Last year’s Electric Daisy Carnival transported the UK dance community to an alternative reality, a glorious place in sunny East London where the apex of dance music were given the tools and the creative license to push sound and lightshows to new extraordinary heights.
2014, however, looks like it is going to surpass those feats of audacity with something even bigger, brighter, bolder and busier; judging by the line-up anyway, which features Avicii, Paul van Dyk, Steve Angello, Hardwell, Steve Aoki and many more.
Seeing the purpose built stages rising to the heavens, and the beautiful names they’ve been given: Kinetic Field, Cosmic Meadow and Circuit Grounds. Remembering the scale of events last year, and these unfathomable super-structures that seem to defy the laws of gravity. The kind that would dwarf most other festival set-ups like Andre The Giant going back to back with Verne Troyer.
In their considerable shadows, you get a sense of how massive this event is across the globe and why people who are mad about electronic music champion it so passionately.
Add to that the awe-inspiring visual effects, the kind which would have Jon Tickle seizing up in a gadget and fireball induced coma, and you have something worth exploring further, something of the unexpected.
The Olympic Village in Stratford was the scene of this rave to end all raves back in 2013; and organisers (Cream and Insomniac) transformed what was essentially a track and field legacy site into a cosmic meadow of bright fluorescent colours, confetti canons and kaleidoscopic light shows – the scale of which has never been seen in this country before.
In 2014, the whole affair is to be repeated, but with a new address and some new surprises, which are being kept under strict lock and key – to be unveiled at the legendary Milton Keynes Bowl. And best of all it is spread over 2 days this year, so clear your calendar, book the Monday off and invest in some luminous undies for Saturday July 12 and Sunday July 13.
What can we expect then? Well last year, above the stage there stood a giant motorised daisy lurching above the LCD screens – an impossible sight, but true all the same.
Engineered by artist Poetic Kinetics, this 100-foot flowerhead was lit up like the Blackpool tower, and had a full range of motion to dance with the sounds erupting from below in the DJs cockpit.
I’m feeling a Wordsworth comparison coming on, but I’ll resist the temptation.
It does make you wonder though, if they did that in the first year with 50,000 people in attendance, what visual delights have the team imagined for 2014, with all of the lessons they have learnt and the increased capacity? And more to the point, why haven’t you got your ticket yet?
Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the usual setting of EDC – so it has that international recognition and magnetic pull which brings the world’s biggest DJs to wherever this flower of paradise takes root. Just outside London, in Buckinghamshire, to be exact.
For anyone who has never been to a gathering organised by Cream and Insomniac before, it is the kind of rights of passage that every dance purist has to go through – because when two iconic and visionary dance institutions collaborate like this, special things happen.
They always deliver the goods, and made good their promise to bring this piece of American folklore to the UK without compromising the unique essence of the event, and always, to keep the party going long into the night.
You can judge the success of the first by the level of interest in this year’s event and the buzz it has created on social media, with every announcement and minute line-up revelation creating shockwaves in the Twittersphere.
But this super festival doesn’t want to stand still in time and admire its own achievements.
I’m feeling a chameleon comparison coming on. You better leave now. I’m going with this one.
Not only, is it like a chameleon, because of its ability to flourish in the Nevada desert, but because it is constantly changing colour and adapting to new environs. Does that make sense at all? Thought not.
Forget my reptilian analogies then, but you can rest assured that there is going to be a cacophony of fireworks and some spellbinding music at this brand spanking new venue, and the promise to paint an entirely different portrait across the landscape and inside your head where it really matters – with the world’s largest digital LED show and a 3D wall of sound.
The idea being to create a 360degree panorama of light and music that will cocoon the partygoers in sound and colour, for a totally unrivalled and mesmerising sensory bombardment.
The Milton Keynes Bowl will undergo a similarly stark transformation to accommodate one of the greatest shows on Earth. This is a place that has already hosted some of the world’s biggest stadium fillers through its history, including Queen, David Bowie, U2, REM, Bon Jovi and Metallica.
But never before will it have such a pioneering and ambitious spectacle of sound design, pyros, art installations, interactive displays and street entertainers. Neither will it have had such a diverse assembly of world-class performers on its roster operating under the same umbrella.
Just take a look at the line up and you can see why Electric Daisy Carnival is carrying the torch for dance music in the UK right now, and how it fuses so many different musical elements, tastes and predilections together, and leaves no stone unturned to get you in the groove.
You can expect to see the likes of Hardwell, Avicii, Calvin Harris, Steve Angello, Pendulum, Steve Aoki, Nicky Romero, Martin Garrix, Marco Carola, Paulvan Dyk, Ferry Corsten, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Laidback Luke, Sander van Doorn, NERVO, Dillon Francis.
Electric Daisy Carnival UK
Show Date: Saturday 12th July and Sunday 13th July 2014
Venue: The National Bowl, Watling Street, Milton Keynes MK5 8AA
Doors: 12:00 / curfew 23:00
Age Restrictions: The event is strictly 18+ (Photo ID is required) *Subject to license and planning
Saturday July 12
Hot Since 82
Paul van Dyk
Special Guest Paul Oakenfold
Sunday July 13
Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
Circuit Grounds (alphabetical order)
Rebecca & Fiona
Sander van Doorn
Cosmic Meadow hosted by HARD (alphabetical order)
B.Traits feat. MC Juma
My Nu Leng
Tickets on sale now
Saturday Early Bird Day Tickets £55 (+BF)
Sunday Early Bird Day Tickets £55 (+BF)
Weekend Early Bird Tickets £100 (+BF)
http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/EDC2014 / 08442 770 700