Written By Mitch Tilley and Michael Placencia with excerpts from Raytrill
There are special moments that happen in one’s life that become a defining experience, allotting them memories that will last forever. One of the most widely shared of these moments is spelled out by three simple letters: E-D-C.
Even as I sit on the plane ride to Las Vegas, I find myself wondering how I’ll even do such a festival as massive as this enough justice with words. But for those who have experienced EDC to the fullest before, you’ll know why such a journey can leave you speechless. This year didn’t let up with the creativity, scope, and scale of what makes this Electric Daisy Carnival something to be a part of every year.
Experience at EDC 2017
Notes from Raytrill: EDC is an experience that changes people’s lives forever. Appearing through the entrance that opens up to Cosmic Meadows takes your breath away. Walking through EDC is a mind boggling fairy tale of lights, fireworks, costumes and surrealism. Love fills the air and happiness envelopes you in a blanket of pure comfort evoking many to utter, “I am home!” Nobody can truly put this experience into words but we have set out to try.
KineticFIELD was crowded as ever this year, but I still managed to catch glimpses of Armin van Buuren and Tiesto’s sets. Even though crowded, there is ample room for large groups to stand without being packed in like sardines. Maiden’s set however, I had to catch on the screens compromising Carnival Square, there were even crowds building around each of the screens that were live streaming every set from every stage at Carnival Square! The pyrotechnics for KineticFIELD as well as all the other stages were nothing short of spectacular, every set I saw seemed perfectly synced with the fireworks exploding overhead.
There were so many little details to notice about EDC this year compared to other years. Aesthetics such as memory lane showing footage from past EDC’s, the new carnival rides such as bumper cars, ferris wheels, random performers wandering the festival grounds and who could forget the Pac Man ghosts making their way about like usual?
Newest Addition: Quantum Valley
Last year, Dreamstate took over Circuit Grounds on Day 3 for the first time, but this year Dreamstate brought a never-before-seen stage to EDC, called “Quantum Valley”. Insomniac’s dedicated trance brand, Dreamstate, created a stage to feature only trance artists while packing it with amazing production. For 3 full days, Quantum Valley transformed the massive purple structure with its memorizing lasers, futuristic dancers, and riveting sound system. Originally, Dreamstate started in Southern California back in November 2015 and has made appearances in 4 countries and this will be its fifth appearance at EDC.
Noteworthy First Timers: Rezz, Nitti Gritti, Hekler, Paz, Corporate Slackrs,
Shoutout to REZZ for playing her first ever set at EDC this year. She debuted some great new tracks that are sure to impress those who have eagerly been awaiting her new album. The last few minutes of her set made my spine tingle with psychedelic goodness, as is expected of REZZ.
Notes From Raytrill: I ruthlessly forced my entire squad to the last set we would see of day 2, Nitti Gritti, Being such a huge fan of his tracks I expected nothing short of insanity; I got what I wanted. As we boarded the Parliament Art Car (Thank you Griffin) to a packed owls nest of fans, Nitti Gritti blew our minds. This was, without a doubt, my favorite set of the weekend. Nasty hybrid trap drops and mind altering transitions proved Nitti Gritti should be on everyone’s watch list this year.
Best Art Car: Parliament
Nestled in the back corner of KineticFIELD, Insomniac featured its newest art car to headliners as they arrived from the EDC shuttles. Trap Nation and Brownies & Lemonade did takeovers on the art car and threw down some surprise b2b sets. The Parliament art car featured a 55-foot mobile dance floor decked out with four RGB lasers, four flame cannons, a massive Funktion-One sound system, and a 360-degree LED “nest” that houses a 16-foot owl guardian.
Best Surprise Guests: Lil Jon, Skellism, Drake, G-Easy, DJ Sven (Seven Lions), Kaskade
While Lil Jon and Skellism turned up with Flosstradamus at Circuit Grounds (Floss had a mosh pit I had the “luxury” of getting caught in), Drake tag teamed with Metro Boomin at Bass Pod for three songs. Even G-Easy made an appearance during Jauz’s set. Two of the more known “surprise” sets, due to social media, were Seven Lions and Kaskade. Seven Lions played a surprise psytrance set under the alias DJ Sven on the new Parliament Art Car. Jeff did the same thing last year as DJ Sven, but he played on the Kalliope Art Car. Kaskade played a two-hour sunrise set this year on the Kalliope Art Car to close out Day 3.
Notes from Raytrill: FuckSalt, most fans guessed correctly was Snails, who threw down a surprise b2b set with Botnek at the Kalliope Art car.. incredible! Kayzo also appeared there to a crowd that looked like the size of a circuit grounds crowd. Ookay popped up at Corona Electric beach and played an incredibly intimate set to about 100 people along with Dirtyphonics and Kayzo.
