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Electric Daisy Carnival Night 1 scene report: The new look of EDC?

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Festival-goers dance and cheer during David Guetta’s set on night one of the Electric Daisy Carnival Friday, May 17, 2019.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

Ah, EDC. Every year, Electric Daisy Carnival descends upon the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and thousands make the trek to the electronic mecca for hours of dancing, revelry, debauchery and indulgence.

EDC 2019 Night 1

This year marks the Insomniac-produced festival's ninth in Las Vegas, and while there were some big logistical changes this year—a larger footprint and additional interactive art, to name two—perhaps the most noticeable difference came from the attendees themselves.

Those who frequent EDC—ravers, kandi kids, EDM heads and more—are known, by and large, for their outlandish costumes. Bright, glowing rainbow colors, light up shoes, fur and scantily clad have been EDC trends since it landed in Vegas.

Friday night, the crowd seemed to overwhelmingly ditch the LED kicks and neon-hued threads for far more subdued clothes. You might could chalk it up to the cooler weather, but the rise in Instagrammable street fashion probably has more to do with it. While there were still plenty of ravers in colorful garb, black seemed to dominate the festival grounds this year. Gone are the furry boots, and light-up sneakers appear on the way out, too, in exchange for gothic, buckled platform boots and chunky, throwback Spice Girls sneakers.

The change in attire was apparent during a set by Steven Zhu (aka Zhu, aka Blacklizt). The producer is known for his deep, sultry house grooves, and reportedly kicked a patron out of a recent Blacklizt party for wearing a white hat. (Blacklizt parties typically require that attendees wear all black.)

Other sets of note included Friction B2B Metrik at Bass Pod—two drum and bass mavericks whose thumping, kinetic energy felt perfect for the earlier hours of the festival’s inaugural night.

Meanwhile, the fest’s Downtown EDC area provided a fun reprieve from the festival’s main footprint. The plot featured a number of different bars and makeshift buildings with different themes—a “Tokyo” karaoke bar, a “Bajo Callado” silent disco and a wedding chapel.

Things that weren’t so great? The humiliating “Mini Bar”—a shrunken-down venue that literally put little persons on display as punny entertainment (really, EDC?), the absurd amount of trash, liquor and water bottles at the festival entrance and the fact that there were zero—zero—parking signs or markers in the gigantic GA parking lot for a festival that welcomed nearly 150,000 people just on opening night.

Thankfully, the rest of the EDC experience outweighed those oversights. And while some partygoers may have opted for minimal style over the festival’s signature wild looks, there were still plenty photo-worthy moments: a person dressed as Pikachu, an astronaut giving free hugs, a glowing chameleon art car, fairy performers and fire-breathing art sculptures. It’s the kind of spectacle expected from Insomniac, and for EDC’s eighth year in Las Vegas, it once again delivered.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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