This past weekend, Las Vegas celebrated Insomniac's now 15-year tradition of the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) in what is likely to be the new home for the largest electronic music festival in America.
1,200 acres of tarmac, belonging to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, was transformed into a stunningly unique display of lights, carnival rides, stages and high-end sound-systems. With 80,000 attendees per day, 15-year veterans alongside first-year rookies were drawn together by the first-time experience of a 3-day EDC in Vegas.
After staying at the Cosmopolitan last month, for the tail end of the Rusko / Doorly tour, I wanted to test out rock 'n' roll accommodations at the famed Hard Rock Hotel. Needless to say, as soon as I walked through the doors, my inner punk rock princess was tickled pink by how beautifully the hotel was curated. The playlist there is spot on, with everything from The Kinks to Guns N' Roses booming through the speakers. All of the rooms are spacious and well designed for a hotel that is a quarter of a century old, as are the game tables. If gambling isn't your strongest suite, take a walking tour of the hotel; gorgeous glass display boxes showcasing some of the most important outfits and moments in rock n roll history cover the walls.
Insomniac offered a great shuttle service from the strip to the speedway, even if you didn't have an artist band you were able to purchase a ticket and hop on a separate GA shuttle conveniently leaving from multiple hotels.
I was absolutely awestruck by how much creativity had gone into EDC this year. It seemed that Insomniac had truly embraced the carnival theme, and in a town full of performers, it was clear that every troupe of dancers, jesters, bikers, or even fish people were truly skilled and appropriately matched to the night's festivities.
There were 5 massive stages housed in the speedway, Kinetic Field, Neon Garden, Cosmic Meadow, Circuit Grounds and Basspod. Despite the droves of costumed attendees, there was room to comfortably walk between all of the stages.
I arrived just in time for Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77 on the Neon Garden stage. I've seen this group a number of times, and every time they simply get better and better. They have an absolutely amazing live set and are truly pushing Italian dance music forward alongside notable act Congo Rock.
Skream and Benga performed on the Basspod stage, these two have a seamless performance; the crowd was absolutely mesmerized and awestruck by the dynamic duo. Drop the Lime and Major Lazer played one after the other at the Neon Garden stage to close out Friday night, or should I say Saturday morning.
Saturday, I started my night with Afrojack at the Kinetic Field with an amazing set. The visuals, the crowd, and dancers all seemed perfectly in sync to his Dutch House rhythms. That night the Basspod stage hosted a stellar lineup, 12th Planet, Andy C, Rusko, and Hype all played one after the other. I was able to sneak over to Skrillex's 3:30am slot at Neon Garden, which rivaled performances and crowds at the main stage.
Everyone working EDC was friendly and alert; it is definitely a plus to have security and police officers that deal with adrenaline junkies and partygoers everyday watching over EDC. With that being said, and as an EDC veteran, I will miss the mysticism and spirituality that the mainstage at the LA Coliseum had to offer; It was a mecca of sorts with people gravitating towards a focal point.
Having said that Insomniac's EDC had extraordinary production value, and they did an amazing job pulling together massive resources for their first time in Vegas. I can't wait to see how they outdo themselves next year!