Festival Report Card

Festival Report Card: EDC Las Vegas 2023

EDC Las Vegas is a dream festival for many dance music lovers. Taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada, this particular festival attracts the dance music community from all over the world for an unforgettable weekend filled with three days of music from dusk till dawn, top notch production, immersive experiences and so much more.

There is always an incredible lineup of artists from every genre, not only do you get to experience your favorite artists live, but the elevated experience of seeing them perform along with the elaborate production that EDC is known for is always worth the wait.

Even as the festival seems to increase in size exponentially, the Electric Daisy Carnival is still a must-visit festival despite the compounded traffic delays and some of the biggest crowds we have seen yet. Let’s walk through our overall experience of the weekend:

Jake West for Insomniac Events

Vibes: B

From first-time attendees to those in their seventh or eighth year, the crowds were full of excitement. Nothing beats watching people’s reactions as they enter the speedway on day one when they get that first view of how massive the festival really is.

EDC can feel overwhelming at times, and with the highest attendance ever reported, there was a sense of overcrowding. That being said, we witnessed most people being respectful and considerate as everyone navigated the masses while inside and walking from stage to stage. 

Day one and three felt by far the most “PLUR” with plenty of “excuse me’s” and people attempting to politely make their way through the crowds.

Day two was very hit or miss, depending on the stage. CircuitGROUNDS and BassPOD were fairly crowded over the entire weekend and KineticFIELD seems to pose an issue every year when it comes to entering and exiting the stage, but once inside the stage area, there tends to be more room to spread out.

Production:  A-

In the US, there’s nothing quite like the production of EDC. Still impressive, this year did feel lacking in some areas, the main stage felt smaller, Downtown EDC felt more compact, and the missing drone show was somewhat disheartening considering how elaborate last year’s display was.

KineticFIELD’s stage design was stunning, the way it comes to life, or should we say “awakens” over the course of the night always left us in awe.

They truly outdid themselves with CosmicMEADOW this year though, with its new and impressive size and breathtaking design. No matter the set, the visual appeal and sound quality never left us disappointed.

A positive improvement was CircuitGROUNDS, with fewer sound mishaps than in previous years likely thanks to the added coverage from the wind.

Experiencing VIP this year seemed worth it. With so much to do and see, even three days doesn’t feel like enough time to explore all of it, but with VIP there was the opportunity to move in and out of stages faster, not spend hours in line at the rides, and not to mention the AC and exceptionally clean bathrooms.

So if you’re in the mood to splurge, VIP most definitely gave an elevated EDC experience. It’s important to note that we noticed long lines to enter the VIP at certain times, so always plan ahead to make it to your favorite set in time.

Don Idio for Insomniac Events

Music: B+

The music is what brings all of it together, and although many of us were excited about the stacked list of B2B’s, it was clear many larger, familiar artists were missing. Many of the same artists played multiple sets over the weekend when there could have been more variety.

KineticFIELD saw performances from headliners such as Zedd, Galantis, Slander, and Armin Van Buuren, among many others. Let’s just say, if you missed Zedd’s set it was so amazing that a baby raver was born during it!

BassPOD, although packed all weekend, had some killer sets from artists such as Eliminate, Hol!, A Hundred Drums, and BTSM. Not to mention the B2B’s like Sullivan King B2B Kai Wachi, Riot Ten B2B Jessica Audiffred, and the iconic Griz B2B Subtronics, known as Griztronics, was a highlight of our weekend, no doubt.

For the techno lovers and even the newbies, NeonGARDEN had thrilling sets from 999999999, Loco Dice B2B Fisher, and I Hate Models.

While CircuitGROUNDS gave us a variety of genres with performances from Above & Beyond, Subtronics, Dom Dolla, Peekaboo, and special guest, John Summit.

Also, let’s not leave out getting to experience the debut of Marshmello B2B Svdden Death and the surprise Subtronics B2B John Summit, known as SUBJOHNICS!

If one were to see Griz for the first time, Cosmic Meadow would be a magical place to do it (which is exactly what happened).

Venue: C

As one of the biggest festivals in the United States, and only gaining in popularity, this year we really felt the Las Vegas Motor Speedway had really reached its capacity.

Stages like BassPOD, NeonGARDEN, and QuantumVALLEY reached far into the areas behind the stages. VIP areas were also at capacity multiple times and put a damper on the experience.

With every inch of the Speedway being utilized, the venue was defined by compactness and a lack of overall space. This posed major issues for ADA accommodations, such as being able to move easily from stage to stage, access bathrooms, and even enter the festival.

We heard accounts of ADA parking being full early in the night, and with only one dedicated ADA entrance into the festival for both campers and attendees traveling to the speedway, this was not ideal.

We did notice an improvement in the bathroom situation throughout GA, GA+, and VIP. Not running out of toilet paper is always a plus.

Getting to and from the festival has been challenging in years past, but due to the construction along the Strip and other areas this year took extra time to enter and leave.

Both shuttles and cars took hours to enter and exit the festival each day, making some of us rethink if the cost of helicoptering in and out of EDC might actually have been worth it.

Jordan Sabillo for Insomniac Events

Overall: B

Overall, EDC holds a special place in our hearts and it’s a weekend that we look forward to every year.

Even though it was the most crowded we’d ever seen, the vibes did not disappoint and we were impressed by how positive all our interactions were, which speaks to how alive the foundation of peace, love, unity, and respect still is within the community.

The Las Vegas Motor Speedway has seen many expansions of EDC throughout the years, yet after this year it begs the question, is it finally time to relocate? Or consider multiple EDC weekends?

We look forward to seeing what changes will be made as the festival expands and continues to be a welcoming home for us to return to year after year.

For the sheer size of such a production, we are grateful for the hard work the Insomniac team and all those involved continue to put into this festival. There will always be improvements to be made, and it did not go unnoticed that some of the previous year’s issues were resolved.

At the end of the day, we hope everyone had a positive experience and look forward to seeing everyone again under the electric sky!

Featured image by Adi Adinayev for Insomniac Events.

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