Electric Daisy Carnival: 2012 EDC Recap

By Michael Blain

After nearly a year of anticipation, the Electric Daisy Carnival finally returned to desert soil, and I couldn’t have been any more excited to participate. This excitement would soon be converted to various reactions to chaos and disappointment, but we will take it one step at a time. On Friday, after leaving the house and making our way down the highway, it soon became apparent that I-15 North was going to be our enemy if we didn’t escape it soon enough, and we thought we had by getting off at Cheyenne and getting onto Las Vegas Boulevard. But soon enough, the traffic jams were engulfing every possible entrance to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and after hours of bumper-to-bumper crawling, we were finally ready to get in line. We got in rather smoothly and still in high spirits, despite missing several acts we were looking forward to seeing, and were posted up at the Circuit Grounds stage in time to see an act that has a very deep place in my heart: Gabriel & Dresden. They played one of the best sets I have ever seen in my life, and the truth of that remained steadfast throughout the weekend.

Friday was the lightest day in terms of heavy-hitting names on the line-up, so we more or less roamed around trying to get a feel for things until departing at the 5:30 a.m. gate closing time. It took us the better part of three hours to leave the Red Lot and get back on the highway, deleting any decent chance of a regulated sleeping schedule and not being rushed for the rest of the weekend.

On to Saturday, which included difficulties that definitely made Friday seem nearly perfect. It took several hours to get into the venue itself, which became very frustrating because we were missing Rank 1 perform live for the first time at a festival in the United States. We were trapped in traffic alongside the speedway. The view of the fireworks display from the car was a nice consolation, but not quite enough.

We parked in an employee lot that also had spots available to the public, which proved to be our best decision of the weekend for this and the next night. We got through the line, eagerly anticipating the set of Tiësto, who happened to be the long-time favorite DJ of two of the members of our group, myself included. We had been inside the venue for no longer than twenty minutes when commands began to resound over the loud speakers that due to high winds everyone must vacate all the stage areas for their own safety and head towards the grandstands. This process took hours and involved mass trickery on the part of the staff, even to the point of pretending to re-open the main areas to the elation of sprinting ravers not realizing they had been duped into exiting through the back parking lots. Tiësto, the greatest DJ of all time, did not play.

Sunday was a repeat of the traffic jams that had become a constant throughout the weekend, and the overall vibe of the event had suffered tremendously. A second set was added for the legendary Armin van Buuren on the Circuit Grounds trance stage at 10:45 p.m., and he took full advantage, playing one of the greatest hour-long trance sets I have ever seen. Later in the night, John Digweed showed the Electric Daisy Carnival how talented and professional a DJ can truly be by not playing a single commercial or known song as his experience rang through the souls of everyone present.

The way out on Sunday was utter chaos as cars sped past us into the oncoming traffic lane behind the speedway just to shave a few minutes off the trip, and even when a car came heading right towards them, they cut back into the proper lane and then did it again. Electric Daisy Carnival failed this year, plain and simple.

3 Responses to "Electric Daisy Carnival: 2012 EDC Recap"

  1. Tatiana   June 20, 2012 at 9:46 am

    I got through ID check and security in about 10 minutes Saturday and I had a regular entry ticket. I got there around 9 30 PM.
    Friday and Sunday I had to wait maybe 40 minutes to get in.
    Plan in advance and expect some delays. Also try to find alternative routes to drive to the party.
    I had a great time at EDC, I would never let traffic put a damper on my EDC experience.
    To read about it…..check my blog!

  2. Zoe Mac   June 16, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    I think some realistic expectations are needed for some of you. How can anyone expect to get over 100,000 people per night into an area only accessible by vehicles without some delays? Some research before I left for Vegas told me that traffic delays were a reality last year so I left early. Sure, the first night was a problem and it took 2 hours to get from the strip to the interior of EDC but leaving earlier the next night it took 1.5 hours and then just an hour the final night. When leaving I took the shortest shuttle bus queue and made it back within an hour on two of the three nights. The bus drivers were extremely courteous and even pumped some tunes on the way in each night, exceeding my expectations on that part.

    Also know that the traffic problems don’t belong to Insomniac but the Las Vegas PD – they set the rules each night on the traffic routes, not Insomniac.

    The venue itself made up for traffic delays too – the perfect size, I was amazed as how much room each person had to get their groove on. I made it to the front of the stage 4 times over the weekend and each time I danced at the barrier with space to spare. Instead of Insomniac crushing us into a smaller venue, we were fortunate enough to be afforded space to dance without over-heating. It was only on the wind-ridden Saturday night that you really got a sense of how many people were in attendance.

    I don’t know what festivals you are used to attending but I can’t think of any that have produced such a fantastic show – from the best lights and sound, to entertaining performance artists and a brilliant line-up – all without any noise bleed between stages (common over this side of the world) and without pushing and shoving. I had a ball and can’t wait to attend next year.

  3. Ryan Dobson   June 16, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Its amazing how two people in a city so large, attending a show so massive can have identical stories to tell. You couldn’t have said it any better. Insomniac disappointed us with either their greed or lack of planning. Can someone please tell them the shows are amazing, but limit the amount of tickets they sell. Hell I would even pay 500 dollars if it meant half the people. A week has gone by and I’m still sad. I just hope that a year goes by and others like me can forgive and forget the frustration that 4hrs on a bus to watch 2 songs, and back on bus for 3 more hours, can cause. I’m just glad all of the show goers have been so cooperative. I heard little complaint from anyone leaving that Saturday. Broken spirit was the loudest noise, it’s like a quite buzz in the air.

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