EDC Las Vegas 2023: Our thoughts

Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Las Vegas returned to Sin City last weekend for the 12th edition of the annual event at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

More than 170,000 fans attended the festival each day — a record-breaking 520,000 over the three days. That number continues to grow each year, and the sheer size and density of the crowd was felt this year more than ever.

While most are still in full recovery mode, tickets for EDC 2024 go on sale this Friday.

Having attended every EDC Vegas since 2012, here are some key observations from the weekend:

Getting there

  • The time it takes to drive to the venue from The Strip varies greatly depending on the time of night and what lane you end up in while entering the venue. My arrival travel time ranged from just over an hour on Friday and Saturday nights to over three hours on Sunday night. For the best experience, arrive early (well before doors open) and leave early (by 4 a.m.).
  • The brown parking lot is closest to the venue entrance, but it’s not always possible to get there, despite one’s best efforts.
  • Due to Formula 1 repaving and construction, traffic around The Strip itself was much worse than usual, which caused the mid-strip shuttle pickup location to be cancelled and created more issues for those driving or using rideshare services.
  • Want to avoid the headaches of traffic and parking altogether? Camp onside at Camp EDC or take a 15-minute helicopter ride via Maverick Helicopters. The next best option is to take an official shuttle.
  • Security searches were quick and painless, but also rather concerning. There were no metal detectors, and I was only briefly patted down on the first night. The following nights, staff only glanced inside my backpack and sent me on my way. For a city that saw the worst mass shooting in recent history (at a music festival, no less), I was certainly on extra-high alert.


  • With record-breaking attendance comes mind-boggling crowd congestion, but this isn’t anything new if you’ve been to EDC recently. There were however some major bottlenecking issues at the entrance to Kinetic Field and Cosmic Meadow’s VIP. This was somewhat improved by the second night, but significant changes are needed next year.
  • Viral videos have highlighted menus with $80 pizzas and $100 sushi rolls. Those large trays of food could indeed be purchased, but specifically by folks who had reserved high-end bottle service tables at the Marquee SkyDeck. Typical food options around the venue ranged $18-20 for an entree, which is on par with typical festival offerings.
  • If you really can’t stomach the food prices, try the numerous hot dog cart vendors in the parking lots who seemingly appear out of nowhere for events like this. Iykyk.
  • Many complained about understocked bars or unknowledgeable staff, none of which I can speak to. But they did have cute owl-shaped souvenir glasses available for purchase. Drink prices were $18 for beer and seltzer and $20+ for mixed drinks.
  • Free water stations were available throughout the venue, but some were underutilized. Water stations near the larger stages consistently had long lines, while the station at Carnival Square (right in the middle of the venue) had no lines at all.
  • Red Bull was nonexistent, replaced with Ghost energy drinks instead, who signed an exclusive agreement this year.
  • Six Volta Beauty Bars were located throughout the venue. Some basic services were free (face glitter, etc.), while a menu of other makeup and hair services were available for a fee.
  • Trash accumulation continues to be a problem, but there’s also a lack of sufficient trash or recycling bins around the venue. I can’t imagine just tossing empty drink containers or any other trash on the ground, but it’s certainly the norm here, and the grounds often resemble a landfill by morning. Perhaps organizers have decided it’s easier to clean the entire venue afterwards rather than attempting to empty and transport bags of trash through such dense crowds.
  • EDC is a major target for professional phone thieves. Invest in a phone leash or utilize a hidden zippered pocket.
  • Sunday is typically the best day to attend for lighter crowds, but this year it felt like the busiest day. Insomniac did sell single-day Sunday tickets for the first time in years, and perhaps more folks also attended all three days.


  • Many stage designs were similar to last year, but Cosmic Meadow was refreshed and Kinetic Field is fully redesigned annually based on the festival’s theme.
  • Kinetic Field’s VIP area switched places with the SkyDeck bottle service tables. This did appear to provide better and larger viewing areas from the VIP space.
  • “The Garden” indoor hangout space previously only accessible to VIP attendees was now available to everyone.
  • After debuting in 2022, the house-focused Bionic Jungle stage expanded and moved to the grassy area near Cosmic Meadow.
  • Neon Garden felt more like a club again this year, even without the mega structure of 2021 or tall walls of 2019. However, the space was overcrowded for some sets like Eli Brown’s and I Hate Models’. Techno is back!
  • Stereo Bloom’s sound quality is MUCH better, but it still feels like a small stage for the caliber of artists that often perform there.
  • Downtown EDC saw a few changes. Notably missing were the “mini bar” and silent disco, replaced instead with the Kandi Casino. Returning were multiple wedding ceremony venues (both for legal marriages and other commitments), the Good Time disco, Up To Date game show, The Queen drag bar, and Tokyo karaoke bar.
  • Most of the art installations appeared to be new to EDC. Pixel Forest continues to be a fan favorite.
  • The fireworks show was as magical as always, but it did feel shorter. Everyone should plan to watch this show from the top of the bleachers at least one night, and from Kinetic Field on another night as that’s the only place you’ll hear the perfectly-timed soundtrack.
  • There was no drone show this year, which is surprising given Insomniac’s anniversary celebration.
  • The Parliament Art Car was transformed from an owl’s nest into a birthday cake to celebrate Insomniac’s 30th anniversary. Bunny’s (of Rabbit in the Moon) set there was a real throwback to year’s past.
  • Memory Lane was renamed to “Anniversary Lane” and showed a collage of photos, but I miss the nostalgic video recaps of past EDCs.
  • Fewer roaming performers were spotted among the crowd.
  • The art car parade of years past is greatly missed.
  • Where have all the owl designs gone?


  • Over 230 artists performed across nine stages and four art cars/installations.
  • The song of the weekend was John Summit’s “Where You Are.” We heard remixes of all genres of this wildly popular track, aside from Summit appearing as a surprise guest on Saturday night to play the track himself. Another sure indicator of the song’s influence: Zedd opened his set with it.
  • Personal favorite sets include those by Chris Lake, Dom Dolla, Fisher, Eli Brown, Chris Lorenzo, and I Hate Models.
  • Alison Wonderland performed while nine months pregnant.
  • Speaking of pregnancy, a fan reportedly went into early labor during Zedd’s performance at Kinetic Field. She later identified herself in a Twitter exchange with the artist, noting that the baby’s middle name is Daisy. This rave baby and its parents have a great story to tell for a lifetime.

SEE ALSOAll upcoming nightclub/dayclub events in Las Vegas

Photos courtesy Insomniac Events.


You may also like...

Kent Otto

Kent is founder and editor-in-chief. He's always had a love and passion for music of all types, but didn't discover the music festival scene and community until moving to Southern California during his early post-college years. He returned to his roots in the Midwest in 2011 and has since been determined to share the magic and beauty of the music scene with as many as possible. Email kent@edmcalendar.com.