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Nora Van Elken playing her headline set at the Space Needle.
Credit: Vivid Presents


Nora Van Elken lights up the Space Needle at Vivid’s Sunset Sessions (DMNW Review)

One of the biggest perks of being a part of the Dance Music Northwest team is covering cool shows throughout the Northwest, and around the world. We love shining the spotlight on events that are being hosted in our own backyard.

With that being said, we were especially excited to be attending a hometown show inside Seattle’s most iconic landmark. This weekend the DMNW team had the pleasure of attending Sunset Sessions at The Space Needle, hosted by Vivid Presents. If you weren’t able to attend, have no worries, we have you covered!

After a two-year hiatus, Vivid Productions announced that they would be bringing back their well-known Sunset Sessions series. In the past, these events have included a wide range of well-known artists including Jody Wisternoff, Marsh, Oona Dahl, and Dirty South. Additionally, what sets Vivid’s events apart from others is its unique and intimate venues such as the HIYU, a decommissioned ferry that served as a floating stage that roamed Lake Union and Lake Washington. They have also thrown events at The Nest, one of Seattle’s most popular rooftop lounges, and of course the ever-popular Sunset Sessions at The Space Needle!

Space Needle at night showing the event at the skyline level.

Credit: Ryley Campbell

Production and setup

The doors for the Friday night show opened at 5pm. As we made our way into the Space Needle, we were welcomed by the friendly staff. Amongst the tourists and locals that roamed the gift shop set at the base of the Needle, we saw eager faces of attendees that were dressed in a wide range of outfits ranging from full formal attire to the familiar sight of ever-popular rave clothing such as pashminas, bunny ears, and even a cowboy hat!

Even with how packed the event was, we were surprised by how quickly and efficiently we were ushered into the private event line and taken by one of the famous glass elevators to our sunset oasis.

As we exited the elevator we were met immediately with the sounds and vibrations of a steady, driving bass line. Almost instantly, any expectations that we had for the stage production were blown away. For how limited the space actually is, the Vivid Presents team did an incredible job setting up their production. When we exited the elevator, the stage was almost directly dead center in front of us.

Nestled between multiple LED panels, the stage resembled one that you would see at an Anjunadeep Open Air beach event. Surrounding the stage were red, orange, pink, and purple lights reminiscent of a sunset. To top things off, a halo LED fixture was suspended directly above the dance floor.

Nora Van Elken performing at the Sunset Sessions.

Credit: Ryley Campbell

Decor and dining

As we circled the venue we were met with decor that gave off a chill yet sleek look. It was remnant of a Southeast Asia beach club, donning standing tables, red umbrellas and even a small chabudai-style table with pillows to sit on and relax. One thing that we really enjoyed about this venue was the overall flow of the layout.

As you circled to either the left or the right of the stage you could easily exit the main area to an event room parallel to the one hosting the stage. Here attendees were treated to a full spread of food including bread, dips, salads, and both meat and veggie options. When speaking with the Vivid team, they really wanted to create a unique event with this Sunset Session. Providing attendees with a meal, drink options, and a space that imitated both a dance music event and a sleek cocktail party all in one definitely left us with a lasting impression and experience.

Starting the party off with dancing

Now, onto the main attraction, the music! From the beginning to the end of the night, the music was non-stop and kept the audience dancing. All throughout the event, people were non-stop dancing on the dance floor, at the bar, and in line for food. Starting the party at 5 pm was local DJ and event producer, DJ HandZ. Beyond the music, DJ HandZ is known for his signature dance moves and vibe. Check out his Instagram and the viral video taken of him JAMMING at Miami Music Week.

To finish off the “happy hour” portion of the event, we were blessed with another local DJ, AIGO. AIGO kept the party’s momentum moving with her house sound and uptempo set. You may have recognized her if you attended the SOHMI show at Monkey Loft last month. If you didn’t get the chance, make sure to follow her for more upcoming events!

DJ HandZ dancing in the crowd at Sunset Sessions at The Space Needle.

Credit: Vivid Presents

Keeping the momentum going with Bad Ginger, DJ Trinitron, and Nora Van Elken

Heading into the main hours of the event we were pumped to catch two other local DJs, Bad Ginger and DJ Trinitron. Both of these DJs are well known in the Seattle area, playing shows throughout the city. Bad Ginger is known for her high-energy house sets, and she did not disappoint. As soon as she began to play you could feel the tempo switch in the venue. Her set included a long list of dance floor bangers, including some G-House to keep things funky.

If you haven’t had the chance to catch a DJ Trinitron show, we highly suggest it. DJ Trinitron is a longtime veteran of the dance music scene. We caught her set at Seattle PrideFest 2022 on the main stage, and let us tell you, she does not disappoint! Her set was filled with heaters from front-to-back, and turned the crowd’s energy all the way up for our headline event!

DJ Trinitron and artist Bad Ginger standing behind the decks

Credit: Vivid Presents

For a debut set in Seattle, we could not think of a cooler opportunity than a Sunset Sessions at the Space Needle. For this Dutch-based producer and DJ, this reality was met! Nora Van Elken has a unique sound in the way she combines percussion sounds with a funky/jazzy tempo. Her set was absolutely incredible and full of both her and other producers’ deep and melodic sounds that brought smiles and cheers from the crowd. To our surprise, she even played out a deep-house remix of Cherish’s Do It To It! Her set was phenomenal, and we could not be more thankful that got the chance to catch this unique event.

Unique challenges of the venue

This event truly was one of a kind. Overall, we loved the music, venue, and production. When looking at the event as a whole, we only noticed a few hitches due to the unique venue. Attendees were told that they would get full access to both the Skyline and Atmos levels of the Space Needle with the purchase of their ticket. Unfortunately, due to security reasons that unfolded the night of the event, attendees were not actually permitted to go to the top of the Needle. Speaking with the Vivid team, we were told that this was an unforeseen issue.

While this was a bit of a letdown, it didn’t seem to hinder the event! This venue presents a unique set of challenges, including only one entry point to the Skyline level of the Space Needle, beyond any emergency exits. This created a slight wait when leaving the venue, but didn’t seem to dampen any partygoer’s good time.

The Dance Music Northwest team definitely suggests you take the opportunity to check out one of the Vivid Presents’ upcoming events. With summer just around the corner, we are all excited to see what the team has in store! This Sunset Sessions at the Space Needle was truly epic, and we can’t wait for the next one. Make sure to give them a follow to keep up with their upcoming schedule.


Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!

Written By



  1. Diana Solle

    April 15, 2023 at 1:00 pm

    Nice writing, Ryley. Very inviting.

  2. Matthew Somerville

    April 12, 2023 at 4:01 pm

    Dude! Good job. ?

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Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!