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September 23, 2018

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Staying at Camp EDC ‘way worth it’ for festival attendees in Las Vegas

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Steve Marcus

Emily Helm and Jared Taylor of Houston, Texas, pose for a photo at Camp EDC at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday, May 19, 2018. The campground has 3400 tents and 1100 RV spaces.

Camp EDC

A couple walks by tents at Camp EDC at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday, May 19, 2018. The campground has 3400 tents and 1100 RV spaces. Launch slideshow »

2018 EDC: Night 1

Festivalgoers take a photo at a selfie spot during the first night of the Electric Daisy Carnival at the Las Vegas Speedway, Friday, May 18, 2018. Launch slideshow »

Hours before the Electric Daisy Carnival kicked off a second night of utopia on Saturday in Las Vegas, some revelers took shelter in their futuristic-looking sleeping pods. Others splashed in pools or lay on artificial grass.

Instead of commuting back and forth to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the northeast valley for the three-day event, thousands of festival-goers are staying at Camp EDC.

Or as Luis Benitez put it, “Eat a sandwich, eat some chips, drink a soda, take an hour nap and go back refreshed, ready to party.”

The 3,400 air-conditioned ShiftPod tents aligned neatly on patches of artificial grass, in temporary neighborhoods that even had street names, such as Awake Avenue and Creation Lane. Roughly 1,100 recreational vehicles parked in designated lots. It’s the first year camping has been offered.

Attendees paid $75 per night for a pod that fits four people or almost $200 a night each for a more luxurious two-person tent. The 22,000 spaces sold out before this weekend’s festivities. The tents were personalized by campers, who attached or flew flags of countries, states or mottos, such as “Saturdays are for the Boys.”

Organizers experienced growing pains in the form of initially not having enough bathrooms and attendees experiencing long shower lines and brief power outages.

Take Tina, Summer and Owen who traveled to the festival from Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. “The convenience is very nice, (it’s)very easy to get and and out” when revelers are ready to sleep. Tina said.“(But) there’s probably some learning points.”

It took Benitez, a Los Angeles resident, five hours to enter the grounds. “I was skeptical about it, but once I got in, it was way worth it, man.”

“It’s a little like a vacation,” said Las Vegas resident Jose Aguirre, who Saturday afternoon shared a beer with Benitez.

By Saturday, 120 portable bathrooms and more units had been brought in to pump water to keep the flow going, and technicians were readily available to resolve any power issues, organizers said.

“I still think it’s been worth it, because it’s convenient. You meet a lot of people, everyone is just here to have a good time, you can’t beat that. But I expect basics like showers and bathrooms, and that’s been pretty disappointing,” Summer said.

The other side of the camp was more lively.

On Saturday afternoon, revelers danced by the pools, rode bikes and watched a duo of beatboxers. Some went round and round on a ferris wheel, while others ate food from vendors, which aroma permeated in the breeze. By time the festival entrance opened for a second of three nights, they just had to take a short walk to the gates.

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