A First-Timer’s Guide to EDC Las Vegas: 26 Essential Things to Know Before Going

Electric Daisy Carnival is a three day whirlwind of a festival in Las Vegas (and also Orlando, Mexico City, and a cruise ship at EDSea). As the sun goes down on Sin City, ravers flock to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for elaborate stages, and incredible sets from world-renowned DJs. Your first time at EDC will be one to remember, as you get lost under the electric sky.

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I dreamed of going to Electric Daisy Carnival since high school. After many a failed attempt to go, I finally made it, and it was worth every penny and setback.

Founded in 1997 as a warehouse party in Los Angeles, EDC is now the epicenter of EDM in the United States. There’s hardly a festival in the country featuring such an impressive lineup, or innovative stage design and art. Plus, what other music festival is filled with free carnival rides? It’s not just a music festival—it’s an experience.

Whether you’re visiting EDC Las Vegas, EDC Orlando, EDC Mexico, or EDSea, if it’s your first time at EDC, figuring out how to navigate the festival can be overwhelming! These must-know tips will let you know what to know when figuring out what to bring to EDC, where to stay in Las Vegas for the festival, and more.

Trying to figure out what to bring to EDC? Check out my complete EDC packing list, complete with a cheat sheet for easy reference.

first time at edc las vegas things to know before you go kinetic field

First Time at EDC: 26 ESSENTIAL Tips to Know Before You Go

Keep it PLUR

First and foremost, you need to know the golden rule of the rave community: keep it PLUR.

PLUR is an acronym for peace, love, unity, and respect. Stay peaceful, spread love, embrace community, and respect each other. Easy to follow, right?

EDC is a massive, overwhelming event. Staying mindful of PLUR ensures that everyone is safe and watching out for each other throughout the night. It helps make the EDM community such a friendly, positive group.

If you find yourself in a Kandi exchange, you’ll need to know the PLUR handshake. To do this, you’ll make a peace sign with your hand, touching fingertips with the person you’re trading with. Then, together, you’ll form a hand heart with each other (love), before grasping hands (unity), then sliding your Kandi from your wrist and onto the other person’s through your grasped hands (respect).

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One of my handmade EDC outfits. I made this in just a few hours the week of the festival, used ribbon I already had, and paid just $30 for the fabric.

Ways to Save Money at EDC

Between wristbands, hotel, food, transportation, outfits, flights, and everything in between, EDC adds up. If it’s your first time at EDC, keep these money-saving tips for the festival in mind:

  • Eat before the festival. There are tons of affordable dining options in Vegas that will fill you up way more for your money than food inside the festival
  • Book your hotel far in advance, before rates skyrocket (having a good travel credit card can also help by allowing you to book hotels with points or get free upgrades)
  • Consider purchasing wristbands on the resale market, close to the festival
  • Find people to split car rental, private shuttle, or Uber with
  • Instead of paying for expensive hair braiding, order loose braid-in extensions and make braids yourself by tying the extensions onto hair binders, braiding them, and using clear elastics to secure the braids. I’ve been able to do this in just a half hour before the festival and spent less than $10 total instead of hundreds on braids
  • Build airline loyalty by booking the same airline for your flights throughout the year when possible. As you gain loyalty status, you’ll earn miles quickly and can book your EDC flights on miles rather than paying out of pocket. Having an airline’s credit card can also help expedite earning miles

I long dreamed about the dreamlike, creative outfits at EDC and knew I wanted to wear something unique and handmade. Getting custom rave outfits made can cost hundreds of dollars that I honestly don’t want to spend, so instead, I purchase inexpensive fabric on Etsy, and make my own. Doing this has saved me hundreds of dollars, as the materials for each outfit cost less than half what it would for me to buy them.

How to Prevent Your Phone from Being Stolen at EDC

Unfortunately, pickpockets are rampant at EDC (and festivals across the country). Keeping your phone in a front pocket or a zippered pocket simply isn’t enough to prevent phone thieves from stealing your phone—my boyfriend literally felt someone reach into his shorts while passing through a crowd near Kinetic Field!

If you’re nervous about getting your phone stolen at EDC, don’t worry, I’ve got you. This is the best way to prevent your phone from getting stolen at EDC. It’s inexpensive and easy, but you’ll need to make sure to order in advance because it does sell out close to the festival!

