As mentioned before, there’s about a half-dozen carnival rides ranging from ferris wheels to more thrilling options, like the Cliff Hanger or Vertigo. In fact, one ride in particular provided one of the festival’s best moments for me.
Similar to a ferris wheel and described as a “two-wheeled gondola ride,” I headed to the Rampage at roughly 5:00 AM on the first night. Now, the elevated view of the festival grounds is stunning at any point in the night, but as the Rampage lifted me higher and higher up in the air, and I overlooked the entire Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the sun started to rise. Turning the sky orange and providing a beautiful glow over both the festival and the surrounding Las Vegas desert, the view I had in front of me was almost surreal and made for a moment that I won’t soon forget.
For those who weren’t into the carnival rides, EDC’s theatrical performers were dispersed throughout the festival, constantly grabbing people’s attention with their odd yet captivating interactions. With a very fantastical theme and out of the box costumes, any run in with these groups made for an entertaining distraction from the pounding music surrounding you.
Of course, there was also the EDC Village to explore, in addition to a chapel for festivalgoers to tie the knot at, which many people did. The EDC experience is about so much more than just the music, and that’s a statement that Insomniac prides itself on. It’s something that most festivals can’t claim, but at EDC, it couldn’t be more true. The fantastical landscape laid out before you in the Speedway is one that’s vast and imaginative, with much almost too much to take in and absorb. It’s a wonderful place to explore, and you can easily get lost in all that is going on.
But let’s get onto the music, since that’s what almost everyone goes for. As always, Insomniac put together a stellar line-up across its eight stages, with a wide variety of genres being represented. kineticFIELD was the 480-foot wide, spectacularly designed “main stage” that played host to many of the headliners (Kaskade, Avicii, Alesso, Calvin Harris), but it was by no means the only place to be over the weekend.
Personally, I found myself in the circuitGROUNDS quite often, a vast, hanger like structure with an unbelievable sound system that was home to many great acts, including a fantastic batch of trance artists on the last night (Ferry Corsten, Gaia, Andrew Rayel) and a hard-hitting set by Krewella the night before. The neonGARDEN was also fairly packed throughout all 3 days, as it provided a more minimalist/underground vibe with artists like Carl Cox, Art Department, Get Real and Loco Dice all showing up at various points. For bass heads, the bassPOD provided a real rush, with larger than life speakers pumping out ferocious bass lines that could be felt all around the fest.
Also of note was the smaller Stage 7, where Martin Garrix surprised everyone with a special b2b set with Julian Jordan that rivalled his main stage set the night before. And speaking of surprises, there were quite a few. Whether it was Ne-Yo joining Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike on stage for their upcoming track “Higher Place” or Bryan Cranston appearing to push the button for Above & Beyond during their song “Walter White,” among other things, the weekend was definitely not short on unexpected moments.
No matter where you spent your time, you were treated to spectacular stage design and top-notch production values, accompanied by an incredible, dazzling array of fireworks every night at around 1:00am. On the second night, they played out to Arty’s “See You Again” (at the main stage at least) during Above & Beyond’s set, and to say that it was something of a magical moment would be an understatement.
I said it before and I’ll say it again. Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Las Vegas is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before and though I’ve been to my fair share of music festivals, nothing that I’ve seen so far can possibly rival what the team at Insomniac have done with it. The size and scale is staggering, the production and design is dazzling, the music is fantastic, the people couldn’t be friendlier and perhaps, most important of all, the moments and memories that you make there are simply unforgettable.
Thanks for a fantastic weekend Insomniac, I can’t wait to see what you come up with for next year.