Best Stage: Cosmic Meadows
60-feet tall, 250-feet wide, 600 LED panels, and 478 lighting fixtures……Cosmic Meadows catered to all genres. Beyond the technology, Cosmic Meadows is also centrally located near food, alcohol, bathrooms, vendors, walking paths to other stages, and even grandstand seating. Some chose to sit and rest a little closer to the stage on the soft, cool grass that covered the dance floor. Every year, I watch at least one set during the fireworks because the view is absolutely magical. Many Headliners walk extra to the grandstand security entrance just for that quintessential EDC photo of Cosmic Meadows with the fireworks and all of the EDC stages.
Best Production: Porter Robinson
Porter’s set may have started a bit soft & slow for my usual taste, but he truly finished strong with “Language”. The fireworks, the pyrotechnics, everything went perfectly with the music and show he gave us. The goosebumps I got once “Language” came on gave me such a sensory overload I felt as if every emotion imaginable was about to pour out of my body. I teared up in happiness in those final moments and that’s something that I rarely ever do. The crowd for this set was among the largest I’ve ever seen in my life. Even the stands behind the crowd I was in were filled from top to bottom! For Porter Robinson to be able to give me these feels through his music and the story he tells within sets like the one he gave at EDC, I truly can’t help but applaud him. Especially with his closing statement at the end, “I’ve played a lot of EDCs, but this one absolutely takes the fucking cake. Thank you guys so, so much.”
Best b2b Sets: Audien b2b 3LAU, Herobust b2b Monxx, Skism b2b Trampa, Chode Gang, Alison Wonderland B2B Diplo B2B Jauz
It’s VERY note worthy here that this was Monxx’s first US performance. Herobust sacrificed a solo EDC set to bring success to Monxx’s name. What a guy! Also, not everyone is aware, but Chode Gang is Virtual Riot b2b Dubloadz b2b Barely Alive.
Most Surprising Set: Bonnie x Clyde
Bonnie X Clyde played three separate sets throughout the weekend and showcased their unparalleled teamwork at each set. The duo fired up the dance floor at Upside Down House on Friday, surprised their fans with a Corona Electric Beach set, and a set melted the decks of the new Parliament Art Car during Trap Nation’s takeover on Saturday.
Bonnie pointed out that “Our Trap Nation set was super unique and wonky. We played a lot of experimental trap tracks and explored a different vibe, but everyone loved it.” Even with the different vibe, Bonnie x Clyde brought together more than 3,000 people to their art car set!
Favorite Sets For The 3 Of Us:
- Afrojack, Ghastly, NGHTMRE, GTA, Bijou, Zedd, RL Grime, Skism b2b trampa, Junkie Kid, Aazar, Quix
- Porter Robinson, Oliver Heldens, Gareth Emery, W&W, Rufus Du Sol, Alison Wonderland, Mr Carmack, Chode Gang, Snails, Boombox Cartel, Cosmic Gate, Angelz, Fuck Salt b2b Botnek, Nitti Gritti, Bonnie X Clyde, Kayzo, Ookay @ Corona Beach
- Slander, Rezz, Axwell ^ Ingrosso, Seven Lions, Flosstradamus, Metro Boomin’, Alison Wonderland B2B Diplo B2B Jauz, Slander, k?d, BTSM, Getter, Yellow Claw, Vini Vici, Joyryde, Excision, G Jones, Herobust, YDG,
Note Worthy Performances
Boombox was another crowd-pleaser as track after track that was dropped astounded me and got me moving, raging, and throwing trap arms every which way.
Slander has one of the most incredible sets I have ever heard from them, Bringing out SAYMYNAME
Bijou, a new face of bass house, made his debut at EDC to a full crowd! if you enjoy Malaa, you’ll love bijou!
RL Grime was as Godly as ever.
Kayzo surprised us all by playing to a packed out crowd at the Kalliope art car!
Metro Boomin; was the surprise hip hop act that absolutely slayed EDC and made up for DJ Khaled’s train wreck
Vini Vici closed out Day 3 with an amazing Psy Trance performance.
Getter dropped Ski Mask the Slump God and caused one of the largest Wall’s of death during EDC.
