EDC Kicks Off in Las Vegas

Electric Daisy Carnival 2012 1 L
Erik Kabik/Retna

About 345,000 are fans expected over three days at the sold-out Sin City edition of the annual electronic music festival.

America’s largest electronic dance music event, Electric Daisy Carnival, kicked off Friday in Las Vegas. The festival has become an annual rite of passage for hundreds of thousands, growing ever larger as dance music’s popularity has swelled in recent years. This weekend, names such as David Guetta, Kaskade, Afrojack and more than 150 other electronic music producers and DJs will entertain the throng, along with roving theatrical performers (think aerialists, stilt walkers and a performance by Blue Man Group).

The festival, now in its second year in Sin City after years of being held in Los Angeles, officially kicks off tonight, but EDC, as its known to fans, has already begun for many who arrived early to take in ancillary events tangentially tied to the main event. Insomniac, the promoter who puts on the large-scale experiential event, held a three-day conference called EDMbiz this week targeted at electronic dance music insiders. The inaugural edition of the confab, held at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, wrapped Thursday.

VIDEO: Electric Daisy Carnival Experience: Trailer

All of this comes on the heels of recent news regarding similar large-scale happenings landing in America. Late last month, Holland-based promoter ID&T announced it was bringing its highly regarded roving Sensation party to the U.S.

EDC is held at a venue around 15 minutes northeast of Vegas’ Strip at the 1,000-acre Las Vegas Motor Speedway complex. During the day, dance music fans ages 21 and up will hit the pool party scene on The Strip, taking in more intimate sets by such artists as Markus Schulz (Tao Beach at the Venetian) or Avicii (at the Cosmopolitan’s Marquee) prior to the main proceedings, which begin in the early evening hours due to Nevada’s extreme summer heat.