Just when you think there were no stops left for EDC to pull out, festival organizers Insomniac kicked the dance music celebration up a notch for its third year in Vegas. This year features more than 500 DJs and theatrical performers, seven stages, eight art cars, three graffiti walls and an endless array of carnival rides, light shows and pyrotechnics. Here's a closer look at what’s new:
1. The Kinetic Field The largest of EDC's seven stages, the Kinetic Field was expanded this year from a capacity of 55,000 to 80,000 people. Moreover, Insomniac scrapped the traditional caging-and-LED-screens set up in favor of a stage paneling that looks cribbed from the mind of Lewis Carroll, including enormous day-glo toadstools and daisies and a 100-foot-tall animatronic owl enshrouding the central DJ booth.
2. The Basscon stage EDC's newest stage was introduced this year to further diversify the dance music subgenres represented at the festival, with Basscon catering to the "hard" genres of dance music with heavy basslines and relentless beats like Hard Techno, Hard House and Hardstyle. The stage's set-up matched the intensity of music, featuring a dystopian steampunk backdrop of a gas-masked figure clutching daisies while looming over a rusted clock. Conceptual enough for you?
3. A camera crew This year's EDC is being immortalized on film as part of the new documentary EDC 2013: You Are The Headliner, courtesy of the folks who made the recent pop documentaries about Justin Bieber and Katy Perry. Keep your eyes out for the swinging booms over the stages and the guys in black with expensive-looking gadgets mounted on their shoulders—and don't do anything you wouldn't want ending up on the silver screen.
4. Carnival rides and interactive attractions There were plenty of festive rides and art installations at last year's EDC, but this year it's difficult to walk a few feet at the Speedway without coming across yet another Ferris wheel, tilt-a-whirl, graffitti wall or oversized object you can crawl into. It's a good move on the organizers' part—more stuff to ride on or play with means shorter lines at each and happy, distracted patrons between DJ sets. A blacklight gallery and mini-coaster are among some cool new favorites.
5. Weddings Dozens of couples have already pledged their vows to "rave together for the rest of their lives" at EDC's new wedding chapel located in the middle of the Speedway. From Electric Elvis-officiated legal ceremonies to quickie faux group weddings with friends you just made an hour ago, there are fewer places at the fest that better embody EDC's goofy-but-sincere spirit of PLUR.