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EDC sells out, even without announced lineup

Flower power was once synonymous with Woodstock, as far as music gatherings went.

Now, a different festival may have usurped the term.

The Electric Daisy Carnival, the world’s largest dance music event, held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway over three days in June, has officially sold out three months in advance.

This comes after event organizers have increased capacity at this year’s EDC to 133,000 attendees a night, a bump of close to 20,000 concertgoers per show that will put total attendance at 400,000 this year.

What’s more, not a single EDC performer has even been announced yet, which speaks to the growing power of the brand.

“It feels great,” says Pasquale Rotella, founder of Insomniac Events, which produces the Electric Daisy Carnival and other dance music events. “Where it’s at now, it’s definitely been a goal.”

EDC 2014, which takes place June 20-22, will mark the fourth time the event will be held in Las Vegas after more than a decade at various venues in Southern California.

Last year’s EDC was something of a turning point for the festival, with increased production values in the form of even bigger, more elaborate stages such as the Kinetic Field, the largest stage in North America, which was outfitted with a massive mechanical owl and towering mushroom props.

“This past year was what I wanted EDC to be,” Rotella says. “Ninety-nine percent of the time, I can’t do everything I want to do to entertain. I simply can’t afford it. With the capacity we have and the support we’ve gotten from the fans, we were able to take things where I felt they needed to be for Vegas last year. I definitely expected a response afterwards.”

This, he got.

EDC 2013 sold out on April 29 of last year, with 115,000 tickets sold per night.

Strong word of mouth following the event catalyzed even more brisk ticket sales for EDC 2014.

As such, EDC has become both Insomniac’s and American dance music culture’s flagship event, expanding its base far beyond the scene die-hards who initially comprised much of the EDC audience.

“I come from the underground culture, I come from dance music, but my goal has been to appeal to everyone,” Rotella says. “We want people who are there for the overall happening, just like a New Year’s Eve celebration or Mardis Gras. EDC Vegas is, in my opinion, dance culture’s New Year’s Eve. There’s all kinds of things going on that is not just appealing to someone who likes dance music.”

The growth of EDC coincides with the growing mainstream presence of electronic dance music in general, with DJ-producers such as David Guetta and Calvin Harris crossing over onto the pop charts.

Rotella sees EDC as a vehicle to further spread the music to fresh ears — even if they don’t always like what they hear at first.

“When you’re in that kind of environment, your mind starts to hear the music differently than if you heard it on the radio and you’re like, ‘I don’t understand that stuff,’ ” Rotella says of EDC. “The energy of the people, the costumes, the art, the scenic stages, the theatrics — you start bobbing your head, and you’re like, ‘OK, this is awesome.’ That’s the goal.”

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Follow on Twitter @JasonBracelin.

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