Having attended Electric Daisy Carnival for the better part of this past decade, I must admit that I’m a bit biased. EDC was the first true music festival I ever attended. Over the years, I closely watched the festival’s incredible progression and development. Each summer Southern California residents would get amped up for a chance to see their favorite electronic DJs and producers perform their newest material and meet up with their friends from different states. In those days, prior to the rise of social media, people sometimes only knew their “friends” from Internet rave chat rooms and forums. Needless to say, at the time I first started attending Electric Daisy Carnival, electronic music was still relatively underground and definitely not the driving force in the music industry that it has become.
Today, EDC has become the largest festival worldwide, attracting a diverse group of people from around the globe who all share one thing in common: their love for electronic dance music. Since this is my first time writing about Electric Daisy Carnival, I must pay homage to the institution and globally recognized brand that it has become and give credit to why it has become the industry leader.
Prior to attending this year’s festival, I wondered exactly how the festival could continue to up its game. From the moment I walked down the steps and into the festival, I was transported to a fantasy dreamland. Everywhere I looked there were beautiful art installations, circus performers in colorful costumes, art cars, carnival rides, games and powerful messages of love.
EDC is renowned for its incredibly creative artistic direction. The kineticFIELD’s Gaia design was truly something from out of my dreams. Spanning 446-feet wide and nearly 100-feet tall, this beautifully piece of otherworldly artwork portrayed a Mother Earth stretching her arms out wide. Gaia was guarded by two large owls and surrounded by multiple pools equipped with cascading water stairs and jets. Gaia served as the ideal backdrop for artists such as Marshmello, Dillon Francis, Allison Wonderland, Diplo, and Jauz. A new major attraction at this year’s festival was the quantumVALLEY stage hosted by Dreamstate, attracting legendary trance acts under a vibrant big-top circus tent.
My personal favorite stage is cosmicMEADOW where I had the opportunity to catch sets from landmark electronic acts such as Major Lazer, Porter Robinson, Mija, and Mr. Carmack. On Friday night, Major Lazer kept the vibe high the whole time with their killer set. Their live set featured an MC and several choreographed dance performances. My weekend wouldn’t have been the same without witnessing Neon Garden where I had the opportunity to see two of my favorite electronic acts, Zedd and Galantis. From the second Zedd dropped his Michael Jackson “Thriller” remix and the pyrotechnic fireworks went off, I was hooked. It was the final year of the bassPOD’s noteworthy robot design. Fans celebrated with sets from their favorite bass music producers as experienced through its PK Sound monster Trinity speakers. The bassPOD rounded out my weekend with sets from acts such as Zomboy, Datsik, and Snails.
Electric Daisy Carnival was about so much more than the music and art; it was also about love, friendship, unity and respect. Hundreds of ‘Headliners’ were married underneath the electric sky at the festival’s Chapels. EDC Week Charity Auction experiences also continued to set the bar high with major prizes, which allowed winners to participate in activities such as meeting their favorite performers. Insomniac’s charity league, Insomniac Cares, fundraised over $162,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada. Insomniac also proved it cared about its fans by giving away free water at its forty water stations and passing out water bottles throughout the event.
The nightly fireworks were a reminder of the love that we can feel for one another when we unite and share creativity under the electric sky. Electric Daisy Carnival proved to me why it continues to set the bar higher and higher, and ultimately why it has become the industry leader that it is today. I look forward to seeing what Insomniac dreams up next.