Drew Dixon
Vice President of Entertainment | Yaamava’ Resort & Casino at San Manuel

The live entertainment industry resurgence following the pandemic continued in 2023 at venues throughout the nation, especially in the casino circuit. Driving down just about any major freeway in Los Angeles, it’s hard to miss a billboard highlighting an upcoming show at Yaamava’ Resort & Casino in San Manuel, whose promotions to play its 2,500-seat theater have featured superstars like Ed Sheeran, Janet Jackson, Dave Matthews Band, The Killers and Missy Elliott, who rarely performs these days.

Drew Dixon, vice president of entertainment at Yaamava’, has had a hand in making the Southern California casino a premier destination for artists and fans since its Yaamava’ Theater opened in April 2022. He can’t help but express his excitement going into the next year as he and his staff “push the bar higher.”

“This has been an incredibly fulfilling and exciting year,” Dixon says. “There is so much enthusiasm behind furthering the Yaamava’ brand and continuing to host more big-name acts in 2024. I expect next year will be an even busier, more exciting year for Yaamava’ and the entertainment industry at large.”

When the casino’s new theater opened, Dixon and his team aimed to build a reputation of being “a best-in-class intimate venue with top acts.” They achieved that with a stellar and diverse lineup of artists and comedians in the final months of 2023.

“When we develop our entertainment lineup, it’s incredibly important to us that our programming at Yaamava’ caters to audiences of all cultures and communities,” Dixon adds. “We’re booking an eclectic mix of artists ranging from Kelsea Ballerini and Janet Jackson to Maluma and Wu Tang Clan. Having a lineup this diverse is attracting visitors to the property because they can’t see these names perform anywhere else — let alone an intimate 2,500-seat theater.”

The Yaamava’ Theater’s success this past year certainly lends credence to the phrase, “If you build it, they will come.”  — Oscar Areliz

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