The Electric Daisy Carnival is probably one of the most highly anticipated annual events west of the Mississippi. Last year, the festival was cut short on the one day I did attend and really, it wasn’t anything to write home about when it was in full swing. Thankfully, this year’s event was not one that will go down in history as a bad experience. If anything, I can honestly say that it was one of the best EDC experiences I’ve ever had.
As you may or may not know, EDC used to be held in Los Angeles, and several years ago, it picked up stakes and moved to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The venue itself was just plain astounding. It is always amazing to see how big and elaborate the set up is. With over 100,000 people in attendance, it was truly a sight to see. The whole speedway was bedecked in bright lights, awesome carnival rides, and of course, beautifully elaborate stages that made the experience vibrant and awesome to behold.
This year, fellow editor Jun Kim and I made our trip to Vegas on Friday night. The trip wasn’t bad, very little traffic to speak of, and our accommodations at the Aria were great. Friday night was one that was limited to exploration since we arrived a little past 4 AM and we were basically exhausted from the drive. We got about an hour’s worth of sleep and were then thrust into the whirlwind of EDC excitement at around 6 AM when our friends came back from Friday night’s festivities.
Part of me was worried that we would have a repeat of last year’s wind debacle and as such, Jun and I were checking the weather report regularly at 2 hour intervals until we arrived. We left the hotel around 6 PM gunning to get in by 7 PM, knowing that the later we went, the longer we would have to wait in line. I have to say that Insomniac really went out of their way to make it a painless experience. One member of our group had lost her wallet and EDC 3-day pass the night before. Thankfully, she was able to get a picture of her passport and after a 3 minute detour to the ticketing counter, she was able to get in with no problems. Security wasn’t overtly invasive and the process was quick and painless.
Once we walked in, it was still light out and we had a bit of time to walk around the grounds. A giant daisy on a large boom danced around in lethargic fashion shining its neon-lit petals on the masses in front of the main stage, there was a tree that spit fire, LED screens galore, and of course, the never-ending chain of 808 drops from the speaker towers that framed each stage. Fireworks played a minor, but important role, underscoring some of the headliner sets and inciting a wave of ooohs and ahhhs throughout the sea of EDM fans.
Best Stage of the night would have to be the circuitGrounds. This was a technology-themed stage with probably the most amazing set up I have seen in a long, long time. If you look at the picture on the left, you will see a diamond shaped screen at the far end of the back of the stage and several groups of diamond-shaped LED outlines on the ceiling. Those outlines were actually screens themselves that lowered and raised at various parts of the performances by the many DJ’s that had sets here. So close in fact that it felt like you could jump up and touch the screen itself.
Best Performer of the night was, without a doubt, Benny Bennassi. I don’t know if it was my inebriated state, or just the energy of the crowd, but it was an electrifying set. At one point, Benny decided to drop his hit, made famous by Skrillex, Cinema, and the crowd went nuts. I think it was probably the best 3 minutes of the whole night. At a close 2nd was Tiesto who was featured on the main stage, unfortunately at the same time that Benny was blowing minds. We did catch parts of both sets, and it was a tough call. Of course, at the end of the day, we’re all talking about personal preference, though the fireworks during Tiesto’s set really did set him up well visually.
Worst Acts of the night… What a horrible way to say that I am no longer a fan of Avicii or Eric Prydz but, yeah, no longer a fan. Avicii’s set sounded tired. Maybe it was all the other shows he played starting the Tuesday before the actual event, but it wasn’t anything special. He did touch all the big hits which was good, but nothing made the ground shake. Eric Prydz, what a disappointment. I never knew a DJ could spin an entire set without one good drop, but that’s literally what it felt like. His set was so horrible that I literally wanted to leave EDC after listening to about a quarter of his performance. I wasn’t the only person that felt this way, the crowd definitely voiced opinions of the like in true youngster fashion, by booing and calling for Tiesto to make an early appearance.
Worst Moment of the night was delivered to us by the letter N. N of course standing for NOT SOBER. After all the festivities were done, Jun and I decided we had had our fill of EDM for the weekend and it was about time to be hitting the proverbial “dusty trail”. So, like anyone that drove themselves, we walked toward one of the exits to begin our search for the car. From the time we started walking from the last stage and finally found our car, 50 minutes had passed. Lesson to be learned: use an app to pin your car to a map BEFORE you get destroyed.
All in all, it was an amazing experience that didn’t fail to please. I know that I will seriously consider making another visit next year, though my age and my body may not cooperate. Then again, if this year was any indication, it will prove to be an even more awesome experience since the trend so far is that it IS getting better and better. It was a HUGE improvement from EDC 2012 and a great set up for EDC 2014. Any funny stories you would like to share about your experience? PLEASE share them below! Would love to hear what you guys thought about the 3-day event and what you liked/disliked about it!