A Comprehensive Guide to the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Festival in Las Vegas

The largest electronic dance festival in North America, the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) is an annual event that brings together music lovers and free spirits from around the world. Thousands of people congregate in Las Vegas during the week leading up to the two-day electronic music festival. They gather on the Strip for parties of all sorts, from indoor house parties to outdoor concerts, in preparation for the actual festival of dance music.

The EDC festival itself is known as a huge party scene, but it’s also attended by some of the most inclusive and kindhearted people in the business. Not only are the tunes life-changing, but you’re likely to meet some friends at the festival that you’ll keep around for life.

This guide will cover everything, including a history of the festival, how to pack and budget, early admission events, transportation, and which can’t-miss bands and stages you should plan to explore. Don’t plan a trip to the EDC without reading this guide first! Remember to share this with your friends so you can coordinate your visit and make the most of your trip. Go here to check out the festival’s official FAQ section.

Ready? Grab your extra battery pack and let us help you get ready for the musical experience that will change your life.

Overview of the EDC

There are Electric Daisy Carnivals around the world, but this guide focuses on the Las Vegas edition. EDC Las Vegas is an annual three day festival of electronic dance music featuring some of the top DJs in the world. In order to accommodate the nearly half a million people who come to the festival, the EDC is held about 20 minutes outside of downtown Vegas. 

So when guests arrive at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, they don’t see a racetrack. Instead, they see a totally redecorated and revamped festival space that can accommodate vendors, stages, and more.

The cheapest ticket is $379, plus additional fees. At the very top end is the VIP Enhanced Experience which is limited to guests 21 years of age or older. This top-tier ticket gives you access to elevated viewing decks, early entry, quick-access lines to carnival rides, VIP-only food and beverage options, and special areas like the splash pool. 

History of the Festival

The very first EDC festival was held way back in 1991. It was organized by young producer Pasquale Rotella. In 1995, the name was granted to Insomniac Events to use and they debuted their own event two years later in 1997. 

People love the EDC because of its focus on electronic dance music, including techno, dubstep, house, trap, drum and bass, and more.

For the first few years of its existence, the Electric Daisy Carnival moved between venues in southern California. 2001 marked the first time that multiple stages were presented at the EDC. The festival continued to grow in popularity in the early aughts, and by 2009 it expanded into a two-day festival.

2010 was an interesting year for the festival. Attendance was strong at around 185,000 people, but an underage festival goer died due to drug usage. This bad press reflected poorly on the festival and was part of the inspiration to relocate away from Los Angeles into Las Vegas. It also motivated the zero-tolerance drug policy that the EDC is now known for.

In 2011, the two day festival became a three day festival and entertained 230,000 people. By 2012, attendance had blossomed to 320,000 people and international EDC events were popping up around the globe. In 2013, London helds its very first EDC festival. More than 400,000 people attended the 2015 Las Vegas EDC festival. 

In 2018, the organizers decided to provide onsite camping and 411,400 people are estimated to have attended the 2018 EDC festival over the course of days.

The 2020 festival had to be canceled due to COVID, of course, but a virtual festival was livestreamed and organizers are already planning the 2021 festival.

If you’re interested in other similar festivals, check out Tomorrowland, Coachella, Bonaroo, Electric Zoo, Okeechobee, Ultra Music Festival, Shambhala, or Electric Forest. 

Some of these festivals have a more boho vibe, like Coachella, but each festival is all about good vibes. At any of these festivals listed above, you can spend several days basking in sick beats in the sunshine with your pals. Most take place in the summertime, so remember to pack your sunscreen and water bottles.

Keep in mind that not every event offers festival-specific camping onsite. However, you can usually find a nearby campsite that has sprung up to accommodate festival goers. Many of the popular electronic dance music performers make the rounds between festivals, so if you miss one then you could try to catch them at another festival. 

Lineup: Popular Performers at the EDC

At the EDC, you can expect to be entertained by some of the top names in electronic dance music. Festival headliners have included Armin van Buuren, Diplo, Tiesto, David Guetta, Chainsmokers, DJ Snake, Alison Wonderland, Martin Garrix, Afrojack, Zedd, Skrillex, and Major Lazer. Most major artists are announced ahead of time, but occasionally they sneak in to perform a secret set in the middle of the festival. Keep an ear to the ground for rumors!

