What began as a modest event nearly two decades ago in California is now one of the biggest dance music experiences on the planet. Yes, we're talking about Electric Daisy Carnival, which is gearing up for its return to Sin City on June 8, after a successful move last year to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. And before you book your tickets, MTV News has the exclusive phase-one lineup!
According to estimates, a whopping 300,000 carnival-goers (up from 240,000 in 2011) will walk through the gates during this year's three-day EDC. They can expect to see heavy hitters like Tiësto, Avicii, Afrojack, Steve Angello and Above & Beyond, just to name a fraction.
"Before most gigs these days, I'm more excited than nervous. An event like EDC is the exception, though," Above & Beyond's Jono Grant told us of the gig. "It's nerve-racking and exciting playing in front of so many people. Every touch of the mixer and every decision you make has some kind of effect on a huge audience. You really give it your all."
With awe-inspiring pyrotechnics, art installations and a singular carnival culture, EDC has become the Super Bowl of the dance music world. Dance superstars will take to three main stages built on 1,000 acres of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway's infield. The founder of Insomniac Events, Pasquale Rotella, emphasized that the Carnival is more than just a series of concerts, and that's the secret to its success.
"It's about the whole experience," Rotella told MTV News on Wednesday. "We are not a concert. We are so much more than that — it's about the production, it's about the art. The music being played is the soundtrack to your experience for the evening."
Avicii, fresh off a standout set at Ultra Music Festival with special guest Madonna, happily returns to EDC. After last year's event, he told MTV News, "How sick was it to play in front of that amount of people? It's definitely an amazing experience that I haven't had anywhere else in the world so far!"
The initial lineup is staggering: Tiësto, Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso, Avicii, Benny Benassi, Afrojack, Above & Beyond, Armin van Buuren, Bassnectar, Calvin Harris, Carl Cox, Chase & Status, David Guetta, Erick Morillo, Flux Pavilion, Kaskade, Knife Party, Porter Robinson and Richie Hawtin are among those set to touch down in Vegas June 8 to 10.
"I'll have over 500 theatrical performers," Rotella teased, "over 30 carnival rides, hundreds of EDM acts, large-scale art installations, tons of special effects, massive enough fireworks to rival the Olympics ... plus much, much, more."
EDM fans may know that Rotella is facing multiple corruption charges related to his company's work on events at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. But his attorney vigorously maintained his client's innocence in an interview with the Reno-Gazette Journal. And the show is, of course, set to go on.
While 300,000 are expected to attend, it's worth noting that Rotella's team revealed to MTV News there's a good chance they'll petition the fire department to allow for an additional 30,000 in capacity. And why not? At the Carnival, it's the more the merrier.
Will you be heading to EDC? Who are you most excited to see? Sound off in the comments below!