Stream 20 Years of EDC History in the ‘EDC 20-Year Playlist Series’
Commemorating the 20th anniversary of Electric Daisy Carnival, Insomniac has launched the EDC 20-Year Playlist Series, highlighting two decades of the most memorable tracks in dance music and EDC history. Every Thursday leading up to EDC Las Vegas 2016, we’ll present a hand-selected playlist reflecting every year of EDC musical history in chronological order and featuring the most pivotal tracks and artists from each respective era.
Electric Daisy Carnival has come a long way since first launching in 1997. The stages have morphed from basic platforms into grand-scale, multimedia, interactive environments. The festival’s physical footprint has drastically multiplied. The music heard around the grounds has shifted to reflect the current state of dance music while simultaneously setting forth new and exciting trends. Still, to this day, the core focus of EDC remains the same: to celebrate creativity, individuality, imagination, peace, love, unity and respect.
What started as an underground movement in late-‘90s Los Angeles has now evolved into one of the most groundbreaking, forward-thinking festivals in the world, transforming from a local word-of-mouth event to a rite of passage for ravers and lovers of electronic music culture worldwide.
To celebrate this anniversary, Insomniac is launching the EDC 20-Year Playlist Series, which highlights two decades of the most memorable tracks in dance music and EDC history. Starting today and continuing every Thursday leading up to EDC Las Vegas 2016, we’ll present a hand-selected playlist featuring the most influential artists in the dance music community. Curated by Insomniac CEO and founder Pasquale Rotella, alongside a team of Insomniac influencers, each playlist will be broken down by year and will feature the biggest, most pivotal tracks from each respective era. All told, a total of 20 individual playlists will reflect every year of EDC, starting from its debut in 1997 and counting down to EDC Las Vegas 2016.
Check back here every week for the EDC 20-Year Playlist Series as we unroll the next years of EDC musical history in chronological order.
We begin in 1997, a critical year in American culture and a turning point for electronic music. The dance music community was under the microscope of the American mainstream population. Daft Punk ruled the national and international airwaves on the strength of their debut album, Homework, and its ubiquitous single, “Around the World.” The Prodigy launched a tidal wave of shock and ire with their jaw-dropping, controversial “Smack My Bitch Up” video. A young A-Trak dominated the DMC World DJ Championship, becoming the youngest winner of the competition.
Elsewhere, Bill Clinton was inaugurated for his second presidential term; gas averaged around $1.19 per gallon; the Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down in Los Angeles; and J. K. Rowling published the first novel in the globally consumed Harry Potter series.
Back in Los Angeles, Pasquale Rotella and his crew of merry ravers were about to unveil what would soon become the biggest cultural movement in modern electronic music: Electric Daisy Carnival.
Coming off the major success of two Nocturnal Wonderland events, Rotella was set to debut his new event series, EDC, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. It marked a major change for the Insomniac crew, as the event represented a shift into a proper host venue with legit logistical support for the first time. Rotella’s spirits were high; so was his heart rate. Faced with a last-minute city permit scare around hosting carnival rides at the venue, he quickly began to learn the challenges of festival planning at this scale.
Even at EDC’s inaugural event, Rotella already saw its potential as a creative playground for the imagination, with illuminated daisies lighting up the onstage production and sensory stimulation remaining a key pillar for the festival. Even the stage became a fully immersive experience, with a 360-degree platform placed in the middle of the dancefloor for all attendees to absorb.
“It’s always been very important to have something unique going on at all our events—EDC, and everything else we do,” says Rotella. “It’s about the experience, and the music is part of that experience.”
As for the music itself, one song stands out to Rotella: “Music Sounds Better With You” from the Daft Punk offshoot project Stardust. “That song was magical at EDC ‘97,” he recalls.
With roughly 6,000 dancing, sweating attendees getting down within the indoor venue, the vibes and energy of EDC were at maximum overdrive, providing an early glimpse of the festival’s future cultural impact.
“I didn’t know it was going to be my largest festival,” says Rotella. He soon learned just how big it would become.
Relive the beginning of it all in this playlist, and experience the sounds of 1997 and the first-ever EDC.
EDC Las Vegas 2016 takes place June 17–19 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Stay tuned for more details on what promises to be an unforgettable show.
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