Anthony Ares
July 1st 2013
Once again, ShoutDRIVE returned to Las Vegas to party under the electric sky at Electric Daisy Carnival. Make no mistake, just because we were in Vegas doesn't mean it's not the original EDC that started it all in Los Angeles.

While we found most of our fun at EDC's relatively new home, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the three day event is foreshadowed by a delightful drive. Okay, you're wondering what could be so freakin' special about a 4-hour drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas; for starters, once the journey has begun it's not long before you realize you're among thousands of others sharing the road to EDC. They make that easy; soon you pass car after car decked out with colorful window paint announcing the common destination in a myriad of creative expression. Daisies, DJ logos, slogans and city names are all design elements seen on the parade of vehicles speeding along the freeway. Add a variety of state license plates and you quickly realize that EDC attracts people from all over the west coast and beyond. The closer you get to Vegas, the more it seems everyone on the road is going to EDC, each vehicle its own boom box blasting its occupants' favorite flavor of "EDM” with lots of hands out of windows.

EDC Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas Art Cars PHOTO: The parade to EDC!
EDC Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas Art Cars PHOTO: Even we couldn't resist slapping ShoutDRIVE's Twitter handle and the official EDC hashtag on our windows.

The smiles and random sub-genres of "EDM” from car speakers are slowly diluted as we descend into Las Vegas to collect our media credentials, check into our hotel and prepare ourselves for the big show. EDC aside, Vegas itself is brighter and more intense than any TV show or movie could ever portray. Put it on your bucket list if it isn't already on there...and try to go for EDC week, okay? Okay.

Finally, we've done our chores and are ready for the Speedway. And we know it's ready for us because it's calling us via the dozens of coordinated searchlights that can be seen for miles emanating from the top of the grandstand's perimeter. This is EDC's third year at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and each of the three years I have been overwhelmed with joy when walking over the edge of the entrance and suddenly seeing everything. Stages, carnival rides, lights, masses of people and art installations soundtracked by a rainbow of "EDM” coming from seven stages. It's like the scene in "The Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy and her new friends first set eyes on the Emerald City (except there aren't any flying monkeys at EDC). That's when you know you've made the right decision and have come to the right place for the time of your life.

This year the main stage, The Kinetic Field, was bigger than ever with a brilliant gag incorporated into the design. The "night owl” of Insomniac's logo sat atop a massive nest, plopping out DJs rather than eggs. And the owl's mood changed throughout each night, its eyes varying in intensity and color.

EDC Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas 2013 Main Stage PHOTO: The massive wings of the Insomniac owl would, with the changing of each DJ, fold, embrace and hide the finishing DJ and then open to reveal the next.

But this is like the Disneyland of "EDM” here. There's so much to see and only three days to do it. That may seem like long enough to explore every inch of the event, but even a week later we're hearing about attractions we never found but were there...somewhere. As we make our way around the Speedway, there's a vibe not unfamiliar to these large "EDM” events - people are happy to be there, many of them dressed up for the event, many dressed casually and many just not dressed very much. ;) Most are colorful and energetic, and Insomniac seems to really support and encourage this, referring to the attendees as their "Headliners.”

EDC Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas 2013 Headliners Guests PHOTO: "Headliners" at Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas 2013

ShoutDRIVE wasn't just there to see big name DJs this year- we met with some headliners of our own including ShoutDRIVE fans who came to Vegas from as far as New Jersey, Michigan, New York City and beyond. But we weren't there just to hob nob with headliners, we made our venture to Vegas to bring you live coverage from EDC in the form of photos, live audio updates and artist interviews via the ShoutPlayer! If you had your eyes and ears on ShoutDRIVE during EDC Vegas, you enjoyed quite a treat. Even Sander van Doorn stopped by for a live update backstage right after playing for (an estimated) 50,000 people.

Sander van Doorn EDC Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas 2013 PHOTO: Sander van Doorn on the main stage before joining ShoutDRIVE live on our audio stream

By the end of day three, our "missions” were complete so we took some time to let RUSKO dazzle our senses and watch the final fireworks show of the weekend. Just like that, our three day adventure had come to an end and it was time to head home to Los Angeles. In total, roughly 115,000 attendees made it to EDC each day. It was a pleasure to be part of that number and enjoy this incredible event.

EDC Electric Daisy Carnival Fireworks PHOTO: EDC says goodbye to ShoutDRIVE with an impressive (and lengthy) show of fireworks

So, let's get down to statistics here. My favorite performances from artists I've seen before came from Carl Cox, Sander van Doorn, Tiesto and Sebastian Ingrosso. DJs I hadn't seen before who caught my attention (and I'll definitely keep an ear on) are UMEK, Fedde Le Grand and Richie Hawtin. As you can probably tell, Insomniac's lineup of DJs was really more of a melting pot this year than ever, no doubt resulting from CEO Pasquale Rotella's announcement last year about wanting to reintroduce the roots on which he founded his company. Skeptical about the announcement at the time, we saw him walk his talk and it was impressive. UMEK, Carl Cox and Richie Hawtin on the main prime North America? Impressive.

ShoutDRIVE UMEK EDC Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas 2013 PHOTO: ShoutDRIVE's Ares chats with techno legend UMEK

This year's "EDC Anthems" seemed to be:
  • Henrik B/Niklas Gustavsson/Peter Johansson - Echoes (YouTube)
  • Lana Del Rey - Summertime Sadness (Cedric Gervais Remix) (YouTube)
  • Sebastian Ingrosso/Tommy Trash/John Martin - Reload (YouTube)
  • Bingo Players - Buzzcut (YouTube)
  • Zedd/Foxes - Clarity (Tiesto Remix) (YouTube)

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NEXT: See ShoutDRIVE's full photo gallery from Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas 2013 →