Many female DJs have made their fame at the EDC too, including DJ Lady Faith, Charlotte de Witte, Soothslayer, and the young spaceprodigi. Other artists making their debut at the festival include Ahmed Romel, J. Worra, Kai Tracid, OMNOM, Golf Clap, and Ilario Alicante.

Getting Into the EDC Mindset

It’s important for you to know that the EDC is not a space for doing drugs. The organizers emphasize that they have a zero-tolerance policy on drug use at the festival. They also encourage responsible drinking for people who are of age, since alcohol is not a hydrating beverage. 

You’ll discover that most festival-goers and volunteers are really open-minded and truly believe that anyone can enjoy the festival without consuming drugs or alcohol. 

Ultimately, the EDC believes that YOU are the headliner of the festival, and they encourage everyone to play an active role in setting the tone and keeping the good vibes flowing.

Preparing for Your Trip

Packing and Budgeting

Step one, packing and budgeting! This is the perfect time to start thinking about next year’s festival. You’ll need clothes, accessories, survival supplies (like Emergen-C!), and party materials like a totem.

Start by choosing a primary suitcase that’s easy to transport. Think something with wheels, or with sturdy backpack straps. Then you’ll want to choose a day bag, purse or fanny pack to take with you to the festival. Some people choose to camp onsite, although it’s unclear whether COVID restrictions will prevent this. Either way, whether you choose a tent experience or stay at a hotel you will need a comfortable day bag to carry essentials.

Want to camp? The festival provides different tiers of camping. Remember, each spot can hold multiple people so you should plan to split the cost with friends. Your camping pass includes a festival-provided tent, an air conditioner, free shower facilities, and a vehicle pass. You need to pack your own bedding or sleeping bag if you select the cheaper of the two packages. The campsites allow different items than the festival itself, so make sure you double check the list before trying to enter. Unfortunately, car camping is not allowed due to heat concerns but you can bring an RV.

As for clothing, keep in mind that you’ll be experiencing desert temperatures! 

That means high highs and low lows. Make sure you bring clothing that works for hot and cold days. If you will be spending time on the Strip at hotels and pool parties, plan to bring some sweaters. Going in and out of air conditioning can be tough on your immune system, and a light sweater can help. However, this also applies to cool evenings at the festival. Finally, remember that long-sleeved shirts can help protect you from the sun during the daytime, so you can party longer without getting sunstroke! 

If you really want to get into the festival mood, pack your most glittery and outrageous outfits. The EDC is full of neon and black lights, so plan some outfits that can help you light up the night.

Remember that some items are prohibited on festival grounds. For instance, you can’t bring in your own water, food, or over-the-counter medication. However, there are bathrooms, water stations, food vendors, and a general store on site so you can stock up when you get there. In other words, you can bring an empty water bottle and just refill it when you get into the festival. Don’t forget your earplugs, comfortable shoes, and any fun art or totem items!



You can book a spot on the official EDC shuttles or if you’re feeling adventurous you can indulge in a helicopter ride to the Speedway. Otherwise, hitch a ride with friends, take a Lyft, or drive yourself and snag a parking spot. 

General parking is free but Premier parking comes with a cost. If you’re going to be dropped off, there is a designated Guest Drop-Off and Pick-Up Area. Make sure you check the EDC transit page to direct your driver to the proper location. Google Maps and Waze are known to mess up the addresses, so confirm everything before you set off. 

If you are staying onsite at Camp EDC, you won’t need daily transportation to reach the festival. In about 15 minutes, you can simply walk through the camp and enter the festival via camper-only entrances.

Remember to bring everything with you! Your ticket can only be scanned once per day, meaning that you can’t leave and come back on the same day. 

Planning Your Festival Days

Positivity is the main vibe at the Electric Daisy Festival. Here is what the organizers have to say about it: 

“We create unforgettable experiences driven by imagination and positivity, where music and art can inspire transformative moments around every corner.”