Here’s how to prevent your phone from getting stolen at a festival:

  1. Take off your phone case
  2. Stick one of these phone tether tabs to the back of your phone, lined up to the bottom edge. The D-ring should dangle underneath your phone
  3. Put your phone case back on, and pull the D-ring through the cutout for your charging port
  4. Attach this slash-proof, stainless steel cord retractable badge holder to the D-ring by slipping the D-ring into the keychain O-ring
  5. Use the carabiner to attach your phone to your belt loop, backpack, or festival look
  6. Enjoy EDC without the worry of phone thieves!

Both my boyfriend and I used this system at EDC, and it’s actually the reason my boyfriend’s phone didn’t get stolen when someone reached into his pockets. It’s less than $20 for both the phone tether tab stickers and the keychain badge holder—a small price to pay compared to a new phone! Click below to shop what we used.

Shop what you need to prevent your phone from being stolen at EDC below:

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Taken from the EDC VIP viewing platform at Kinetic Field.

Set Your Lock Screen to Emergency Contacts

While I’d love to say that you’re definitely not going to get your phone stolen or have issues at EDC, the reality is that even if it’s your first time at EDC or you’re a veteran, things happen.

Set yourself up for success by adding text to your lock screen with your emergency contact information, contact information in case your phone is stolen. If your phone gets lost or you’re having an emergency, this will help anyone who may look at your phone easily figure out who to contact. You don’t need Photoshop or a fancy app to do this—it can be done in the Instagram or Snapchat story editor and saved to your camera roll!

phone lock screen with emergency contacts festival safety tip

Yes, if you have an iPhone, your medical ID includes your emergency contact information. First responders may know how to easily access this, but your average festival-goer probably doesn’t. EDC attracts an international crowd, so I recommend including a few of the following:

  • Phone number (with the country code, this is important)
  • Email address
  • Instagram handle

For all of the above, I recommend using the information for both yourself and someone at the festival with you. If you’re doing EDC solo, include a close friend or family member at home.

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Plan your EDC Outfits in Advance

Don’t get me wrong: I definitely went to EDC for the music, the crowd, and the amazing stages, but…I was also so excited about the outfits. Electric Daisy Carnival has a reputation in the EDM crowd for having some of the most creative and interesting rave outfits.

Many EDC-goers choose to order their festival outfits from Amazon, iHeartRaves, or Shein (though I wouldn’t recommend Shein). However, others like to go all-out with their EDC outfit ideas, ordering custom or handmade outfits from Etsy shops or independent rave wear brands.

I’ll always encourage supporting small, independent businesses, but if you’re planning on doing that, make sure you factor in turnaround time! Many handmade rave wear brands have a 2-3 month turnaround as all items are made-to-order.

Click below to shop the best EDC outfit ideas:

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The Downtown EDC sign, where The Techno Chapel is, is a popular meeting point for groups who are separated.

Pick a Meetup Place

Cell service at EDC is unreliable, to say the least. Don’t count on having service to communicate with your group. Pick a meeting place to meet up at, in case you’re separated.

For example: if your group chooses to split up and see different sets, say, “Meet me at the Dole Whip stand at midnight” so you can regroup easily and go to the next set together. Or, “If we get lost/separated, go to the Techno Chapel.” This way, there’s no frustration, confusion, or fear over texts that won’t send or go unanswered.

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Looking for Inexpensive EDC Wristbands? Wait it Out

If it’s your first time at EDC, you’ll probably notice that tickets through the official Insomniac website sell out quickly. After the festival is sold out, it’s not uncommon to find wristbands at a high markup in Facebook groups or on resale platforms.

The reality is that the closer you get to the festival (and I mean really close, not just a couple months out, but a couple weeks out), the more likely you are to find discounted EDC wristbands.

