7. Does Kobalt Tools have an 18-24 marketing initiative? Probably not, but the manufacturer of sliding compound saws and cordless drills was all over EDC anyway, thanks to their sponsorship of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. These types of collisions are part of why EDC founder Pasquale Rotella is reportedly in the planning stages of creating his own mega-venue -- one purpose-built for raving only.
EDC 2012 HIGHLIGHTS
8. Tucked in the far side of the festival, away from the main stage, the more intimate Cosmic Meadow was the only area to give revelers a good vantage point of the stage from the stands. But when the music inextricably stopped during DJ Erick Morillo's set, the flight was almost immediate: A place without music, even if comfortable, was nowhere these kids wanted to be.
9. Make way for the carnies! Throughout each night, a wide gate by the entrance unleashed rotating crews of costumed freaks, dancers and performers onto the EDC massive: Mirror Man, exactly what he sounds like and a festival staple; a multi-person DayGlo Chinese dragon train; the Wide Awake art car, which rolled around the grounds like a weirdish Disney Frontierland hay wagon, with its own sound system. Attendees opted to ignore or snap camera phone pictures of the spectacle, most focusing on the action at the stages. But an air show from the Red Bull Flyers - who use wingsuits to speed across the sky in formation, sometimes spewing fire - captured everyone's attention.
10. It was a racetrack, after all, so pit stops were in order. And almost too perfectly, the venue's regular concessions area was called Neon Garage. Your standard hot dogs and fries were available from the usual vendors (who must have been aghast at all the tutus and fuzzy animal hats), but in the middle of the rotunda was EDC's seventh stage, called the Discovery Stage. Assorted unknowns, and winners of the Insomniac Discovery Project (a DJ talent contest of sorts) played while the ravers grazed, each more excited than the next. Of particular note: San Francisco's Fabian Campos, who delivered a dark and sexy set with nary a hint of the Dutch sound du jour.
11. Also chilling at the Discovery Stage on Friday night was an odd trio if there ever was one: Pasquale Rotella, EDC founder and a Twitter celebrity to his faithful; his girlfriend, former Playmate (and Hugh Hefner's ex) Holly Madison, in a black-and-white polka dot number with a matching parasol; and Bunny, the stage-diving, saw-wielding performance artist of first-wave rave troupe Rabbit in the Moon, who would play on Sunday. (Turns out that he's also assisting Insomniac on its production for various events.) The three chatted, Madison eventually joining a team of costumed dancers for a little good-natured bump and grind.
12. No one wanted to be hanging out in the medical tent. But EDC's facilities for the inevitable injuries and overindulgences were well equipped and clean, if not a bit hidden at the far end of the grounds. Dehydrated partiers got saline IV drips, while others were disinfected and bandaged, by a red-shirted crew of careful EMTs.