Check out our Pre-EDC lineup and festival expectations, and see why it's America's Largest Music Festival!
EDC Las Vegas: America’s Largest Music Festival for Second Consecutive Year
If You Ain’t First, You’re Last.
Whoever coined the idiom: ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ must have been a raver-oracle, who foresaw Electric Daisy Carnival’s colossally magnificent music festival. Previous articles have detailed its New York/Jersey step-child (not implying negativity), but the headlining destination within Las Vegas Motor Speedway is unmatched by nearly every other music festival in the country. How many music festivals showcase: outdoor clubs, pool parties, DJ sets from headliners scheduled for the festival, three days before the festival begins (Ultra earns an honorable mention for Miami Music Week)? Moreover, those headlining DJs will drop the bass in many of the Las Vegas nightclubs throughout the week for those who slept fifteen minutes too late on ticket-release day. This week, for our pre-EDC edition, we want to highlight some of our most anticipated sets for the epic weekend in the city that buries our indiscretions deeply beneath its arid desert.
Offering twice as many stages in comparison to last month’s New York/Jersey thunderstruck production, EDC Las Vegas is expected to rage the nights away with more than 400,000 people from around the world. Transforming the home of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series into acres of carnival-themed entertainment, Pasquale Rotella has exceeded last year’s attendance numbers, of which granted him provider of the largest music festival in the country; and including most of the scene’s best DJs was certainly not an easy variable when creating the schedule. As seen through hundreds of internet memes about choosing between simultaneous sets of your favorite DJ, Rotella has constructed a timetable that certifies his supernatural party-throwing prowess. His festival is distinguished from competitors by the 10+ hour festival-day—of which little daylight is actually experienced. Friday Night calmly shuffles us into the mood with Oliver Heldens on kineticFIELD, and increasing the bpm with 3LAU, Laidback Luke, Armin van Buuren, and Borgore. For the professional ragers already prepared by the pre-festival pool parties, Wax Motif and Chocolate Puma make some noise like a rubberband lazer on the cosmicMEADOW and circuitGROUNDS stages.
If you find yourself open to the notion of listening to DJs outside of your norm, Friday’s lineup is comprised of some fantastic up-and-coming artists, spanning across all genre preferences. For those who prefer the rhythmically down-tempo’d house: raise your bpm’s with Tommie Sunshine on STAGE 7, Quintino on circuitGROUNDS, or Cedric Gervais on kineticFIELD. And for those electro-lovers who ‘can’t even’ before the bass drops: drop it down harder with Diplo on cosmicMEADOW, Yellow Claw on circuitGROUNDS, Datsik on the bassPOD, or Disco Fries on STAGE 7. Thirdly, for the ragers daring enough to overstep the boundaries of mainstreamed genre—check out these producers who are expected to unleash some incredible sets on their CDJs: Madeon on cosmicMEADOW, Luciano on neonGARDEN, Kove on bassPOD, Astral Projection on bassCON, and Paris Burns on the discoveryPROJECT stage.
Considering the atmosphere and lineup of a three-day (weekend) music festival, Saturday’s is presumed to be the most extravagant. Provided that Avicii’s organs remain unclogged, and that “Hey Brother” doesn’t get ‘woken up,’ his midnight set on the circuitGROUNDS stage will be a can’t-miss. Luckily, he is scheduled to follow the incredible duo—Cazzette—rather than Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, who are among the newest defendants charged with using pre-recorded sets. More positively, we are to expect enormous sets from EDC’s Main Stage (kineticFIELD) headliners: Gareth Emery; DJ Snake; Kaskade; Tiësto; Alesso; and a Sunday, sunrise-welcoming—Martin Garrix.
At 51 years old, I hope that I can rage even half as hard as Carl Cox continues to do in his 30+ year DJ career. His DJ sovereignty has even granted him Stage Host for electronic music festivals around the world. This year, Friday and Saturdays’ neonGARDEN stage will be hosted by the prolific DJ—even featuring a 1.5 hour set both nights. His 2:30AM Saturday set lies between Loco Dice and Umek, whose techno-house vibes will certainly bounce within the decorated overhang. In addition to Carl Cox’s set(s)—emphasized—due to his venerated position within the electronic music scene, there are several Saturday Night sets that should also be considered (only if: 1. You have previously seen Carl Cox live at festival earlier this year; or 2. You raged at his Friday set). There are plenty of hardstyle/dubstep and trance producers on the schedule for this year: Seven Lions, Ookay, Bro Safari, Excision, and Infected Mushroom, on the bassPOD stage; while Astrix, Andrew Rayel, and Paul Oakenfold, trance the sun into bringing good Sunday Morning vibes from the bassCON stage.
Just when sleep deprivation would normally reach incapacitating levels, Sunday’s lineup for EDC’s three largest stages will bring the feels to keep you going into Monday Morning. There is an incredible science to Rotella’s set schedule—resembling the artistry of a professional DJ. The same way a truly talented DJ plays for their specific audience, on that specific night, Rotella constructed a schedule that will rage hard into the small hours, and taper into peaceful vibrations before sending everyone home to ‘sleep.’ One of the most anticipated sets of the festival will be Sunday’s (semi)reunion of Swedish House Mafia; Axwell ˄ Ingrosso will coalesce as two-thirds of their retired Mafia. Supplemented with eclectic sets from Deorro, Mat Zo, Above & Beyond, W&W, New World Punx, and Dash Berlin, it will be difficult to leave Sunday Night’s kineticFIELD. Located immediately through the festival’s main entrance on the Speedway, cosmicMEADOW’s Sunday Night lineup will feature: Henry Fong, Alex Metric, Bassnectar, Dillon Francis, GTA, and wrapping up the festival with multi-genre producers—DVBBS. Directly across cosmicMEADOW, the circuitGROUNDS bring the sun down with: MOTi (also scheduled on STAGE 7), Jeremy Olander & Fehrplay, Alvaro, and Clockwork. When the stars in the sky outnumber the ravers below them, professional closers: Eric Prydz, Calvin Harris, R3hab, Tommy Trash, and PvD, seal this year’s book of EDC memories.
Trying not to simply regurgitate the numerous high-profile performers on the schedule, there are so many decisions to be made—with potentially devastating consequences. There is nothing worse than raging to your favorite DJs closing set—of whom you picked over your second-favorite—and they have an ‘off night,’ while the latter produced the most talked about set of the festival.
Oh, and they will be officiating marriages too—it’s on Mysteryland.