Petal Power

Sure, the whole point is hypnotic backbeat bliss, but beyond the DJs, glow sticks and light shows, the Electric Daisy Carnival may leave a lasting imprint on the Valley through charity. Insomniac, the firm that organizes EDC, has made philanthropy an important part of its festivals in California—and CEO Pasquale Rotella says it was only natural to continue the tradition in Las Vegas.

“We want to be a part of the community and have people want us to come here,” he says. Las Vegas charities set to receive $1 for every ticket sold and $10 for all guest-list attendees include the Clark County School District Community Partnership Program, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and the Injured Police Officers Fund. Insomniac estimates about 300,000 people will attend the event, which takes place June 24-26 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. With that kind of box office, the charities stand to gain a substantial amount. The donations are a good deed, of course, but they’re also a way for EDC, now in its 15th year, to burnish a reputation that has taken some hits.

The festival relocated to the Valley this year after leaving Los Angeles amid backlash against dance music festivals in the city. After the death of a 15-year-old festival-goer in 2010, EDC was also not allowed back at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The incident was the first of its kind for EDC and, despite the setbacks, Rotella contends he has been eyeing Las Vegas for a long time and it was more a matter of the right time and venue becoming available.

With the school district grappling with extreme budget cuts and teacher layoffs, EDC’s assistance couldn’t come at a better time, says Bridget Phillips, the director of the Community Partnership Program, which brings business and community resources to underfunded aspects of the school system, from arts and humanities to busing.

Meanwhile, Insomniac is looking into establishing a permanent office here. “We want to stay here year round,” Rotella says, “and have the impact of what we do help the community.”

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As Bob Marley told us, “One good thing about music—when it hits, you feel no pain.” Well, there were plenty of rhythmic blows being thrown June 11 at the 10th annual Reggae in the Desert festival at the Clark County Amphitheater. A sellout crowd of about 3,000 enjoyed nearly nine hours of music from an impressive roster of performers, and that’s the kind of impact that heals rather than harms.