I have found the monkeys, and they are good. Sure there was plenty to look at during my preview tour of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway this morning, but my main goal was to figure out what the heck was this area on the map labeled “monkeys” was all about. I have my priorities.
Turns out said monkeys are another art instillation curated for the Electric Daisy Carnival, tucked off to the side between the Neon Garden and the Cosmic Meadow stages. The dormant suspended monkey sculptures in a circle are actually a zoetrope that will incorporate flashing lights as they spin around to make the monkeys look like they’re dancing (think those gold sculptures around the water vortexes flanking the stage at Blue Man Group).
Now that I’ve solved that oh-so-important mystery, on to the rest of the tour.
The overall layout of EDC this year is basically the same, though the dance floor of the main stage, Kinetic Field, has been expanded to allow for 55,000 fans to shake it in front of the stage, up from 40,000 in 2011. The Cosmic Meadow stage has been rotated and centered in the same general vicinity, but now faces attendees as they descend the main bleachers into EDC. Speaking of bleachers, you’ll actually be allowed to sit on sections of them as well this year. And for those who hate getting their fluffies dirty, over at the Circuit Grounds, the Speedway allowed Insomniac to pave over the area to alleviate the dusty duds of last year.
While the signature carnival rides are putting in the last nuts and bolts and water and medic stations abound for safety, it was truly the new Q-Dance stage that gets bonus points for awesomeness. Sure, the Kinetic Field is always impressive as the largest temporary stage constructed in the U.S., with towers adorned in LEDs circling the area now added for a 360-degree experience, but the Q-Dance stage? Think Edward Scissorhands-like giant metal claws on either side. A huge masquerade mask is front and center above the DJ booth, with additional metal-working throughout. Even if you aren’t a bass music fan, swing by to admire the décor on this one.
Finishing touches are still being put on much of the artwork, including a dismembered “Omma” looking creepier than expected. The giant mirror-finish baby legs, minus its video monitor head just kind of sitting on the blacktop was unsettling.