Los Angeles- Those returning from Coachella this year perhaps noticed the Electric Daisy Carnival billboards lining Interstate 10, signs — literally — of the annual electronic music festival’s scope and power. The advertisements were letting the bleary-eyed Coachellans know that they had a month and a half to sleep off the weekend they’d just endured and prepare for another kind of massive.
And the Electric Daisy Carnival, which takes place on June 25-26 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coloseum and Park, is indeed massive. While Coachella gets a ton of press and set an attendance record this year, last year’s EDC drew a reported 135,000 people over the two days, and the Saturday ticket drew 90,000, placing it among the top music draws of the year.
That 2009 installment marked an important first for EDC and its promoter, Insomniac: After 12 years of creating a single-day event, it expanded to two days, which resulted in a lot more attendance as well as a lot more out-of-towners road-tripping to get to the festival, said Pasquale Rotella, EDC’s founder and the principal behind Insomniac.
“It was a great experience for us, and we saw the benefits on many fronts,” Rotella said of the addition of a second day, during a telephone conversation. “But from a production point of view the two-day EDC works much better. It was always a shame for me that in the past we’d get really involved in a show — picking the art installations, setting up the stage production and sound — and then when the crowd arrived, it was a 12-hour rush for everyone to experience it all and get their groove on. With a two-day festival, people have time to take it all in.”
But with the added day came way more people, resulting in crowds that were at times overwhelming, added Rotella. To combat the scrums, Insomniac has reimagined the area.
“This year there’s a lot more ground,” said Rotella. “We’ve had the same basic layout for the past three years, but this time there’s a bigger footprint. We’ll have two main stages — an A Stage and a B stage – and are using a lot of area that we haven’t used before. Last year was a little too crowded on Saturday — Friday was perfect. I don’t like it when people are bumping elbows the whole time. With this new footprint, people will be able to breathe.”
The ”carnival” comes into play with the continued expansion of the art and sculpture aspect, and this year some of the major pieces at the Carnival will first be installed on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s park grounds. “It’ll be part of LACMA Muse,” said EDC’s art curator, Philip Blaine. “A good portion of the Electric Daisy Carnival collection will be set up throughout the park and grounds. The stuff stays up for a week, then we load it up and move it to the [Carnival] grounds.”
There will be more additions, but here’s the lineup so far:
Armin van Buuren
Swedish House Mafia
Above & Beyond
Fedde Le Grand
Armand Van Helden
Claude von Stroke
Bart B More