There are, at last count, roughly four DJs for every man, woman, child and small dog in Las Vegas during Electric Daisy Carnival Week. With a glut of stage slots to be filled, not to mention the spinoff events at the clubs all week, it’s easy to see how a DJ without any kind of Insomniac-approved official billing could feel like a Dickensian orphan pressed up against the wrong side of a window pane on Christmas Day.
But the truth, say local spinners, is that the rising tide lifts all boats. If anything, there seem to be two basic approaches: To offer up a programming alternative with a focus on open format, or else to take a conventional open format space and throw in an EDM curveball.
“I don’t approach it any different. The spots I work at aren’t EDM-driven. My schedule doesn’t change at all,” says DJ Ikon. “The format doesn’t change. In fact, most of the clubs I spin at during EDC weekend try to spin at try to do hip-hop events because it’s so EDM-driven, for people who don’t want to go to EDC or hear EDM acts, they try to cater to those people.”
DJ Miss Joy is a regular resident at the Cosmopolitan’s Bond, which naturally draws a heavy EDC crowd, and is business as usual. Over at Mix, though, she says she’s found that there’s a strong EDC contingent that wants her to change up from the usual open format in that space.
“When I play at Mix, I play mostly open format, and it comes and goes in a lot of different directions. Definitely when EDC Week comes, it’s nice to get someone who wants to hear something from Knife Party or Zedd,” she says. “They know what they like and if I can play that style of music, it makes me feel good, too.”
What they both agree on, though, is that the influx of partiers spills out into all the other venues as well. You’ll see that in places like Marquee, that expand their regular Friday-through-Monday lineup to include Wednesday and Thursday as well.
That carryover effect tends to hit everyone, Ikon says, because not every out-of-towner is going to spend all three nights at the festival. And because many DJs on the bill won’t necessarily worry about setting up club sets too, there are more opportunities for local DJs.
“Every time you have a busy week in Vegas, it’s better on us local guys because there’s less pressure. It’s way easier because there are so many people here. I’ve found that a lot of the people who come here for EDC weekend, they’re not going all three nights. They’re going one night. It’s such an ordeal to get there, and no one’s taking a helicopter all three days. You pick the one night you want to go, and then you’re going to the clubs or a pool party,” he says. “If there are 60 guys on the bill, there are probably only 10-15 that will actually spend any real time at a club the city. Most of them are dealing with getting to EDC and getting back and getting to the hotel.”