A World Without Borders: EDC Las Vegas

Curious Josh for Insomniac 2 Photo Courtesy of Curious Josh

Electric Daisy Carnival-Las Vegas takes you into a dream world, bringing together over 400,000 souls for a magical music festival experience like no other. Music fans from 40 countries and all 50 states came together to witness performances from over 200 of today’s most popular EDM artists in the world to create amazing memories under the electric sky. The 1,000-acre Las Vegas Speedway was transformed into an adult carnival: eight stages, carnival rides, interactive art pieces, roving artists and beautiful people costumed in brightly-colored rave gear. aLIVE Coverage for Insomniac 5 Photo Courtesy of aLIve Photo Courtesy of Barrie Martelle

EDC attendees flood the streets and hotels of Las Vegas, preparing for the mysterious journey ahead. The city of Las Vegas was very welcoming to the EDC community as the taxi drivers, hotel staff and locals excitedly asked about the festival. They should be excited; a total of $278 million dollars was injected into Nevada’s economy. Running through the gates entering the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, fans found themselves in a world where expression and freedom to be yourself was clearly the status quo. You can tell EDC is far more than a festival, party, or a rave. It is an experience. From the top of the stands you are overlooking the whole venue covered in a sea of lights and bass thumping all around. Insomniac, the music festival promotion company,  takes festival production to the next level. There’s not just one Ferris wheel, there’s 5 and the firework displays each night were simply breathtaking. Doug Van Sant for Insomniac 1Photo Courtesy of Doug VanSant


Throughout the venue there were carnival rides, lockers, water stations, food stands, charging stations and wifi provided by Snapchat. Everything you need to stay up until the sun rises. An electronic parade took place in the middle of the festival filled with mysterious characters covered in lights, performing and dancing, creating a unique atmosphere unlike any other. Safety is highly emphasized by Insomniac and a key factor in enjoying the festival. Safety tips are listed on the EDC map and lineup handed out to everyone. There are free water stations provided. The food options available had vastly improved in quality and there were a larger variety of options including fresh fruit stands that were busy throughout the night. There was also a great selection of local food trucks that were reasonably priced.

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EDC Las Vegas  is also a festival that can be enjoyed by fans of all ages. I asked a couple in their mid-40s about their experience. They said the festival was a new experience and despite having VIP access, the wife insisted that the VIP area is overrated, she would rather be in the middle of the crowd where all of the energy is. When asked if they would let their kids attend, they said as long as they didn’t drive and went with friends, they would support it.

Line Up

While Insomniac focuses on the overall experience, the music is still the biggest part of the festival and the best and upcoming acts were booked. Kinetic Field (the main stage) featured the traditional Insomniac owls on each side of the stage overlooking a cathedral that acted as the DJ booth. The production consisted of fire blowing, fountains, more fireworks than you can imagine, and an outstanding light show reacting to the music. This stage was packed all night with the crowd dancing to world-renowned acts such as Tiesto, Martin Garrix, and Hardwell. Some of the best sets on the main stage, however, were earlier in the night by acts such as Paper Diamond who proved to be worthy of the main stage by opening up EDC, making the crowd glad they came early in the evening. Barrie Martelle for Insomniac 3 Photo Courtesy of Barrie Martelle

Another early evening favorite was Vegas local 3Lau, who was a fan in the crowd just 2 years ago. At only 23 years old, 3lau has already released a Beatport top hit, “Escape” with Paris and Simo and has raised $25,000 from his remix, “Back to New,” for the non-profit “Pencils of Promise” to build schools in developing countries.  Check it out:  http://pencilsofpromise.org/ 


Other stages were more genre specific with hardstyle on the bassCON stage, dubstep on the bassPOD, and house at the neonGARDEN resulting in a diverse selection for every type of bass head. In total the festival consisted of 8 stages with packed lineups, going from 7 PM until 5:30 AM for three days. Each stage had a different theme and amazing production.

You can view the full artist lineup here:


You can listen to sets you missed or re-live your favorites here:


There were plenty of surprises throughout the weekend including a late night drum and bass set by Krewella at the bassPOD. Carnage closed out the Circuit Garden stage on Day One and declared it “the largest house party in the world” right after receiving word that there were over 80,000 people there to witness the magical sunrise set. He also performed a second set on the bassPOD stage and dropped some hardstyle. Another bassPOD favorite was Texas producer, Crizzly.

Crizzly destroyed the stage by throwing down a massive set that dubstep and trap fans could definitely go hard by showcasing new tracks that successfully blended hip hop with different genres of dance music. Kaskade played his Redux set in front of a small crowd on an art car, which featured some of his deeper tracks. Then to top it off there was Dash Berlin’s memorable closing set on the main stage to create a beautiful ending to the breathtaking music journey with his melodic uplifting trance sound. Although the festival took place Friday through Sunday (June 20-22, 2014), we highly encourage EDM enthusiasts to arrive in Las Vegas early next year. Many EDC artists appeared on the Las Vegas Strip throughout the week, at a variety of nightclub and day club events. It’s a fantastic opportunity to enjoy your favorite artists in a more intimate setting. The EDMBiz Conference and Expo took place June 17-19, which provided a symposium for the dance music industry. Numerous industry folk from all over the world, including FestPop, came to share their knowledge and overall thoughts about the boom, the bust and the rebirth of the EDM genre and the music festival industry. One startup that got our attention was Boomrat, launched by two USC students, Andrew Silberstein and Ariel Lee.  These college buddies were just looking for an easier way to find new music and events. What they built was a socially driven music and event discovery platform specifically catered to the electronic dance music world. Boomrat aggregates and curates music which allows users to build personal profiles featuring their favorite DJs. Check it out  https://boomrat.com/


