Just for a second, put aside everything we know about the effects of EDC on the Vegas club and music scenes and just consider one big, juicy number: In its four years at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, EDC has generated more than $950 million in revenue in Clark County.
The mega dance party that has turned into one of the biggest weekends of the year in Las Vegas is back and bigger than ever. With complementary programming lined up at nearly every nightclub on the Strip, EDC truly “takes over the city,” says Jason Strauss, founding partner of Tao Group. “With 125,000-plus people all coming to hear that specific music, you really have to be true to that demographic.”
Strauss, whose company has created the Marquee Skydeck VIP experience at EDC, has always been closely tied to the festival. He was building Marquee at Cosmopolitan when EDC was shifting from LA to Las Vegas. “It really culminated into the perfect storm and made Las Vegas the nightlife and EDM capital of the world.”
As the scene matures, so does its connection to the festival. Kozmoe Alonzo, director of marketing for SBE nightlife, says the annual event is trending in the direction of the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, where “for an entire week, it’s a scene. It’s not just a festival, it’s everything that’s going on. Fans and supporters of the music really feel like they’re part of it, and it’s something you can’t experience somewhere else.”
Beyond its size and scope, EDC just feels different from other big Vegas weekends, Alonzo says, “because the fans religiously follow these festivals, and they’re fanatics about their favorite artists. They plan everything out, make sure they’re at this place at this time, and they’re very friendly. It creates a fun atmosphere conducive to letting go.”