When you get close to the festival, scour Facebook groups, Reddit, and the Las Vegas Craigslist to find deals on wristbands. Of course, there are a few safety tips you should be aware of to make sure you’re not scammed or put in a dangerous situation:

How to Avoid Getting Scammed When Buying EDC Wristbands:

  • Pay attention to the seller’s social profiles—were they created recently? Does it look like they have legitimate posts, friends, and comments on their profile?
  • It is always okay to ask for a legit check on a seller and ask for references in rave BST Facebook groups. No legitimate seller would be bothered by this. It’s standard practice
  • Always pay via PayPal Goods & Services or cash in person. Never, ever pay via Venmo, Apple Pay, or PayPal Friends & Family
  • Ask for the seller to send a photo of their ID, with the wristbands in the picture (blacking out their sensitive information, such as their ID number, of course)
  • Request to FaceTime the seller to make sure their information is lining up. Request for the seller to FaceTime you when sealing the wristbands in the envelope and dropping them off at the post office. Requesting to FaceTime is common in the festival BST world. If you’re meeting up in person, it can help make sure that you’re really meeting up with who you say you are
  • If buying EDC wristbands on resale, ask for the seller to send a photo of the credit card they used to purchase the wristbands, blacking out everything except for the last 4 digits. While this may seem like overkill, if your wristbands are lost or stolen, Insomniac typically requests to see an ID and the credit card used to purchase to replace them. A photo of the credit card and ID doesn’t always work, but it can help a lot in replacing your wristbands
  • Request an in-person meetup if possible, instead of shipping. Some festival-goers have gotten scammed by a seemingly legit seller sending them an empty envelope, or envelope of something else to fake out the shipping scale

It takes a little more due diligence and a lot of faith to purchase EDC wristbands on resale at the last minute, but doing this allowed me to find EDC VIP wristbands for just $600 a piece (including shipping). Considering that EDC VIP wristbands are around $1,150 including taxes and fees through Insomniac, that’s nearly half off!

Buying Inexpensive EDC Wristbands and Artist Passes on Craigslist in Las Vegas

If you’re willing to take a risk on Craigslist in Vegas, many ravers have reported being able to purchase artist passes at low prices. Artist passes are the most exclusive wristband EDC offers—this is an all-access wristband that allows you to go backstage. They’re only offered to DJs, their teams, and certain record label staff and music execs. EDC artist passes are never sold through the Insomniac website, ever.

Make Copies of Your ID

As previously stated, festivals are unfortunately rife with pickpockets. EDC is no exception. If it’s your first time at EDC, be prepared in the event your wallet is stolen.

Upon entrance each day to EDC, security will check your ID. If your ID was stolen the day before, well…that’s a problem. Don’t let a stolen ID ruin the rest of your EDC experience. Scan your ID before you leave, and print out physical copies you can present to security at the festival. If your wristbands are stolen, damaged, or misplaced, you’ll also need your ID to get new ones.

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Check Your Bank Account and Card Statement After the Festival

Unfortunately, it’s becoming increasingly more common for shady food and drink vendors at EDC to scam less-than-sober festivalgoers by charging items multiple times, overcharging, or adding egregiously large tips.

After the festival ends, look closely at your card statement to make sure that you were properly charged at each vendor. If you notice that you were overcharged, file a dispute with your card servicer immediately.

For this reason, you should always use a credit card at Electric Daisy Carnival. Do not pay with debit card, or your likelihood of getting your money back is much lower, if not unlikely. If you’re unable to get a credit card, buy a few low-balance Visa gift cards ($100 and lower) to limit how much a vendor can try to charge.

Personally, I love my Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which gives me 3x points on all travel and dining (perfect for EDC!). You can earn 75,000 bonus points ($1,125 towards travel) by signing up here.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

EDC is a lot of walking. Between the dancing, music, and the ~vibes~, you’ll be having so much fun that you won’t even realize how much walking you’re doing until the next day when you wake up with sore feet.

Those rave boots or heels may seem cute, but let’s be honest: they’re heavy, not breathable, and a little uncomfortable. By day 3 and step 20,001, you’ll be swearing up and down that they’re the only shoes you brought. Save yourself the drama, and wear comfortable tennis shoes instead. 

I wore metallic sneakers to keep the festival feel going while not sacrificing comfort. I wear my APL TechLoom Pro Sneakers to EDC, but most EDC veterans will recommend the Adidas Ultraboost Running Shoes.

Shop the best shoes for Electric Daisy Carnival by clicking below:

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Don’t Worry About Making it to Every Set

The EDC lineup is stacked every year. During your first time at EDC, you’ll probably want to see the whole thing. While it may be tempting to want to sprint to every set and cut a bunch short, it’s going to make for a festival experience that’s more stressful than fun, and speaking from experience, you’ll probably miss out on some of the best parts of being at EDC, such as the community, rides, and art.

