Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Electric Daisy Carnival

My friend Keith C. Ancker wrote this piece about the Electric Daisy Carnival - a big festival of electronic music in Las Vegas. The theme park element seems like a bit of a no-brainer - I remember going to Universal Studios in Florida when I was a teenager, it had much the same appeal of any good music concert - you're taken away from the bullshit of normal human life and in to a fantasy world of aesthetic and auditory fun. The festival itself is in Las Vegas, which is a giant adult theme park. Even if Vegas is deemed "Sin City" and is the home of a great deal of human vices, it really appeals as an escape from the sludge and dehumanization of most of human life.

I think the same elements are in festivals like Burning Man - human beings talk alot about growing up and shedding all the silly stuff they liked as a kid but they still seek out those same coping devices.

It’s a bit of an effort to describe to someone who hasn’t been there. No matter how incredible the words, no matter how many stories you tell, no matter how many outfits and costumes you show them pictures of, no matter how bright you tell them the lights were, no matter how loud you say the music was…it simply doesn’t convey the sheer magnitude of the sensory overload someone experiences at Electric Daisy Carnival(EDC). This is it. This is the biggest, loudest, most beautiful, shiniest party in the world.

For the three days over the weekend of June 21-23, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, all 1,200 or so acres of it, will be transformed into an electronic music wonderland, a separate reality where the outside world simply does not matter anymore. Three hundred thousand-plus dedicated party people in every sort of outfit and every color of neon wig, kicking up a cloud of glitter & rainbows as they descend on Vegas for what promises, once again, to be an epic event. It promises the sort of transcendental experience that manages to reaffirm your faith that the world isn’t a bad place.

Far from being complacent, and relying prior years’ successes to satisfy the crowds this year, Pasquale Rotella, the owner of Insomniac, has promised and paid for an even more ridiculous weekend:

“It’s a $35 million show and the largest percentage of that money goes toward the production. We’re stepping it up and presenting things that you’ve never seen before. We’re creating an environment along the lines of what you see at a theme park — but on an even larger scale.”

As with last year, you can expect the over the top spectacle of hundreds of art installations, pyrotechnics shows, and carnival rides, games, performers and diversions. And music. A serious number of amazing sets from the biggest and best in the world: Tiësto, Avicii, Calvin Harris, and Armin Van Buuren are headlining, supported by Empire of the Sun, Skrillex, Major Lazer, Afrojack, Boys Noize, A-Trak, Rusko, Booka Shade, La Roux, AraabMUZIK, Richie Hawtin, Carl Cox, Knife Party, The Bloody Beetroots, Kaskade, Sasha, Steve Angello, Dillon Francis, Zeds Dead, Benny Benassi, Hardwell, Eric Prydz, Baauer, Wolfgang Gartner, Above & Beyond, Sander Van Doorn, Fedde Le Grand, Porter Robinson, Crookers, 12th Planet, Thomas Gold, Just Blaze, Flosstradamus…I can go on, but you get the point. Just about everybody you could want to see in 2013 is going to be there.

As incredible as the festival itself is, everything surrounding EDC has become an event of its own, with Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman pronouncing June 18-24 to be Electric Daisy Carnival Week. The parties, events, and spectacle of EDC will be running full power the whole seven days.

One of the more anticipated events is Bassrush’s invasion of Sin City. On June 20, they’ll be taking over Beachlife! At the Hard Rock Café & Casino for what will be a first: a drum & bass and dubstep day party leading up to the Bassrush Massive with headliner Andy C that night at the Orleans Arena. Consider it a heavy warm up for the weekend’s main event.

Another outstanding feature will be the three-day EDMbiz conference at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Kicking off Tuesday night with a networking party, and continuing the next two days with industry and artist panels, the EDMbiz conference is a must-attend for anyone interested in the business and culture of EDM.

In addition, well, Vegas is still Vegas. The city will be crawling with people who couldn’t get in, people recharging away from the main event, and people who just figured it would be fun to be there while all this was going on.

Expect to find big names and legendary acts popping up in the best clubs in the city. With that much talent in town, there are going to be some unbelievable shows going down. Crazy happens, like Knife Party and Afrojack deciding to join the Bingo Players on stage at Surrender last year, which as you might imagine, led to a energetic, amazing night for everyone lucky enough to be there.

And that’s EDC in a nutshell. Everything you love, every song you obsess over, every neon-lit dreamland of music & dancing, when you plug into the crowd and you’re all connected in that same incredible moment.

~~Keith Ancker

No comments:

Post a Comment