Insomniac celebrated its 25th anniversary for its iconic Electric Daisy Carnival and celebrated its 10th anniversary with the event held in Las Vegas. As EDC Las Vegas is one of the biggest EDM festivals in the world, I was in the field to experience this monumental moment and this innovative technology firsthand. Let’s dive in.
To give a bit of history on EDC, it was first held in 1997 and debuted at the Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles. As the festival expanded outside of accommodation in Los Angeles, EDC visited Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011. Held for its first year in Vegas, Mayor Oscar Goodman declared a full week of events Electric Daisy in the city.
With the expansion of the grounds, more stages and interactions, EDC Las Vegas has become a fixture in the EDM festival community. Insomniac has done a remarkable job innovating year after year to deliver the most enhanced experience to its headliners (participants).
From October 22 to 24, EDC Las Vegas hosted more than 450,000 headliners this weekend. With headliners from Kaskade, 3LAU, DJ Diesel (Shaquille O’Neal) and more, the weekend was filled with good vibes and dance music.
Artist and music producer Diplo surprised attendees with an appearance by Lil Nas X to perform three of his hit songs. Lil Nas X wasn’t the only cameo of the weekend. DJ Snake surprised the crowd with performing artist The Kid LAROI to perform “Stay” and “Without You”.
The duration of the festival began with an opening ceremony every day from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Once the ceremony was over, the headliners would dance from dusk to dawn, closing each day at 5:30 a.m. With nearly two years for Insomniac to plan for this anniversary and make it the most memorable weekend for their headliners, the event’s production made EDC Las Vegas 2021 the best festival I’ve attended. .
Participants were required to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results at least 72 hours before arriving at EDC. Now the question is, have they really checked for the proper vaccination and testing?
I had purchased a top notch shuttle pass for the weekend. A premier shuttle pass has a designated festival pickup time and departure time. In addition, with the Premier Shuttle Pass, a security check has been carried out before boarding a shuttle so that upon arrival at the festival, you are already authorized to enter the venue.
On the first day, I was delighted with the thoroughness with which the team checked the vaccination and the tests. The security team took their time to check everyone’s bags and belongings. Some people online were frustrated that it took a little over 30 seconds to be cleared by security. But, I appreciated this to ensure the safety of everyone entering the festival.
Once your vaccination or test has been reviewed, you will be given a bracelet specifically stating that your requirements have been verified. It was something you had to wear throughout the weekend if you used the shuttle. Even with this bracelet, they continued to perform the same vaccination and test check every day, as well as a thorough safety check. A bonus to this top-notch shuttle was an EDC 2021 fanny pack, and they also provided bottled water and snacks for those in the line.
This was my experience with the first shuttle, although security was supposed to be a different experience for festival goers entering the venue through the standard entrance doors. Participants expressed online that they believed security could have been tighter and checked everyone more than them.
As I entered the festival grounds, I was blown away by everything that was going on at the same time. Guests were able to stroll through Memory Lane, an alley with illuminated screens to walk around and see the highlights of EDC history. As this was EDC’s 10th edition at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, they decided to expand the use of the site’s land.
There were eight stages, several art carts that performers perform on, theater performers touring the festival, and plenty of headliner attractions. The queues at each scene were, in a way, organized by categories for separate subgenres. within the EDM. The kineticFIELD was overwhelming to live the first hour. I have never known such a big scene with so much to absorb.
It wasn’t just an ordinary scene with a giant screen. There were beautiful art sculptures and the great owl with screen eyes that sometimes moved to the beat of the music. At this point you could also witness the magnificent drone show which fascinated everyone in the crowd which was a highlight of the weekend.
More than 600 drones lit up the skies to celebrate the 25th anniversary. I was hoping Insomniac would include this for EDCLV as I got a taste of the drone show at the Day Trip Festival in July.
As you hover over the kineticFIELD, you’ll find the drone show followed by EDC’s famous fireworks display. The combination of the two was truly magical. I almost felt like I was in Disneyland watching the fireworks (but even better). Every day there was a new soundtrack curated for the drone show. It was a great way to change the pace and not tire the show people on day three. Drones would illustrate the different stages and themes that have been used throughout EDC’s history.
Thank you for a truly transformative first night! ❤️ Please go home safely and rest your mind for day 2.🌈⚡️ # EDCLV2021
TRACK ID: Jason Ross & Blanke – One More Day ft. Chandler Leighton pic.twitter.com/u6bZgI585z
– EDC Las Vegas (@EDC_LasVegas) 23 October 2021
Different from the beautiful sculptures of the kineticFIELD scene, one scene has established itself as the most immersive for headliners. The circuitGROUNDS scene was impactful with its immersive structure.
With a rounded stage and screens all around, there was no escaping the music and visuals of this stage. They had improved the set from their 2019 setup. Insomniac is continuously innovating with its production at every festival to ensure the most enhanced experiences for its headliners and keep up with technology with its stages.
There was no shortage of innovative technologies and sponsors that enhanced the attendee experience. EDC partnered with Coinbase and had an immersive setup to engage in the NFT space.
As NFTs continue to grow in arts and entertainment culture, having Coinbase at the festival to engage with headliners was a given. Participants were able to visit the Coinbase tent and search for a new NFT every day. Along with this, attendees were able to claim their own 25th anniversary and an NFT coin to commemorate this monumental moment in EDC history.
Additionally, with the rise of the Metaverse, EDCLV 2021 became the first music festival to partner with Roblox and allowed people to attend the festival via the Metaverse. The space was called World Party, and fans enjoyed the sets on the virtual stages for EDC Weekend. Over 50 performances were presented at the World Party, just a quarter of the in-person lineup of over 200 artists. Within this party in the metaverse, Roblox mimicked a digital version of specific areas of the festival. For example, you can find the circuitGROUNDS stage, cosmicMEADOW stage, Camp EDC, etc.
Not only could you attend virtual sets in Roblox, guests could also earn real and virtual merchandise in the game. This widens the reach and potential attendees at future EDC events or Insomniac events in general. To capitalize even more on EDC Las Vegas’ expanding audience, the weekend livestream was something Insomniac has continued to have over the years. I know this firsthand as I watched live broadcasts over the years before attending for the first time this year.
Event planners should take note of the progress Insomniac continues to make to engage in emerging technologies and the music and arts space. It has been an important year for EDC, not only its 25th anniversary, but also the biggest festival in Insomniac after a difficult year for live music in the face of the pandemic.
The production was a hit out of the park, and I’m sure that with EDC Las Vegas 2022 coming in May, there will be a lot more technology and enhanced experiences for headliners.
Insomniac already went on sale for EDC Las Vegas 2022 tickets in its original season in May. Based on my experience this year and the absence of any security issues or transportation delays, I would suggest the convenience of paying for the shuttle system they have put in place. For all the festivals I’ve been to, shuttle transportation has been the smoothest I’ve come across.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the inclusion and prioritization of the involvement of more technology and immersive experiences for festival-goers with more big festivals coming in 2022. More so, I can’t wait to see the progress and the steps event planners will take after considering and reviewing the progress Insomniac has made this year with EDC Las Vegas 2021.