  Hardwell spoke about his journey and how he started out producing in high school before going to the Rock Academy. It was incredible to get to hear his team talk about managing the artist’s tour schedule and how Hardwell has been dominating the festival circuit. He spoke about how Revealed is “not about making a radio hit, but about making good music and that [he] wants to show the world what [he] thinks good music is”. Gary Richards aka DESTRUCTO stated “I do it because I love to do it.” when talking about why he got into music. He also emphasizes the importance of staying true to yourself and being unique by saying it is important to “look up to people for what they have done, not because you want to be like them.” Gary founded the music festival HARD in 2007 after having his own record label and realizing that people were no longer buying CDs and music, and decided to begin selling tickets and booking DJs. Hard Events are now some of the most popular events in the world. Holy Ship, Hard Summer Music Festival, and Hard Day of the Dead always have incredible artists involved and the events are always very well produced.   destructo-thanksDESTRUCTO

Above and Beyond shares a similar view and stated they are passionate about “making sure the emotion is there in the music because that’s what attracted us to music”. It is great to be able to share in an experience with artists that are passionate about their work and willing to engage with the fans. Steve Angelo said, “I just want everyone to be happy” when talking about what he strives to achieve with his music. He believes that “this is a great time for dance music. We can play anywhere in the world… and if we are creative, this could last forever.” In case you did not know who Carnage was, he explained that he is “like a big ass teddy bear… I’m 23 years old. I hang out with a bunch of people not from America. I DJ. Im fat. I chill. Life is short. Gotta enjoy it”. Carnage and Borgore both had insightful input on the recent copywrite controversy involved with Soundcloud and feel artists should let other producers remix their songs without restrictions since it promotes the artist’s work overall. 2-Carnage-Djing9


  The legendary Carl Cox had several uplifting things to say about music in general and explaining “Music gets you through everything in life” The EDMbiz Closing Party was a great way for people in the business to celebrate and network with each other as well. Dash Berlin put together a phenomenal performance that seemed perfect for the Thursday evening pool party at the Cosmopolitan.


Look for details regarding the EDMbiz Job Board launching soon here. It is designed for people networking at EDMbiz and for students who come and want help finding their job in the EDM space.

The Las Vegas Strip | EDC Pool Parties

The pool parties during EDC week are not to be missed.  Think of smaller stages but with big acts. The best producers and DJs in the world are all in town and wanting to perform as much as possible. So if you want to get up close with your favorite DJs, the pool parties are the best place for that. The Steve Aoki Pool Party at Wet Republic was definitely one of the wildest parties of the weekend. This incredible pool at the MGM Grand proved to be an awesome spot. The Dim Mak crew went all out and had over 10 cakes for Steve Aoki to throw and had hundreds of tanks to give away. Carnage came to the party and hung out with festivalgoers to show his love for the fans. The Krewella Pool Party at Daylight Beach Club (Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino) was definitely a blast. FestPop got the chance to talk to Krewella sisters: Yasmine and Jahan Yousaf about their first music festival that they played back in 2012 at Meltdown Music Festival in Dallas. We got a chance to talk to Yasmine and Jahan’s father as well about how he wants to do everything he can to support the passions of his daughters. Krewella proved that the dance music community is all about being supportive of each other and having a good time by bringing out a Birthday cake for Graham of Milo and Otis. By opening up for Krewella, Milo and Otis showed everyone why they deserve to not only be with Skrillex on Mothership Tour, but also on the lineup for the biggest festivals in the world. It was only a matter of time before cake was being shoved in everyone’s faces at this party. Some other notable pool parties were Kaskade’s at the Marquee Day Club. Krewella-The-Light-Las-Vegas-Dec-18-2013-3 Milo-Otis-daylight5-007When it comes to electronic dance music, there is something for everyone. Find what moves you, speaks to you and makes you happy. If a certain performance isn’t for you, venture off to a different stage and experience a new sound. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone, be open-minded, talk to new people and discover new music. You can learn something new from everyone you meet – find out what they love about music, where they are from, or what brings them to EDC. Part of the EDC experience is the journey and the mystery of not knowing what will happen or whom you will meet. And remember – we are all in it together!

Relive the magic of EDC Vegas in 3D with your friends, family, and fellow headliners. Check out the list of select theater locations & get tickets at www.undertheelectricsky.com!


In closing Pasquale Rotella (Founder of Insomniac), Live Nation and an army of Insomniac volunteers have created a place where people can forget their struggles and enter into a world filled with acceptance, love and music. Music is the universal language that speaks to us all. Imagine being surrounded by music lovers who want to share that passion with you and looking to the person next to you singing, dancing and sharing the same emotions that the song speaks to you. It’s even common for the DJ’s to get out into the crowd and share the experience next to their fans as Tommie Sunshine did with his wife. EDC Las Vegas is a beautiful place. Anyone who has attended will encourage you to make new friends, share the love, take in the music and experience the positive vibes and happiness surrounding everything.  A world without borders.

By FestPop EDM Staff Writers:

Chris Rozzo, Aaron Austin & Suzanne Ledford


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