From May 19th through May 21st, drawing over 525,000 attendees from around the world to EDC Las Vegas, Insomniac celebrated its 30th anniversary, solidifying its reputation as a leader in the music festival space.
Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Las Vegas, hosted by Insomniac, has established itself as a champion in electronic dance music (EDM) festivals. Since 2021, attendance has increased by nearly 100,000 more festival goers this year.
The festival took place once again at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, featuring nine stages, carnival rides, art installations, brand activations, and an overall immersive atmosphere.
This year global DJ icons like David Guetta, Tiesto, Zedd, Kaskade, Kaytranada, Afrojack, Alison Wonderland, Dom Dolla, Chris Lake, Marshmello, Fisher, and many more gave performances for attendees to dance from dusk ’til dawn.
The festival began at 5 PM on the first night and 7 PM on the second and third night. All three nights would have the final set ending at 5:30 AM.
I purchased a Premier shuttle pass, which made getting to the festival and back a seamless process. There is a security check at the shuttle stop before getting on the shuttle. Once dropped off at the festival, you’re ready to go through the gates instead of security again.
There was a bit of worry that there would be heavy traffic and wait times getting to the festival, as there is significant construction throughout the Las Vegas strip for Formula 1 (F1) preparations. Thankfully, I hadn’t run into any issues with this getting to and from the festival. The only hiccups were a bit more traffic getting from hotel to hotel on the strip during the day time.
Setting the Stage:
EDC Las Vegas, which transitioned from its origins in Los Angeles to the iconic Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011, offers a grand-scale production featuring nine stages this year, including kineticFIELD, circuitGROUNDS, cosmicMEADOW, bassPOD, stereoBLOOM, wasteLAND, neonGARDEN, quantumVALLEY, bionicJUNGLE. There were also multiple Art Cars throughout the festival holding performances.
This festival not only showcases over 230 artists representing diverse genres within dance music, but it also captivates attendees with its awe-inspiring art installations that contribute to the festival’s immersive environment.
Magical Moments and Unexpected Surprises:
While EDC Las Vegas is renowned for its exceptional music lineup, it goes above and beyond to deliver extraordinary experiences that transcend the boundaries of the dance floor. The festival offers legal wedding and commitment ceremony opportunities in Downtown EDC.
Allegiant Rave Hanger held sets giving attendees an intimate experience rather than being out at the larger stages.
VOLTA Beauty gave festival-goers the chance to receive glamorous makeovers on-site, elevating their visual experiences.
The Kandi Casino, a hub for kandi enthusiasts, facilitates creating and trading these handmade bracelets, fostering connection and camaraderie among attendees.
Anniversary Lane was a walkway with large screens and lighting showcasing memorable clips and moments throughout the history of Insomniac.
EDC Las Vegas boasts an impressive lineup of globally renowned artists and DJs, attracting prominent figures such as David Guetta, Tiesto, Marshmello, Zedd, Afrojack, Kaytranada, and Kaskade. Their performances on the festival’s stages create an exhilarating atmosphere, ensuring attendees are held in a whirlwind of musical euphoria.
Alison Wonderland put on an unforgettable set while being nine months pregnant. That wasn’t the only baby news! An attendee went into labor during Zedd’s performance on Saturday night.
It was me 😅😭 pic.twitter.com/4aWAT39At0
— Cristina Celis (@tinacelis11) May 22, 2023
Day 1: The opening day of EDC Las Vegas commenced with a stimulating cosmicMEADOW stage opening ceremony by Nostalgix and James Hype, setting the tone for an exciting weekend. I attended sets by Kream, Sidepiece, Fisher, Above & Beyond, and Wax Motif b2b Malaa.
Filled with infectious energy and unreleased tracks like “Take It Off,” Fisher’s set resonated deeply with the crowd.
Above & Beyond’s return after a four-year hiatus was met with immense anticipation, and their captivating set, enhanced by a gentle rainfall, reached its end with the timeless anthem “Sun & Moon.”
Day 2: I attended standout performances by Noizu, Dom Dolla, Kaskade, Subtronics, and Chris Lake. Dom Dolla’s set enchanted the audience as the crowd moved in unison and sang along to almost every track.
Dom Dolla’s performance also opened with an unreleased track of his featuring Nelly Furtado that they’ve been teasing on social media.
Chris Lake featured his latest track with Aluna, “Beggin.’ The dynamic performance also featured the unreleased viral track from Chris Lake b2b Fisher at Coachella Music Festival this year, ‘Atmosphere.’ The track was a staple during this year’s EDC as other artists incorporated the track into their sets, like Chris Lorenzo.
Subjohnics was a special guest on the lineup making up Subtronics and John Summit – a duo that first debuted together at Lost Lands, another Insomniac-produced event.
John Summit and Hayla’s “Where You Are” was a hit throughout the festival. There were at minimum four sets that I had attended that used the track or remixed the track.
Day 3: On the final day, I embarked on a voyage of exploration, dedicating myself to a single stage and embracing the unexpected musical enjoyments that unfolded. J. Worra, Chris Lorenzo, Tchami B2B AC Slater, Wax Motif, and Armin Van Buuren delivered captivating performances that night, epitomizing the essence of EDC Las Vegas. It was a day of musical discovery.
Setting myself up at the one stage, I discovered the best seat in the house for the firework show. The firework show took place each night, illustrating the electric sky.
On the bleachers at cosmicMEADOW, you would find yourself experiencing the firework show and all the beauty the festival setup had to offer.
Armin Van Buuren had a beautiful set bringing on stage the ‘Rave Mamas.’ April and Darlene, known as ‘Rave Mamas,’ had the mission to exemplify how the festival provides an atmosphere for any and all adult ages to feel welcomed at the festival.
Reflecting on my first experience at EDC and this year’s experience, I noticed some takeaways from what I noticed improved and what could be elevated in the future.
- The art installations at EDC Las Vegas consistently captivate attendees with their remarkable beauty and mesmerizing designs. EDC sets an exceptionally high standard for artistry and stage production, making it a challenging feat for any other festival to surpass.
- This year’s food vendors have enhanced with various food choices.
- The VIP section has grown and shifted for some of the stages positively.
- The bassPOD stage had beautiful architecture this year but, in turn, drew larger crowds that occupied walkways on the grounds.
- The rails outside of VIP on the first night created slowed down and packed crowds attempting to get in. The organizers were quick to recognize this and removed this set up for the following days.
- The Insomniac app was helpful when discovering new experiences available at the festival and keeping track of my set time. An area the app can improve on is a more interactive map.
- The firework show was magical, but I did miss the drone show element. If not incorporated into the nightly firework show, I’d like to see artists possibly incorporate this into their own set.
- If brands want to be more involved with this festival, it would be optimal to create an immersive experience that connects with the community and relays the mission EDC upholds.
For music business professionals, EDC offers a platform for showcasing and discovering talent and a place to forge meaningful connections and gain insight into the evolving EDM industry and the brands that want to be involved.
Pasquale Rotella, Founder and CEO of Insomniac, issued a message to attendees of this year’s EDC, “Thank you for an unforgettable weekend home. The energy and love we experienced from all of you was truly indescribable.”
“Reflecting on the past 30 years of Insomniac fills me with indescribable gratitude and emotion. What started as a simple dream has blossomed into a global family united by a love for music, community, and the ultimate rave experience.”
“We have incredible experiences and surprises in store for 2024, and I can’t wait to share them with all of you.”
EDC Las Vegas 2024 has already been announced, with the official dates May 17th, 18th, and 19th. The Future Owl Presale will go live at 10 AM PT on Friday, May 26th.