This past weekend, Electric Daisy Carnival hit The Las Vegas Motor Speedway for its 20th show. The festival – over three nights and with over 400,000 attendees – is an expression of dance music in a way that is done nowhere else in the world. While there are many versions of EDC throughout the US and internationally, it is this one stop in Las Vegas that is the beacon of the brand, showcasing seasoned and brand new acts in electronic music through unparalleled sets, costumes, setup and production. But EDC isn't just about the music, it's about the experience. And the folks over at Insomniac have certainly used those 20 years of past experience to cover every base possible and create a unforgettable weekend.
If you've ever met anyone who has been to, or is currently a hardcore EDC Vegas fan, they'll surely tell you that it's hard to explain in words. That's why we decided to not only tell our story visually, but through the contemporary internet's greatest re-invention: the GIF. A simple animation, GIFs are the best at catching moments, and we thought, the best at capturing the mood of EDC.
One of our first and last stops each day was at a spot curated by Smirnoff. A major sponsor of EDC Las Vegas, the vodka brand brought its all to the festival to being a unique experience to fans. Their main attractions on the festival grounds this year was the Smirnoff House – a project that they've been running at festivals in Europe for years, and looked to EDC to launch its first official site on US soil. Built to be a friendly place for fans to chill, the house had an outdoor lawn for hanging out and sampling their new "Electric" line of Smirnoff Ice – a drink they've developed just for warm-weather events like EDC.
The Smirnoff House was an actual house constructed on the raceway, a project that took over 9 hours overnight the night before to build from scratch, while avoiding the day's sweltering heat. Over time, though, the daytime temperatures of 110 degrees took its toll (along with a muralist) visible in the melting records on the house's exterior.
The interior was a totally different story – a collaboration with Mixmag, it had its own line up along with fun activities – a photo booth, write-on walls, and free swag. The Smirnoff House not only welcomed artists like Martin Solveig to the decks to perform in an intimate setting for 50+ people, but welcomed surprise sets from artists like Jauz.
It's no secret that EDC is more than just a festival for dance music lovers, it's a place to totally submerge yourself in culture. And that culture doesn't just mean dance music culture in the EDC vernacular, as shown through the setup of "EDC Town." An area with buildings where festival goers could listen to jazz, live comedy or watch old-timey movies, EDC Town's crown jewel (and we can only assume the town's real reason for being) was without a doubt its wedding chapel. An LED-clad Elvis officiant led the way through innumerable wedding ceremonies, each with their own EDC flare, and with one ceremony sticking out the most: the Smirnoff-sponsored, first gay wedding ceremony ever at EDC.
EDC is unique in its vibe and in its hours: starting at 7 PM to avoid the Nevada heat, the mad dash to get inside as the festival gates open, all to experience the festival for a few moments at dusk.
At night, to no one's surprise, is when EDC thrives. It's a spectacle that truly takes three full nights to explore.
With rides and decorations that lit up as accents to each of the powerful stages, the scene is a glittering rainbow playground.
If Ultra Music Festival in Miami is for the music industry, EDC is undoubtedly for the fans. The crowd full of more than 400,000 people was filled with a diverse range of looks, ages, costumes and dance moves.
And by far the most well-thought out totems in the festival game.
Officially named the main stage, Kinetic Field offered production like we've never seen.
The main stage wasn't always the main attraction, with smaller stages like The Upside Down House bringing in big acts like Armand van Helden, and just as big of crowds.
But the real production feat this year was the new Circuit Grounds stage. A dizzying 360-degree experience, sunglasses need be required in order to allow your eyes to make it to the 5:30 AM festival's close.
Every night at midnight, The EDC Parade would show off the hundreds of performers and their getups.
The Neon Garden welcomed the deepest house and the darkest techno, with artists like Maya Jane Coles and Lane 8 displaying incredible technical prowess on the decks.
To celebrate EDC's 20th anniversary, Memory Lane showcased videos from past Electric Daisy Carnivals.
There seemed to be fireworks and pyro at every turn, with even the Basspod stage lighting on actual fire.
All of the fire included "El Pulpo Mecanico," a 25-foot tall octopus made from recycled metal found on the side of the road in Mexico.
But without a doubt, the nightly fireworks show across the whole Las Vegas Motor Speedway was the main attraction.