Yesterday the first day of Electric Daisy Carnival aka EDC kicked off, marking the festival's 20th anniversary. It's grown a lot over the years, having gone from drawing 5000 attendees in its first year, back in 1997, to 134,000 concert goers per day in 2016. Not only is EDC the biggest electronic music festival outside of Europe, it's also the flashiest. On Friday, its neon-and-fireworks-lit stages hosted the likes of Kaskade, Alesso, Hardwell and many others. Catch up on all of the highlights from Day One below.
10. THE FEST GOT A LATE START
Electric Daisy Carnival was scheduled open doors at 7 p.m. sharp, but things were running behind schedule on the first night. Doors may have opened a half hour late on the first night, but at least everyone who piled into Las Vegas' Motor Speedway was greeted by blaring music and performers. Some were lucky enough to enter past a drumline of jubilant clowns. An even luckier select few made it to the carnival rides before lines became insanely long.
9. SURPRISE! THERE'S NO COSMIC OWL
Although the kineticFIELD, aka EDC's mainstasge, featured owl guards on either side this year, it did not have the festival's signature Cosmic Owl as its centerpiece. Instead a giant lotus looking structure titled "The Tree of Imagination" radiated an LED light show throughout the evening and was the fixture for the fest's flagship pyrotechnic shows. Turns out EDC producer Insomniac is transforming the kineticFIELD into the kineticTEMPLE. Insomniac describes the stage as "an ancient temple of the owl community, surrounded by technology of the future"
8. THE OTHER STAGES
With the lack of EDC's signature Cosmic Owl, people were more open to exploring other stages. The bassPOD stage had giant fire-spitting geometric conduits, while circuitGROUNDS featured pillars of LED screens. Both were filled to the brim with festgoers throughout the evening. Those lucky enough to get off the long line and into the tiny Smirnoff House were treated to intimate DJ sets where the crowd was able to get so close that they could probably touch the producers if they wanted.
Kaskade's main set at the circuit grounds was a highlight for many, especially after he made it rain fake money with printed with his face in place of Benjamin Franklin's. There was so much to take in on Day One, that some may be surprised to learn the DJ played a second, secret set on the outskirts of the festival grounds at 3:30 a.m. It pays at EDC to stay up late!
6. A TRIBUTE TO CHRISTINA GRIMMIE
Jauz took a moment at the end of his set to play a Christina Grimmie song, while requesting that everyone put their hands up with peace signs in memory of the pop artist who was tragically shot last week in Florida.
5. A TRIBUTE TO ORLANDO
Right after Jauz's tribute to Grimmie, Jason Bentley came out and led the crowd in a minute of silence to remember the lives of those lost last weekend at Pulse Orlando.
4. WHEN MOBY CAME OUT AND NO ONE CARED
At the very end of a celebratory fireworks show for EDC's 20th anniversary, a shirtless Moby came out on stage fist-pumping. It might have been cool if he spun, or did something other than making really intense faces while raising his arms in the air, but he didn't. Also no one in the crowd seemed to know who he was, with very few cheering upon his entrance. Before Moby could even leave the stage the crowd already was chanting "ALESSO" in anticipation of the Swedish producer's set. Poor Moby, the young folks don't know your greatness!
3. MEMORY LANE
Aside from a nightly 20th year anniversary tribute at the mainstage, there was a LED tunnel along the Neon Garage and Carnival Square resting areas where a video montage of all the EDC's past played throughout the evening.
2. PEOPLE PARTIED TOO HARD IN THE BALL PIT
Insomniac is infamous for having ball pits at their festivals. This EDC it was in VIP area near the kineticFIELD, but it seems people were having too much fun with the pit because they quickly inspired rules banning jumping and throwing balls. That didn't stop people from taking dozens of selfies under piles of balls though, or sneaking a ball fight when the security guard's back was turned.
1. EDC TOWN
EDC has a little village complete with wedding chapel and post office every year. This year though EDC Town included a second wedding chapel, an old west style saloon, a school where Headliners (that's what insomniac calls its attendees) could do preschool-style arts and crafts, and an Electric Sky Theater featuring more eclectic performances such as beatboxer/keyboardist robbie FITZSIMMONS who played for 4 hours.