[FESTIVAL REVIEW] EDC Las Vegas had one of its best years ever in 2022, bringing improved production and a better lineup compared to 2021.
When it comes to the top festivals in America, EDC Las Vegas usually comes in at the top of the list by default. In 2021, I thought EDC Orlando was a better event than EDC Las Vegas, but this year reminded me why EDCLV is still the Final Boss of EDM festivals.
Something about the vibes at EDC Vegas 2021 didn’t feel right to me. Between the smaller crowds and the dates being moved to October due to the pandemic (meaning no sunrise sets), last year was probably one of my least favorite editions of EDC.
This year was much better than anticipated. After making (another) last minute trip to Las Vegas for EDC, I had no expectations for EDCLV 2022. However, immediately upon walking down the stairs at the Speedway on Friday, this year’s EDC just felt different.
One of the first things I did at EDC 2022 was head to the Wasteland stage, as it’s one of the only opportunities I get to see hard dance music all year.
While last year’s Wasteland had a small and basic design, Insomniac Events upgraded the stage significantly this year. Playing exclusively hardstyle and hardcore, Wasteland is one of hard dance music’s main attractions in North America, and it did not disappoint. I caught Soren’s set at 8 PM on Friday and could instantly feel the energy radiating from Wasteland.
BassPod also underwent some significant improvements in 2022. But while the stage looked incredible, it can be hard to find a comfortable spot here. Much of the back of the crowd space is used as a walkway from Circuit Grounds to Kinetic Field. I found BassPod to be particularly hard to navigate this year, and the only set I really stayed for was Space Laces b2b Getter.
The three main stages at EDC, Kinetic Field, Circuit Grounds, and Cosmic Meadow, once again drew the biggest crowds of the weekend.
Kinetic Field, the iconic “owl” main stage that is synonymous with EDC, has become one of my favorite stages in recent years. It can get crowded for headliners like Zedd and Porter Robinson, but the viewing area is probably bigger than the entire space of some smaller festivals.
Circuit Grounds has basically turned into the true main stage at EDC. It’s consistently one of the most well-produced stages every year, with incredible lighting, massive stage design, and several rows of speakers. It hosts an eclectic range of genres too, with artists like Excision, Alesso, Boris Brejcha, and Kx5 (Kaskade and deadmau5). Cosmic Meadow has both seating and grass-covered areas, making it one of the best place to chill at the festival. I’d like to see them improve the production further there next year, but it’s still a good place to catch sets from artists like DJ Diesel and Duck Sauce.
The production throughout all stages was impressive in 2022, including Stereo Bloom, Neon Garden, and Quantum Valley.
Neon Garden, the house and techno stage of the festival, has changed its appearance regularly throughout the years. I really felt the vibes here this year – sets from Dennis Cruz, I Hate Models, and Deborah De Luca were some of my favorites. Next door is Quantum Valley, the trance stage which hosts the genre’s biggest names like Tritonal and Cosmic Gate.
The vibes at the house-focused Stereo Bloom have improved significantly, and 2022 was the best yet. Insomniac always brings a great assortment of house music, and Stereo Bloom was a particularly fun place to stop by.
While EDC Las Vegas is a dream come true, navigating the festival can be difficult.
EDC Las Vegas is not without its flaws. There were occasional sound issues this year, sometimes due to the heavy winds in the Las Vegas area. Sound bleed also seems to be a problem, particularly at BassPod and Wasteland. I’d like to see those two stages reimagined completely in the coming years. Otherwise, the sound quality here is some of the best in the industry. Most rows have several rows of speakers, ensuring that even the fans furthest in the back can feel the bass.
Transportation to and from the festival can be a challenge, too. Catching an Uber looked like a headache, but I didn’t hear too many complaints about the shuttles. I chose to drive to and from EDC for the first time this year, which was fine as long as we parked in the Green Lot furthest away from the raceway with multiple exits.
The vibes at EDC were great, and the overall experience left me pleasantly surprised.
Last year, I enjoyed Camp EDC, but I personally prefer commuting back and forth from the strip. There’s really nothing like seeing Las Vegas resorts taken over by EDC people, and it’s worth it to sleep in an air conditioned hotel room. Staying at the festival from around 8 PM until past 5 AM is extremely exhausting, but the music and vibes simply take over.
I only decided to go to Las Vegas a week before EDC, and I left already considering coming back next year.
After 2021, I thought I’d take a break from EDC Las Vegas. However, this year reminded me that there’s really nothing like this festival. It brings together the best DJs from throughout the world, and there’s some nice diversity in the lineup. Insomniac provides a complete experience with carnival rides, street performers, vendors, and plenty of set time conflicts.
If you’re passionate about music and ready to stay up all night, EDC is simply the best. I think it was significantly better than Ultra Music Festival this year. Just make sure you bring a bandana or face mask to protect yourself from the dry desert air in Vegas.
Tickets to EDC Las Vegas 2023 are already on sale, and EDC Orlando 2022 is scheduled for this November.
I highly recommend EDC Orlando for anyone who’s a fan of Vegas. It’s a similar festival on a smaller scale with the same energy. It’s not nearly as big as EDCLV, but Orlando is definitely something to look forward to later this festival season.
EDC Las Vegas is one of the most intense but rewarding festivals in the EDM scene. It simply has to be attended by everyone at least once. It’s an experience that we all dreamed of when we first started listening to electronic music, and the story of Electric Daisy Carnival will continue in 2023.