After nearly fifteen years on the west coast, Insomniac’s signature EDM festival, the Electric Daisy Carnival, took to the MetLife Stadium in New York (err… New Jersey), proving that the annual success of Electric Zoo is much more than a fluke in the east coast’s rising EDM scene. The Grade-A events company really went to great lengths to bring both locals and out-of-towners an experience not just like the EDC of the West that they’ve longed for, but one unique to the New York scene itself. With strong representations from Europe’s trance and house scenes, as well as stages devoted entirely to minimal techno and bass music, it was apparent that the seasoned events company really played to their audience.
The gates opened early Friday evening (as opposed to noon on the other two days), resulting in a generally smaller festival than the weekend would eventually offer. Sets were a bit shorter and only three of four stages were active, but by the time that the night’s crowning acts, Armin van Buuren, Pendulum, and local legend Boris took the stage, it was clear that EDC had found the right venue in MetLife to harness the energy of a true massive.
Armin came back on Saturday, this time taking over the CircuitGrounds tent alongside ASOT cronies and trance legends Jochen Miller, Markus Schulz and John O’Callaghan. With a massive open top and VIP platforms lining the sides of the tent, it proved to be a perfect stage for a trance takeover as well as one of Saturdays constant hotspots. Kinetic Fields sponsored some of the largest crowds, which makes sense as they housed sets from favorites like Calvin-Harris, Alesso, and late-night closer Avicii. With an LED-lined stage, a series of themed Pacha dancers and fireworks that accompanied the big ticket acts, Kinetic Fields housed one of the largest and most energetic EDM crowds ever seen in the Northeast. Steve Angello brought some rising talent from Size to the Cosmic Meadow, found on the floor level of the MetLife stadium, but the winning set Saturday came from techno-house legend and host of the Neon Garden Carl Cox. His unique brand of big summer beats with beyond tasteful recurring vocals was a perfect delight as the sun set on the second day at EDC.
Sunday brought Richie Hawtin‘s ENTER lineup to the Neon Garden. Jam-packed with the biggest stars in the deeper and more minimal spectrums of electronic music, this stage was all about deep bass, all day. Minus labelmate Ambivalent kicked the day off with hard-hitting tech house, including a beautiful Saso Recyd remix of Burial‘s Archangel. Seth Troxler and his Visionquest crew followed that up with their signature trippy deep house, which was complemented by Magda’s bouncy minimal beats. The fun kept flowing with a funky, diverse set from Hot Natured (Jamie Jones and Lee Foss) before Victor Calderone, Dubfire, and Loco Dice laid down some bruising sets to transition perfectly from day to night. Finally, Richie himself stepped up to the controls to take us on a relentless journey into techno darkness, closing the festival with Claude VonStroke’s Who’s Afraid Of Detroit against a backdrop of stunning fireworks.
Other standout sets expectedly came from superstars like Bassnectar, Afrojack, and Sub Focus (who completely blew minds with the use of his bass-modulation hand motion sensors). It’s clear that a lot of this year’s big names have even bigger plans for the summer to come, as most anticipated sets were just on another level, even for such monster headliners as these.
Insomniac really pushed themselves to bring a great lineup to the region’s first EDC exposure, but it was evident that they also focused on the overall experience had by their fans. The Electric Daisy Carnival truly lived up to its name, as there was an awesome carnival, stocked with Gravitrons, ferris wheels and freaks on stilts amidst the 4 massive rave stages. Having offered something for just about every kind of festival attendee, it’s clear that EDCNYC was a definite success for the artists, for Insomniac, and especially for the fans. Here’s to an amazing start to an amazing festival season! Check our pictures from the event here.