Pasquale Rotella talks heat-related EDC date change: ‘It wasn’t as comfortable as it needed to be’
Next year, for the first time, fans at Electric Daisy Carnival will be able to walk out of the show at sunrise and right into their own air-conditioned tent.
That would have been impossible any other year. Considering late-June temperatures in Las Vegas routinely topped 100 degrees even in the dead of night, the new-for-2018 camping options will likely be a much-welcome relief.
It happened because, next year, the fest is moving up a month, to May 18-20, and it could radically change the entire EDC Las Vegas experience, as organizers hope the shift to May will bring cooler temps.
“I’ve been thinking about it for years,” said Pasquale Rotella, the founder of EDC’s promoter Insomniac. “It’s just been getting hotter and hotter with no breaks. It wasn’t as comfortable as it needed to be.”
The change should help alleviate some of the pressure on the estimated 400,000 fans who attend over the three-night fest (tickets for the 2018 edition are on sale today). The date adjustment is part of perhaps the most serious rethink of the festival’s culture since its move to Las Vegas in 2011.
The move to May is in part a logistical move to help reduce the medical risks that come from partying in such intense heat. EDC has faced criticism over its annual fan deaths, most attributed in part to drug overdoses. A change of temperature may mean the difference between life and death for some fans, and exhaustion or comfort for most.
“Everything helps,” Rotella said. “We have the most innovative medical team in the business, and EDC doesn’t have any more of a problem than any other festival, but I do believe the weather will help people.”
With the date change comes a new on-site camping option, with RVs and pre-constructed turnkey tents expected to draw around 30,000 fans to what Rotella described as “EDC City.”
Coupled with earlier gates-open times and elements like yoga and a speakers series, the camping will bring a new daytime EDC component that the old Nevada heat would never permit.
“I’ve wanted it for a really long time,” Rotella said. “It bring people closer together.”
For fans who buy a camping pass, the annual traffic snarls to and from the strip will be eliminated in favor of a short walk outside the grounds (most fans stay on the Strip or in nearby Vegas rental housing).
An expanded shuttle system from a new private operator may help as well. EDC shuttle lines were famously long and the buses rowdy; construction on the highway out to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is finally complete as well, and should open up new lanes of traffic.
But EDC is not the only L.A.-adjacent festival that Insomniac will be overseeing.
After the departure of Hard Summer’s Gary Richards to LiveStyle (where he is widely expected to start a new marquee festival), Insomniac now fully operates the Hard brand (both companies were and remain partially or totally owned by Live Nation).
Rotella said Insomniac did some behind-the-scenes work at this year’s 10th anniversary Hard Summer, and expects to keep the brand and festival more-or-less intact in Richards’ absence.
“We’re not going to skip a beat,” Rotella said. “We’re going to focus on music and we’re not really going to change anything about it.”
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