There’s a hive mind in Las Vegas, and it’s full of people trying to make a difference. These artists, musicians, producers and other creatives share a vision, of creating a culture to which Las Vegas can connect. With each new venture comes a new person or group, adding more variety to the mix.
The Rabbit Hole, a production collective founded in 2015, is one such entity. The group, which recently launched a record label called 24 Karrot Records, is also gearing up to celebrate its fifth anniversary, with a blowout party at Downtown’s CMXX, featuring various collective members and labelmates and a headlining performance by The Noir Movement.
“Our main thing was to start a night where we could provide unorthodox sounds,” says co-founder Lucas Ybarra. “Las Vegas is known for the commercial end of music. We’re not hating on that by any means, but we wanted to hold a night where there were no strings attached. You can play off-the-wall sounds and still be accepted.”
That desire to ignite something bigger has always been a part of Downtown’s music and nightlife scene, and the Rabbit Hole is carrying that torch into the next decade.
“I remember growing up and wanting to be able to freely play what I love and not abide to any kind of playlist. I think it was just a type of freedom that I was looking for,” says Ybarra, who started DJing house parties when he was a teen.
The Rabbit Hole’s primary influence was LA party the Low End Theory, a weekly club night that began in 2006 and helped birth artists like Flying Lotus, Tokimonsta and the Glitch Mob before shuttering in 2018.
“It really motivated and inspired us to be OK with making different kinds of music,” says Ybarra, who launched the Rabbit Hole with co-founders Jamaal Long and Ty Bolden. Since then, the crew has expanded to 11 core members, six of whom have played Downtown’s Life Is Beautiful festival, according to Ybarra. Aside from hosting their own events, the collective and its members have also opened for artists like MNDSGN, Tokimonsta and Chromeo. The record label, a platform to help even more local artists grow, represents the next phase for the Rabbit Hole.
“We really try to push artists’ music and give them a fighting chance,” Ybarra says, adding that everything the Rabbit Hole does is self-funded, and that all event profits go straight back into the collective.
The events are designed to be buffets for the senses. The Rabbit Hole has worked with local visual designers such as Brett Bolton, Circuit Jungle, Spacey Blurr and Qliff to weave intricate visual concepts into the productions, creating a smorgasbord of ever-changing eye and ear candy.
“When we were old enough, we felt like we were looking for that [in Vegas], but we never found it,” Ybarra says. “So what better way to do it than to start it ourselves?”