Editor's Note: This article has been updated with revised information
Thushan Rajapaska from Staff Pro provided us this photo of the main stage at Electric Daisy Carnival at the Las Vegas Speedway, June 8-10.
One of the world’s largest electronic dance music festivals wrapped this weekend, bringing more than 115,000 to the Las Vegas Speedway.
Organizers plan to release grosses for the event some time later this week, but if the event’s East Coast kickoff is any indication, Electric Daisy Carnival could easily net organizer Pasquale Rotella and his Insomniac Productions an eight-figure gross.
The May 18-20 East Coast event at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. grossed a staggering $7.3 million with over 100,000 tickets sold. With a quick sellout of this year’s pricey VIP packages, some going as high as $1,000 per person, EDC Las Vegas might double that number.
But this year’s record festival wasn’t without its setbacks. Around 1 a.m. late Saturday, fast moving desert winds blew through the Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s field, violently shaking temporary stages, metal lighting towers and pyrotechnic cannons. In light of the stage collapse at last year’s Indiana State Fair and, afraid that disaster might strike, Insomniac halted entry to the stadium during the worst part of the storm. Many people left early and some of the headliners Saturday ended up not performing.
A statement from Insomniac Productions read: We cannot control Mother Nature and we are taking every precaution while high winds continue, and have cleared the stage areas temporarily as a preventative measure. Our top priority has always been fan safety.
In fact many fans simply left the building, some encouraged to leave by security guards, others simply walking out on their own. Saturday was the only time during the festival when the event faced an early ending — typically the event closes at 5:30 a.m. but was nearly completely closed by 2:30 a.m. that night. Doors opened at 7 p.m. on each night of the three-day festival.
“The late hours were my biggest concern from a staffing perspective,” said Thushan Rajapaksa, VP of Business Development for Staff Pro, one of two companies to provide security services at this year’s event. The other firm is Los Angeles-based agency Contemporary Services Corporation, which handled the VIP areas.
“It’s culture change for our employees who are used to working regular hours,” Rajapaksa said. “This is almost nocturnal hours. Our main shift started at 4:30 p.m. and went to 6 a.m.”
Rajapaksa said he remembers working one stage to the very end of the night, “looking to my right and seeing this amazing performance by the DJ and then looking to my left and watching the sun come up. It was an eerie feeling.”
EDC ended with a fireworks show that “was incredible and one of the best I had ever seen,” he said.
Interviewed for this article: Insomniac Productions, (323) 874-7020; Thushan Rajapaksa, (714) 230-7223