Food & Drinks: superb
I happily lived off of Pizza from Carnival Square most of my time during EDC, and was NOT disappointed. The pizza wasn’t really expensive at all and filled me up. Drinks were a different story but I find I survive the 3 day experience out in that hot Nevada desert a lot easier by just drinking water at the fest rather than the usual beer & alcohol. Pre-gaming is essential for EDC, but do it with caution of course, the intense heat can dehydrate even the most professional of drinkers. Regardless, food & drinks weren’t too heavily overpriced depending on what you got. The LARGE assortment of food trucks was essential; with countless options to choose from they had something to please everyone’s foodie desires. Corndogs and Fried Mac & Cheese eggrolls satisfied my hunger pains.
Merchandise stands were also well stocked more than they were last year, which I appreciated.
Most Disappointing Set: DJ Khaled
DJ Khaled started his set 20 minutes after it was supposed to begin, but he only stayed on for a short period due to sound and production difficulties. “They cut my time short and they had me back stage for a hour and half and the sound kept breaking,” wrote Khaled. Fans booed and chanted “Yellow Claw” later when DJ Khaled claimed on stage they were in California and then played Tupac’s song “California Love.”
Despite Khaled’s experience at the Cosmic Meadow stage, it was reported that other artists experienced production setbacks, including Marshmello and Chet Porter. Pasquale Rotella later commented that “[DJ Khaled] arrived on time and ready to rock the crowd, but equipment issues delayed the performance. Even though there were technical difficulties, he still got on stage and showed his fans love.”
Areas that need improvement next year: Granted, with a festival as amazing as EDC, Insomniac does a more than worthy job of organizing such a massive experience. There are hardly any cons to discuss, however, shuttles were an issue this year. A lot of shuttle riders reported that buses took more than 3-4 hours just to depart from the festival grounds. Another minor complaint were the water lines, but honestly I had no problem getting water. I waited no more than 10 mins most of the time. Restrooms were my only issue, as the lines seemed longer than ever this year, but luckily the wait was never too much. Probably the biggest disappointment was how trashed the festival grounds were by day 3… it seemed like no one was around to clean up or change the trash out. Our suggestion, hire more roamers/custodians.
As stated before, there simply is no way of doing EDC Justice in just a review alone because a festival like this is one of those rare cases where you, the reader, must experience it for yourself one day. EDC has become an annual tradition for my group of friends and I, but it has also become something more for me: An inspiration! A collective of art in its purest form. Until next year, I’ll be re-living those unforgettable moments I experienced this year through the many pictures and videos I captured while at EDC. The wait may be long, but you can bet you’ll see me under the electric sky in 2018! Hope each person who reads this will be there too.
For more coverage, video, and live sets from EDC, please feel free to visit Michael’s YouTube channel with the link provided or EDC’s own youtube channel:
EDC Week Interview – DJ Mondo
Home Town: Tampa, FL (currently living in Las Vegas, NV)
DJ Residencies: Hakkasan Group (Hakkasan Nightclub, Omnia Nightclub, Wet Republic, and Jewel night club)
Years DJ’ing: almost 20 years
Years Producing: 15 years
DJ Style / Genre: I started out as a breakbeat DJ, Florida funky breaks to be exact. But I never was just a 1 genre type of DJ. I love all styes of dance music. I currently play all styles of house music and also big room and electro house. But like I said. I love all genres.
Where do you draw your creativity and inspiration from for your music: I like to listen to other DJ’s play. When I hear a good set it inspires me to just get new music and keep learning. You never stop learning to be a DJ. Im constantly looking for new music and just keeping my sets fresh.
How does EDC week affect you and what’s your favorite part: Well EDC week here in Vegas is crazy. So many people come from all over the world to Vegas and especially during EDC week. My favorite part of EDC is getting to know people who really love EDM and dance music. Everyone is hyped up and in turn hypes me up for my DJ sets.
Have you attended any prior Insomniac events (including EDC Vegas): Yes, over the years I’ve DJ’d for events sponsored by Insomniac. They have been around for a long time and really know how to throw top class events.
What advice would you offer someone thinking about becoming a producer and/or DJ: Being a producer and being a DJ is two totally different things. Being a great producer of tracks doesn’t make you a great DJ. Being a DJ takes years of experience and a good DJ knows how to read crowds and play accordingly. Being able to adjust your set at any given moment is key. I can play a jamming set on Friday night, but that same set might not work on Saturday night. Being able to adjust and read the crowd is key. That’s why someone like Tiesto has been around for so long. He was a great DJ first before becoming also a great producer.
What are you most excited about for the future of EDM: EDM is constantly evolving. 20 years ago there was no dubstep or trap genres. They have evolved over the years and I’m excited to see what EDM is going to evolve into in the future.
Beatport Profile – http://dj.beatport.com/djmondo
Website – http://www.djmondomusic.com/