Thursday, June 23, 2011

Electric Daisy Carnival: Viva Las Vegas! The Preview (Las Vegas, Tiesto, and the new hub for EDM)


 The Event

ahhh the calm before the storm.  I'm sure right now all is quiet in the desert of Las Vegas, as it's the night before the madness that is the Electric Daisy Carnival.  Being the first time that this massive has hit Vegas, It's really great to see the city has welcome the event and the culture with open arms.  The city has even gone so far as to declare this past week "EDC Week".  Check out the press release.  It's no secret that electronic dance music is the rage in pop culture right now, and certainly a big ticket for any city to attract tourism.  The kick, however, is what kind of tourism.  The rest of the country has pretty much deemed this event an abomination of drugs and dangerous behavior.  Don't believe me?  Check this out.  EDC is feared to be a "dangerous drug fest" by most of the nation, as so aptly put by that news article from Colorado.  The sad truth is, not much changed about this year to make them change their opinion as detox centers were pretty busy.  LA couldn't handle it, Colorado feared it, and now we most recently lost another ally in Dallas.  Dallas embraced it last year, only to be marred with the same kind of bad press the Los Angeles event last year suffered with a death and over a dozen hospitalized: read it here.  Yet through it all, the general feeling about this weekend in Las Vegas is a good one.

City of Sin is now City of EDM
 What makes this particular city so different to embrace the event even with such bad press?  Even after all the negative banter about EDC and dance music as a whole, the general vibe looking into this weekend's festivities is a good one.  The promoter Insomniac is excited, the DJ's are excited, the fans are especially excited, and the city is expecting a huge turn out of EDM enthusiasts from around the country ready to relish in the good times.  Well for one thing, Las Vegas embraces all forms of tourism.  EDM is hot right now, which means EDM is money.  Vegas likes money; Vegas wants money; Vegas wants ALL your money.  That's just how it is.  Thousands of young adults ready to dance the night away means hotels make money, restaurants make money, stores make money, casinos make money (for those over 21), and clubs make money.  Clubs like Marquee, Tryst, XS, and Rain have centered all their events this weekend around EDC.  They know what's happening this weekend.  Is it a coincidence that the most popular clubs in Vegas these days have EDM DJ's spinning on the regular?  I don't think so.  It has become the new capitol for dance music, with several credible magazines calling it "the new Ibiza".  It all makes sense.  And all bad press aside, this will be a huge money maker for the city and a positive thing for us (especially if nobody dies).  This festival is the last chance we have to improve the image of the scene.  Be happy for the good news: Las Vegas has embraced dance music, and we should embrace them back accordingly.


Now, all sentimental mumbo jumbo aside, whose excited??  I know I sure as hell am.  I will be touching down into LAS at 7:30 am tomorrow morning (early as hell in layman's terms).  Hope to check in, relax a bit, soak some sun poolside, rest some more, and be ready for a looong night because this is going to be one hell of a ride.  If you haven't seen the construction and the pictures of the fairgrounds, don't be a fool and go check out the pictures right now at http://www.electricdaisycarnival.com.  Also make sure to check this out:



If you aren't excited after seeing that....something must be wrong with you.  For organization of the event, I really have to praise everything that Insomniac has done differently with the west coast chapter of EDC this year's go around.  Free water stations, free parking, shuttle service from the strip, and lockers....all key events for a successfully safe night.

The Talent

Remember that little piece I wrote about the acts that I wanted to be there?  I was 4 for 5!  Markus Schulz, Benny Benassi, Dada Life, and Tiesto will all be there!  Daft Punk...let's be honest, I know it was a nearly impossible request, but I'm sure Insomniac did the right thing by at least reaching out to them.


I'd have to say I'm most excited about seeing Tiesto.  The man is a legend, and no other word can do justice when describing who he is, what he's done for dance music, and his body of work.  Nothing short of legendary.  I haven't seen him perform since 2008 in San Francisco during the now infamous weekend of the new defunct ETD POP.  For those that live in the Bay Area, the "power went out" 1 hour into the set only to find out it was most likely due to police intervention that the event was shut down.  Fast forward to the 8:30 mark:



Anybody that went to Ruby Skye afterward saw a rarity: a Gouryella reunion as Ferry Corsten let Tiesto hit the decks with him side by side; taking turns with tracks.  What a night.... oh yeah I'm getting sidetracked.  Anyway that was about the time of the Elements of Life album, and his style has certainly changed since then.  He is the definition of a big room DJ and I'm sure he still knocks it out of the park every time.  I can't wait to see what his live show looks like right now.  Although he's pretty much abandoned his trance roots entirely and has embraced house music to the fullest, it is refreshing to see he has reinvented himself.  Which brings me to another point....


EDC is all about house music!  Let me repeat....EDC is all about house music.  While the lineup has a broad range, look at 90% of the main stage acts (aka the money makers).  They know the music trends.  Look at least year's insane pop culture popularity with Lil Jon and Black Eyed Peas joining Benny Benassi.  Look at the circuit grounds on Sunday (the Trance day).  All of those top draw trance DJ's (Ferry, Markus, ATB, JOC) would be on the main stage at any other festival around the world.  That's just the nature of the business in the United States.   It's nice to see that they haven't forgotten about the minorities though.  Trance (the whole Sunday at circuit grounds), Dubstep (Skrillex), and Techno (Umek), and DnB (i honestly haven't checked for it) are all represented.

 
In closing, let me just say that I hope everybody has a great weekend and I wish you all a safe and incredible journey through this electronic music odyssey.  This will certainly be one for the history books and as the feeling was least year, we are all part of something incredible being brought together for our love for electronic music.  Oh and to my good friends in the TranceMafia and TranceFamilySF, please believe I'll be wearing my bracelet ;).  Ciao and Cheers!

~Mark

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