This year was a milestone year for dance music. 20 years ago, Pasqualle Rotella – Founder & CEO of Insomniac, took a risk and followed his dream. Along the way, he created a perfect storm where dance music fans alike can make everlasting memories while giving artist a stage and a captivated audience. As we reflect back on what happened at the Las Vegas Speedway this past weekend, June 17-19, we realize that dance music is stronger than ever – the numbers don’t lie. Over 400,000 festival goers celebrated EDC’s 20th anniversary. Not even the Southwest record temperatures, peaking upwards of 115 degrees during the day, could stop this group of dance music enthusiasts. Millions more were able to catch the festival online through various platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Insomniac.com, to name a few, thanks to EDC LIVE presented by SMIRNOFF™.
It’s to go without saying that EDC gets bigger and better every year. Rotella states “EDC Las Vegas is a temporary city constructed once a year by thousands of passionate people, and no two EDCs are ever the same.” And for the 20th anniversary celebration, Insomniac redesigned the festival landscape complete with eight innovative stage designs, stunning new art installations, beautifully costumed theatrical performers and over five minutes of jaw-dropping firework displays. The biggest change this year was the Kinetic Field. Insomniac rebranded & re-architected the kineticTEMPLE stage with an ancient temple of the owl community and the Tree of Imagination, a 445 feet wide and 95 feet tall structure that served as a novel centerpiece, celebrating life, creativity, and the memories upon which EDC was built. circuitGROUNDS was also renovated to accompany the massive crowds DJs attract during their sets. What was once a closed tent, became an open air LED cathedral. This year, the BassPod was lit, literally. There was so much energy that one of the structures caught on fire. Thankfully there were no injures, only cosmetic damages to the stage. A couple new editions included the UpsideDown House and Jenjun.
EDC Las Vegas is one of the meccas not only for dance music, but for DJs. Every DJ crafted their best set with a heavy artillery of ID tracks, mashups, pyros & lighting, and special guests. This year was no different. Highlights of Day 1 included sets from the likes of Kaskade, Alesso, Jauz, The Magician, KSHMR, and Hardwell. Moby made a surprise appearance during a meaningful midnight ceremony, celebrating iconic EDC visuals and the unity of the dance music community, along with a vibrant fireworks show. Day 2 was owned by The Chainsmokers, who commanded 70,000+ fans singing along to “Roses” and “Don’t Let Me Down”, NGHTMRE, Above & Beyond, and Martin Garrix. During the EDC20 celebration at kineticTEMPLE, Robin S surprised fans with a special live vocal performance of her iconic anthem, Show Me Love, a track that has captured the hearts of decades of dance music lovers. Day 3 included Tiësto, who brought out Grammy Award winning artist, John Legend, to perform their hit song “All Of Me.” Marshemello’s enigmatic set at cosmicMEADOW brought friends Skrillex and Tiesto, while Richie Hawtin made an impromptu stop at neonGARDEN.
EDC is not just about the music. It’s about peace, love, unity, and respect. Of all the bad things that are happening around the world today, Electric Daisy Carnival is one of the few beams of hope that shines bright. The temporary city at the Las Vegas Speedway has evolved into a community that, even after the stages are taken down, continues to thrive through our daily lives. All we can say is, we can’t wait for #EDC21.
Writer: Martin Riego de Dios
Photographer: Kyle Riego de Dios