Take it easy. Pick a few DJ sets to prioritize, and a few that you’d like to see, but aren’t make-or-breaks. In-between, give yourself space to hit the carnival, shop the Rainbow Bazaar, wander through art installations, catch a surprise pop-up set at an art car, and meet other festival-goers.

If it’s your first time at EDC, you should try to see every stage. Each stage has it’s own unique design, and they’re so cool. The Kinetic Field stage changes every year, while the rest are updated every few years.

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Click here to shop my inexpensive rave outfit (under $40 for 3 pieces)
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View of the EDCLV from above on the VIP ferris wheel at Kinetic Field.

Go for VIP

This is a hot take, but if it’s your first time at EDC, and you’re not a regular on the EDM festival scene, going for VIP might be worth it for you.

You’ll have air-conditioned, cleaned bathrooms with running water, exclusive viewing areas (that tend to be less crowded), and other perks such as WiFi, charging stations, free hair braiding, and VIP-exclusive water refill stations, bars, and food trucks to avoid lines.

While not all of these perks are reliable (hellooooo touchy WiFi and crowded viewing during popular sets), things like having better bathrooms and charging stations are a huge perk, especially considering the condition GA porta potties end up in by the end of the night (I’ll spare you the graphic details).

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Must-Have EDC Essentials

If you’re raving in the desert all-night for three days, you need to come prepared. Make sure you don’t forget the following:

  • Earplugs – These are $7 for 25 pairs
  • Hydration pack – veteran ravers like Camelbak, or Sojourner Bags, which has tons of fun holographic colors
  • Extra phone battery – I use this one, which doubles as a phone stand
  • Emergency blanket, jacket, sweatshirt, or shawl – These emergency blankets are just $8 for 4
  • Comfortable shoes – Like the APL TechLoom Pro, or Adidas Ultraboost sneakers
  • Flushable wet wipes – 1 pack per day (they need to be sealed on entry)
  • Credit card – don’t use your debit card at the festival, or it will be difficult to reverse fraudulent charges! I love the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Preferred cards (get a bonus for signing up here)

Click below to find what to bring to EDC Las Vegas:

EDC las vegas festival map las vegas motor speedway

Screenshot the Schedule and Festival Map

The EDC Las Vegas schedule and festival map are always available through the Insomniac app. While it’s easy to find the schedule, chances are that you won’t be able to load the app while you’re at it.

Cell service at EDC isn’t great. Don’t rely on having it to load the schedule or festival map. Instead, screenshot the full schedule, and your saved sets, and the map so you can quickly reference them while at the event. It’ll save you so much frustration.

Drink Lots of Water

It is easy to forget to hydrate at EDC, but you shouldn’t do it. After hours of dancing, the heat, and everything in-between, you need water. If it’s your first time at EDC, don’t make this mistake!

Luckily, water at EDC is free—if you have your own container. While you can’t bring in outside food or beverage, you can bring in empty Insomniac water bottles and hydration packs. Refill between sets!

Click below to discover the best hydration packs for festivals:

Beware of Airbnb in Vegas during EDC Week

If you’re being responsible, and booking your EDC accommodation in advance, you’ll probably notice Airbnbs available for much less than a hotel, and without pesky resort fees.

While it may be tempting to book one of these inexpensive Airbnbs in Las Vegas, watch out. Airbnb hosts in Vegas have been known to cancel previously approved Airbnb reservations over EDC week in favor of relisting the rental at a higher rate.

It’s understandable that hosts want to make the most money possible for their Airbnb, however this leaves festival-goers without EDC accommodation and forced to pay for high hotel rates last-minute.

For your first time at EDC, don’t risk it. Book through a hotel directly, so you don’t get screwed later. If you book far enough in advance, you should still be able to get a low rate at popular hotels in Las Vegas.

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Pay Attention to Restricted Items and Backpack Size

Insomniac has a long, long list of restricted items for EDC, including opened liquids and personal care products such as sunscreen and lip balm, and no LED gloves or professional cameras (detachable lenses).

In addition to all of the restricted items, Insomniac also restricts the size of backpacks and hydration packs (can’t be over 12”x12”), along with totems.

Pay close attention to both the restricted items, and size limitations. You don’t want your over the counter medicine like Tylenol, or favorite liquid foundation to end up confiscated. While security was incredibly relaxed in my experience (they didn’t give us a hard time about anything except my backpack Day 3, which they let slide easily, and I actually traded kandi with a security guard), other EDC attendees have reported security being incredibly strict. It’s a mixed bag, and you don’t want to risk it.

