[EDC 2017]

How does EDC take over Vegas? Let us count the ways

Photo: Christopher DeVargas

When Electric Daisy Carnival moved to Las Vegas from LA in 2011, Insomniac Events founder Pasquale Rotella figured, and hoped, he had found a good fit. “Mayor [Oscar] Goodman had his martini in hand [at a press event], and we were getting questions, like, ‘Can Vegas handle this many people?” Rotella recalls. “And he said, ‘We handle this amount all the time, and we’re actually going to show the rest of the world how to do it.’ It made me feel like the support was going to be unique from any of the other festivals I do around the world.”

Las Vegas’ entertainment and hospitality framework has provided an ideal foundation for EDC to grow and thrive upon, but neither Goodman nor Rotella could have envisioned all the ways the annual dance music festival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway would provide a boost for Vegas.

EDC Week takes over the Strip’s day- and nightclubs with EDM stars in virtually every venue, and the EDC Week Charity Auction (launched in 2015) has raised more than $355,000 for local nonprofit organizations. But the impact is as much cultural as economic; EDC has become one of the most attended events on the annual Vegas calendar.

The 2015 and 2016 festivals each boasted attendance of more than 405,000 over three days, translating to at least 130,000 people dancing each night at the speedway. Some are local, but the hotel occupancy rate for EDC weekend (97.6 percent in 2016) is among the highest throughout the year. EDC also compares well with non-entertainment events—the largest conventions held in Las Vegas (like CES and SEMA) typically hover around 150,000 attendees. With big numbers like that and its party-ready crowd, EDC has become like a second, slightly smaller Memorial Day holiday weekend here.

Electric Daisy Carnival June 16-18, 7 p.m.-5:30 a.m., $355-$699. Las Vegas Motor Speedway, lasvegas.electricdaisycarnival.com. Free live stream at redbull.tv/festivals.

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An award-winning writer who has been documenting life in Las Vegas for more than 20 years, Brock Radke covers entertainment ...

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