This past weekend, over 400,000 smiling faces graced the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for three nights of what can only be described as a whirlwind combination of friendly faces, massive bass, eclectic costumes and immense, immersive stages. Now in it’s 18th year – Pasquelle Rotella and Insomniac Events have been bringing people together under the beautiful, electric sky for a night of magic, mystery, euphoria and the most beautiful type of mayhem you’ll ever encounter. From it’s humble beginnings in San Bernadino and Los Angeles, to the massive scale festival that’s now situated just beyond the bright lights of Las Veags – EDC has become an internationally renowned festival; and the Insomniac Team has it’s more than earned those bragging rights.
Between the 8 permanent stages of music and mobile art carts traversing the grounds, there was literally something for everyone. neonGARDEN played host to the Deep and Tech House DJs for the night, and was hosted by the man, the myth and the legend Carl Cox the first two nights and hosted the likes f Claude VonStroke, Dusky, Art Department, Adam Beyer, Booka Shade, Maya Jane Coles and Eats Everything. The circuitGROUNDS brought in some of the more bass heavy, electro house like Afrojack, Sander van Doorn, Dada Life, Bingo Players and my personal favorite, Prydz. Even though there were some stand outs in the line-up for me, Martin Garrix would be enough for me to avoid the circuit like the plague on the first night and any stage hosted by Avicii is reason enough for me to meander elsewhere.
Bassrush hosted the BassPod and brought in crowd favorites like 12th Planet, Infected Mushroom and Seven Lions for the first two nights. On the last night, the BassPod boasted a co-curated stage with Andy C’s Ram Records for one of the most epic nights of Drum and Bass I’ve ever seen stitched together with Wilkinson, Loadstar, SubFocus, Netsky….um, yeah. Swoon. In what I consider a monumental move, HARD is back at EDC for it’s second year with a curated stage – bringing in a Dubstep, Electro House, Bass heavy…well, party. They’re covering all the genres with eclectic artists like Diplo, Justin Martin, Oliver, Madeon, Flosstradamus, Knife Party, Chromeo, Brancez, A-Trak, Zeds Dead, Dillon Francis, Bassnectar, What So Not and HARD’s founder Destructo. And for the first year, the DiscoveryProject itself was expanded to encompass costume design, stage design and art installations in addition to DJs and producers.
I consider music my religion, so when I discovered that the kinesticFIELD – the main stage of EDC – had been completely redesigned into a cathedral – the DJ booth was giant pipe organ, adorned by two massive owls with outstretched wings. At over 440 feet wide and 80 feet tall, this is the largest stage in Insomniac history. As I burrowed through pictures on social media – my heart swooned almost as fast as the FOMO set in; yes, I get claustrophobic, sure Las Vegas would’ve been expensive this weekend, and maybe I’m not exactly all the way recovered from my amazing weekend at Lightning in a Bottle. So what?! Oh, man – that’s when I knew I was really missing out on something. It was the first time since EDMBiz ended that I really felt the need to physically be in Vegas for EDC. Through an on-point digital partnership with 7Up, EDC live streamed select stages for ‘EDC Curated’ as a way to indulge those of us that couldn’t attend the spectacle – and I’m so thankful they did! As part of this global consciousness, it’s a great reminder for those of us that’ve been part of this ‘scene’ or whatever you want to call it that we really are connected by the music; and that’s a formidable bond. My first EDC was the last festival held in San Bernadino and my last EDC was the first held in Vegas; the event and the community that engulfs it have become a family and within that, a second home for me. So even though I wasn’t there, it was near impossible to not feel like I was still part of the event.
From stilt walkers to aerial artists, winged fairies and masked marathon dancers – the troupe that Insomniac brings in rivals the high octane energy of each and every smiling face in attendance. Over 400,000 people from 40 different countries and all 50 states came together to experience the epic 3 night event, and for everything potentially lost in the Vegas desert – from cell phones to wallets, id cards and brain cells – with the new friends and a welcoming community, I guarantee much more was found.
If you’re fighting against the grain this Monday, wishing you were in Vegas or itching to get back – I’m pretty sure these EDC sets will help you coast through until 5pm. Enjoy! 🙂