Las Vegas – Electric Daisy Carnival 2023
Heading into EDC Las Vegas 2023 weekend,
…it was already reported that over 500,000 attendees were going to make their way through the Las Vegas Speedway over a 3-day affair with an average of 166K per day topping prior year’s attendance of 125K to 135K attendees per day. This was a huge year as they celebrated the 30th year and based on how this year’s EDCLV 2023 unfolded, people have already been jumping on the GA tickets for 2024 leading to a sellout. No different than prior years, those who have been to EDC knew exactly how to prepare for it, but for those who were making their first time ever would be in for a treat as it never gets old to hear people’s first experiences.
Unlike most people, we didn’t get into EDC until about 11PM on Friday and the traffic heading there was still pack jam as it took us about a good hour. We entered through The Skydeck entrance and after being shuttled to the Kinetic Field, the first thing that came into mind was the sheer number of people walking through the crowds. I then realized that there were way more people than last year’s busiest day on Saturday. We got into our bottle service area just on time for David Guetta but I didn’t stick around long enough since I did not want to miss out on Above and Beyond.
The Skydeck and the VIP area in the Kinetic Field had swapped places and after some hours of experiencing this new layout, I ended up really not liking it. It seemed to have robbed more from the experience; however, it gave the VIP area an upgrade and I had preferred that angle looking toward the DJ. From our seat, I don’t know if it was the overwhelming size of the crowd or the extended side part of the production that wraps around the ground floor but the Kinetic Field felt smaller with this year’s theme being the celestial goddess.
I made my way to catch Above and Beyond, and I just love that the Circuit Ground is the perfect stage for their music and vibe. Their set reminded us why we still love this music and its origination; this was a classic A&B set of melodic, progressive, euphoric and heavenly vocals that was momentarily interrupted by rain but cherished with spectacular fireworks; however, I wanted to make sure that I caught Ferry Corsten at Quantum Valley before ending day-1 with Galantis back at the Kinetic Field.
With just about 3 hours of sleep, I knew I was in it for a long night for day-2. Our group left the hotel around 9PM and got there around 11PM as Saturday was considered the busiest day of the weekend which was obvious just from the drive there alone; however, an argument can be made that all three days saw equally the same amount of people.
The line into Skydeck took us over 30 minutes as there are so much logistic to accommodate our big group. A small group of us were ushered first to Circuit Ground to wait for the rest as this was an opportunity to enjoy Acraze and Dom Dolla. Different from his EDC 2022 set, Dom Dolla played a deep, dark, progressive and futuristic funky tech house set that must be, and can be seen on Youtube if you missed it. I knew that Boris Brejcha was on about the same time as Dom at Kinetic Field but since I saw Boris about a couple months back in SF, I wasn’t so keen to catch him and personally I think Boris’ set would have been served at Circuit Ground, just my two cents. It seems that every EDC trip, it is required that you must at least try to catch Tiesto which we managed to for a few tracks and it was a mad house. The crowd were pushed well beyond the capacity of the Kinetic Field including the Skydeck and VIP. When Tiesto plays at EDC, somehow the production feels much more alive and better articulated from the pyrotechnic, lasers, lighting and fireworks.
We didn’t stay long for Tiesto because our big group were meeting at Neon Garden for our bottle services. On our way there, as a must do for everyone, is to walk up the bleachers facing Cosmic Meadow as it provides the most spectacular view of EDC and especially during the fireworks. We managed to make it through Cosmic Meadow while Zeds Dead b2b Chase & Status were on. It was such an ecstatic view to see this whole event unfold at the very top of the bleachers and we took it all in.
Before we joined our group, we caught the last 15-20 minutes of Gareth Emery at Quantum Valley. The trance army were in full force and the music was a good break from the commercialized edm, bass, dubstep, trap, tech-house heard around the event. Gareth Emery set was a good feel journey from Saving Light to Concrete Jungle with many things in between.
At Neon Garden, we were ushered to our bottle service which was probably the best seat in the house in my opinion. We were placed at the front and left side of the DJ stage. Essentially the best view of the house as you are facing the crowd. The Martinez Brothers were on and the vibe was just right. Being from that old school warehouse vibe during the hay days of the San Francisco rave scene, the Neon Garden is home for me. We made our way back to Kinetic Field for Chris Lake to listen to some more house music before ending our day-2 with Hot Since 82 which was the perfect way to end during the break of dawn into the sunrise.
Day-3 was going to be brutal due to another 3-hour sleep and the fatigue was kicking in but I still had it in me to get through this last night and only to realize how time flew by so fast when you are having fun. Our day-3 group consisted of many first timers and they were in for a treat as their faces were giddy. As usual, we left our compound around 8:30PM, our trip to the Las Vegas Speedway still too nearly two hours as we looped around taking the artists entrance off the 604 exit. The entrance to our bottle service at the Kinetic Field was a breeze this time but the crowd was thick which was a beautiful site to see during Loud Luxury set.
The one set I knew I had to catch after missing him at Kinetic Field on Saturday was James Hype. At the Stereo Bloom stage, he managed to really squeeze in a big crowd. Known for his 4 CDJs eclectic tricks, this set was tuned for a much groovier mix of techno, acid house and tech house which I enjoyed it so very much. James Hype is definitely bringing back that old school vibe sound and I can’t wait to see where this go.
Just around the corner, our various groups all flocked back to Kinetic Skydeck to catch Armin Van Buuren, and this was the only time during the whole weekend I got to watch a set from beginning to end. For me, his opening and introduction has always been the pinnacle of EDC as totem poles were on displayed and the energy from the crowd floor could be felt from where we were at.
With so much to cover in our last night, our small group hung out at Cosmic Meadow for Wax Motif, then back to Neon Garden for 999999999 and ended what was a magical journey of three solid day of EDC with Kaskade’s Redux set at Kinetic Field.
EDC is such a massive event that there will be a lot of compromises between your friends and who you would love to see as the walk from one stage to another can be daunting. But some notable misses for me were DJ Dan and Frankie Bones at The Parliament Artcar, the special guest John Summit and Fisher at Circuit Ground, and Patrick Topping at Neon Garden.
EDC Las Vegas is possibly the pinnacle of all festivals around the world. First timer EDC experiencers will always be visually stimulated with its art décor, fireworks and so much more. It is impossible to cover all the grounds in all three days and having an agenda is the best way to approach the experience. In my opinion, it is recommended that you arrive there as early as possible while the sun is still up and cover all areas and crevices of the event because once the sun goes down, that’s when the real fun begins.