclaiming, ‘If you have a vision, the right team and partners, you really can make the impossible happen.’

Elation Equipment:
28 x Platinum Spot 5R Pro
30 x Platinum Beam 5R Extreme
32 x Protron LED Strobe
56 x Cuepix Strip WW
24 x Rayzor Q12 Zoom

Lighting Design:  Steve Lieberman

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