Electric Daisy Carnival Orlando 2017

(Originally Published on South Florida Insider)

Insomniac Brings Together a Massive Field of Music, Food, Fans (and Daisies) to the Concrete Jungles of Downtown Orlando – Review of the Electric Daisy Carnival Orlando in Tinker Field (Orlando FL) 

Photos and Story by: Gleb Barabanov

Over 80,000 fanatics from all over the world descended upon Tinker Field at the Camping World Stadium this Veterans Day Weekend for two days filled with delicious food, incredible performance art, fantastic carnival attractions, and some of the biggest names in the EDM scene. The seventh annual edition of the Electric Daisy Carnival Orlando festival featured four stages complete with back-to-back music, hundreds of costumed characters, and acrobatic performers, plus rows upon rows of unique merchandise, food booths featuring merchandise, special cocktails and delicious meal specials created exclusively for this year’s EDC.

The Electric Daisy Carnival has been around in its current iteration in some form or another for over 20 years, longer than some of this years attendees have been alive. After successful festivals in cities all over the United States like Colorado, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, Insomniac decided to bring their award-winning event to Orlando in 2011 to great acclaim, and each year since then has been a hit. 2017’s edition was their largest yet in Orlando, with the festival taking over the huge Tinker Field around the Camping World Stadium and the surrounding parking lots. Set up all over the enormous grounds were gorgeous art installations such as glowing trees, color changing flowers, and a neon hallway used to transverse the grounds. Walking all around the festival were colorful characters and gymnastic performers doing amazing acrobatic stunts all over the field.

One stand-out performer was a lady hooked up to a contraption that was rigged to a hot air balloon that allowed her to perform gravity defying acrobatic stunts, hanging upside down over the crowd while a vigilant crew anchored her down with rope, the only thing preventing her from floating away entirely. Stilt walkers dressed as giant fish, characters dressed as emojis, ropedancers hanging from the ceiling as they performed stunning gymnastic stunts, and various other interesting characters wandered the area delighting the frenzy of concertgoers.

Mixed in among the stages and merchandise stands was a plethora of various full-size carnival attractions, including a Ferris Wheel and a Zip Line, among some other, more stomach-churning options. The rides themselves were free, and even though that meant a bigger line to get on the attractions the rides moved relatively fast, which meant you didn’t spend your entire weekend waiting in a line to go see your favorite artists.

And speaking of music, the stages themselves were something to behold. Two enormous main stages bookended the far sides of the festival, set up as far away from each other as possible so the music wouldn’t interfere with the other stages. The first stage featured the visage of the Earth Mother Gaia, with a DJ booth set up between her outstretched arms. A giant heart shaped LED screen projecting psychedelic images onscreen flanked the DJ’s, and the statue was surrounded by fog machines, laser projectors, and confetti canons, not to mention the pyrotechnics that were attached to the tops of the stage and the sides of the statue, spewing enormous flames to much delight on the huge crowd pushed up against the railing.

The second main stage consisted of giant monoliths of LED screens, displaying intricate graphics made specifically for the DJ’s that were playing that day, also surrounded by giant fog machines spewing clouds into the laser grid projected overhead, accentuated by the epic pyro showcase happening on stage. Two smaller stages rounded out the festival, one under a giant tent simulating perpetual darkness featuring giant LED screens and a disco ball, and the other was a local artist stage called the “BoomBox Art Car” which was in the shape of a giant old school 80’s boom box with the artist performing inside though a window where the tape would normally be.

And what an array of artists it was. From well-known heavy hitters Marshmello and Armin Van Buren to new-comers Rezz and Slushii, every genre of music was well represented. Infected Mushroom performed under the tent of perpetual darkness, coincidentally right next to the “mushroom art” installation. Kaskade played during the sunset of the second day, packing the monolithic Circuit Stage so tightly that it was impossible to move around at all, much less get to the front of the crowd. Diplo and A-Trak premiered a world exclusive back-to-back set filled with pyrotechnics and amazing visuals. And throughout the day between each headlining artist on the Kinetic Field, the main stage with the countenance of Gaia, amazing fireworks and laser shows bookended the performances culminating in a beautiful, five-minute firework presentation that concluded each day’s festivities.

Overall, the festival was definitely an experience to behold, and I cant say that I’ve ever been to anything exactly like it ever before in my life. If you have never been to an Electric Daisy Carnival I highly recommend that you check it out, if not here in Orlando then definitely the one in Las Vegas. I can’t wait to see what Insomniac will come up with next year!