With this being the 20th anniversary of Electric Daisy Carnival, you can expect festival promoter Insomniac to pull out all the stops. While the production is always powerful, it will probably be even more so this time out, with bigger, better and more elaborate visuals, specifically sharper video production, and more elaborate staging. We have a feeling this edition of EDC will be one for the books. If you’re going, here’s what you need to know. If you’re not going, you can live vicariously through the live stream on YouTube and Facebook, which will run from dusk till dawn (8:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.).
General-admission tickets, which were originally available for $335 to $355 (plus fees) for a three-day pass, are sold out. At press time, VIP passes were on sale for $699. That’s actually not much more than you’ll pay for the three-day GA passes available for purchase through the Prime Sport EDC-endorsed ticket exchange, which start at $500
For those planning on driving to the festival, there are 40,000 free parking slots available at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (the premier three-day parking passes have sold out).For those who prefer to let somebody else do the driving, Uber rides will be offered to and from the event for the first time, and there will be an Uber lounge for pickup/drop-off, outfitted with phone-charging stations, near the “A” gate in the southwest part of the speedway.
Shuttle passes are also available for $90 (plus fees). While there are six shuttle pickup and drop-off locations, half are currently sold out (Excalibur, MGM Grand and The Linq), which leaves the remaining three: Las Vegas Village (3901 Las Vegas Blvd. South), Las Vegas Festival Grounds (2880 Las Vegas Blvd. South) and downtown Las Vegas (198 N. Ninth St.).
EDC will be providing the essentials for free. That’s water and Wi-Fi, the thing that attendees absolutely can’t live without (talking about hydration here, not Facebook) and the thing they think they can’t live without (Wi-Fi is available at Carnival Square). There are four designated water stations spread out across the festival grounds. Refillable containers can include bottles purchased on-site, Insomniac-branded bottles or empty beverage containers (again purchased on-site) or hydration bags (aka CamelBak).
The water, which is UV filtered, is served warm for quicker and easier absorption by members of Insomniac’s Ground Control Team. According to the EDC app, stations are between Wasteland and Kinetic Field stages, between Carnival Square and the Upside Down House, outside Carnival Square facing the medical tent and between Circuit Grounds and Bass Pod stages.
One of the other things being offered by Insomniac again this year is lockers, where festival-goers can store their stuff, charge their phones and establish meet-up points with friends. The locker station, which is near Carnival Square, houses lockers that are 8 inches tall by 12 inches wide and 18 inches deep. Individual lockers are available to rent for the entirety of the festival for $85 (though the EDC website advises that the price will go up and there’s a good chance they’ll sell out, so it encourages reserving before arrival).
There are six primary stages, including Kinetic Field (the main stage), Cosmic Meadow, Circuit Grounds, Neon Garden, Bass Pod and Waste Land, along with six smaller performance spaces, including three stages (Stage 7, Upside Down House and Smirnoff House) and three art cars (Wideawake, Kalliope and Boombox). Depending upon stylistic preferences, just about every possible proclivity that any dance fan might have will be catered to, from the more mainstream end of the spectrum to deeper underground stuff, from house to trance, from bass-heavy strains of dubstep and hard tech to progressive house.
If you haven’t had a chance to peruse the lineup, it’s stacked, as always. Here are the highlights from the bigger stages, along with things to look out for on the smaller, more specialized stages.
Kinetic Field is essentially the centerpiece of EDC, and as such, it boasts the most elaborate staging and extensive production. It also features the biggest marquee acts, along with some of the best emerging artists. This year’s highlights include: Jauz (who tore it down at Life is Beautiful on the Insomniac stage), Alesso and Dada Life (whose supercharged sets are set to 10 from beginning to end) on Friday night; Seven Lions (who turned in a colossal set last year at Cosmic Meadow) and the Chainsmokers on Saturday; and Carnage, Tiesto, DJ Snake and Galantis on Sunday.
Circuit Grounds is the stage that plenty of people will be paying attention to this year, mainly because it’s reportedly the one that’s receiving the most extensive overhaul, being reconfigured from a massive structure to more of an open-air performance space with a 360-degree stage design. Friday’s biggest highlights include Eric Prydz and Kaskade (who is rumored to playing another redux set again, in which he digs a little deeper in the crate, on one of the art cars); Saturday, look for Martin Garrix, Above & Beyond, Armin Van Buuren and Afrojack; and Sunday features Paul Oakenfold, Paul Van Dyk and Gareth Emery.
Cosmic Meadow, the stage that faces the stands at the speedway, always throws down hard with crazy-good acts, augmented by crazy-good visuals, lights and lasers — last year Dillon Francis absolutely destroyed — and this year will be no different. On Friday night, GTA, Knife Party and Flux Pavilion hold things down; Saturday features Paper Diamond, Zedd, Ephwurd (the project featuring Datsik and his tour manager Bais Haus); and Sunday brings RL Grime and Skrillex homie Marshmello.
Neon Garden is always a crowd-pleaser, too, and this year, the lineup is extraordinary, kicking things off with a can’t-miss crew of Maya Jane Coles, Loco Dice, Hot Since 82 and J.Phlip on Friday, Doc Martin, a Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs back-to-back set with Jonas Rathsman, followed by Nicole Moudaber on Saturday, and Ritchie Hawtin on Sunday. Bass Pod is certain to live up to its name with some of the biggest and brightest bass acts in the world, including 12th Planet, Protohype and Lumberjack turning in a back-to-back set Friday, along with sets by Bro Safari and Datsik, Excision, Caspa, Rusko, TrollPhace, P0gman and NGHTMRE on Saturday, and Loudpvck, Brillz, Doctor P, Cookie Monsta and Funtcase on Sunday.
Elsewhere, old-schoolers, be on the lookout for sets by dance music pioneers DJ Dan, Badboy Bill, Doc Martin and Mark Farina in the Upside Down House.
Read more from Dave Herrera at reviewjournal.com/music. Contact him directly at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rjmusicdh