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Imagine Dragons, Incubus & Wiz Khalifa to Headline SEMA Fest, An Event Bridging Music & Car Culture

today10/20/2023

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The world’s largest automotive trade show is launching a music festival next month, bringing together live entertainment and car culture in Las Vegas.

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) — a 60-year-old trade organization representing after-market auto part manufacturers and sellers — is launching the first-ever SEMA Fest at the Las Vegas festival grounds Nov. 3-4 with performances by acts including Imagine Dragons, Incubus, Wiz Khalifa, AJR, Third Eye Blind, Bush and Walk the Moon. The festival takes place during the annual SEMA trade show at the Las Vegas Convention Center, which will open to the general public for the first time. Besides music, the festival will also include a full slate of immersive automotive lifestyle events, a consumer marketplace, world-class drifting, motorsports competitions and freestyle motocross.

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“What we’ve noticed over the last 10 years is that the connection between a manufacturer and an end-user is getting closer and closer,” says Tom Gattuso, vp of events at SEMA.

“We decided as an association a couple years ago to open a membership category to an enthusiast or a consumer,” he added, noting that prior to 2023, the SEMA trade show was only open to wholesalers and retailers.

“And as soon as we opened it up, the consumer wanted to know how they could be part of the event,” Gattusto continued. “So we started to think how we could really engage consumers and have this complete distribution cycle where you’ve got manufacturing, distribution, and end-user all in one place. So we created SEMA Fest with an eye on automotive activation tying in another passion — live music — that would help our industry with growth.”

Tickets for the two-day festival start at $179, while tickets to both the Friday tradeshow and the weekend festival start at $299.

“Everybody remembers the first time they drove their car all by themselves — it was all about driving in the car, but also what you were listening to on the radio,” says Gattuso, who hired California talent buyer Roger LeBlanc to book the festival. “We really got positive response from both the industry and the public at large and we’re excited to see it all come together in November.”

SEMA Fest will be spread out over two stages, with the lineup of 21 artists also including The Struts, Ludacris and Dead Sara. There will also be three activation areas for Formula Drift, Hooligan off-road racing and Nitro Circus freestyle motocross.

“There will always be something to do as fans make their way through the festival grounds, either exploring something that may be new to them or exploring something that’s a deep passion for them and really interacting together in that space,” Gattuso says.

Click here to learn more about SEMA Fest.

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