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Electric Daisy Carnival: The Highs And Lows In Las Vegas

Michela Fossati-Bellani |
June 30, 2011 | 4:24 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

EDC 2011 (courtesy of rukes/insomniac)
EDC 2011 (courtesy of rukes/insomniac)
As you may have heard, Insomniac Events, one of the most prominent electronic dance music promoters in North America, celebrated the safe and successful completion of their 15th annual Electric Daisy Carnival.

The Festival was held in Nevada at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway from 8 pm until 6 am June 24-27. The event attracted a total of 230,000 ticket holders, special guests and VIPs. While each attendee's experience is likely to vary, the following recounts the collective journey of various EDC 2011 attendees, emphasizing the “Highs” and “Lows” of the three-night event. Let's start with the lows so we can end with the highs.


Official EDC Shuttles/Traffic: AWG Destination Management, the company responsible for transporting fans to and from the venue, claimed to have supplied enough buses to run “every 30 minutes, or until the shuttle bus is loaded” from seven locations on the strip.  However this was not the case and instead, after nearly two hours of sweaty waiting, pushing and stampeding, proactive fans dished out more cash on alternative transportation such as limos and taxis.  In addition to terrible shuttle arrangements, getting to and from the festival was difficult due to high traffic flow between 7 and 10 pm on the first day. Not to mention, the lack of communication from Shuttle Company to fans made the wait extra frustrating and made me wish I had driven my own car. Many fans (including myself) forfeited their $60 shuttle pass for the weekend after missing up to three hours of Friday’s sets and waiting as long as a reported four hours to return home to the strip. The shuttles did reportedly become more organized on subsequent days. By that point, however, I was unwilling to risk missing more festival time.

Gravel: Waking up on day two of a three-night festival and wishing you had a wheelchair to avoid rocky gravel under your raw, danced-out feet is not a good sign. Not only are you spending odd hours on your feet dancing festival food off your bum, but the ground is much less inviting than other festival environments. Take a seat on this dusty, gravely, cement next to the kid that threw-up all over himself? No, thanks!

Incompetent Security: With temperatures nearing 90 degrees, the least fans could hope for were helpful and informed security guards. It was not long before I personally experienced the guards’ incompetence.  I was repeatedly pointed in the wrong direction for 30 clammy minutes while searching for the “General Store,” the only destination misplaced on the map.  I soon realized that none of the guards knew what they were saying and just pointed in any direction to get you out of their face. So I surrendered to the heat and sat down to regenerate with my group before watching the master of Bass.


Artists (hard to pick!):
Bassnectar: “the brainchild of Lorin Ashton,” as mentioned on Insomniacs’ artist page, created a raw, vicious and wobbly mash of every imaginable genre ranging from 90’s punk to pop songs. The talented artist inflicted intense auditory satisfaction as well as undeniable physical pleasure on his fans from 11 pm until midnight on Saturday.

Avicii: Another expected favorite, Avicii, 21-year-old Swedish prodigy, seemed to revive the crowd as positive vibes flowed freely and the danceable tunes kept fans’ feet moving. Attendees sang along to Sebastian Drums, “My Feelings for You,” and held hands during Avicii’s dreamy new vocal hit of “Penguin”, called “Fade Into Darkness” and I think I saw some ravers crying (happy tears) during Avicii’s remix of Armin van Buuren’s 2011 “Drowning.”

Honorable mentions for sets witnessed: Benny Benassi, Swedish House Mafia, Tiesto, Alesso, Afrojack, Pleasurkraft, Sander Van Doorn, Laidback Luke, and so many more.

Sirius XM Radio: In anticipation of this year’s Electric Daisy Carnival, Sirius XM’s Electric Area channel has launched Electric Daisy Radio, a weekly show featuring DJ sets from last year’s Electric Daisy Carnival. Sirius XM station Electric Area (channel 52) broadcasted the entire festival live for fans that were unable to attend.

Art Installations/Performers: 13 amazing art sculptures, most of it previously seen at festivals and raves such as Burning Man, Coachella and Beyond Wonderland, were brought to Las Vegas, as well as over 200 performers, acrobats, skydivers uniformed in L-wire parachuting from the sky, giant puppets, stilt walkers and fire twirling dancers. Also, the 15-minute long firework display that lit up the sky each night at around 2 am, captivated attendees and provided the ultimate lightshow.

Cosmic Meadow: The only stage with grass. Please and thank you!

Free Water/Cooling: Insomniac continued the recent summer festival tradition of free water bottle refill stations and "cooling stations." By the end of each night security guards continuously “water-falled” cold water into the mouths of dedicated front row fans. 

Overall, although a few of the festivals aspects weighed fans excitement, Insomniac pulled off a very successful event in Las Vegas. They issued a statement on Monday, “We are proud to be able to provide a safe, secure and fun event for all of our attendees, performers, artists and staff…and we are already planning for next year.”  Fans can look forward to many more events including the debut of Insomniac’s newest festival addition called Escape from Wonderland, which will be held on October 29, 2011, at the NOS Events Center, San Bernardino, CA.

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