YAY – Viva is back in town!Tom Ingram’s 27th Rockabilly Extravaganza rocked Vegas once again! 17th Once again, Rockabilly Fans from all over the world came in full force to celebrate the festival of the year in Vegas! Everyone had a chance to take a step back in time with elegant styles and cars with swing dancers and everyone dressed top notch!  There is always something for everyone with spectacular music, cars, tattoos, style and fashion, incredible vendors, burlesque and excitement everywhere!My adventure started Friday afternoon as I headed up to the rockin’ action upstairs in the Beinville Room with The 1/8 Milers. Then SEATBELT took the stage. I was really impressed with Scott McLean. He was so entertaining and outspoken. His band played cool songs like “Jim Beam Me Up Scotty” “Gas and Tacos” and many other great tunes. He rallied around the festival saying Coachella has nothing on Viva, which I greatly agreed. After his performance, I went up to introduce myself to tell him how much I enjoyed his show. I asked him by chance if he was a fan of Johnny Burnette and surprisingly he told me Johnny was his number 1 favorite artist! He had even visited Johnny’s grave. I then gifted him with a DVD copy of my film “Raised on Rock -The Burnette Family Legacy” and he was elated and said “I want to go watch this right now!”  He watched it and told me he loved it and I was glad. That is what is so great about Viva – meeting cool new friends! Next up was The Shakers and Sharna Mae. Sharna and her band were from Australia and they really rocked! I loved her style and attitude not to mention she had some amazing pipes! I got to the Mardi Gras showroom a little too late because the Viva R’n’B Show was in full swing. The showroom was so packed I couldn’t even get close to the stage to film or take photos. There was a frontman up there stealing the show and people were mesmerized. His name was Les Greene. This guy had the moves! I went backstage to meet him and took a photo of him and Tom Ingram and later filmed an interview with him. At midnight I was looking forward to seeing my friend James Intveld take the stage in the showroom. And as always he set it on fire! James is always so cool, suave and charismatic as he goes through his catalogue of the great songs he performs. I think I enjoyed James set this year more than anyone else’s. He is perfect for that room with his style of classic rockabilly. After James performed, I slipped backstage and his face lit up as he greeted me: “Hey! How are you?” I gifted James a DVD copy of my Raised on Rock Burnette film which he was included in and he was so happy it finally got released. Thank you for being a part of my film James! You are a legend!Saturday is always the cherry on top with the big Car Show event with excitement all around throughout the show and on the Car Show Stage.  I wandered through the car show meeting cool people and taking photos of the awesome rides and rockabilly models. The Queen of the Car Show was also going on and I tried my best to push through the crowd for photos. I saw some pretty ladies with black lace umbrellas outside of their Los Valientes booth. I took their photos and asked if they could bring the other members of their car club out for a group photo. But I had no idea what kind of pandemonium was going to take place! Some of the men started barking out orders for the group to pose over my voice as a crowd was growing and growing with the members and on lookers. There were so many people that gathered for the photo and behind me that I could not back up to get the entire group in the photos. I was filming too but I did my best! The sun was also blazing in my eyes so I just hoped for the best that I got any photos at all! I was wilting in the sun after that so I headed backstage to the car show main stage for my upcoming interview with The SPUNY BOYS.  Their performance was epic with full energy and excitement and the crowd loved them! I was happy I got to interview this cool rockabilly trio from France. They were amazing guys!After the Spuny Boys, I was scheduled for an interview with rockabilly royalty Lee Rocker from STRAY CATS.

I texted Lee to remind him about the interview but I didn’t hear back and it was getting close to his performance time. I finally asked his tech guy who was very nice and went to Lee’s trailer to get him. It was great meeting Lee and he did a great interview! ( When Lee took to the stage it was clear there were die-hard Stray Cats fans there! The huge crowd were all in as Lee performed classic Stray Cat tunes! While waiting backstage, Tom Ingram the man who made the Rockabilly event happen was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. After 27 years of bringing this magical, spectacular event to Vegas with millions of visitors and top name entertainers, in my eyes Tom and his festival stands above all the other events being in a class by itself.Congratulations Tom! You deserved it!After that, I started heading inside for the all night action.I wandered through the casino taking photos of the beautiful glamorous gals dressed to the nines headed into the showroom and the Glamour Ball. It is truly an experience seeing all these Cinderella’s in all their glory looking like they are on the way to the Ball. As always “Deke’s Guitar Geek Show” in the main showroom was in fine form.I had such a great time this year and cannot wait for Tom Ingram to bring this killer event back to Sin City once again!

Thank you as always to Alisha Alexander for credentialing me for this amazing event!

See you at the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend 2025!

Sally Steele

Photos: Sally Steele

Watch all the exciting events from the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Festival is coming soon to YOUTUBE.COM/SALLYSTEELE

To watch Rockabilly history check out “Raised on Rock- The Burnette Family Legacy” Starring Billy Burnette, Rocky Burnette, Mick Fleetwood, Slim Jim Phantom, Albert Lee, Gary Busey, James Intveld, Dwight Twilley and more is now showing on AMAZON, TUBI, YOUTUBE and GOOGLEPLAY! Check it out! Trailer here!

Watch on Amazon here!

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