a very happy and excited girl having fun at the Vegas EDC music festival

The Electric Daisy Carnival is among the largest electronic dance music festivals in the world, a colorful and kinetic trip straight out of Walt Disney’s technicolor-fueled wonderland. Hosted annually at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and located just twenty minutes away from the world famous Las Vegas Strip, all 910 acres of EDC can be overwhelming — especially for newcomers. Here’s your guide to doing EDC right.

How to Get There

If you’re staying at one of Las Vegas’ iconic hotels & casinos, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is one quick hop up the street via the I-15 North. If you want to forego any parking worries, you can call on one of Vegas’ many Taxi services or pool your friends together for an Uber or a Lyft. And because this is Vegas, there are endless ways to arrive in style: charter a stretch limousine or even one of Vegas’ famous stretched pink Hummers 
(it’s EDC – colorful and flashy is in). We do warn against hopping on a private charter bus, however — they won’t have access to the Speedway. 

Making it even easier to reach EDC is the official EDC shuttle, making stops at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas Village, the LINQ, the Las Vegas Festival Grounds, and in Downtown Vegas. It’s a good idea to buy your ticket ahead of time — the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino stop is already sold out. Oh, and you could arrive by helicopter, if that’s your thing. Las Vegas’ premier helicopter operator, Maverick Helicopters, offers a private charter flight ($3,000 one-way, $5,000 round-trip), or individual seats for $550 (one-way) or $850 (round-trip).

Where to Stay

Vegas is as known for its casinos as it is for its gambling, and with more than 62,000 rooms in the city, you won’t have a hard time finding a place to lay your head after a long day and night of dancing. Your best bet might be booking one of the 12 hotel packages offered directly through EDC, or booking an official EDC week hotel package for two.

Mandalay Bay is the official EDC headquarter hotel, but Insomniac has partnered with eleven other properties — including the ARIA, the Bellagio, Circus Circus, Excalibur, Luxor, MGM Grand, the Mirage, New York-New York, the Signature at MGM Grand, Vdara Hotel & Spa, and the Monte Carlo — offering package deals on hotels and shuttles to make your trip as stress-free as possible. 

Artists to Catch

EDC will present three straight, music-filled days, featuring over 230 artists appearing across seven themed stages. There will be a back-to-back set between between big-timers DJ Diplo, Alison Wonderland, and Jauz, with Martin Garrix, RL Grime, Madeon, marshmello, and Porter Robinson taking part in the festivities. Making their first appearance at EDC are Kygo, GRiZ, Cut Snake, RÜFÜS DU SOL, and DJ Khaled. 

What to Eat

EDC doesn’t allow outside food or drinks (including alcohol and candy), but there are food stands and roaming vendors on hand selling water, snacks, and other beverages. EDC does permit guests to enter with empty, official Insomniac water bottles, which can be filled up at free hydration stations around the festival. (You can also fill up any empty beverage container, as long as it was purchased inside the festival.) You’re in the desert, and in Las Vegas, the average June temperature is a roasting 100 degrees. With all that motion and partying you’ll want to stay hydrated, so make sure you prioritize your water before your glow. EDC probably isn’t as fun from the nurse’s station.

What to Pack

The official EDC website has a list of both acceptable and prohibited items for the festival, and you’ll want to look over that carefully before you arrive. Cell phones and portable chargers or external batteries are allowed, as well as selfie sticks, non-professional flash and still cameras, and handheld video devices under 6”. You’ll want to wear comfortable shoes and cool clothes, keeping in mind the (likely) hot, sunny weather. Hats, sunglasses, and (sealed) sunscreen lotion are a must, but any spray sunscreen won’t be allowed in.

What VIP Gets You

With a 3-day VIP package starting at $699, you can improve your EDC experience (if you’re 21 and over). You’ll have access to dedicated VIP viewing decks and interactive photo booths at three stages, dedicated VIP dance areas and lounge at neonGARDEN, a VIP-only concierge info booth, access to the Blind Owl Bistro & Burlesque show, and you’ll be able to hop on the VIP-only Ferris wheel and hop into the VIP ball pit. 

You’ll also enjoy a complimentary body paint and beauty bar, an oxygen bar, a Kandi bracelet making station, and fun time with giant Jenga, pool tables, ping-pong, chess, and Connect Four. VIPs get access to more coffee and juice bars (including a complimentary breakfast between 4-6 a.m. at kinectFIELD), as well as dedicated gourmet food trucks whose offerings include gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options.

Your perks won’t end there: you’ll have your own expedited VIP entrances into the festival, access to air-conditioned bathrooms, cell phone charging stations, and chill zones that feature additional seating, misters, and relaxing areas. New to EDC 2017, VIPs will be able to purchase VIP Fast-Pass for shorter waits on all carnival rides, mobile charging lockers, headliner challenges and awards, as well as access to EDC Park complete with adult jungle gym, swings, and viewing areas. 
The music, the lights, and the costumes are fun, but never underestimate the value of an air-conditioned bathroom on a hot day.

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