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EDC from A to Z: A guide to the world’s biggest dance music festival

Updated May 16, 2024 - 5:53 pm

It’s here and we’re there.

Again.

Electric Daisy Carnival is back to swallow Las Vegas Motor Speedway whole in a gigantic maw of light and sound and fire and fuzzy boots and the strangely requisite “Where’s Waldo?” costumes.

Oh, and bass — lots and lots of bass.

How to best experience the world’s largest dance music festival?

Glad you asked.

Here’s your guide to EDC from A to Z:

A — Art car alert: Keep an eye on these roving stages where big names perform surprise sets from time to time, like Illenium on the tree-festooned Forest House Art Car in 2021 or Kaskade at the Kalliope Art Car in 2017.

B — B2B sets for days: Among the bevy of back-to-back performances this year: John Summit b2b Green Velvet, ACRAZE b2b Kream, FrostTop b2b RemK, Eli Brown b2b HI-LO, Carl Cox b2b Nicole Moudaber, Peggy Gou b2b Marcel Dettman, and Subtronics b2b Level Up, and many others, including a four-way b2b from Worship (Sub Focus b2b Dimension b2b Culture Shock b2b 1991).

C — Carl Cox is back at EDC for the first time in nine years: The techno pioneer hosts and performs Friday at the neonGARDEN, where his smile will be the only thing bigger than the beats.

D — Deadmau5 playing the cosmicMeadow on Sunday instead of a slot on the kineticFIELD just might equate to the biggest draw ever at said stage: Prepare for madness. And lots of rodent helmets.

E — Ever wonder what it’s like to stroll through the innards of a massive Lite-Brite? Wonder no more, just visit the Pixel Forest.

F — Fourth of July, you’ve been served: EDC’s nightly fireworks displays are so awesomely over-the-top, they put said holiday to shame. Pro tip: Bring a spare pair of retinas.

G — Get there early: Though the festival grounds don’t fully open until 7 p.m., you can enter the speedway hours before that, beat the long lines and hit the cosmicMEADOW stage, which gets going in the late afternoon.

H — Headbang at the bassPOD: Here you don’t dance as much as vibrate in place while the ground rumbles beneath your feet as if a pair of tectonic plates got into a fistfight after school.

I — Insomniac events: The company behind EDC got its start in October 1993 with an event in a warehouse in South Central Los Angeles. It’s bigger now.

J — Just how many people are going to be EDC this weekend? Over 520,000. To borrow a line from famed mathematician Pythagoras, “That’s a lot, bro.”

K — KineticCircle: That’s the theme of EDC 2024. What does it mean? “This theme celebrates the profound impact circles have on our lives – circles of time, circles of trust, and circles of community,” the festival organizer explained in a news release in March. “Embrace the beauty of these circles and cherish every moment shared. The theme will be brought to life through an epic, beautiful stage design that promises to be one of the most memorable ever.” That’s a long way of saying: “Party!” Speaking of which …

L — Let’s not stop partying after a mere 1o hours or so at the speedway: At Hotel EDC at Resorts World, EDM heavy hitters perform all weekend at Ayu Dayclub (DJ Snake, Illenium and Crankdat) and Zouk Nightclub (RL Grime, Kaskade and Kaskade & Deadmau5). You can sleep next week, chief.

M — Marriage: A lot of nuptials take place at EDC, where more than 150 couples got hitched last year alone at the festival’s pair of wedding chapels. You can also unofficially wed a friend — or total stranger, go for it! — at the Commitment Deck.

N — New faces: EDC newcomers this year include Peggy Gou, Mersiv, LAYZ, Tape B, Bou, Lilly Palmer, Trym, Klangkuenstler, Sara Landry, Marcel Dettmann and more, including indie electronic great Four Tet, who’s not to be missed at the circuitGROUNDS on Saturday.

O — Of course Tiesto is back: The superstar Dutchman has held court at the kineticFIELD every Saturday night since EDC debuted in Vegas in 2011. He’s as much of an EDC tradition as barely covered backsides. And on that note…

P — Pants? Who needs ’em? The one and only instance in which the adage “less is more” applies to EDC is when it comes to clothing.

Q — Question: How will I feel on Monday morning? Like you’ve just endured a 72-hour blanket party of fun.

R — Ride the Wacky Worm roller coaster, the Ferris wheel or any of the carnival-style attractions here to get a break from the bass: Trust us, you’ll need it at some point.

S — Sunrise sets are an EDC staple and annual highlight: This year, house lifer MK performs at dawn on Saturday at the Circuit Grounds for the truly hardcore.

T — Traffic: It’s just part of EDC. Leave around 3 a.m. if you want to avoid hours of potential gridlock. Or better yet, just spring for a helicopter, big spender.

U — Under the Electric Sky: That’s where you’re going to be for the next three days. It’s also the name of a 2014 documentary on the EDC experience. Check it out and get a taste of what you’re in for this weekend.

V — Venue layout: Expect a new look for EDC this year, with the bionicJUNGLE, quantumVALLEY, bassPOD, wasteLAND, and neonGARDEN stages getting relocated, resulting in larger dance floors. Also, portions of the speedway’s asphalt have been freshly paved, and the festival footprint will be entirely new.

W — Wonderland: Australian DJ-producer Alison Wonderland brought something new to the kineticFIELD last year: a baby bump. Yes, the superstar DJ-producer performed nine months pregnant, with doctors waiting at the side of the stage as a precaution. She returns to this weekend’s EDC as the mom of a baby boy named Max, delivered less than a month after EDC 2023, where one pregnant fan actually went into labor.

X — X-Coast: Look, there aren’t a lot of EDM acts whose name begins with an X, OK? So, check out this Serbian-born DJ-producer on Saturday at the bionicJUNGLE.

Y — YeeDC: New to Downtown EDC is this country-style saloon, which will hopefully provide the remedy to EDC’s sad deficit of leather chaps at long last.

Z — Zomboy: Bet you thought we were going to go with Zedd here, didn’t you? Like EDC itself, we can’t be predictable, now can we?

Contact Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Follow @jbracelin76 on Instagram.

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