The Electric Daisy Carnival will make five stops this year: three in the US—Las Vegas, New York and Orlando—and two abroad, in Puerto Rico and London. When it comes to supplying sound equipment for an Electric Dance Music (EDM) festival, careful consideration needs to go into the reinforcement of the genre’s lower frequencies. Once an underground music trend, EDM has now grown into one of music’s most popular genres, with many new niche EDM festivals popping up each year; in turn, audio system designers and manufacturers need to be aware of the nature of reproducing this music for a large audience.
The Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), originating from the underground rave scenes in the mid to late Nineties before expanding into a multi-day festival, will make stops throughout the US, including separate weekends in Las Vegas, New York and Orlando, as well as in Puerto Rico and London. Providing audio services for the US dates is Las Vegas-based 3G Productions, which offers pro audio services for concerts, theaters, house of worship and more.
“We’re providing everything from the speakers to consoles, and we design the system while working very closely with Insomniac Events [the festival promotion company behind EDC],” explained Keith Conrad, director of Marketing with 3G Productions.
3G Productions has been involved with the Electric Daisy Carnival since Insomniac Events started nearly a decade ago, manning five of the seven stages at the Las Vegas festival this year, and the three stages at the New York festival.
The audio vendor has also seen the EDM genre evolve from an underground fad to a more mainstream form of music, drawing record crowds to stadium shows and festivals.
But unlike events at stadiums, the open outdoor festival grounds do create some challenges for 3G, especially when it comes to designing the sound system. “What’s unique about electronic dance music festivals versus a normal festival is that need for the low frequency. We provide lots of subwoofers—you probably wouldn’t walk in front of the stage without feeling like your head was going to fall off. That’s just the nature of this music.”
The main goal for Conrad is to make sure coverage is consistent everywhere, from the VIP areas to the delays. “Our main goal is to create an environment where every person is able to experience the extraordinary sound, and we at 3G pride ourselves in providing the best equipment for this genre,” said Conrad.
For the Electric Daisy Carnival, 3G provides a variety of d&b audiotechnik J8 and J12 loudspeakers for the main PA, with V8s and V12s for side fill. The company also provides Martin Audio MLA speakers, with a variety of Martin MLX subs and d&b audiotechnik B2 and J subs.
A disadvantage at these EDM shows is that projecting lower frequencies also causes the sound to travel farther, and can disturb residents near the venue. “Depending on the community we’re in, there are noise restrictions or noise abatement issues that arise,” Conrad said.
Luckily, the Las Vegas EDC takes place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, so the festival can blast music long into the night without disturbing the neighbors. “Part of the issue with the noise complaints is that there’s not too much we can do to control the sound, so that’s kind of why they have the festival at the speedway. It’s in the middle of nowhere and isn’t a residential area, so we’re not dealing with the restrictions that come with that,” said Conrad.
The Vegas EDC is scheduled for the weekend of June 20 to 22, right in the midst of the hot summer months. To avoid heat-related medical issues, the festival doesn’t begin until later in the day when the sun goes down, and continues to 4 or 5 a.m.
On 3G Productions’ end, planning for the Electric Daisy Carnival begins a few months in advance, with constant input from the festival producers. “The beauty of having a long-term relationship with Insomniac Events is that we know what they are looking for, and they have a lot of trust in us to meet their goals when it comes to audio design,” Conrad said.
3G loads in the Tuesday before the festival starts, taking time to soundcheck the audio systems and coordinate with video and lighting.