The EDC is about music and dancing but it’s also about creativity and inclusion. So, as you plan your festival days, don’t overschedule yourself! Leave some time to explore, make new friends, and get wrapped up in unexpected adventures. 

If you run into any trouble, just look for people in the purple shirts. They’re called Ground Control and it’s their job to provide nonjudgmental support to festival-goers in need. They can help direct you to a first aid tent or even talk you through a sensitive situation regarding sex or drugs. 

Come with an open mind and a kind heart, and you’re bound to have a transformative experience. 

Now let’s get into it! 

Finding the Right Stages

There are several stages at the EDC, and most artists play for about 60 - 90 minutes. Concerts are played almost constantly throughout Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 

As you explore, you’ll notice that each stage has a slightly different vibe: “Each area contained within EDC represents a distinct union of technology and nature, where elements mix to ignite the senses and inspire the imagination.”

  • kineticFIELD - This stage feels like a sacred temple to the union of nature and technology. With larger than life sets, projection mapping, and good vibes, this stage is the perfect place to be immersed in all things EDC.

  • cosmicMEADOW - Here is where you can catch the opening ceremony of the festival. After that, this stage hosts the top acts in the festival. Swing by cosmicMEADOW to experience mind-blowing performances and get swept up in the collective dance vibe.

  • circuitGROUNDS - This location is great for the ‘gram and even better for energetic alignment. It features “LED walls and plumes of fire that ignite the atmosphere, producing positively charged energy felt far beyond our own perceptions.”

  • neonGARDEN - If you’re into deep house and techno, head to the neonGARDEN. You’ll be treated to live immersive art activations and impressive technological shows.

  • bassPOD - It’s exactly what it sounds like. To get those deep bass rumbles, swing by the bassPOD and headbang with some bass house and trap music. Make sure you get hydrated before this one, and don’t miss the epic stage design.

  • wasteLAND - Hardcore dancers and music lovers, unite. Feel no shame in the wasteLAND as you join your fellow ravers in an intense thrashing and reveling. There’s usually fire in the stage show and tight quarters, so wear your deodorant for this one.

  • quantumVALLEY - This stage is all about trance music, and it’s easy to fall into the psychedelic experience when you walk into the gallery.

  • stereoBLOOM - Swing by this stage for some mix and match music. This location is where you might discover an up-and-coming artist you fall in love with. The list of performers is managed by the festival organizers, Insomniac Music Group.

  • skyLAB - The newest stage in the EDC family, the skyLAB is devoted to house music.

One option is to plan your experience based on the artists and DJs you want to see. There are maps and lineups to help you organize your day around particular artists. Here is an example of the 2019 EDC lineup

Another option is to plan your day around the kinds of experiences you want to have. For instance, some areas will be darker, with neon lights and more chill vibes. Other areas might be louder with carnival rides and interactive art installations. There are also wandering performers that you’ll stumble upon without even trying to run into them.

Think about how you want to balance your energy each day, leaving time to recuperate and rest between acts. Make sure you plot regular stops at the free water refill stations!

One Final EDC Insider Pro Tip

Here is a final festival tip from long-time EDC insiders. Make sure you seek out the art cars!

These are miniature stages that broadcast dance music, sometimes from stationary floats and sometimes from roving vehicles. They take several days to build and are works of art unto themselves. 

You might have to wander a bit to find one, but they’re worth seeking out. LA Weekly said, “These art cars provide a unique yet vital ingredient in EDC's multifarious color palette.” 

Are you feeling pumped? Stay tuned for news about the next festival, when the festival will be celebrating 25 years of amazing dance music festivals. Organizers are doing everything in their power to create a safe and exciting experience for guests next year. 

In the meantime, you can still begin your own preparations. Get your friends together and start planning your totem. Start budgeting for a camping spot. Test out some outfits while you do research on the top electronic dance DJs who just may grace an EDC stage next year.  Be sure you have your battery charger, light up gear, neon gear and lots of water!  

Share this post

Leave a comment

Note, comments must be approved before they are published