Last June, I could hardly contain my excitement as I approached the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the inaugural EDC Las Vegas, my first massive experience. Insomniac didn’t disappoint, so naturally I was intrigued to see how they’d top such a spectacular production this year. At last night’s opener, I found out how. Insomniac delivered again.
While many of the festival elements remained the same (kickass electronic music, awe-inspiring art installations and more), a few differences definitely stood out. Among them:
1. Bar lines: While these were basically nonexistent at last year’s event, dense crowds seemed to surround just about every drink station last night. With many lines about six or seven people deep, your cocktail quest would take less time at Marquee on a Friday night.
2. Ride lines: It is a carnival, after all, and people want to get their play on. Lines are to be expected, but last night’s certainly surpassed last year’s. If you want to ride the main Ferris wheel, make a bee line as soon as you get inside the festival grounds.
3. VIP takes over: I don’t remember a VIP area being at the Circuit Grounds stage last year, which made sense since Kinetic Field and its big-name acts are more suitable for the bottle service crowd. That didn’t stop Insomniac from building one at Circuit Grounds this year, as the ballers were definitely feeling Gareth Emery’s beats when I stopped by the stage around 2 a.m.
4. More space: It was reported that Insomniac made the main stage area (Kinetic Field) 30 percent bigger this year, bringing its capacity to 55,000 people. The difference was noticeable, and apparently necessary—the space seemed to near its capacity well before midnight.
5. People dropping like flies: It seems that last year’s revelers either had more energy, or more drugs that give you more energy. I remember people hitting the ground en masse around 2 a.m. or so, but people were retiring even earlier this year. Attendees could be seen sitting and laying down throughout the night, and it was evident that people were leaving the Speedway earlier, as well.