By Dave Mortensen
Having gone to Coachella, Stagecoach, and Electric Daisy Carnival, I’m in a position to fairly judge and critique the execution of each music festival.
What EDC got right:
EDC is an EDM lover’s wet dream. Five stages, three days, and ceaseless music. Coachella stages had thirty minute intermissions where the next band had to set things up and some acts (hologram Tupac) require more special stage configurations. With a festival that is entirely EDM, setup for these artists consist of plugging in their laptops. I must have heard only twelve seconds of sustained silence at any one stage.
Speaking of wet dreams; EDC had the most skin of the festivals. Never have I ever seen so much under-ass in my life. Girls walking around in ballerina tutus, sans panties, was a common sight. Costumes were much more clever at EDC than at Coachella. The cowboy/girl getup at Stagecoach isn’t so much a costume as it is a uniform. While I’m partial to southern belles, EDC had much more women in attendance than Stagecoach, showing much more skin.
The non-music attractions are a vast improvement over the Empire Polo Grounds, which host Stagecoach and Coachella. While both venues feature sculpted art installations, EDC’s art is on a level of complexity the Indio venue can’t match. For one thing, the art at EDC has an interactive component. A scrap metal fire snake had switches that trigger several different fire jets in the sculpture, and a metal fire octopus and another fire tower structure had sensors on it making the fire jets trigger based either on bass cues or photo sensitivity to the nearby stage lights.
Where EDC failed:
For all the dazzling flashing lights featured at EDC, the lights you will see the most are brake lights. Anticipating 300K+ visitors over the coarse of three nights, it’s a shame more couldn’t be done to facilitate expedient entrance and egress routes to the venue. I realize there are limits to what you can do with such a venue, but this issue is considerably worse than that of the Empire Polo Grounds.
Five dollars for water. Five dollars for PowerAid. If there’s one thing EDC organizers don’t want you doing, it’s hydrating apparently. Coachella and Stagecoach both sold water for $2.
On day two of the festival, everything shut down five hours in due to high winds. That isn’t Insomniac’s fault. What is troubling is their their handling of the situation. The stages are rated to withstand 80 mph wind gusts. Gusts were approximately 40 mph. Shutting down the venue seemed excessive given the circumstances. While I completely agree with the sentiment “better safe than sorry,” when the towel is thrown in that promptly, it reads like Insomniac already has your money, now get out. To be clear, I’m not accusing Insomniac of having a malicious ulterior motive. I’m just voicing what 90K+ attendees were thinking while they sat on the lawn for more than three hours while a loud speaker insisted they wait while the situation is reevaluated. My friends and I were told by one staff member driving a cart that by the time we approached him to ask what was going on, he had heard the venue had been closed for more than thirty minutes. The masses waiting patiently in the grandstands were being jerked around, in the hopes that they’d grow dispirited and file out of the racetrack grounds on their own. It’s the makings of a PR nightmare.