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Las Vegas' MSG sphere debuts first “full illumination” for Fourth of July

The $2.3 billion dome has been described as a "sun on earth"

  • Tiffany Ibe
  • 9 July 2023
Las Vegas' MSG sphere debuts first “full illumination” for Fourth of July

The MSG sphere in Las Vegas lit up its entire outer structure for a special Fourth of July celebration. It began with a “hello world” statement written across it, which later morphed into a series of scenes, including the US flag, the moon and a pumpkin.

The illumination comes from over 1.2 million puck-sized LEDs that project images and send them throughout the Las Vegas sky.

The dome's design is tailored towards live performances and the arts, other than a standard arena built just for sports. While giving a tour to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, U2’s Bono said that “There are no speakers. The entire building is a speaker. So wherever you are, you have perfect sound is the plan,”.

Fellow bandmate the Edge chimed in by adding “There’s nothing else like it in the world and won’t be for many, many years.” The dome's first concerts will be U2’s residency set to take place this September and October.

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The structure cost a hefty $2.3 billion to build, with many Las Vegas residents describing it as “like a sun on earth”.

A similar structure is planned to be built in East London's Stratford. Though it has not yet received concrete planning approval, the dome is facing heavy opposition from locals who are concerned with the dome's size, shape and illuminated exterior.

As of now, the final decision lies in the hands of Mayor Sadiq Khan, according to Access All Areas.

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The proposed 21,500-capacity orb has worried local residents, institutions, rail operators and Newham Council, all expressing concerns over the intimidating design and the 1,000,000 LED light bulbs that could bring unpleasant light pollution to the local area, and would project huge advertisements into the skyline.

The MSG company, who are closely related to NYC’s Madison Square Gardens, have responded to the critiques by promising blackout blinds to homes within a 150-meter radius of the venue, and those facing it directly.

Tiffany Ibe is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Instagram

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