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No Shuttle Pass? Make Friends to Split Taxi or Uber

EDC shuttle passes sell out quickly, and there’s a good chance you won’t end up with one. Or, maybe, you’ve heard the rumors about the conditions of the general EDC shuttle post-festival, and don’t want to spring for the Premier Shuttle.

Regardless, if you’re without a shuttle pass and taking Uber or Lyft to EDC, find other EDC-goers heading to or from your hotel to split the cost of Uber with. This can easily be done by just talking to people nearby, or putting a post out in one of the EDC Facebook Groups.

Through Facebook, we were able to link up with two other ravers staying just a 5 minute walk from us. We split Uber 4 ways instead of just 2. Splitting Uber just 2 ways most of the time, we broke even with what we would have paid for the shuttle. If we would have split 4 ways each time, it definitely would’ve been cheaper.

Don’t be nervous to approach anyone—people at EDC are friendly. We asked a group of guys to take a photo of us, and the next thing we knew, we had three guys holding their phone flashlights up for better lighting, and the fourth bending down to get every single angle. They assumed the role of four cheerleaders, and we all had a laugh.

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Beware of Traffic to and from EDC

Traffic isn’t just reserved for those driving and parking at EDC. Even if you’re taking Uber or the shuttle, you’re going to hit bad traffic to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway during EDC.

Traffic doesn’t just get backed up at the entrance of the festival. The backup continues for miles down the freeway, throughout the night.

Uber drivers hate it. While you can take Uber to EDC Las Vegas, many Uber drivers in Vegas have been known to cancel rides on EDC attendees when they arrive and see where they’re going. You’ll need to factor in extra time when leaving for the festival, in case this happens for you.

This has only happened to me once. Every other one of my EDC Uber drivers have been friendly, and great. I know tipping for Uber can be controversial, but sitting through Electric Daisy Carnival in an Uber in traffic is when it really makes sense.

The best way to avoid traffic to EDC is by leaving early. I aim to get to EDC close to or before opening ceremony. Otherwise, I know I’ll be stuck in traffic for hours. Even leaving that early, it still takes a good 30-45 minutes to get to the Speedway from the Strip.

Keep in mind, that on the way back, the ride will be much faster, but you may still encounter traffic. You’ll definitely need to factor in that getting an Uber could take 10-45 minutes from the Speedway. It really depends when you’re leaving, and what the weather is like. The later you leave, the more likely you’ll have to wait.

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Go on the Rides

With so many incredible DJs in one place, it’s tempting to skip the rides entirely during your first time at EDC in favor of seeing every set.

Don’t do it.

Remember that EDC standard for Electric Daisy Carnival. Are you really experiencing the carnival without slowing down to enjoy it?

I was skeptical reading this piece of advice in other EDC guides. Despite my skepticism, to my surprise, this was one of my favorite parts at EDC. From the ferris wheel to the swings, the rides at EDC offered an incredible view of a truly one-of-a-kind event.

Rides at EDC are free and included with your wristband, so feel free to ride as many as you want!

Having EDC VIP wristbands really helps with riding rides and seeing every set. The VIP area at Kinetic Field has it’s own ferris wheel so you don’t need to wait in the massive line for the main one, and the other rides at the festival have dedicated VIP fast lanes that hardly ever have a line.

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Hold off on Booking EDC Pool Parties

During EDC weekend, and the week leading up to the festival, Insomniac hosts a series of pool parties at Vegas’ best clubs, with the world’s most popular DJs. Previous lineups have included major names like Martin Garrix, that aren’t even playing the festival at all.

Las Vegas promoters can typically get you into many of these pool parties for free, and even if they can’t, it’s still tempting to book several of the amazing pool parties on your own. After all, the EDC pool parties sell out quickly for big names like Illenium, and if you wait, you might miss it.

Restrain yourself, and put the card down.

You’ll hear many say it, and it’s true: EDC is a marathon, not a sprint. While it’s nice to think that you’ll be able to wake up for an 11 am pool party after partying until 6 am and passing out at 8 am during your first time at EDC, you know that’s unlikely to happen.

