SEMA FEST Builds Passion For Music & Car Culture



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Photos (credit courtesy of SEMA Fest) here

Videos (credit courtesy of SEMA Fest) here

Imagine Dragons closed out the inaugural SEMA Fest in Las Vegas Saturday, November 4.

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), producers of the SEMA Show, the major trade-only automotive aftermarket event held annually in Las Vegas, recently launched SEMA Fest, a two-day festival celebrating motorsports, music and car culture. The Festival made its debut Nov. 3 – 4 at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds. 

SEMA Fest served as a natural evolution of the passion for all things automotive exemplified at the SEMA Show. The Association started to further highlight and share that passion with the enthusiast public in 2011 with the SEMA Cruise, which evolved in 2014 with SEMA Ignited, the official Friday night after-party for the SEMA Show. Now, it’s evolving again with this new festival format that celebrates the relationship between motorsports, music, and car culture.

The event featured performances from a range of today’s top and emerging rock, hip-hop, pop, indie and country artists. Nov. 3, fans were treated to performances from Incubus, Wiz Khalifa, Third Eye Blind, Bush, Ludacris and more. Nov. 4 featured a headlining performance from Vegas hometown heroes Imagine Dragons in addition to AJR, Walk The Moon, The Struts–who celebrated the release of their new album Pretty Vicious the day before–Badflower and more.

Friday night headliners Incubus kicked off the show right away with “Nice to Know You,” before launching into powerful hits “Anna Molly,” “Pardon Me,” “Steller,” and “Wish You Were Here,” among many others. They mixed into a few covers as well including “Come Together” by The Beatles, and bits of The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm” and Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.” Imagine Dragons packed their set with a slew of the band’s top hits including set opener “Believer,” “Thunder,” “Shots” and “Whatever It Takes,” among many others. Lead singer Dan Reynolds revealed he’d been recovering from a sinus infection but promised to always give the hometown crowd all that he could, and they delivered. The high-energy show ended with a few crowd surprises including a burst of large colorful balloons alongside “Top of the World” leading into a fireworks display for the show closing “Radioactive.”

Las Vegas hometown heroes Imagine Dragons delivered a high-energy set packed with all the band’s many hits.
Incubus passionately played their many hits and a few covers for fans to close out an exciting first day at SEMA Fest.
Wiz Khalifa delivered messages of positivity to the crowd in addition to his feel-good party jams.

In addition to the two stages featuring 22 musical acts, the event offered nonstop entertainment with a variety of unforgettable motorsports demonstrations, a marketplace with vendors and craft food and drinks, an e-gaming experience and competition by NACL, and various custom cars on display throughout the grounds. The high-energy adrenaline atmosphere at SEMA Fest offered something for everyone.

Over the two days Festival attendees viewed world-class drifting demos by Formula DRIFT. Formula DRIFT provides a series for the best professional drifters from around the globe to compete against each other. As the first official drifting series in North America, Formula DRIFT has taken competitive motorsports to the extreme, attracting drift fans and car enthusiasts from all walks of life, and established itself as the global leader for the sport. Drivers competing at SEMA Fest included Rome Charpentier, Forrest Wang, Daniel Stuke, Jeff Jones, Trent Beechum, Blake Olsen, Kasey Kohl, and Richard Advani.

Hoonigan supplied extreme motorsports action, turning the Las Vegas Festival Grounds asphalt into one of their most epic burnyards ever. The high adrenaline mix of burning rubber, flying trucks, speeding cars, and breathtaking motorsports action headlined by Lia Block and Travis Pastrana kept fans at the rails in-between music performances.   Topping it all off were continuous Freestyle Motocross and BMX Big Air shows from Nitro Circus featuring stunts and tricks that pushed riders Adam Jones, Jarryd McNeil, Beau Bamburg, Javier Villegas, Keith Sayers, and James Carter; and BMX riders Ryan Williams (BMX and Scooter), Aaron Wheelz Fotheringham (Wheelchair), Andy Buckworth, Kurtis Downs, Casey Ervin, and Jared Wiedhour.

Hoonigan provided extreme motorsports action throughout the weekend at SEMA Fest.
Nitro Circus’ BMX and Motocross riders sailed high into the sky at SEMA Fest.

In the spirit of SEMA Week expanding into SEMA Fest, SEMA and Galpin Auto Sports (GAS) teamed up with Imagine Dragons to create a vintage-inspired 2023 Ford Bronco. The custom retro-styled four-door Bronco Badlands made its debut at SEMA Show before moving to the SEMA Fest grounds to be displayed alongside the band’s headline set. The Bronco will be auctioned off at a future date with all proceeds benefiting Tyler Robinson Foundation (TRF), the nonprofit organization founded by Imagine Dragons which is dedicated to supporting children battling pediatric cancer. 

Mara Alcantara
Mara Alcantara
Digital marketing and content writing associate with a knack for spotting talent. Mara has a rare combo of creativity coupled with an analytical mind. Entertainment enthusiast.


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