Thursday, June 7, 2012 | 8 p.m.
“A small city." That’s how Erika Raney, director of communication for Insomniac Events, described the Electric Daisy Carnival festival grounds at a preview tour for local media Thursday morning, and she’s not far off.
To prepare for the anticipated 115,000 attendees each night Friday through Sunday, organizers transformed the Las Vegas Motor Speedway into a vast, self-sufficient space equipped with resources ranging from a hospital to cooling lounges to koi ponds.
As they were last year, everyone entering the festival will be subjected to a thorough, multi-phased security search at the gate. Attendees can expect to have their photo ID scanned, a process that will be followed by a full bag search and pat-down. Food and liquids—even eyedrops—will be confiscated, though fans are encouraged to bring empty water bottles to fill up at the free drinking water stations inside.
Four indoor, air-conditioned “cooling zones” will be located across the Speedway to provide a respite from the heat. However, with dehydration and other ailments and injuries inevitable, about 20 nurses and doctors and 64 EMTs will be on-site to provide medical attention free of charge.
The festival is sold out, but if you’ve got money to burn there are still spots available in the main stage VIP area on Friday and Sunday ... for a cool $3,000 per table. The plush velvet décor of the VIP, curated by the Cosmopolitan’s Marquee nightclub, will be complemented by its own garden and koi ponds.
The main stage continues to hold the title of the largest temporary stage in North America, with organizers expanding the space this year by 30 percent to accommodate up to 55,000 people. The area will also feature enhanced light displays, with LED installments on the walls surrounding the stage synced to the music and surrounding environment.
In addition to its expansion, which includes a new seventh Q-dance stage, organizers drew on fan feedback to make several other key adjustments to the layout:
* The modest Discovery stage has been transformed from a casual lounge area to a stage booked with new, emerging talent selected by fans from social media campaigns.
* Much of the dust and gravel underlying the festivals carnival rides and interactive art installations has been paved over to minimize dust kick-up.
* Water stations have been repositioned to accommodate body traffic and minimize overcrowding as attendees navigate between stations.
“Our focus was on how to make the fan experience better, safer and more accommodating,” Raney said. “We want to give back to this community as much as they put in.”