If you’re attending EDC week ahead of the festival, by all means RSVP for pool parties. But if you’re just attending for the festival weekend, and planning on staying late into the night, play it by ear. Yes, that might mean missing the party for someone you really love, but you’ll thank yourself later. As a first-timer you’ll learn that part of having the best experience at EDC is letting go of FOMO, and just going with the flow.

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Eat Well

Festivals are always home to fried food. EDC is no exception. The festival nails it by serving up the type of food you’re craving at 2 am like Auntie Anne’s pretzels in VIP, tacos, chicken fingers. Unfortunately, this type of food doesn’t necessarily give you the energy you need to rave well for three straight days.

Before entering the festival, fuel up on healthy, filling food. Food inside the festival is expensive, and more of a “if you need it” thing than an attraction.

If you’re staying on or near the Vegas strip, I recommend ordering from HUMMUS Bowls and Wraps as you’re getting ready for the festival. It’s my go-to now in Vegas, as it serves up amazing, healthy, filling Mediterranean fast casual.

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Taken at Cosmic Meadow shortly after the opening ceremony. Within a couple hours, the entire field from the stage to the track becomes so dense that you can barely walk through it!

Go Early for the Best EDC Photos

You’ve seen photos of the elaborate and ever-changing Kinetic Field stage, and know you need to get the best photos at EDC. 

During your first time at EDC, you should know that the festival fills up quickly after the opening ceremony at Cosmic Meadow. If you want a chance of getting any half-decent photos, you should be at the festival before the gates open after the opening ceremony wraps up, to avoid crowds.

While having photos of the festival at night of the festival is fun, the reality is that it’s also super crowded, making it difficult to get a good shot. With so many lasers and LED displays, the lighting is a real hit or miss (mostly miss) for an iPhone photo.

Bring Kandi

Kandi are colorful beaded bracelets (typically made with pony beads), that are traded and gifted at EDM festivals and raves. Simple kandi bracelets have fun words or short phrases on them in letter beads. More complicated kandi uses woven patterns to create intricate designs.

During your first time at EDC, you’ll learn that the festival has a community to it. If you make a connection with someone at EDC, chances are you might want to trade kandi with them, or just gift them a piece of yours. Making kandi is easy, you just need corded elastic string and inexpensive letter and pony beads. 

Spend an afternoon before the festival with your rave crew making it. If you’re camping or in VIP, Insomniac also sets up kandi-making stations during the festival (though personally, I prefer making it before the festival rather than spending time doing it there, when I could be at a set).

Click below to shop inexpensive DIY kandi making supplies:

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Buy EDC Merch Early

Merch at EDC Las Vegas, EDC Orlando, and EDC Mexico is only available through the merch tents at the festival. While there are a couple of them, the lines get long quickly. EDC visitors have reported spending up to 2 hours waiting in line for merch.

EDC merchandise sells out quickly. By day 3, most of the inventory is picked over.

I got in line at the merch tent when the line was short, and still ended up waiting over a half hour to reach the front. I can’t even imagine what the line is like during busier times!

Avoid the wait and assure that you’ll have your pick of merch by visiting the merch tent early during the festival, after the opening ceremony on day 1. You can take photos after the opening ceremony on day 2, and use day 3 to chill.

Best Hotels for Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas

If it’s your first time at EDC, you’ll probably be tempted to book an inexpensive, off-strip Airbnb or hotel. Don’t do it. No one wants to be walking long distances after getting off the shuttle, or be driving longer than they need to at the end of a long night under the electric sky.

Downtown Vegas tends to be the best neighborhood for EDC hotels. Though the Strip has more to offer if you’re going to pool parties, partaking in Vegas’ dining scene, or just looking for a generally more high-end experience, shuttles near those hotels generally have the worst lines.

Staying at a hotel near or on the Las Vegas strip or in Downtown Vegas on Fremont Street will help make sure it’s not too far of a walk to a shuttle stop. If you’re not taking the EDC shuttle, you’ll have an easier time finding others to split Uber with.

Skip messy hotels like The Strat and Circus Circus for these picks instead.

Click below to find the best hotels for EDC Las Vegas:

the chandelier bar at the cosmopolitan resort and casino las vegas nevada

The Cosmopolitan

The Cosmopolitan is one of the best 5-star luxury hotels in Vegas. It’s my favorite hotel in Vegas, and features several popular restaurants such as Momofuku and Scarpetta; a hidden tequila bar, Ghost Donkey; and a convenient location.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is just a 10 minute walk to the EDC Shuttle’s Mid-Strip Stop (The Bally’s stop on the Premier Shuttle). 

