Hank Keller and Scott Osburn—the creative duo behind Highland Concerts and its electronic music behemoth Lights All Night—were barely out of college when they created the insanely successful New Year’s Eve event. What started as a 6,000-person soirée in 2010, with Ghostland Observatory headlining, flourished into a two-day festival with Tiesto, Girl Talk, and Diplo on the decks and 26,000 in attendance by its second installment. Now approaching its seventh year, Lights All Night is projected to draw 35,000 EDM fans to Dallas from all over the country for a lineup that includes Deadmau5, RL Grime, and Above & Beyond.
Keller and Osburn got the idea for Lights All Night after witnessing the turnout for Electric Daisy Carnival at Fair Park in 2010. There was a niche that needed filling.
“We saw how electronic music was growing, we both like the music, liked the scene and the culture, and decided this was an awesome opportunity,” Osburn says.
Both Keller and Osburn grew up in Dallas—Highland Park and Preston Hollow, respectively—and were friends in high school. Osburn majored in business with a focus on entertainment management at the University of Montana, while Keller studied business at LSU. Before the duo first paired up for Lights All Night, Keller organized New Year’s Eve events in 2008 and 2009 for his high school friends and college networks visiting Dallas for the Cotton Bowl.
“We decided we could turn this New Year’s Eve party into a real business,” Keller says.
Highland Concerts has grown quite a bit since its first 500-person party. The duo also produces the well-attended Dallas leg of Mad Decent Block Party, another successful EDM festival, and they’re working on expanding their brand to live music events that go beyond dance music. For now, though, they’ve secured Dallas Market Hall as the new venue for Lights All Night, giving the festival a permanent home base and a solid foothold in the Dallas music scene.