EDC Turns 20 in Las Vegas

If you are visiting Las Vegas this weekend and are over the age of 24, sorry… You probably think you just walked into a time warp or something.  Maybe you think ate some bad peanuts on the flight or the sexy flight attendant slipped you a roofie…

Worry not, you are just fine. It’s the rest of Vegas that flipped out in the record-breaking heat! It’s called The Electic Daisy Carnival. Also known more simply as “EDC

photo by tom donoghue

2016 is its 20th year and its 5th in Las Vegas. In a simple, “old man” explanation, EDC is one of the greatest examples of American Capitalism currently on display!!  It’s a modern version of Woodstock if Woodstock was organized, commercialized, had a carnival, and was held in the middle of a race track at night in the record-breaking heat that did not include any real music!

It’s 100,000 millennials coming to cram into the Las Vegas Motor Speedway every night, listening to some former hamburger flippers who figured out how to get paid more in one night playing with an iPod on steroids than what your house costs!

They will bring out their best furry-legged bling.  Wear colorful, neon clothing that shows off their assets and dance, scream, and party to electronic dance music.  In between the events, they will give the average Vegas Tourist some great people-watching opportunities!  They will jam up the freeways trying to get out there before the sun sets and the moon rises.

Then as the sun starts to rise, they will hurry back, heat stroked and burned because they never realized the desert could be so hot and dry even at night. Then spend the day hanging out at the pools and soaking up energy drinks and hotel bar food.  Trying to re-energize for another night.

Meanwhile pumping millions of dollars into the Las Vegas economy!

according to a comprehensive data study released by Beacon Economics, LLC, EDC has generated a staggering $1.3 billion for the local economy and has attracted more than 1.7 million fans to Las Vegas since its debut in Sin City in 2011. As North America’s largest dance music festival, EDC Las Vegas boosted the Clark County economy by $350.3 million in 2015 alone, with over 405,000 attendees across three days (June 19–21). Additionally, the report disclosed that EDC Las Vegas 2015 created $141.3 million in increased labor income for Clark County workers, as well as 3,270 full-time jobs. – insomniac.com

A Mixed Blessing

Having 400,000 millennials in the desert in the summer tends to give the resorts a double-edged sword. They fill up the hotel rooms and have no problem paying a premium.  Of course, they tend to pack the room with 10 of their closest friends!  So the resorts make bank on that end.  But the crowd is mostly too young to gamble, so they lose on that end.  But the crowds will fill the pool areas during the days and eat and drink till their credit cards are maxed out.  That’s good, except it chases away the families and others here trying to experience all of Las Vegas, including the nighttime shows and nightclubs. That’s bad.  So it’s a serious love/hate relationship!

The first EDC event was held in at the Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles. Changing to larger venues each year and out-growing each one.  In 2012, it moved to Las Vegas and the Speedway.  Attendance was a record 320,00 for the three-night event.

Moving the main EDC event to Las Vegas had side benefits for its founder,Pasquale Rotella.  Besides making him a multi-millionaire, he got to meet, serenade, and finally marry Las Vegas starlet and former Hugh Hefner bed warmer, Holly Madison.

So expect your Vegas feeds this weekend with pictures, texts, and Facebook updates of strange-looking photos and comments from a crowd still trying to figure out how the world works and enjoying their youthful adventures in the desert!

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