How to Survive the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend
Apr 17, 2023

How to Survive the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend

Once a year, Las Vegas becomes the mecca of rockabilly culture as pinups, car enthusiasts, musicians and dancers take over the Orleans Hotel and Casino for the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend. After the recent pandemic which saw the cancellation of such shows, many pinup and rockabilly lovers are keen to make their annual pilgrimage back to Las Vegas. Whether you are counting down the days, or wish to go there in the future, here some tips on how to survive this mammoth event from Viva Veterans Miss Lolli Suzette, Lucy Luxe, Miss Ruby Lane and Miss Lulu Divine: 


Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend Logo



"Scope out the Viva program well in advance and map out your days to ensure you get to the things you’re dying to see or do, first. There’s often multiple amazing things happening at any given time, so you need to think about where you want to be the most." - Lucy Luxe

"Check out the daily schedules that VLV has released, have a plan for who are your “Must see” artists, acts, shows and events. There is something for everyone so you will never be bored. Might I suggest checking out the Bombshells and Dollies Movie Premier (Staring Lulu Divine) – Friday Night 10pm at the Showrooms." - Miss Lulu Divine 

"One of the hardest decisions is choosing what shows and events to go to.  The best thing about Viva is there is so much to do, so you never truly miss out on anything. Though I have to say there are two shows I suggest you don’t miss, first one being the local sensation ‘Cherry Rat’ with her vibrant fun rockabilly songs (might I add she’s also down to earth and just a beautiful person!) and second ‘The Delta Bombers’, their shows are always explosive with their Rock & Roll fused blues, country, rockabilly sound (Catch them on the main stage at the Car Show on Saturday)!" - Miss Lolli Suzette 


Pinup in pink at Viva Las Vegas next to pink car

 (Miss Lolli Suzette at the car show)



"Everyone at Viva dresses to impress so preparation of your outfits is key. I plan my outfits in advance but I usually change my mind at the last minute, especially after I lock eyes with all the stunning vintage the vendors have on the racks that I NEED to buy! (Side note, Virgin Australia allows one passenger to have two 25kg suitcases, that’s a total 50kg! If you’re anything like me you’ll need it!) Theoretically, you are going to need at least two outfits per day plus your swimsuit for the pool, realistically you may only end up wearing half of what you pack, but at least you’re prepared for anything! You’ll need comfortable but gorgeous day outfits for dancing, shopping and pool parties and of course your show stopping Saturday Car Show outfit! For night time pack your glamorously stunning night outfits as the nights are filled with shows, more dancing, photo opportunities and of course your choice of tequila cocktail (or whatever drink you like)! Oh and don’t forget accessories, they really do make an outfit." - Miss Lolli Suzette 

"When coming from Australia, it goes without saying, you’ll want to plan your outfits well in advance: It’s a long trip back home if you forget the perfect accessory, right? I prepare a spreadsheet including photos of my outfits in their entirety and even make a note of a desired hairstyle too: Whether my hair behaves and does this on the day is another thing entirely! People often plan two outfits per day, for both the daytime and the evening. I know one time I threw in a third, because why not?!" - Lucy Luxe

"I found it significantly less stressful to pre-plan my outfits out, one for day time and one for night time. I find bagging these outfits out (accessories included) into clip seal bags makes the days and getting ready much easier." - Miss Lulu Divine

"Things to consider with outfit styling: Full outfit planning usually requires accessories which can include; hat, bag, shoes, bangles, earrings, belts, necklaces this is something to think about whilst buying and also packing. If you have to travel light think of bulky accessories like shoes, hats and bags you can reuse for a few outfits. I always try them on before I take them to make sure everything is cohesive.  Sometimes when buying I use a collage app to piece outfits and potential accessories together to see if they work before I make a purchase.  When I’m packing I put my accessories for that particular outfit in the corresponding handbag so everything is together." - Miss Ruby Lane


Lucy Luxe posing with car at Viva Las Vegas car show

 (Lucy Luxe at the car show, photographer credit: David Gatt)



"Okay gals, I know we want our legs and feet to look as glamourous as the rest of our outfit, however you will walk so much, dance so much and have the sorest feet, so whether you consider your footwear for comfort over fashion or compromise and put your heels in your bag for photo’s, just be sure to take care of your feet. Soaking them at the end of the day always helps as well." - Miss Lulu Divine

"Packing some gel cushions will help with the constant wearing of heels if you’re not use to constant wear. Also pack band-aids for precaution." - Miss Ruby Lane


Car Show

"Think about the heat you sometimes experience attending events here in Australia… And then think about being in the actual desert, all dolled up! The Vegas heat can get real at the car show, so a parasol is definitely recommended. Luckily, Viva does a parasol in their merchandise each year, so it doubles as a perfect keepsake after it’s served its protective purposes!" - Lucy Luxe

"Take business cards. You do not have to be a professional model to have your own business cards, you are going to meet so many amazing Pinups, Photographers, Companies etc. It’s impossible to remember everyone and for them to remember everyone, having your cards with a picture of your face will help them remember and assist you with networking. Be sure to pop your social media on the card." - Miss Lulu Divine

