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August 2, 2015

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So, what is this Electric Daisy Carnival all about?

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The 2010 Electric Daisy Carnival in L.A.

Electric Daisy Carnival

KSNV coverage of the upcoming Electric Daisy Carnival, June 22, 2011.

Beyond the Sun

The biggest dance music festival in the U.S. — the Electric Daisy Carnival — arrives this weekend, and it’s expected to bring many of the world’s best DJs, 250,000 spectators and more glow sticks than we’ll try to count.

But it’s also bringing a good deal of controversy. At last year’s festival in Los Angeles, a 15-year-old girl died of a drug overdose and more than 100 others were hospitalized, many for drug complications. For this year’s festival, the minimum age has been raised to 18, and promoters say they will take additional security measures, but just last weekend a smaller carnival event in Dallas left a 19-year-old dead of a drug overdose.

Like it or not, Ecstasy is part of dance-festival culture, and although it’s hard to hold organizers responsible for the safety of guests who sneak in illegal drugs, the eyes of the outside world will be on promoter Insomniac beginning at 8 Friday night.

What’s this EDC thing all my clubby friends keep talking about?

Electric Daisy Carnival, the biggest dance-music festival in the country. It’s taking place in Las Vegas for the first time this weekend.

But can’t I see these DJs on the Strip whenever I want?

Some are here a lot, sure. But a lot of the choice names will be setting foot in Southern Nevada for the first time. Plus, seeing Tiësto at the Joint is not the same thing as seeing him in a crowd of 80,000 under the stars.

OK, you’ve convinced me. Can I still get tickets?

As of Thursday, three-day passes ($215 plus fees, or $500 plus fees for VIP) were still available. Single-day Fridays and Saturdays are sold out, but Sunday tickets ($100 plus fees, $200 plus fees for VIP) were still up for grabs.

How do I get to Las Vegas Motor Speedway?

Take Intestate 15 north and exit to the right on Speedway Boulevard. Or, take Nellis Boulevard north, then make a left on Checkered Flag Lane.

The event’s website lists the hours as 8 p.m.-sunrise each day. That’s a typo, right?

Nope, that’s happening. Who wants to dance when it’s 100-plus degrees during the day? Just make sure to get some shut-eye before you get to the speedway, so you don’t sleep through your favorite act.

Is parking free?

All 40,000 spots worth. Get your vehicle out by 10 a.m. to avoid a towing charge. Or, if you don’t feel like driving, hop on the carnival’s shuttle at Circus Circus, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock Hotel, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, Monte Carlo or Palms. Three-day passes are $60, single days are $30 to $40 (more information is at shuttlelasvegas.com/edc). Or you could round up five friends and $6,000 and splurge on a round-trip helicopter ride to the speedway and back (flymaverick.com). Or not.

One of my buddies is 19. Can he come with me?

Yep. Electric Daisy Carnival is 18-plus, although VIP areas are restricted to those 21 and older.

Last question, I swear: What can and can’t I bring inside the festival?

Do bring: Your ID, cellphone, earplugs, small backpacks (10x10 max) and sealed cigarettes and gum packs. Don’t bring: Chairs, coolers, umbrellas, pens, pacifiers, eyedrops, stuffed animals, food, drinks — actually, just check the full list here.

A version of this story appears in this week’s edition of Las Vegas Weekly, a sister publication of the Sun.

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