Electric Daisy Carnival: 10 Things Seen and Heard
Now in its 15th year, west coast dance music festival Electric Daisy Carnival has been the subject of raised eyebrows in the public and in the industry for its enormous popularity and boundary-pushing events. In a recent move from the Los Angeles Coliseum to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, festival orchestrator Insomniac Events had the opportunity to rewrite the book on the festival and transform it into a high-flying feast for the eyes with a soundtrack of electro, trance and dubstep.
Here are 10 highlights from the 3-day fest:
1. The opening day at the speedway saw ravers rolling in to see a lineup that included Tiesto, who played a set of classics and current hits that brought an appearance from Busta Rhymes. Ravers had plenty of room to move easily from stage to stage, which gave some extra space for ferris wheels and towers of light, cooling lounges, and marching bands of futuristic clowns.
2. In anticipation of his new album "Nothing But the Beat," slated for release in August, David Guetta brought his usual pop-electro antics to the stage, premiering many of the new albums tracks alongside a cameo appearance by Flavor Flav.
3. Steve Angello gave the festival debut of current Swedish House Mafia hit "Save the World" at Kinetic Fields, the festival's largest stage. The man brought out both SHM collaborations and tracks from fellow member Axwell, whose "Heart Is King" was skillfully "mashed up" with classic R.E.M. song "Losing My Religion."
4. Saturday brought the most festivalgoers of all the three days, likely because of the dubstep and electro artists lined up for the night, including fan favorite Skrillex. During his set, Skrillex got the entire crowd at Neon Garden to be silent as he paid respect to Ryan Dunn, the "Jackass" star who recently died in an alcohol-related car crash. Also appearing onstage with Skrillex was Dutch house sensation Afrojack, proving the continuous fusion of the dubstep and electro scenes.
5. Benny Benassi brought the crowd in droves to Kinetic Field on Saturday, where a party-ready Paris Hilton was seen backstage supporting the famous Italian DJ. Playing new tracks off his "Electroman" album, Benny looked out to a crowd that had more than doubled in size compared to his earliest US gigs in the mid-2000s.
6. At the end of Bassnectar's set, which brought most of the ravers over to Cosmic Meadow as the clock struck midnight, the long-haired dubstep DJ hollered to the crowd to take a "family picture," where he proceeded to turn around and make the exuberant crowd his backdrop.
7. Techno legend Richie Hawtin adopted his Plastikman moniker for the Friday night Cosmic Meadow stage with a setup that placed him behind a curtain of finely choreographed lights, which offered occasional glimpses of his trademark minimal appearance.
8. "Is there any love in the desert tonight?", shouted Swedish House Mafia into the illuminated Kinetic Field on Day 3, a day that would promise 15-minute firework displays, hang gliders dropping from the sky into the crowds, and a more trance-oriented sound.
9. Another Swede currently making his name in a big way with hits such as "Seek Bromance" and "Penguin," Avicii didn't let the screen issues during his set stop him, as he played one smash record after another for a large group of almost cult-like admirers.
10. In a surprise ending to the night, Showtek, a Dutch hardstyle act rarely seen this side of the waters. Vegas was ready for their hard drops and thundering bass, though, as the sun rose behind the crowd, signifying the end to an experience that was arguably the most forward-thinking and revolutionary dance festival the United States has seen.
(Additional reporting by LessThan3.com)