Electric Daisy Carnival Vegas 2014: The Best and Worst

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Christopher Victorio

By Dennis Romero

What's it like partying with 134,000 of your closest friends?

After a fourth year covering Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, the size and scope of America's largest electronic dance music festival (and, really, one of the country's largest music events, period) still just leaves us breathless.

This is the definition of massive. That this culture has gone from warehouse raves with one laser and a few hundred people to a 1,500-acre event so large that the only way to avoid an hour-plus worth of traffic is to arrive by helicopter is astonishing, especially if you were part of the scene in its early days.


What's not to like? We'll start with the worst:

5. Traffic
Getting 134,000 people, plus festival workers and artists, in and out of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway each night is, as you can imagine, not easy. Our hour-plus wait to leave as thousands of vehicles were bottle-necked into one exit bordered on exhaust-fume torture.

4. Beer
Mobile vendors only offered variations of Bud Light, the festival's beer sponsor. Ugh. If you sauntered up to an alcohol booth, you got one more choice, which was an okay Belgian white ale (Shock Top, also part of the Anheuser Busch family). People paid $249-plus for three-day passes, not to mention their other expenses. Shouldn't they get some decent beer options?

3. Parking
EDC still has free parking for all those cars, but it's often in unmarked, far-off dirt portions of the race track's grounds. Section signage (A1, B1, etc.) offers some help, but landmarks are few and far between, and your exit will inevitably end with the EDC tradition of wandering the desert like a lost tribesman. Some zonked-out festival-goers put miles on their pedometer apps, to be sure. And ravers will inevitably encounter other lost souls, incessantly clicking their key fobs in a fruitless effort to find the flashing beacons. Temporary section flags with creative themes (a Steve Aoki section could be designated by a cake) would be a welcome addition.

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Christopher Victorio

2. Cell signal
Our AT&T smartphone served as little more than a paperweight this year. While data was slow to move in years past, it was never this bad. Blame, perhaps, the fact that 134,000-plus others were also trying to post their EDC selfies. Organizers should borrow a page from Coachella's book: Promoters at the the Indio, California alt fest teamed up with AT&T, which installed COWs, or Cell on Wheels, mobile cell sites. Wi-fi was also offered for free to AT&T customers at the California desert event.

1. The music
We feel like electronic dance music is on the precipice of a serious backlash. Some of the headliners (Avicii, Martin Garrix, Krewella) play what can only be described as atrocious, hook-obsessed, bubble-gum trance. This scene needs to decide if it's part of the mainstream or it isn't.

But trying to be both will pull it apart. We don't blame the organizers for booking marquee names (though Deadmau5 and Skrillex have been strangely absent). Competition, like Tomorrowland, is pushing EDM promoters to go lowest-common-denominator with their bookings. It's hard to please 134,000 people. But it's a shame that this music has gotten so far away from its heads-down, warehouse roots.

Next page: The best things about EDC Vegas this year


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10 comments
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David Souza
David Souza

I didnt know raves were still cool...... Wow, must be trapped in 1999 again...... Seriously nobody gives a shit about raves

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thomasloleary

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John Pena
John Pena

Dont you guys have better articles to write instead of bashing on EDC

teknik
teknik

"Because, if you want to see, hear and taste what EDM in America is about in 2014, there's no other place than Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas."



Whoever wrote this needs to go learn a thing or two about movement detroit, the original and still real electronic music festival.



dashboardjesus
dashboardjesus

Apparently a lot of people do cares about rave, otherwise hundreds of thousands of people wouldn't go there. You're too edgy dude.

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