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August 8, 2022

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j. patrick coolican:

Was Electric Daisy Carnival the beginning of a rave-based economy?

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J. Patrick Coolican

Electric Daisy Carnival Sunday Night

The final day of the Electric Daisy Carnival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on June 27, 2011. Launch slideshow »

When it comes to making money, Las Vegas, admirably in my view, doesn’t do cloying moralism.

Exhibit A: Before last month’s Electric Daisy Carnival, the massive electronic music festival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, there was some hand-wringing about whether we should have allowed the event given problems with previous festivals put on by promoter Insomniac. The concern was somewhat justified: Last year in Los Angeles an underage girl died of an apparent ecstasy overdose, and two people died in Dallas at an Insomniac event this year.

But our event went off well. You can read my column about it here.

No one was seriously injured, and the art and music injected a jolt of cultural energy into our bloodstream.

And of course the event, which drew 230,000, pumped some money into the local economy. That drew notice from board members of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which, before the festival, sort of wanted nothing to do with it.

At a board meeting Tuesday, “several board members spoke about developing a closer relationship with producers of the three-day electronic music rave,” my colleague Rick Velotta reports.

As Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins put it: “The participants were the most polite young kids that I’ve ever been around.”

(The kids were all rolling on ecstasy, which I understand causes acute politeness.)

Even Metro Police officers know the score. As one told the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “I don’t see the nuance in staring at lights for hours. But it doesn’t take much to see this has generated some money for the valley.”

There’s a serious point here, though. Velotta reports discussions about “developing an electronic music conference in conjunction with the event and having related events in the city. Others discussed showing off the success of the event and inviting other musical genres to stage festivals here.”

Smart thinking, and a model that can be applied to other events in our city. Conversely, large conventions can also drive events.

Perhaps we can lure a glow-stick manufacturer here.

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