Electric Daisy Carnival returns to Las Vegas

It was 11:45 p.m. and the elephants were flying.

The line was long for the Crazy Dumbo ride, where Disney’s aerial creations uplifted thrill seekers and spirits alike.

Seconds later, we found Waldo – or at least a long-haired dude costumed as the elusive character from the children’s book – passing through the post-apocalyptic scene Wasteland, where hardstyle DJ-producer The Prophet spoke of levels. bass that worked the body like a deep tissue massage without the pesky fingers of a masseuse.

Simultaneously nearby, an aerial woman in a tight black leather outfit suspended in chains from a flame-spitting structure dubbed the Brass Ring twisted her body into shapes only Gumby should know.

Soon it would be midnight.

Five hours less, five and a half hours to go: the carnival of electric daisies was back.

In that typically atypical five-minute Friday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, EDC did what EDC does: deliver a sensory overload overload.

It’s the biggest dance music festival in the world – plus a place to hang on, move your bust in furs on a rainbow-shaped stage, and don a hot-shaped headgear. -dog while walking in a light landscape and its optional for pants.

It’s way, way too much for a single pair of eyes and ears to comprehend – which is the whole point of it all.

So where to start ?

Where does the euphemism end.

“Let’s go into a rabbit hole,” urged Drew Taggart, half of EDM duo The Chainsmokers during their set at kineticFIELD where they alternated the remixes of Papa Roach and MGMT with their own hits like “Don’t Let Me Down “and” Closer. “

This crowd of around 150,000 was eager to take the plunge, dressed as the grumpy Oscar, Teletubbies smoking cigarettes and party cows.

Some of them traded nuptials for real in one of EDC’s two wedding chapels; others not so much.

“If you find a stranger and want to get married, let me know,” advised a lady named Mary Queen of Hearts, costumed as “Alice in Wonderland”, as she recruited interested parties to non-legally binding wedding vows at the Commitment Deck, where couples promise to be there for each other “even if one of you is partying too loud” and the usual “yes” has been replaced with a warm “yeah! “

There was plenty to explore, from the heat radiating fire dancers at the Escape open-air theater to the silent reggae-inspired Bajo Collado nightclub, to a Tokyo-style karaoke bar to Nomadsland, a maze of objects. reused – hubcaps, filing cabinets, dresser drawers, etc. – fashioned in a landscape similar to “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” meets an episode of “Hoarders”.

It was all part of the 10th anniversary of EDC’s move to Las Vegas and its 25th year since its Los Angeles debut in 1997.

The occasion was commemorated with a drone show at kineticFIELD, where dozens of tiny flying machines formed images of owls and hearts before counting down to EDC’s gigantic nighttime fireworks display.

It was a long time coming: EDC Las Vegas has been postponed three times by the pandemic, resulting in a two-and-a-half-year hiatus since the last EDC in May 2019 (participants had to provide proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test to entry).

If it felt like a trip to get to EDC 2021, it also felt like a trip to get into EDC 2021.

Whenever 150,000 people gather in one place, it is to be expected that there will be a stalemate. But traffic was especially tough this year with Las Vegas Boulevard, a parking lot for miles off the freeway. (This reporter, who lives 21 miles south of the freeway, left for EDC at 5:30 p.m. After driving, parking, hiked 15 minutes to the location, encountered the bottleneck of humans at the designated entrance, then passed through security, finally arriving on the festival grounds just before 10 p.m.).

Some of those who stayed did not fare much better: Many fans who have stayed at EDC campgrounds have taken to various hangouts to complain about the lack of air conditioning and shortages. water before the opening night of the festival.

Once inside, however, the collective vibe was as bright as any perpetually flashing light fixture.

There were times when there were almost too many big name headliners to choose to perform simultaneously.

For example, at some point after midnight, the future first engine of the Illenium bass performed a surprise set at the tree-adorned Forest House Art Car – this from a guy who drew 30,000 fans at an Allegiant stadium in Ticket sales in July – The Chainsmokers have done their thing at kineticFIELD and Australian EDM star Alison Wonderland rocked the GROUNDS circuit flanked by a pair of bass tom drummers all pounding at the same time.

“Let me catch my breath,” LA house DJ-producer Noizu urged on his track “Slow Down” during his set on the Stereo Bloom stage.

I’m sure that’s what Monday is for.

Contact Jason Bracelin at [email protected] or 702-383-0476. Follow @ jbracelin76 on Instagram

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