The long anticipated documentary by Kevin Kerslake which explores Insomniac’s music festival phenomenon known as Electric Daisy Carnival, presently available via Video on Demand, is released by nationwide retailers on January 10th, 2012, courtesy of Ultra Records. The eye popping two hour film features an insider view of the concert beside the score and select commentary of EDC performers such as 12th Planet, Above & Beyond, Afrojack, Benny Benassi, Boys Noize, David Guetta, Deadmau5, DJ AM, Fedde Le Grand, Laidback Luke, Kaskade, Moby, MSTRKRFT, Simian Mobile Disco, Steve Aoki, Swedish House Mafia, Travid Barker, A-Trak, Will.i.am and more.
What the documentary does wonderfully is provide the viewer with a look into the depths of EDC, highlighting the aural, visual, and even physical stimuli that runs riot at ever corner at the carnival. For viewers who have never attended, the film is a vicarious experience not unlike an attempt to describe a roller coaster ride to someone who is scared of heights. For those lucky enough to have attended the Electric Daisy Carnival in the past, revisiting the experiences shared with other EDC patrons will no doubt bring a smile to those post-gurning faces. And make no mistake, the best description for EDC is an experience, one every attendee can plug into and still get varying results, as the film delicately illustrates. Delving into the lives of several performers at the event, viewers are shown performance troupes such as clowns, stilt walkers, sexy mimes, zombie pirate femmes, and futuristic freaks of all sorts. This coupled with the free carnival rides available to patrons and subversive amounts of bass-saturated dance music being pumped through massive speakers to all corners of the LA Coliseum make for so much more than a music show. Let’s not forget about the art on display – everything from paintings to sculptures, interactive artwork involving multi-colored strobe lights and fire (a personal favorite – The Cubetron), brilliant fireworks on the hours which explode into every shape and color imaginable, and of course the unparalleled stage lighting cued perfectly to the music. This insane synergy of sensory overload is what people have come to expect from Insomniac events and one of the reasons EDC tickets sell out before anyone even knows which musicians will be performing, a feat only a few festivals can boast.
Notably missing from the documentary is mention of Insomniac’s elephant in the room, the events of EDC 2010, which lead to an attempted city wide ban of raves and the eventually relocation of EDC to Las Vegas in 2011, where the Las Vegas Motor Speedway entered into a contract with all future EDC events. With this imperative piece of the puzzle being left out of the film deliberately, the viewer now has an objective sense of what EDC is without the controversial political, fiscal, or moral impact. After watching the events in this documentary some viewers may be curious about the production process and everything that goes into the making of putting on such a massive event, all finer points which Insomniac chooses to keep to themselves. Also nowhere to be found, much to the chagrin of bass fiends like the author, is the role of drum and bass, dubstep, or bass centric dance music which plays a small yet powerful role at EDC and EDM culture in general. Lastly, the DVD itself features no other bonuses, commentary, or behind the scenes footage, and while the Dolby 5.1 audio option is a nice addition, anyone anticipating EDC extras will be sorely disappointed.
Part artist insight, part dance music social commentary, part sexy concert with an explosive soundtrack, EDC Experience is a must have for hardcore fans, long time patrons, or even those who are just curious about the event. If you find yourself counting the days until EDC 2012, then this DVD may just be the ticket to hold you over until your next rendezvous with 100,000 other dance music aficionados from all corners of the globe.