While the Mid-Strip stop is located next to Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino at the Horseshoe Las Vegas Hotel and Casino (formerly Bally’s), neither Paris Las Vegas or the Horseshoe have quite as stellar reviews as The Cosmopolitan. However, if walking 10 minutes after raving for nearly 12 hours at 7 am sounds nothing short of awful to you, the Horsehoe is the best closest EDC hotel to the Mid-Strip shuttle stop.

Palms Place Rooftop pool and hot tub, luxury las vegas hotel, vegas airbnb, Palms Casino and Resort

Palms Place

Palms Place is the best hotel in Las Vegas without resort fees. This is because Palms Place is the condo building attached to the Palms Casino Resort, not technically the resort itself. You can book rooms at Palms Place like a hotel, or how you would at the Palms, but they come with no resort fee.

The Palms is just a 12 minute walk to the Rio shuttle stop, making it a good option for those taking the shuttle that don’t want to stay at one of the busiest EDC hotels.

Even better, you can usually get a suite at Palms Place rather than just a standard hotel room, for a price similar to a basic room at popular hotels on the Strip.

If you’re not huge on walking through a casino to get to your room, you’ll also love that while the Palms and Palms Place are connected through a walkway, they each have separate entrances, and the Palms has a chic hotel lobby rather than a casino.

I’ve stayed at Palms Place twice, and it’s been ideal. It was easy to access popular Palms attractions like Scotch 80 Prime, Tim Ho Wan, and the Damien Hirst shark bar, Unknown, on the casino floor. Palms Place also has a rooftop pool, and many suites that offer a view of both the sunset and the Strip.

You can typically find Palms Place rooms and suites on Airbnb. Sometimes,, they’re lower than booking directly through the hotel. For EDC, I definitely recommend booking through a reputable platform like Booking.com, or directly through the hotel itself rather than Airbnb to avoid cancellation issues.

Camp EDC

Maybe it’s your first time at EDC and you don’t want to deal with the shuttle schedule, being stuck in traffic, or stress of finding an Uber, and just want to spend as much time at the festival as possible.

If that’s the case, Camp EDC is for you.

Camp EDC is Electric Daisy Carnival’s official campground. It’s so close to the entrance to the Speedway that you’ll be able to hear the bass from your campsite. With that in mind, it’s definitely not for light sleepers and those who struggle to fall asleep with sound.

After the festival dies down, morning parties will start. Camp EDC hosts an afterparty to the festival ending at 10 am. During the day, Camp EDC has exclusive pool parties with surprise DJ sets, arts and crafts, and wellness sessions with acro, yoga, guided meditation, and more. Those looking to unwind further, can visit Camp EDC’s spa and glam labs.

To take some of the stress out of it, Insomniac sets up every single Camp EDC tent. While you will want to bring some of the standard camping supplies such as sleeping bags, coolers, and lawn chairs. If you’re camping at EDC, you can bring food, alcohol, and water.

Alternatively, you can take an RV to Camp EDC, instead of sleeping in a tent.

Camp EDC isn’t for everyone, but it is the closest place to stay for EDC, and a great option if you never want the energy to stop.

Consult Reddit or Facebook for Questions

Have any questions specific to your first time at EDC? The r/electricdaisycarnival subreddit and EDC Facebook groups are great resources for getting honest answers to your questions. These communities were definitely a huge help during my first time at EDC!

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What is EDC?

EDC, or Electric Daisy Carnival, is a three-day EDM music festival founded by Pasquale Rotella. The flagship festival, now hosted at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, became so popular over the years that Insomniac, the festival’s parent company, created several different versions of the festival in other locations.

Currently, additional EDC festivals include EDC Orlando (EDCO), EDC Mexico, EDC China, and EDSea, though the festival has also previously been hosted in Los Angeles, Denver, New York, Puerto Rico, Dallas, India, Brazil, Shanghai, South Korea, London, and Japan.

First Time at EDC Las Vegas FAQ

Is EDC VIP worth it?

Yes, EDC VIP wristbands are worth it. They include expedited entry, upgraded and air-conditioned bathrooms, phone charging stations, WiFi, exclusive food trucks, a free beauty bar including braiding by Lunautics, VIP viewing areas, and private water refill stations. It’s a much more comfortable festival experience.

