For 15 years, Insomniac Events’ Electric Daisy Carnival has offered up a feast for the senses. With five stages featuring top talent, rides, art, creatively wicked sideshows and revelers in crazy costumes. EDC combines the art and spectacle of Burning Man, the rides straight out of County Fair and some of the best DJs, acts and other musical artists to bring magical mayhem to the masses (see our pix from the weekend).
And the new documentary seeks to convey the best of the festival in IMAX. Included in the Electric Daisy Carnival Experience is performances by Deadmau5, Kaskade, Above & Beyond, Benny Benassi, Moby, Fedde Le Grand, Laidback Luke, Steve Aoki, TRVS x A-Trak, Duck Sauce, MSTRKRFT, Afrojack, Will.I.Am, Swedish House Mafia, 12th Planet and a special tribute to DJ AM.
Whats surprising is that the crowd is very gentle, very gracious and accommodating...Its a transformative experience.
We recently caught up with film director Kevin Kerslake (of Nirvana Live!Tonight!Sold Out!! fame) shortly after wrapping up EDC's four-city tour.
Kerslake, who has traveled with the carnival for years, directs a legion of cameramen in and around the crowd to deliver live action feed that is displayed on the large screen above the DJs and other artists on each of the five stages of the massive show.
Footage included in the Electric Daisy Carnival Experience documentary was shot at LA's Electric Daisy Carnival over two-day festival at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2009 and 2010. According to promoters about 185,000 attendees flocked to the coliseum for the two-day festival.
"The great thing about EDC is that it's not like you typical show where you go, and everyone goes and stands in front of the stage and watches the DJ," Kerslake said. "Every where you look at ECD, there's really something fun to watch and experience.
According to Kerslake, six cranes and helicopters were used as well as, three dollies. A total of 64 cameras were used by more than 100 camera operators to gather 700 hours of footage. All of that footage has been whittled down to about 2 hours for the documentary.
"The thing that's amazing about EDC is that each day there's 100,000 people [in attendance]. What's surprising is that the crowd is very gentle, very gracious and accommodating," Kerslake said. "It's a transformative experience," he added.
The Electric Daisy Carnival Experience is a "Day in the Life" of this massive music and arts festival. The film includes interviews with attendees along with some narration. But it's not a history of the EDC, Kerslake said.
"I do a film basically every year," Kerslake said regarding the amount of footage he shoots each year at the festival.
EDC has five stages (kineticFIELD, circuitGROUNDS, cosmicMEADOW, bassPOD, neonGARDEN) featuring different types of performances simultaneously. There are costumed performers among the crowd and a full carnival filled with rides and other attractions.
This year EDC went to Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas and Las Vegas during May and June. The festival will arrive in Puerto Rico on August 27.
Attending EDC as a teenager is what inspired 12th Planet (aka John Dadzie) to become a DJ and Dubstep producer. "I believe in that party so much," he said.
Dadzie attended EDC in 1997, 98 and 99 as “just another kid in the crowd.” Now, he entertains the crowd from the bassPOD stage at each stop along the way. He is also featured in the documentary.
"I was one of maybe five kids at my school to go to EDC," he said. "When we went to EDC we just saw this whole movement of kids. Kids that dressed like us, acted like us, played like us."
That inspiration stuck with him until he was able to strike out on his own as an artist and producer. Now he looks out over the throng of young electronic music enthusiasts and throws that enthusiasm right back at them.
For Dadzie, traveling with the other EDC artists and acts is like coming home. "“When we are traveling on the road … you trust one another. And when everything goes according to plan and it’s awesome."
Dadzie offers a very-high energy set. He's even lost his voice shouting out to the crowd.
"I’m thinking about that party and what that shit is going to sound like to that kid in the crowd," he said.
Find theater locations and purchase tickets for the Electric Daisy Carnival Experience at Fathom Events. The event will be broadcast to select movie theaters across the US on Aug. 4, 2011. The film will be shown in 2,000 theaters overseas, and it will be released on DVD this fall.