Kudos to Insomniac for moving the Electric Daisy Carnival up a month. The weather was perfect and a welcome reprieve from the excessive desert heat in years past at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Even some of the stages were redesigned to have an open-air feel instead of the dancing bodies sweating up a storm and trapping heat in a tent structure.
Billboard Dance takes you on the scene from the opening night on Saturday (May 19).
10:15 p.m.: Leaving the Strip after the Vegas Golden Knights hockey game, a variety of ninja surface street routes aided arrival at EDC. While pausing to study the map in the stands overlooking the Cosmic Meadow, I heard the vintage sound of a disposable film camera. A young man body-painted pink and purple like the Cheshire Cat was going old school as he lost his phone on Wednesday. When asking where you’d even go to develop the pictures, he said he had no idea, but was excited to see what turned out.
10:19 p.m.: While descending the stairs to the lush Cosmic Meadow, Mike Will Made-It dropped a dope remix of the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” that I’d love to get my hands on.
10:43 p.m.: The Carnival Square at the center of EDC has been transformed into the ultimate chilling area, complete beanbag chairs. On the big screen, some sort of derpy version of Rick & Morty was playing (upon further research, it was the Bushworld Adventures special). Rick & Morty was a popular choice for attendees, either via their totems or attire and I’ll be wearing my Pickle Rick shirt at some point this weekend.
10:53 p.m.: Claude VonStroke over at the Circuit Grounds was throwing down for all the Dirty Birdies as I spotted the first of multiple Vegas Golden Knights flags waving above the crowd. As I was still wearing my custom VGK dress from the game, we struck up a conversation and a girl in the crew also gave me VGK kandi as the vocals in the current track encourage the crowd to “Close your eyes and dance with me.” Us locals love our new team, especially with how they brought the community together after the Oct. 1 mass shooting tragedy.
11:23 p.m.: While walking to another stage, I spotted a totem with a collage of pictures. Upon getting closer, I realized they were all pictures of Avicii. RIP Tim.
11:26 p.m.: Is there a Guinness World Record for largest beach chair? If not, it should go to the Corona Electric Beach for their giant lounger.
11:33 p.m.: A trio of Lt. Dangle doppelgängers exits the Neon Garden stage. With Lee Foss playing, I was hesitant to go inside the replica warehouse façade that keeps in line with Insomniac’s Factory 93 underground brand. However, I was pleasantly surprised that it was actually open-air once in and that it avoided becoming the kind of warehouse party that has sweat from dancers condensing on the walls and ceiling.
11:47 p.m.: Plenty of amusement around seeing a totem depicting a row of Porta-Potties with the message “This is where the panties drop.”
12:02 a.m.: While sitting outside the Neon Garden (it also seems there were more places to sit down this year thankfully), I met Omar, a German neurosurgeon who lost his friend and, of course, he couldn’t get cell phone service. I gave him the pro tip to always plan meet-up locations and times if it happened again.
12:15 a.m.: Pro tip: The Neon Garage in Carnival Square gives you bigger cocktails than the vendor popup tents.
12:29 a.m.: Back at the Neon Garden, Hot Since 82 is perfection as always and a man who may have been 82 is dancing up a storm. This year’s EDC may have been the most diverse edition yet with a multitude of demographics all coming together to dance under the electric sky. Nearby, there is a badass show with three performers and crazy lightning rods sparking and sizzling.
1:05 a.m.: Cooling off in the grass of the Cosmic Meadow, San Holo drops his track “Light,” complete with live electric guitar accompaniment. You can feel the heat from the pyro of the nearby 80-foot tall Flower Tower art structure by Kevin Clark.
1:09 a.m.: Speaking of pyro, when Snails takes the Cosmic Meadow stage, the fire atop it ignites, creating a spectacular display. However, not so spectacular was how his logo lined up on the intricately shaped video screens and was often cut-off, looking more like it said “SALS.” No matter, because when he got on the mic and said, “F—ing headbangers, break your f—ing neck, bitch!” they happily obliged, much to the delight of their future chiropractors.
2:00 a.m.: Longtime hypeman Nigel Ficke has returned, gold pasties and all with his love of “White, hot beats!” So glad Insomniac brought him back; such a hilarious yet infections personality.
2:06 a.m.: Shoutout to whomever painted Pinky and the Brain on the shipping container structure at the Wasteland stage. On stage, hardstyle mavens Lady Faith and DJ Stephanie, in coordinated sequined outfits, are banging out the beats better than any of the boy’s club that also graced that stage.
2:49 a.m.: Got psytrance? Astrix does, and the Quantum Valley #TranceFamily is loving it, as well as the new open-air stage design instead of a tent as well.
3:49 a.m.: While Flux Pavilion B2B Doctor P is pretty awesome at the Basspod, the main draw to that stage is for a special DJ set from Pendulum. The crowd goes wild as they launch into their hit “The Island.”
4:36 a.m.: There’s such a draw at the Neon Garden for Eric Prydz as his Cirez D alias, that security has prevented any more people from entering the stage area. Fortunately, one could still hear it relatively well just outside.