Latin Conference & Awards

Electric Daisy Carnival 2014 Day 1 Highlights: Steve Angello, Diplo, Hardwell, Steve Aoki & More

Fire works explode as Steve Angello performs at the Kinetic Field at the 18th annual Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on June 20, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ahead of this year’s Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, which kicked off Friday night (June 20), Insomniac CEO Pasquale Rotella told Billboard that the festival’s fourth edition would be “one for the record books.”

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Boasting more elaborate stage designs and sound setups inside of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the annual three-day EDC Vegas brings the finest EDM DJs and producers from around the world, including such main stage acts as Avicii, Calvin Harris, Armin van Buuren and Hardwell.

Considering that EDC Vegas 2013 pumped $278 million into the local economy, there wouldn’t be any let up coming from promoter Insomniac as the company aims to please the amalgam of fans in neon attire. Carnival rides, a wide range of food choices and more than 200 performers highlight the fourth episode of this unparalleled experience. Day 1 of the event set it off just right.

Here are 10 highlights from the opening night of EDC Vegas 2014:

9:43 p.m.: An extraordinarily long line of festival attendees waiting for the shuttles at the hotel have grown restless. A group of young women complain that they will miss Steve Angello’s 11:30 p.m. set. Behind them, a man with a full bottle of Don Julio tequila debates with his buddy whether he should polish off the bottle before arriving at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. “Don’t do it, bro, I can’t afford to carry you out of there,” his friend replies. He stares at him, takes a huge gulp out of the bottle, grins and places his hand delicately on his buddy’s shoulder. “If I can’t get fucked up at EDC, what’s the point of going?”

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11:35 p.m.: After finally gaining entry, Steve Angello has the crowd in the palm of his hand as he truly christens the kineticFIELD. The pyrotechnics turn the already scorching Vegas desert into a sweatshop. However, a more interesting event is taking place as a wild raccoon has made its way near the field. Women shriek and men holler but the raccoon will not be deterred and hisses back. Finally, a golf cart full of security guards appears and run the raccoon off the field. The animal posts up on the other side of the fence like a ticketless fan and sits there until the set is over. He wasn’t missing Angello’s set.

12:37 a.m.: Although EDC is geared towards a younger crowd, a 50-year-old couple is present and exchanging nuptials at the outdoor wedding chapel in matching tie-dye shirts. It’s kind of adorable but also kind of creepy when a gaggle of women in pasties and thongs stagger past the newlyweds.

12:55 a.m.: Over at the cosmicMEADOW stage, a sea of fans soak up Diplo’s hybrid set of dance and hip-hop. Beyonce’s “Drunk In Love” blares from the massive sound system and it’s clear that some children will be conceived as men grind down their ladies in the middle of the field. Diplo shifts into Ice Cube’s “Check Yo Self” and asks the crowd, “Who are the most gangster motherfuckers at EDC right now?” As of right now, this collective holds the honor.

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1:37 a.m.: The line for the concession stands is outrageous and many partiers yearning for a midnight snack have plopped down on the concrete to re-energize in hopes that the lines will eventually shorten. Off in the distance there is a guy dressed like “Dragon Ball Z’s” Goku standing next to a gentleman who clearly admires “He-Man’s” hairdresser and has totally nailed the look of the 1980s cartoon character.

1:45 a.m.: Afrojack takes to the circuitGROUNDS stage with arguably the most epic entrance of the evening that utilizes every peripheral the massive set has to offer. A spaceship, laser lights and streamers set the stage for the Dutch DJ and producer’s image to grace the LED screens to a roar of approval. A group of women form a mini mosh pit for “Take Over Control” and bump into every single surrounding individual. Any other time, a shoving match could break out. But not tonight, it’s still good vibes at EDC.

2:07 a.m.: Hardwell is in the midst of his set at kineticFIELD but it’s the two gigantic creepy owls with wandering eyes that demand the attention during his set. “I was so drunk that I didn’t even notice them,” a festival-goer says to his girlfriend. “That’s some scary shit, let’s go!” And, yes, they left.

3:27 a.m.: Steve Aoki’s highly anticipated set is the hot spot of the evening. The swelling crowd spills out of the circuitGROUNDS stage and into the carnival area. Things get turned up several notches when Aoki is joined by Afrojack to perform “Afroki.” Although the pairing of the DJs was a highlight, it was all about the cake. Aoki and his trademark cake slam found festival-goers bum-rushing the stage just to get crammed in the face by the oversized baking good. You’ve got to give Aoki his due for being able to launch a cake a good 10 yards and nailing its intended target. Impressive.

3:56 a.m.: The proverbial wall has been hit. Patrons are now extras from AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and stagger around the venue looking for an exit. Over at the circuitGROUNDS stage, Madeon’s set attracts a few stragglers who seek refuge on the grassy region in front of the stage. Their eyes say they want to party but their minds have quit.

4:33 a.m.: A majority of the contingency has hit the exit. Traffic is a nightmare with only two lanes open. Off in the distance, the sunrise is splattered with an elaborate fireworks display.