Kandi kids? Check. Furry boots? Check. Banging bass and lots of lights? Yup. Insomniac Events’ Electric Daisy Carnival in Vegas is off to a start… okay, a 20 minute late start, but we are in Vegas where nothing starts on time, so whatever.
With chants of “EDC! EDC!” at the front gates and good vibes all around, EDC vet Trent Cantrelle kicked things off on the largest stage, the Kinetic Field. Previous EDC attendees may remember the Kinetic Field as the main stage on the Los Angeles Coliseum floor and this isn’t Cantrelle’s first rodeo.
“The first gig I had in LA was EDC 10 years ago for 10,000 people,” Cantrelle says after his set. “I met [Insomniac founder] Pasquale Rotella through Disco Donnie,” says the DJ/producer originally from New Orleans. “It was cool to kind of slide right in thanks to Donnie.”
While comparisons to EDC LA and its new incarnation in Vegas are worlds apart, Cantrelle says Insomniac continues the tradition of bringing over-the-top production to the festival… times 10.
“This is a whole different beast to me,” he says. “It didn’t feel like any other event. It has its own feel. It’s like, a very well lit Burning Man—being there’s no buildings around.”
He continues, “There’s nothing like the Coliseum. There’s something very grand about the Coliseum. Just walking into that area and walking down those steps? It’s unreal. I don’t think you can compare that part to anything.”
Walking across the festival grounds, he stops to peek in the Heineken Domes where he’ll play a second set Saturday. “Friday and Saturday will be completely different,” Cantrelle says of his sets. “I’m happy I get to do both. Friday was definitely the festival set, familiar vocals, hands in the air. Saturday night, it’s a smaller room—which I like—and the music is the tech-y side of me. It’s music I love to play but don’t get to in clubs… More geared for the underground.”
As far as EDC moving to Vegas, Cantrelle says he’s interested to see how it develops over the years in Sin City. But before that, we’ll be checking him out from 2 to 4 a.m. Saturday night in the Heineken Domes.
Nearby while Cantrelle was warming up the crowd and wearing a trademark space suit, Beat port’s Brad Roulier, known to the clubbing set as one-half of Manufactured Superstars with Shawn Sabo, takes it all in backstage. “I think it’s interesting,” he says of the festival’s move from Los Angeles to Vegas. “Personally I’d love to see EDC LA and EDC Vegas. I call Vegas ‘LA East’ anyways,” he jokes. “It’s more the history of EDC moved to Vegas—like when a football team moves.”
Roulier cites Vegas as the new Ibiza, and many have before him, and EDC is just one more example of the city’s growth and embracing dance music. “All the big DJs are here now,” he says, though the festival crowd is different. “I’ll play much, much harder here,” he says. And from the sounds of the bass shaking the cement, everyone else is on the same page.