"Saturday is the BIG day! Bands, classics, drinks, shopping and the pinup pageant all while recovering from the first two days of Viva and the Viva Pre-parties if you’re really game! But not everyone buys Hi-Roller tickets (ticket for the whole 4 days) some only come for the Car Show on Saturday so it is busy busy busy. My biggest tips for surviving the Car Show are; drink plenty of water as its always hot, comfortable shoes are must, you will definitely need a parasol (hot tip: the vendors sell cute flats for a low price and you can get a practical souvenir Viva parasol as well!), buy all your Viva souvenirs at the car show as these vendors are only open for one day. Make friends with a car club (its always fun to meet new people and they might let you sit and have a drink for a bit in the shade) and if you want to be front and centre for a show on the main stage, get there early!" - Miss Lolli Suzette 

"Remember sun cover! If you plan on going to the pool party and the car show slip slop slap! Make sure you are wearing and reapplying sunscreen, plan an outfit with a hat and a parasol also comes in handy. It gets HOT! Also make sure you carry water." - Miss Ruby Lane


Australian pinup posing at Viva Las Vegas show

 (Miss Lulu Divine at the car show)



"Empty those piggy banks because you are going to want to bring the cash! Not only are there vendors at the Car Show on Saturday, there is two full function room upstairs dedicated to shopping. Many of the vendors sell vintage of all sizes and styles. And if you arrive a week early Vintage Alley in Downtown Vegas holds a pre-viva event where the vintage shops stay open after hours and host pinups such as ‘Vintage Vandal’, who is there to help you find that vintage piece you definitely need!" - Miss Lolli Suzette 

"When the vintage vendor shopping opens on the Thursday evening, it can only be described as manic! A piece of advice I was given, was to pack a measuring tape in my purse so I could measure any items of interest without having to try them on: Speedy shopping? Yes please!" - Lucy Luxe


Hair and Skin Care

"The dry Nevada desert can be cruel to our Australian hair! Styling may be difficult, when you arrive in Vegas, go to a Walmart or a drug store and stock up on styling products. I recommend taking both heat and foam rollers (don’t forget your converter for the electrics). Throughout my vast travels through America I have encountered this issue a lot, the weather, water and constant Air conditioning is not something our skin is accustomed to, if you have sensitive skin be sure to pack plenty of skin care products, including loads of sunscreen – the sun will feel warm and won’t have the same bite as QLD sun and before you know it you will be sunburnt for the remainder of you VLV experience." - Miss Lulu Divine

"Travel comfortably. Don’t stress too much about pre boarding selfies or in flight snaps. If you have a long haul flight, comfort is your first priority, make sure you move during the flight. I usually set my hair wet before I go and leave it wrapped in a scarf, as I usually just go for viva.  Wearing makeup on the flight clogs your pores but if you’re worried bring a mini makeup kit on board and do your makeup before you land. If you wet set pack a curling wand anyway in case you need touch ups in a hurry!" - Miss Ruby Lane


Pinups posing at Viva Las Vegas pool party

 (Miss Ruby Lane and Ivy Fox at the Pool Party)


Self Care

"I cannot stress this enough, VLV is such an amazing experience that will have you busy all hours of the day and night, so remember to look after your body and eat regularly." - Miss Lulu Divine

"If it’s your first time going to Vegas and Viva there are a few things to consider; you’ll want to do EVERYTHING, which generally means very little sleep, remember to stay hydrated  as the climate is very dry and hot and eat regularly or you will find yourself getting sick. Also, the air in the hotels. This can be very irritating for anybody who isn’t use to smoking being permitted indoors. They use a perfume agent in the air conditioning to try to mask the smell a little and this wreaks havoc on my eyes. Consider some antihistamine eye drops and something to stop the puffing underneath your eyes (you may want to seek a medical opinion for this)." - Miss Ruby Lane


Expect the unexpected

"There is a handy app for Viva which can help you plan your weekend. But don’t be disappointed if you miss anything because sometime you meet new people and plans don’t always go as expected. Enjoy the randomness that viva can also bring!" - Miss Ruby Lane

"Something I learnt early on is to mark on your program what you want to do and see, then be prepared to have your plans be completely flipped upside down and be caught up in all the fun around you!" - Miss Lolli Suzette


Enjoy it!

"Most importantly, soak it all in. My first Viva was a little overwhelming due to the sheer amount of awesome things happening and a feeling of disbelief I was actually there. The second time around, I was better able to really enjoy it." - Lucy Luxe

"The main thing about travelling all that way to attend Viva is that you have sooo much fun that you just want to keep going back!" - Miss Lolli Suzette 

"The biggest thing to remember during viva is to not to be disappointed if things don’t go to plan. Viva is a big melting pot of rockabilly culture from all over the world, its great to stop and chat to people about things that bring you together, music dancing and fashion. The people you meet make the world of difference and make the experience that much more special." - Miss Ruby Lane


The Australian Pinup posing with Miss Viva Las Vegas sash at the Las Vegas sign

Did you love all of these tips from our local gals? Make sure you also pop in over to The Flying Pinup's blog and read her 'The Pinup's Ultimate Guide to Las Vegas' for some amazing places to check out while you are in town. 

Find everything you need to know about the event on their website here

It's definitely on my bucket list! 



Transform Yourself Into Pinup Perfection with the Sunshine Coast Pinup School


Subscribe for more pinup and retro hair tutorials over on YouTube

Sign up to be part of the Pinup Girl Gang email newsletter

Get my Beginners Guide to Pinup e-book

Read more at the Pinup School Blog

Want to learn how to do your own pinup and vintage inspired hair and makeup? Check out the Online Courses on offer.

FREE vintage curl set resources


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published