This year, Insomniac hosted its 19th annual Electric Daisy Carnival. Approximately 400,000 fans swarmed the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on June 19 to celebrate music, life, individuality and escape. At 7:30 p.m., EDC warmly opened its doors to welcome this year’s headliners, a term used by Insomniac CEO Pasquale Rotella to describe the festival’s attendants, highlighting their importance to the overall experience. As soon as the gates opened, attendees rushed into the speedway to explore all the new stages, interactive art structures and concession stands strategically dispersed throughout the venue.
Insomniac revealed eight new stunning stage designs; each stage was curated to deliver various genres of music to please everyone’s musical preference. kineticFIELD, also nicknamed the Crystal Village, stood tall as this year’s main stage, spanning over 480 feet wide and 100 feet tall, making it the largest stage to exist in North America to date. This stage takes inspiration from the four natural elements: earth, wind, water and fire. One thousand lighting fixtures, 40 lasers, 22 flame units and 15 confetti blowers are placed throughout the stage to create a lively, engaging and exciting musical experience for its audience.
The center DJ booth was surrounded by medieval-inspired castle towers and overlooked by an enormous owl, thats eyes constantly scanned the audience to make sure everyone was having a good time. This stage welcomed well-known producers such as Benny Benassi, Oliver Heldens, Laidback Luke, Kaskade, DJ Snake, Martin Garrix, Audien and many more. As massive as this stage was, when Calvin Harris took the stage the last night of the event, crowds gathered together far beyond the stage’s entrance to witness one of the electric dance music’s biggest producers blend together his famous hits with a tasteful selection of other popular EDM songs.
EDC’s cosmicMEADOW, neonGARDEN, Stage 7 and funkHOUSE all surrounded the Carnival Square, an area ideal for reconnecting with friends, grabbing a bite to eat, purchasing merchandise or simply just relaxing and enjoying the vibrant festival rides, art structures and ambiance. Those who were looking for more underground vibes visited NeonGARDEN and Stage 7 to enjoy some techno and house sets from producers such as Carl Cox, Claude Vonstroke, Green Velvet and Disclosure. cosmicMEADOW served as a playground for eclectic producers such as Flume, Alison Wonderland, Tokimonsta, Flosstradamus and Bassnectar. Flume, who is currently traveling on his world tour had the crowd swooning over his sensual beats, opening with his most recent release, “Some Minds.” Sunday night, thousands of loyal “bassheads” cluttered around the cosmicMEADOW to show support for dubstep king, Bassnectar. The ground seemed to vibrate as his heavy, bass-driven set reverberated through the arena.
At the wasteLAND stage located across the Carnival Square, fans could enjoy various hardstyle artists while in a scene appropriately designed to accompany the aggressive sounds coming from the stage. DJs were placed on the Lady Liberty’s torch and played to an audience surrounded by 32 totaled, graffitied cars, freight train containers and a military helicopter. The bassPOD stage, located next to wasteLAND, hosted various trap and dubstep artists such as Brillz, Snails, Zomboy and Trollphace. circuitGROUNDS was another crowd favorite located on the other end of the festival, attracting those who enjoyed electro and progressive house. Artists such as Dada Life, Tommy Trash and Fatboy Slim claimed this stage.
Twenty interactive art structures and approximately two dozen rides were dispersed throughout the venue, providing other sources of entertainment. They lit up the speedway and helped create a carnival atmosphere. Adults were able to revisit their childhood on rides such as the classic Super Slide, Cliff Hanger and Ring of Fire. Festivalgoers who chose to slip into one of the four ferris wheels enjoyed a breezy ride and a breathtaking view of the vibrant festival grounds. The Dandelion Forest and the Caterpillar’s Garden served as fun, colorful resting areas in between the wasteLAND and kineticFIELD stages. On the other side, closer to the cosmicMEADOW, people were able to relax and regroup with their friends at the Palace Blue, a large shading structure inspired by the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Beautiful blue and turquoise fabrics were nestled upon numerous steal arches. This large canopy-like structure lit up in the dark and enveloped a circumference large enough for hundreds of attendants to enjoy a soothing break from all the music and fun.
In effort to keep headliners safe from the 90-degree weather that loomed over the desert throughout the night, 152 free water access points were scattered throughout the venue. Those who downloaded the official EDC application on their phones also frequently received notifications with a friendly reminder to fill up water bottles and stay hydrated. EDC’s efforts to prevent injuries and deaths and enforce “safe partying” improve every year.
EDC’s production goes above and beyond the expectations of your average electronic music festival. Hundreds of performers, including the Sparkle Pops, Military Brats, Cosmic Cuties, Bumble Bee Honeys, Cyber Angles and Toy Soldiers marched around the speedway to lift up everyone’s spirits and spread their positive energy. Numerous art cars weaved through the crowds to surprise and entertain those wandering throughout the venue. One of the art cars was a mobile 18-foot-tall octopus made of recycled metal that spewed burning flames out of each leg, captivating all who crossed its path.
With hundreds of dazzling and quirky performers to multiple explosive firework shows, Insomniac emphasizes that experience trumps the music. Though the music never fails to impress each year, loyal fans purchase their tickets long before the lineup is released to celebrate life and self-expression under the electrics sky.