By Michael Blain
Having been in the electronic music scene since the late nineties, writing about this event is not something that will be much of a stretch for me. The anticipation on the web and the streets that this year’s Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas will be bigger than previous years doesn’t even come close to covering it. Last year, they planted a flag in the desert, but this year they will be launching the entire vibe of the party into outer space.
Stepping back into the past a bit, the biggest blow the rave scene has ever taken was when government legislation, championed by none other than our current Vice President, Joe Biden, legally marked a rave as a crack den and any promoter responsible for the event was deemed a purveyor of such and could be prosecuted accordingly. The only person ever publicly tried under this statute was Disco Donnie, documented in the movie Rise, and he in fact won the case, but the underground rave scene had undergone too much stress from local law enforcement agencies in the process that eventually brought the scene itself to a screeching halt. People were actually imprisoned based on the same principles in the United Kingdom.
The Electric Daisy Carnival stands as the last bastion of what we as an electronic music culture can truly refer to as a ‘rave.’ Although the production is way beyond the scope of anything that an underground warehouse party in years gone by could have hoped to accomplish, the incarnation in Vegas is a dusk till dawn dance party with a unifying vibe. In the end, that is why this scene existed in the first place, not solely because it was illegal and taboo. Having attended the event last summer, I can say the overall experience, venue and musical performances far exceeded my wildest expectations. In fact, the only issues that needed to be addressed were the insanely poor cell phone reception, getting your car out of the parking lot quickly, and dust kicking up from one of the stages causing coughing and mild irritation of the eyes. Pasquale Rotella, founder and president of Insomniac (the production company that puts on Electric Daisy Carnival) has claimed through Twitter that “all of these issues are being fully addressed.”
Aside from the event itself, the main thing making this Electric Daisy Carnival more massive than the last one in Vegas or any of the previous California occurrences is the addition of EDC Week in Las Vegas. This will feature countless club performances from international electronic music artists and the EDMBiz conference at the Cosmopolitan. This puts EDC Vegas on par with the Winter Music Conference and Ultra Music Festival in Miami that happen annually every March, and after this year, most likely on a higher stake on the totem pole for electronic music fans due to the unbelievable commercialization of Ultra Music Festival. In the words of the greatest DJ of all time, Tiësto, as crowned by the readers of Mixmag (the most respected electronic music magazine on the planet), “Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas is the biggest production in the United States, and the fans just go wild.”