The Art of EDC Las Vegas
Even in a festival scene that only grows more crowded each year, there’s still nothing quite as magic as EDC, especially EDC Las Vegas. Everything about the illusory festival is art. The stages, the costumes, the performers, the amusement rides, the abundance of rave drip, EDC in itself is art. Art is is integral to the spirit of EDC. One of the most humanizing forms of self-expression. The confluence of imagination and creative skill realized in a tangible medium is beautiful, emotionally reverent, and compelling.
As one of the world’s most grandiose music festivals, EDC has a lot to offer outside of its mind-bending production and one-of-a-kind layout. EDC’s mesmerizing stage designs and jaw-dropping lineups might be enough to convince dance music lovers to attend the prestigious festival, but the art installations dispersed throughout the festival grounds also play a tremendous role in the experience.
Since its inception, EDC has displayed a wide array of art installations throughout the festival that act as great conversation pieces, perfect backdrops for photo ops, and marvels of creativity to bask in and appreciate wholeheartedly. As much as the festival is a musical showcase, it’s also a living exposition of larger-than-life art. With each year’s passing, EDC founder and CEO Pasquale Rotella and his team discover talented artists to produce exclusive, extraordinary pieces designed to elevate the magic.
“A vital part of the experience, the interactive art installations scattered throughout EDC are bridges we construct between nature and technology, there to inspire all who come in contact with them," Insomniac explains on the EDC website.
With this year’s EDC Las Vegas quickly approaching, Festival Insider curated a list of ten art installations from years past to give you a closer look at one of the most compelling aspects of the largest dance music festival in North America.
EDC Vegas happens May 20-22, 2022 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada. Select VIP passes are still available.
South African-born artist Daniel Popper is recognized all over the globe for his mammoth, state-of-the-art installations. A wide selection of his work focuses on themes revolving around the power of human connection, making him the perfect artist to recruit for an EDC piece. For EDC 2020, he created a stunning entryway into the festival’s Nomad’s Land area titled Chasm, a fragmented sculpture of a woman’s head and bust slowly coming apart. His large-scale sculptures are too eye-catching to miss, and this particular piece was one Headliners will remember forever.
One of the most talked-about installations at EDC to date is The Pool by Colorado-based artist Jen Lewin. Originally featured at Burning Man in 2008, the immersive piece made its way to EDC Las Vegas a few years later. She built The Pool from 106 LED platforms arranged in concentric circles that change color when stepped on. The Pool is an interactive piece that intertwines light, color, and movement. Festival-goers were able to step on the various circular pads that created a unique visual experience for each user based on their movements. It’s been a while since The Pool has been back on site, but hopefully, it’ll make its way to the Las Vegas Motorspeedway again soon for EDC newbies to enjoy.
The Electric Daisy
LA-based design agency Poetic Kinetics unveiled The Electric Daisy back at EDC 2012 to symbolize the festival’s name and sole purpose in the most intriguing manner. The 140-foot tall light-up piece featured 45,000 programmable LEDs dazzling anyone that passed by with an around-the-clock light show. The stellar flower portion consists of water-jet cut coroplast pedals and a steel interior framework. Its petals are secured with fiberglass tubing to withstand the heavy desert winds. After just one glance, the interactive visual art piece embodies the vibrancy and joy of Electric Daisy Carnival flawlessly.
In 2012, the Flaming Lotus Girls presented their notable Soma installation at EDC Las Vegas for the first time after appearing at Burning Man and an extended engagement on the San Francisco waterfront. Soma is their artistic depiction of two neurons in action. It features an elegant axon arch that connects an earthbound neuron with its neighboring neuron suspended overhead. The piece is illuminated with massive custom LEDs that pulse and vibrate in different colors with the push of a button. Scientifically and culturally, the definition of a soma varies. In some cases, defined as the physical body separate from the soul and mind, soma often is used concerning one’s health. However, this Soma illustrated the significance of human consciousness and the mind-body connection.
Anima, another Daniel Popper masterpiece, debuted at EDC 2019 and is one of the festival’s most memorable. The 7-meter statue portrayed a female goddess blowing kisses onto Daisy Lane as attendees entered the venue. Made from steel, fiberglass, wood, and natural fibers, Anima is genuinely one-of-a-kind. Its base held a structured glass floor that attendees could lounge on and relax as they pleased while taking in its beauty and enormity. Popper’s intention with this piece was to create a serene space for festival-goers to thoroughly enjoy and allow for that human meets nature connection he always aspires to portray in his work.
Easily the most talked-about installation at EDC 2019 was the otherworldly Pixel Forest. The immersive space consisted of a kaleidoscopic tunnel-like passageway full of mind-bending visual displays accompanied by hard-hitting beats. Pixel Forest was an intense interactive experience that left anyone who entered floored. It stunningly merged architecture and technology, and when it returned in 2021, festival organizers incorporated a Coinbase NFT Gallery into its design.
A minimalistic but fascinating installation to note is Paraluna by Christopher Schardt. Paraluna is a massive spinning fan-like disc with a multitude of colorful LEDs that flash to the beat of the melodies playing in the background. The hypnotizing piece was created with the hope of enveloping festival-goers in physical psychedelia. Those who wandered beneath the kaleidoscopic installation likely got lost in the sauce and could say that it enhanced their EDC experience even further.
As mentioned above, all of the complex stages at EDC are art themselves. But let’s talk about the various Art Cars dispersed throughout the festival grounds every year. It's yet another concept borrowed from Burning Man, yet the Art Cars at EDC remain (mostly) stationary. Think of them as small mobile stages that act as small stages within the festival. Noteworthy Art Cars from previous EDC productions include the Parliament Art Car, the Forest House Art Car, and the Icarus Art Car, among many others. Some cars even feature label takeovers like the mau5trap takeover back in 2019. The best part about these interactive Art Cars is that attendees can hop on them and join in on all the fun along with the artists playing and truly become one with the festival. This year’s Art Car lineup includes Parliament, Boombox, Rynobus, and Forest House.
Hand of God
The Hand of God was hard to miss at EDC 2019 as you ventured just outside the gates of the wasteLAND stage, entering Nomad’s Land. Consisting of a giant mechanical metal hand, the Hand of God allowed festival-goers the odd but satisfying opportunity to pick up and crush actual cars like they do in an old junkyard. The attraction brought video games to life, making attendees the game’s main characters. It was more like something out of Mad Max than a music festival, but it was sure amusing to partake in and watch everyone have fun with.
The astonishing Palace Blue debuted at EDC 2015, and many EDC attendees from that year are still talking about it. Designed by artist Gerard Minakawa who took inspiration from the Hagia Sophia cathedral in Istanbul. The beautiful structure consisted of captivating bamboo columns with a stunning vaulted roof design and required over 20 tons of material to build. The colorful glowing crystals on top of the palace were breathtaking, and it served as a tranquil chill spot for festival-goers all weekend long.