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. Photo Courtesy of 3G Productions
Las Vegas, NV (June 19, 2014)—Electric Daisy Carnival is one of the premiere EDM festivals in the U.S., and while it is held in various locations throughout the year, the crowning moment is always the Las Vegas edition, being held this year June 20 to 22. In 2014, the festival will also stop in New York and Orlando, as well as 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.
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, is a prime example of how audio providers work with their speaker designs to reinforce this lower frequency, while still avoiding disturbing the neighbors around the festival grounds.
“We’re proving 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 the production company 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. “We’ve grown with Insominac and created real relationships with the artists,” Conrad said.
The audio vendor has also seen the EDM genre evolve from an underground fad to a more mainstream form of music. “Even here in Las Vegas, all of the headliners at clubs are DJs,” Conrad explained. “Now we’re seeing bands like Swedish House Mafia selling out stadiums. That would have never happened five years ago.”
But unlike stadiums, the open outdoor festival grounds do create some challenges for 3G, especially when it comes to designing the sound system specifically for EDM music. “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.”
Of course, when designing the festival’s audio system, the main goal 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.
3G Productions provides the sound system for the Las Vegas and NYC legs of the Electric Daisy Carnival. Photo Courtesy of 3G Productions
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.
“This year’s system is pretty much the same as last year, but our company is always out there looking for the best professional audio equipment, which was why we recently added the Martin speakers. For EDM, subs are very important, and d&b makes a great subwoofer,” Conrad said.
One of the biggest disadvantages to an EDM show 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. A year and a half ago, we had a festival in the Bay Area and had over 5,000 calls to 911 due to noise complaints and we had to shut down lines,” 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 issues 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, when the afternoon temperatures are too hot to be outside. 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.
Wind is another big issue for the Las Vegas festival, so 3G and the EDC producers have safety plans in place to ensure the performers and audience are safe. “A couple of years ago, they had to end the festival early because of heavy winds,” Conrad said. “We make sure that everything on the stage is secured well.”
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 the video and lighting specialists. “It’s a three-day set up,” Conrad added.
Electric Daisy Carnival