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Saturday ticket-holders offered chance to return for last night of Electric Daisy Carnival

After being dealt a windy blow that cleared the stages at the outdoor Electric Daisy Carnival on Day Two, organizers scrambled Sunday to regain their footing for one last dance party in the desert.

“Occasionally, there are circumstances that we simply cannot control or foresee,” Insomniac Events staff said in a statement posted on their website. “Insomniac’s main concern is and always has been the safety of our guests, and we take into careful consideration anything that might jeopardize their experience or safety.”

At about 12:45 a.m. Sunday, the dance music festival’s seven stages were closed because of high winds at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Audience members were instructed to relocate to the speedway’s grandstands for safety reasons. Insomniac Events staff made the call in consultation with local public safety officials.

The third and final day of the festival began as planned, with doors opening at 7 p.m. Sunday. Event coordinators announced in the afternoon that anyone with a Saturday single-day ticket was welcome to use it Sunday night at any entrance.

At 1 a.m. Sunday, new entry to Day Two was halted with 90,000 people already inside the venue.

Before the show stoppage, several of the festival’s carnival rides were closed for the night because of the gusting, 30 mph winds, which blew over potted trees, whipped up eye-stinging clouds of dust and tore many novelty hats and brightly colored wigs off festival goers’ heads.

A little over an hour after the music was cut, attendees were allowed to return to the festival grounds.

The mood grew raucous in the central Discovery Stage area, where some crowd members overturned garbage cans, using them as makeshift drums, providing a shrill-sounding beat for loud group chants.

Elsewhere, people looked to escape the chilly wind by huddling in groups, crowding into the fest’s cool-down rooms and ducking behind idle carnival rides and utility boxes.

About 3 a.m., it was announced on the Electric Daisy Las Vegas Facebook and Twitter pages that the main stages would not reopen, though some fans did not get the message and were unaware that the primary stages were officially closed for the night.

In order to keep the show going in some form, German trance DJ-producer Markus Schulz, who turned in an invigorating set earlier in the evening on the EDC Circuit Grounds stage, performed to an enthusiastic crowd of several thousand on the speedway infield on one of the festival’s art carts. Later, he was joined by DJ-producer Steve Aoki, who played until past 5 a.m., spinning Refused mash-ups and bouncing up and down on the stage to a dwindling but still energetic cluster of fans as dawn broke.

It wasn’t enough to quell some EDC goers’ frustration over the truncated DJ lineup.

“Why didn’t they plan for this?” wondered EDC attendee and Las Vegas resident Paulo Kretly, who noted that high winds are not uncommon to the area. “They could have been more prepared.”

Others were happy that the show was salvaged in some form.

“I think Insomniac did a really good job putting on a secondary show for us,” said San Diego resident Katie Smithson, speaking of the EDC organizers.

Smithson noted that the winds were so strong that they almost knocked her down at one point.

“It was dangerous,” she said, approving of the decision to close the stages. “They did the right thing.”

Though many scheduled performances were lost, Day Two, which started at 7 p.m., featured well-received sets by Bassnectar, Rusko, Calvin Harris and dozens of others.

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at
jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476.

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