Updated July 17, 2019 - 9:38 pm
If you hear an unexpected version of “Bohemian Rhapsody” over the Las Vegas Strip tonight, blame or credit Microsoft.
Oh, and Queen + Adam Lambert.
The legendary rockers, who headlined Park Theater in September, are performing a massive but private corporate event for 25,000 to 30,000 conventiongoers Wednesday night at the Festival Grounds at the north end of the Strip, along Sahara Avenue. The event is the Microsoft Inspire 2019 Conference in town through Thursday at Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Those in nearby high rises are being told to expect live entertainment, including fireworks, through 12:30 a.m.
MGM Resorts International owns the parcel and frequently books corporate events over the 40-acre venue.
“We’ve been working together for a year on this and many different projects,” MGM Resorts vice president of festivals and entertainment Daren Libonati said Wednesday. “We’re happy to be a great showcase space for the private and public market here at the Festival Grounds.”
Queen + Adam Lambert is conveniently in the area, having played Talking Stick Arena in Phoenix on Tuesday night. A band of that caliber usually commands about a $2 million appearance fee for an event of this scale. The expected turnout is more than double what the iHeart Radio Music Festival’s Daytime Stage drew last September, and more in line with the daily attendance for the two-weekend Rock in Rio festival in 2015.
The 40-acre Festival Grounds site has replaced its natural grass with artificial turf that can be rolled out for specific events.. The next IHeart Radio Music Festival’s Daytime Stage event is Sept. 21, headlined by Billie Eilish and Maren Morris.
The Microsoft convention has also taken over T-Mobile Arena this week with a series of industry keynote (or, as the company calls them, Corenote) speakers in a multimedia format.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.