Dave Fogg could be a history instructor, if the curriculum were a timeline of Las Vegas’ greatest bars.
Ra at Luxor. Rain at the Palms. Scotch Sky at Green Valley Ranch. Hit after hit after hit, and Fogg, one of the city’s longest tenured DJs, has actually had a hand in every one of them, though not always from behind the decks.
“About 20 percent [of my profession] is DJing, [and] 80 percent is talent purchasing,” he describes. “DJing, though, without a doubt, is most likely my preferred thing.”
Fogg, the talent purchaser for Drai’s and a fixture on the Drai’s Beachclub phase, is a rarity on the Strip: a nightlife executive who has actually experienced the club scene’s development dating back to the late ’80s, while still moonlighting– or daylighting, as it were– as a DJ.
When he’s not spinning, he’s presenting a few of dance music’s greatest names to Las Vegas. “It’s sort of like bragging rights,” Fogg states of bringing high-end, frequently undiscovered skill to the city.
At Ra, where Pleasuredome was born, he was the first to sign Armin van Buuren, Jeff Mills and Timo Maas. At the Palms, Fogg provided Diplo his first Vegas residency.
“Electronic music wasn’t even called EDM back then,” he states, assessing his profession in the middle of a busy Thursday at Drai’s Beachclub, where he’s still offering up-and-coming dance artists like TroyBoi and Anna Lunoe their very first major direct exposure to Vegas club crowds.
“A DJ moving into the talent purchaser lane is a very logical and smooth relocation, however it’s really distinct [in Las Vegas],” Fogg states. “I think most skill buyers are coming from the office environment; possibly they worked as a tour supervisor or an agent.”
The artist’s frame of mind, and the understanding and experience that features it, made Fogg the best candidate for the function. On days like this, he’s hustling behind the scenes, scheduling artists, arranging transportation and hotel accommodations and conceptualizing marketing concepts with groups of managers and promoters. On other days he’s onstage in the sunshine, opening for Henry Fong or another artist on Drai’s daytime lineup.
“I often need to ensure [artists] get in the place,” Fogg discusses. “However it’s really laid back here; if I’m opening for somebody I’ll text the guy and let them understand, ‘I’m opening for you, I can’t come grab you.'”
In such a competitive market, Fogg resists the urge to call names on his dream list, but he has already added some personal favorites this season, Marc Kinchen and Green Velvet amongst them.
“These are men that really influenced me being a DJ. This is 20 to 30 years that we’re discussing,” he says. “I love the chance to book someone like that, whose records I grew up playing. There’s certainly times where I can fanboy out, when it’s proper.”