Since 1997, the Electric Daisy Carnival has electrified millions of music fans with an energetic three-day dance party, instigating the rave from dusk until dawn. The party has grown into an international affair, taking place in various locations including Japan, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Las Vegas. Attracting more 400,000 attendees at its peak at its flagship Las Vegas outpost, it’s the biggest electronic dance music festival outside Europe, earning it the nickname the “American Ibiza.” In a big new move for 2018, the festival’s regular June dates are moving up a month, to May 18-20, a decision made by Pasquale Rotella and Insomniac to relieve revelers of the often brutal daytime heat in Las Vegas.
Electric Daisy Carnival’s Rave Reviews
Dance culture has long been celebrated in Europe, and it has finally come into its own here in the States. While some DJs still use turntables and vinyl, this is mostly a laptop-controlled showcase in the art of sound. It all started in 1997 at the Shrine Expo Hall of Los Angeles as the rave love-child of local event promoters. Since 2011 its permanent home has been the immense Las Vegas Motor Speedway, allowing Electric Daisy Carnival to expand and evolve into a huge adult amusement park (think Disneyland on acid). Insomniac Events is the company behind Electric Daisy Carnival and they’ve made an unflinching commitment to booking renowned electronic acts and presenting them with top-notch production standards including mind-warping visuals and pyrotechnics. This is dance music presented on a grand scale for people who like it big and bold.
There’s a lot of magic happening beyond EDC’s gargantuan, record-breaking kineticFIELD main stage, though. In 2017, the fest introduced quantumVALLEY, a stage dedicated entirely to trance. Hosted by Insomniac trance festival Dreamstate, the area joined the seven other stages – kineticFIELD, cosmicMEADOW, neonGARDEN, circuitGROUNDS, wasteLAND, bassPOD, and upsidedownHOUSE – to bring more than 30 of trance’s top DJs to the three-day fest.
The Freaks Come Out at Night
You’ll encounter a menagerie of performers at EDC, from dancers and stilt-walkers to clowns and freaks, all ready to entertain and amuse you throughout the carnival. As a participant you are encouraged to wear your own costume (think grown-up kandi raver) to help you let loose and get in the mood. There are interactive art installations (many of which you might have also seen on the playa at Burning Man) to dazzle you, and fairground rides including Ferris wheels, slides, carousels and swings.
Like most traditional electronic dance music performances, most of the action happens in the dead of night. The last headliner will probably wrap up around sunrise, so be prepared for an all-nighter (some solid sleep and potent doses of caffeine should carry you through the weekend just fine).
In 2018, for the first time ever, there will be on-site camping offered at EDC. Amenities like a good shower, floor-length mirror and comfy bed are more than appreciated by the crowd who attend the event,if tent camping isn’t your thing, “Camp EDC” will offer ShiftPods, air-conditioned tents with linens and full amenities, and an RV park. As in years past, EDC will still offer VIP packages in conjunction with local hotels such as The Cosmopolitan, The Venetian and other Strip stalwarts. Campers will get to chill in the “The Mesa,” a central zone offering daytime pool parties, art cars and installations, wellness workshops, sound baths, guided meditation sessions, and even go-kart racing!
To say that EDC is an overwhelming experience is an understatement. The amount of energy put into this spectacle of light and sound amounts to astronomical production values that most festivals can only dream of, and is rivaled only by Ultra and Tomorrowland. The popularity of EDC is what keeps the organizers investing in this mindblowing mammoth rave year after year, attempting to outdo the opulence of the previous year at every opportunity. If you’re an electronic dance music fan, especially one with a hedonistic streak, you owe it to yourself to add EDC to your bucket list of must-dance festivals.