How much is Uber during EDC from the Strip?

Uber prices vary during EDC. Expect to pay the following:
Leaving to the Speedway between 5 pm to 7 pm: $40-60 
Returning from EDC to the Strip around 3 am to 5 am: $100-200

Is there cell service at Electric Daisy Carnival?

There is cell service at Electric Daisy Carnival, however it’s typically unreliable, and hardly works. Texts are slow to send, and you can’t rely on it to communicate with and find your friends. Instead, pick a central meeting point in case you’re separated, and screenshot the lineup in advance.

Does it get cold at EDC?

Yes, it gets cold at night at EDC Las Vegas. Some years are warmer or cooler than others. Expect temperatures to drop quickly as the sun sets. Bring warm layers, in case you get an especially chilly night, or need to shield yourself from the wind.

What is the temperature at EDC?

Temperatures at EDC Las Vegas in May are typically in the 70s and 80s during the day, and drop as low as the 50s at night. Temperatures vary year by year. I got stuck in a particularly chilly year, with winds so high the first night that Kinetic Field had to shut down. Some years, it’s in the 90s. Prepare yourself for any temperature.

What time is EDC?

EDC Las Vegas has an opening ceremony each night from 5 pm to 7pm, and opens the full festival grounds from 7 pm to 5:30 am. As an easy rule of thumb, just think sunset to sunrise!

Where is Electric Daisy Carnival?

Electric Daisy Carnival’s flagship festival is in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, however it also has locations in Mexico and Orlando. EDC now also has an EDM cruise festival, EDSea.

Is going to Electric Daisy Carnival worth it?

Going to Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas is definitely worth it. The festival is truly a one-of-a-kind experience with unique DJ sets you won’t find anywhere else.

Is security strict at Electric Daisy Carnival?

Security at EDC Las Vegas is a mixed bag. Some gates are incredibly strict. Others are so relaxed that they’ll barely even glance in your bag.

The safest option is always just to follow the rules.

Can you drive to EDC?

You can drive your own car to EDC. Parking in the General Lot is free, however it typically garners a very long line, with a wait time to match. Leaving EDC, you’ll run into the same issue.

If you are driving to EDC, I recommend paying the extra $150 per vehicle for premier parking. The line will likely be much shorter, and you’ll have more time at the festival instead of just waiting to park for it.

What is the best way to get to EDC?

The best way to get to EDC varies by what’s important to you. If you don’t want to deal with waiting for Uber or possible surges, get an EDC shuttle pass. Uber or Lyft is best for you if you want privacy, to go directly to and from your hotel, and are prepared to spend similarly to a shuttle pass. If you’re looking to save on transportation to EDC, and have someone who doesn’t mind being sober for the night, driving yourself is the best option.

Is there WiFi at EDC?

There is no WiFi at EDC outside of the VIP WiFi available in the VIP lounges. Even that WiFi is often slow, or doesn’t work at all.

What is the temperature at EDC Orlando?

EDC Orlando takes place in November. Expect highs during the day up to 80 degrees, and lows at night in the high 50s to mid 60s. Pack a poncho—Florida is known for rain.

Are rides at EDC free?

All rides at Electric Daisy Carnival are free—don’t skip them!

Looking for more amazing things to do in Las Vegas? Click here, or the links below:

The ULTIMATE EDC Packing List: What to Bring to Electric Daisy Carnival

50+ Unmissable EDC Outfit Ideas for Men, Women, and Couples: Where to Buy the Best Rave Outfits

First Time in Las Vegas: 11 Tips to Know Before Visiting

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  1. Vicky
    September 19, 2023 / 1:45 am

    Hi Eva. Just read your article “First time at EDC”. Planing to go with my young adult kids and their friends. This would our first time if we go. Hopefully we find tickets. So, you recommend to buy tickets a few weeks close to the carnival dates?

    • Eva Phan
      September 19, 2023 / 9:31 am

      Hi Vicky! I think it really depends. If you want the peace of mind of not getting scammed, and definitely having tickets, by all means, purchase through Insomniac/Frontgate. If you want the opportunity to save the most money and feel comfortable with buying through FB groups or Craigslist, that’s definitely the way to go. If anything, for most festivals, you should be able to find them at retail even on resale.

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