If you have never been to a live music event, such as a concert or a music fest, then you have never truly experienced the magic of music. As flawless as recorded music may be, it fails to capture the raw passion that exudes from the sound of an artist’s voice or musical instrument. It fails to captivate the crowd with an element of surprise and desired unpredictability. It cannot unite listeners and fans in numbers of tens, hundreds and thousands like live music does.
Electronic Music and Festivals
When it comes to electronic music, live stage performances are absolutely essential to building the brand of an artist or a band. You can come up with chart peaking albums every year, and yet fail to earn the respect of the crowd if you aren’t dedicated enough to head out on tour and perform in a mega sized music festival. Some people say that music festivals are designed to fatten the wallets of the promoters and the sponsors. That may be true to some extent, but it doesn’t change the fact that music festivals are perhaps the best way to let the artist become one with his or her fans. The sheer enjoyment that is reflected in the faces of the fans and the unparallel pride and honour borne in the hearts of the performers makes electronic music festivals a one of a kind phenomenon in the world. It provides a space for the big names in the business to make a statement, a statement that proves their brilliance, excellence and dominance in the field. For the younger, more hopeful artists, this is a platform to rise to the occasion and show the world that they are here to take over from the wily veterans in the business.
Introducing Electric Daisy Carnival
One such music festival that has been garnering a tremendous amount of attention is the Electric Daisy Carnival. Abbreviated to EDC, this music festival is held in the spring, summer and autumn months in the United States, Puerto Rico and the UK as well. (The UK events got off to a late start, and began in 2013). In the year 2014, Mexica was inducted into the short list of the host countries for the prestigious and dynamic Electric Daisy Carnival. The event was conceptualized and established by Insomniac Events and has greeted fans in a number of different locations such Colorado, Nevada, Illinois, California, New York, New Jersey and Texas to name a few. It began as a single day Southern California event. Since then, it has diversified into various venues across various states and countries. The kind of music that is on offer in the EDC is EDM based. As a result, the event puts on display genres such as house, dance, electro, drum and bass, techno, dance punk, hard-style and techno. The modern and expanded version of the event initiated in the year 2012, and within two years it has become a worldwide sensation.
Brief History of EDC
The origins of the Electric Daisy Carnival can be traced back to the year 1997, when a rave by that exact name was held in Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles, California. The catchy name for the event was chosen by Phillip Blaine, one of Insomniac’s partners. The name was actually derived from one of Steve Cool-Aid’s original creations. Blaine and Cool-Aid go a long way back. In the formation years of the event, Southern California was the location that was chosen for the annual electronic music festival. As the years rolled on, the event simply grew in stature. More artists were interested to be a part of this spectacle, while the fans began to flood inside in huge numbers. Soon, the events were taken out of Southern California and introduced to a number of different states in the United States, some of which have been mentioned above already. As the reputation kept peaking, the fans and critics began labelling the event as the American Ibiza. What was truly extraordinary was the fact that it was drawing massive crowd numbers outside of Europe, which is generally considered to have the biggest fan bases of electronic music. The EDC was breaking records left, right and centre and the media was becoming desperate to get a slice of their story. For the organizers, expanding the event to places outside the United States became a no brainer decision. Despite the newness of the venues, the crowd kept flocking in and the artists kept blowing the roof away with their wild and frenzy performances. In little over a decade, the Electric Daisy Carnival had become the talk of the electronic music community. Every artist dreamed of playing there and every fan dreamed of attending a show. With the growing expansion of the event, it is currently making all of those dreams come true thick and fast. Although each and every single event of the EDC is a must watch and can’t miss spectacle, the 2012 and 2010 events hold a special place in the heart of all the attendees for a good number of reasons.
The 2010 EDC
An attendance of 185,000 was registered in the California event of the 2010 EDC. The host city was Los Angeles, and thus the tickets were a wee bit on the expensive side. Despite the costly attendance fees, the fans had no problem in paying between $60 and $100 to book their places in the event. That is how passionate they were about being a part of this musical carnival that would eventually go down in history as one of the best events of the new millennium.
Unfortunately, the California event in 2010 was not without its fair share of controversies. When you have people attending in hundreds and thousands, major and minor problems are always likely to occur. For instance, under-aged attendees (below the age of 16) somehow found crept inside the events to catch a glimpse of their favourite artists performing. There were other far more serious complications during the course of the event as 15 year old girl passed away after taking MDMA. Strict monitoring was imposed on all the events that were remaining on the schedule for the California leg of the 2010 EDC. This also alerted the organizers about being far more meticulous with their security systems in the upcoming events. Since that event, the minimum age for the attendees has been set to 18.
Other events of the EDC 2010 took place in locations such as Colorado where the crowd was entertained by performers such as Caspa, Yoji, Dirty Phonics, AC Slater and many others. As for the event that was held in Texas, 11,000 people were in attendance for the festival.
Another highlight from the EDC 2010 was that the festival returned to Puerto Rico. This time, the organizers had in store a much bigger line up for the enthusiastic crowd. The event was actually hosted inside a stadium and the number of people who showed up for the performances was enormous to say the least. The star studded line up included names that represent the crème of the crop in the field of electronic music. The crowd enjoyed performances from Nero, La Riots, Lady Liquid, Pendulum and will.i.am among the many others who were playing in the event.
The 2012 version of the EDC was another “blast” to say the least. In that year, they made a comeback to the Tinker Field in Orlando. The fans over there were absolutely exhilarated about the event. The show was bound for monumental success. The artists themselves couldn’t resist to express their excitement about performing in front of the outstanding Orlando crowd.
2012 also turned out to be the debut year for EDC in the city of New Jersey. The venue that was selected for the New Jersey event was the iconic Met Life Stadium. This was a massive Electronic Daisy Carnival event and the show was destined for greatness. To live up to the enormous expectations surround the event, the organizers decided to bring in the biggest draws in the industry such as Armin Van Buuren, Steve Angello, Afrojack, Avicii and host of other artists. With such a star studded line up, it came as no surprise that 45,000 people rushed to the Met Life Stadium to be a part of this gigantic festival.
Among other events that made the 2012 EDC hugely successful were the three day Vegas event, which had a grand total attendance of a whopping 320,000 people (approximately 115,000) people per day.
The most recent instalment of the EDC took place in the year 2014. It was hosted in the Las Vegas motor speedway and the attendee count went up to a staggering 345,000. As of now, Electric Daisy Carnival is regarded as the biggest dance festival in North America. It’s popularity has reached titanic proportions to the extent that a documentary film, title Under the Electric Sky, about the festival has premiered at 2014 Sundance Film Festival.