So after the Saturday cancellation caused by dangerously high winds and hellacious traffic delays resulting in the failure of the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas in 2012, the stakes were immense for Insomniac to be successful this year. To say they learned from their mistakes and rose to the occasion would be quite the understatement, because by the unanimous account of party goers across the globe, myself included, they far exceeded all expectations.
The first major issue, which was the weather last year, obviously could not be controlled. But they took endless safety precautions in order to insure that in the case of high winds that no one would be susceptible to being crushed by falling speakers. Luckily, the weather was absolutely perfect, even cooler than other summer weekends mitigating the cases of excessive dehydration. Traffic was also a breeze this year, akin to the ease of 2011, actually even easier than it was that year to enter and leave from all possible entrances and exits. There was of course one route that was quite faster than all the others, which was also the case in 2011, but I will leave that for the attendees in 2014 to discover on their own.
The weather and traffic were not the only issues around the negative assessment of last year’s festival, a festival in Europe also played a large part in that. This festival is Tomorrowland in Belgium which occurs annually in July. The production level of Tomorrowland absolutely blew away EDC Las Vegas 2012, and after the conclusion of last summer it was pretty much all anyone was talking about.
The stages were bigger, the attractions were vast, and even Dick Tracy wouldn’t be able to find a negative review on the internet about it. Insomniac had their eyes open to all of this, and this year were not to be outdone.
The main Kinetic Field stage was a giant owl that spread its wings unveiling a nest of sorts that the artist would perform from. It was artistically mind-blowing to behold, and conceptually something that had never been done in the rave scene before. Insomniac’s longstanding affection for owls has been no secret, and their showcase of that was breathtaking. Across the board the production level was off the charts, building not only from ideas put forth by Tomorrowland, but also Ultra Music Festival in Miami. Not being copycats they truly made these ideas their own. The owl was a showstopper that cannot be duplicated or repeated by anyone and will never be forgotten.
The other trailblazing facet of EDC Vegas 2013 was the Sunday night Kinetic Field line-up. In sequence: Umek from Slovenia, Richie Hawtin from Detroit, Canada, and everywhere on the globe, and Carl Cox from the United Kingdom and also a globetrotter. These artists play genres of music referred to as techno and tech-house. This form of music has never been featured on a main stage at a festival in North America and is a giant leap forward for rave culture on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. Carl Cox’s set was especially timeless, and will undoubtedly be remembered eternally in rave history.
Sunday solidified this as one of the most important and enjoyable experiences of my entire life and Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas 2014 cannot come soon enough.
By Michael Blain