The Electric Daisy Carnival made a pitstop in Orlando earlier this month, as stop number three along the “Road to EDC Vegas,”. Over the course of the two days, approximately 30,000 fans filled Tinker Field with anticipation to see your typical wide array of top notch performers that only Insomniac can put together. Since the first EDC Orlando in 2011, the event has become better and better, providing the “headliners” with an experience that only EDC Vegas itself could rival. The three stages were the most technologically advanced that they have ever been in the past two years ,and that, coupled with new attractions like The Kandi Shop(a six-story tall LED tower sponsored by Motorola that provided endless amounts and a variety of beads to festival goers to make bracelets) made EDC Orlando one of the more enjoyable festivals of the year.
This wouldn’t be a carnival without rides, of course, and EDC obviously brought its trademark festival approach to Orlando. Six full-scale rides, including a ferris wheel and swing carousel, added to the experience and gave fans the chance to experience their favorite DJ from incredibly high views.
The festival ran from 1pm to midnight daily and brought in over 60 performers spread among three different stages. As always, the Kinetic Field served as the main stage and featured the typical assortment of A-list DJs: Calvin Harris, Porter Robinson, Dash Berlin, ATB, Zed’s Dead, R3hab, Arty, Deniz Koyu, David Steven, Landis & Crespo and Love War. The Circuit Grounds stage was home to the trap stars on the first day and Excision, Brillz, Mimosa, 12th Planet, UZ, Nadastrom, Luminox, Salva, DLR, Valentino Khan and Psognar destroyed it. If you were looking for a different sound, then the third stage, the Neon Garden, was home to Richie Hawtin, Gaiser, Paco Osuna, Cassy, Eelrack and Brett Rubin.
EDC Orlando is definitely a highpoint for Floridians during the year, considering that Ultra Music Festival in Miami is the only major festival to take place in the state. Centered in the heart of Orlando, close to UCF (one of the largest universities, student population wise, in the country), the attendance numbers were indeed impressive.
A standout part of this year’s EDC was the Discovery Project. According to Insomniac, “Insomniac’s Discovery Project gives a platform to aspiring DJs and producers by allowing previously undiscovered talent the opportunity to play in front of new audiences at Insomniac festivals and concerts. Florida natives Landis & Crespo and Corporate Slackrs were among this year’s EDC Orlando Discovery Project winners.”
There were raised VIP sections at the Kinetic and Circuit Grounds stage where the hosts, Pasquale Rotella and Holly Madison, held camp during the first day’s performance. For those who wanted to spend a little more cash for a different experience and a bar at their fingertips, this was the place to watch acts, especially Zed’s Dead, who weaved in and out of their signature dubbed-out and darkened style, and ended with their much-loved remix of “Eyes on Fire.”
Dash Berlin celebrated his birthday at EDC and after the show, was able to enjoy a cake that some fans were kind enough to bake for him. It’s little things like that that make the EDM community such a special thing to be a part of! We can all thank daylight savings time because come 6pm, it was already dark out and the show was just getting into the swing of things. The rides were lit up, the fireworks were going, and the lasers were changing lives. Porter Robinson didn’t give the crowd one break and once the closer, Calvin Harris, came up on the deck, you knew that this was going to be a show to remember. As Florence Welch’s acapella from “Sweet Nothing” started, there was no going back. From his hits from the smash album 18 Months
to just straight IDs, Harris gave it his all, and we thank him for that. Eat Sleep Rave Repeat we did, not like anyone had a choice in the matter.
Day 2 brought in the bigger crowd. It was the weekend and Kaskade and Krewella were scheduled to close out the festival that evening. Kaskade, Dada Life, New World Punx, Cedric Gervais, Madeon, Martin Solveig, Umek, Henry Krinkle, John Digweed, Sean Drake and Fishfood played at the Kinetic Field, making for quite an eclectic array of dance music genres. At the Circuit Grounds we had Krewella, Gareth Emery, Cosmic Gate, Showtek, Seven Lions, Candyland, 3Lau, The M Machine, Moska, Tommie Sunshine and Alex Sibley. As for the Neon Garden, Jamie Jones, Art Department, Damian Lazarus, Francesca Lombardo and Atnarko vs Sleazy McQueen entranced the crowd with their deeper tones.
From the main stage sidelines, if you were lucky, you were able to catch Solveig taking pictures of Madeon holding a “Blow can” to promote Solveig’s and Laidback Luke’s newest single “Blow.” Another fan treat was the opportunity to see Dada Life scarf down bananas for all to see on the side of the main stage.
Dreams came true this year at EDC. As I had wrote earlier
, Kaskade personally reached out to a fan who had to sell her tickets to see him for the first time in Miami. Day 2 was going to be the first time she would be seeing him perform. Well, strings were pulled and the stars aligned and she had the fantastic opportunity of meeting him before his set and she got to stick around backstage and watch from the best seat possible.
It was a very hard decision for festival goers to choose who to close out the festival with. Krewella and Kaskade were up against each other and both acts have had a tremendous year. As always, the Krew sang live as they mixed different versions of their hits and brought the energy up to new heights, while Kaskade closed out his set with his recent mashup of “Turn It Down” and “Animals.” He traded in the original version for a trap remix, though.
All in all, third time is the charm. The stage production was the best it has ever been, the lineup offered a lot of variety and there were an abundant of rides. As we move on the road to EDC Vegas, Orlando proves once again that it can keep up and deliver a festival of epic proportions.
ALL PHOTO CREDITS: Avi Raz