Expanding to a new all-time record attendance averaging 134,000 per night, the 2014 Electric Daisy Carnival festival in Las Vegas set new standards in production for its attendees. Covering 3 nights at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, guests were treated to the largest stage ever built in the United States. The Kinetic Field was a monument to dance music = religion with a design reminiscent of a cathedral with stained glass windows.
Each night a 6-minute fireworks show which rivaled any July 4th show one would see anywhere. Sprinkled throughout the property were 20 new and returning art installations, helping add to the whimsical atmosphere cultivated at the event. For the 2nd year in a row, a dining deck run by Kitchen24 from Hollywood was an option for attendees looking to fuel up while enjoying a great view of the main stage.
Music highlights for EDM Life were Justin Martin, Diplo and Armin Van Buuren on night 1. Night 2 top sets we enjoyed were by Green Velvet, Nicole Moudaber, Kaskade and Tiesto. The 3rd and final night, top sets we enjoyed were by Eric Prydz, Calvin Harris and Above & Beyond.
The first night of EDC we took the Luxor lot shuttle. The excitement was high in the crowd waiting to leave, especially for the ones that were EDC virgins! Traffic into the event was slightly delayed on Friday night due to accidents on the entry roads however the rest of the weekend there were few if any delays. Amusing note- our friday shuttle driver almost was strangled by the passengers after taking a non-standard route into the venue and getting us stuck in traffic for a good 45 minutes! However, once we entered the venue, things went swimmingly after that. Due to the shuttle delay, we realized we were going to miss basically all of Camo and Krooked who was on our set checklist so we stopped by Justin Martin at the Cosmic Meadows stage. Dropping his signature DirtyBird bass sound he had the crowd rocking. After that came Diplo who played to possibly the largest crowd of his career at almost 50,000 strong! Unfortunately the author did not see a lot of twerking going on!
During Diplo’s set we then stepped out and walked over to the Neon Garden stage to catch a bit of techno with Dubfire and then the legend himself Carl Cox! There’s a reason the Neon Garden was also called the ‘Carl Cox and friends’ stage as he bring it hard along with his curated dj choices. While we found it hard to pull ourselves away, we decided that we needed to get over to the main stage as we’d heard rumbling about how impressive it was but nothing prepared us for this!
As we walked behind the main stage a bit in awe of its size, when we popped out the other end it was nothing other than the trance legend himself Armin Van Buuren rocking it. With its cathedral design, huge owls and water fountains was definitely a site to behold and hard to believe. We finished up the 1st night when Armin ended so we could get on our way before the shuttle lines got too long back to the Las Vegas Strip.
Night 2 started with a bit of an excessive wait at our hotel shuttle pickup location – only 2 buses showed up over 45 minutes and some impatient fans grabbed taxis. We however stuck it out and once we got off the strip traffic was fine getting to the venue. Our first stop for the night was to see Nicole Moudaber aka the queen of techno, at the Neon Garden. Nicole did not disappoint and showed why she has in quick measure garnered thousands of techno fans worldwide. The it was time to head over to the main stage to see the biggest US-born DJ that is Kaskade. Playing his signature main-stage house the crowd was eating it up. Looking at the 80,000 strong waving flags and homemade totems, the sea of humanity enjoying the music was smile inducing. Next up was than man that is Tiesto. Playing several songs from his newly released album, the crowd seemed to enjoy this set as much as Kaskade right before. After Tiesto was Alesso – as we had seen him spin earlier during the day at Daylight, we decided to take that as our cue to leave and get home at a somewhat reasonable hour as we still had one night to go!
The last night found us zipping into the venue with no traffic or shuttle delays (yaay)! As we made our way into the venue we went straight to the Circuit Grounds stage to check out one of our fav djs, progressive house master Eric Prydz. Prydz played a nice set consisting mainly of his recent productions as well as an epic mashup of Laser Beams vs. Higher State of Consciousness – see video below!
After Prydz came EDM’s biggest dj right now Calvin Harris. Launching into a set of his productions as well, the crowd was definitely enjoying the moment and singing along to every chart-topping hit Calvin dropped. As we had never seen trance act Above & Beyond before, we took off to the main stage to see what they would have in store for us. Playing their melodic trance sounds along with one of the ubiquitous London Grammer remixes, we were happy to see what the hype was about. After Above & Beyond was 2/3 of the former supergroup Swedish House Mafia, Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso. Seb and Axwell have been playing together since last year with events branded under the Departures moniker. Their set was a mixture of some of their olders hits and what we understand are forthcoming tracks out by the duo. Up next was another duo, W & W, which dropped a set mainly comprised of some of EDM’s biggest tracks of the moment. Doing the honors on the main stage closing set was Dash Berlin. Amazingly even at 5am the Kinetic Field looked close to capacity!!! With the sun coming up and a flight back to LA in a few hours we decided to take that as our cue and get back to the hotel.
Overall, Insomniac has continued to improve EDC each year with better stage design, more circus rides and interactive art installations, all for the enjoyment of the fans. Entry into the venue itself was extremely quick and other than some shuttle hiccups, overall the event went as well as one could hope for. We plan to be at EDC 2015 – you should too!