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As a festival built on an ethereal foundation of acceptance, imagination and an appreciation for dance music, Electric Daisy Carnival has contrived and solidified their elusive reputation in the realm of music festivals. It has grown to become one of the most distinguished dance music festivals throughout the globe, after years of creating transcendental experiences that manage to remain unique to, and a principal facet to the festival’s essence.
Some may say that EDC’s success can be ascribed to its core focus on the principles of unity, love, self expression, and respect. Others may attribute it to the touches of creative ingenuity in every aspect of the festival, along with their perpetual nature of outdoing themselves with the passing of each year.
Though EDC excels in all areas of community creativity, and growth, their success innately derives from their focus on the festival attendees — thoughtfully referred to as the “Headliners” behind the weekend. No festival is able to thrive without balancing their hiccups with accompanying improvements, and this one is certainly one of those that learns from their mistakes.
From its very first edition held in 1997, to the colossal three-day takeover just over two decades later, EDC has risen to the top of the international festival landscape with little competition along the way. The 2018 edition proved to be nothing short of what is known as the “EDC experience”, as the team worked magic to pull off 72+ hours of unprecedented extravagance.
With prior years of facing issues with shuttle transportation, and being at mercy to the desiccant, desert heat, one of the largest additions (and solutions) to this years event included the introduction of Camp EDC. Positioned just outside the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Camp EDC hosted over 20,000+ attendees over the course of the weekend, kicking off a lineup of widespread festivities right from the get-go. Campers were given the choice between the GA Moonstone, and VIP Desert Rose tenting accommodation, each priced within reasonable grounds to the accustomed price-hike that Las Vegas visitors typically assume. RV Camping was available for those who weren’t fans of traditional camping, offering a more “cushy” outdoor experience.
While Camp EDC was an excellent solution to alleviating the traffic load to the venue, it came at the cost of long entry wait times to the campgrounds.
Campers took to social media to relay their dismay behind the circumstances, tweeting both EDC and festival owner, Pasquale Rotella, about the 8+ hour wait times, and the risk of running out of gas/car battery. For those who were the lucky few that managed to be in the right place at the right time managed to breeze into the campgrounds, and get set unpacked before the weekend madness commenced.
Camp EDC’s first-ever campground kick-off party took place in their common-grounds, known better by “The Mesa.” Well prepared for the daily heat and incoming profusion of happy campers, “The Mesa” was characterized by colorful landmarks, non-stop daily activities, and weekend-long pool parties hosted by fan-favorite groups like Space Yacht, Insomniac Records, and Brownies & Lemonade.
Thursday’s pre-party was one for the bassheads (and was definitely met to bewilderment from campers seeking a more tame pre-EDC night), hosted by Excision, G Jones and Habstrakt as they played out on the illustrious Parliament Art car. To add to the already stacked evening, NGHTMRE went b2b with Slander in the early evening; adding to the large case of FOMO that non-campers, and campers who weren’t yet inside experienced.
With the good came the bad, and EDC was not exempt from the common camping festival struggles. Desert Rose campers were promised their own 24 hour, VIP bathroom/shower facilities, yet these were unaccessible at different points throughout the first day. Shower lines for the rest of the weekend were rarely scarce, pushing people to head back to their tents and resort to a good ‘ol-fashioned baby-wipe shower. Bumps on the road aside, no festival is complete without a few mishaps, especially when accommodating to 20,000+ thousand people in the middle of the desert.
Between the daily pool parties, and influx of group activities aiming to address the mind, soul and body, Camp EDC was a cloud nine destination for those looking to fulfill their EDC experience. Just as Insomniac prides themselves on centralizing the principles of positivity and respect, staff and security showed ample enthusiasm and genuine concern to the needs of festival-goers, making for smooth and sweet conversations all around.
An attribution to the countless hours placed before the festival’s success, campers left tired, yet fulfilled at heart from the three-night spectacle. A daunting task which proves difficult to face, EDC deserves credit where it’s due. Corralling over 20,000 individuals amongst 3,400 tents and 1,100 RV’s requires far more than extraneous planning and meticulous calculations. A project of this caliber requires patience, unwavering dedication and a love for dance music; drawing back to the founding pillars behind Insomniac’s success.
Photo credits: Skyler Greene and Jake West.