P.L.U.R. (Like a Boss)

Tao Group commands Electric Daisy Carnival’s VIP cabana experience


Tao Group is once again teaming up with Insomniac to provide Electric Daisy Carnival’s more well-heeled attendees with a VIP experience. The Marquee deck will again feature some of the best views of Kinetic Field, and now that both general admission and VIP tickets have sold out, it is also the only way to still gain access to the event. With the fest fast approaching, we caught up with Tao Group director of VIP services Matt Pearson to get the lowdown on everything you need to know about having your EDC and bottle service, too.

What operational challenges do you face at EDC versus those at Marquee?

The most challenging aspect is building a club for three nights of operations and running it as though we have been open for years. Our guests expect the same level of service they receive at Marquee. It certainly adds an extra level of operational requirements, including staff training and teamwork.

How will VIPs get to the Marquee VIP deck?

The ultimate experience is arriving via helicopter and flying over all of the auto traffic heading to the event. After landing, a welcome cabana is waiting with drinks, couches and, of course, music before private transportation delivers guests to an air-conditioned check-in tent complete with a Champagne lounge. A quick golf-cart ride away is the deck, where a host will greet and walk guests to their table. The entire process is smooth and caters to the VIP festivalgoers.

How are the VIP cabanas different from the standard EDC experience?

The cabana deck is the most popular area of EDC, because it delivers a full festival experience. It sits about 30 feet off the ground, giving attendees an incredible view of the Kinetic stage, along with a complete bottle menu and diverse food options delivered by cocktail servers and waiters. Security, air-conditioned bathrooms and a central location within the festival make it ideal to serve as a hub for VIPs.

Is there a way up there without a table?

The only way up to the Marquee VIP stage is if you have a table, which is why I suggest purchasing a table soon, as they will sell out.

Part of the fun of EDC is the festival experience itself—the midway, rides, artwork and other stages. What if a cabana guest wants to check out a different part of the festival?

Cabana guests get the best of both worlds: the 21-and-up VIP deck and all of the amenities there, plus access to the entire grounds to check out the other stages, carnival rides, elaborate production décor and more. They can return to their table at any time and come and go as much as they wish.

Do cabana bracelets grant you access to the VIP deck for the entire festival or just the day you have the table?

The bracelet is good only for the day you purchased it for, and there are different bracelets for each day.

What’s the wildest story someone has used to try to gain access to the VIP deck?

Most try the “I’m with the DJ” line, and that just doesn’t work. It is pretty easy to differentiate those who belong and those who don’t, and there isn’t much a person could say to gain access if they are not supposed to be there. I am sure people will try just as hard this year as they have in past years.

Who is the typical cabana customer? Do artists and celebs hang out up there?

We see a huge range of guests at the Marquee stage; the common thread is someone who wants to experience something that isn’t offered anywhere else. You can expect to see DJs taking in the sets of other DJs, celebrities, owners from other nightclubs and lots of locals.

Is this the craziest weekend of the year for you personally?

This is one of the weeks I work the hardest, for sure. I get very little sleep in order to make the experience memorable for every cabana guest. I head in for a nap about 7 a.m. and am back up by 11 a.m. to start the following day of preparation. It is stressful, but I love the challenge and look forward to it every year.

Can you provide us with some cabana-appropriate fashion advice?

I have seen it all: Some dress to impress, others for comfort and still others in ways that are impossible to describe. Have fun with it! Express yourself and, at the end of the day, it is a fantastic experience, no matter what you are wearing.