What to expect at Electric Daisy Carnival: Interview with Pasquale Rotella
Experience creator, night owl, and Insomniac Events CEO Pasquale Rotella brings the massively popular Electric Daisy Carnival back to Tinker Field Nov. 8-9 for two days of cutting-edge electronic music, immersive art and side shows, professional carnival rides and all the bass one city can handle. I spoke with Rotella about his decision to bring EDC here, what the future holds and what to expect next month.
OW: EDC has traveled the globe, making stops in places like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, London and Puerto Rico. How did the decision to add Orlando come about, and how much longer do you think we’ll keep getting the party?
PR: People on the East Coast really wanted to bring the show to Miami. We have some friends who do a festival there, and we didn’t want to bring in something new to a place they were already working in. The Tinker Field location became available, and I really liked it. It’s in the city and has grass, and it didn’t conflict with anyone in the area doing big festivals that focus on dance music that we were aware of at the time. We felt like we were bringing something that was needed in the area, and it got a good response on Twitter when I floated it out there. Everything just fit together well, and we’re planning on staying in Orlando for a while, as long as we have the support there.
Are there plans to make it bigger, maybe take it inside to the Citrus Bowl?
We’re taking it step by step; there are some logistical challenges with actually going into the Citrus Bowl, but we definitely talked about it. As long as the venue was on board and there were solutions to the potential challenges, which there usually are, we’ll continue to explore it [as an option] as the event grows.
The stages and production of EDC Vegas made news this year with its size and cost. The main stage stretched to 420 feet, and the production bill topped $35 million. Are you bringing any stage setups or production from Vegas out here to Orlando?
Definitely. Different aspects of production come with us to certain cities. We haven’t worked out the exact details yet on whether or not we’re bringing the same thing, something new or a hybrid. We’re definitely doing some new stuff that’s going to be exciting and reflect the direction we’re going in, which is very exciting to me because we’re going back to our roots, from back in the day when we couldn’t afford the latest technology and intelligent lighting, so we’d make our own props at the underground warehouse parties. It’s on a grander scale now, of course, but it’s exciting to get into the next chapter.
I’m sure you’re aware of the speculation on Facebook event pages and forums about lineups. Do you ever check out what people are saying and let it influence decisions?
I definitely am listening. There’s so many opinions, sometimes people want to see someone in particular and they focus on them. We just don’t like getting stuck on names. Our goal is to make sure that the music is good, and at festivals, we get to be experimental. One thing we did to shake things up a bit was the Discovery Project, and I have a lot of fun with that. That was something that stood out to me about Orlando last year too, the Discovery stage was pretty crowded and rocking, and those are people no one’s ever really heard of.
People want it. Can you confirm at least one name early?
You know … man … I think it would be unfair to other guys playing, and a lot of them are my friends, so for me to mention someone before someone else would give them a longer run. and I wouldn’t want to be unfair to anyone. Those are my guys. and I love them, so I want to treat everyone equally.
Ultra and Tomorrowland have successful shows on YouTube. Are there any plans to live-stream EDC?
I’m opening up to it more because I’ve seen some stuff that’s high quality, but I’m thinking more along the lines of “in order for you to really experience one of our events, you really need to be there,” so if you want to check it out, come on down. We do a lot of things that are hard to capture, but we’ve been exploring, and I’ve seen some things [that] are making me warm up to it, so maybe I’ll come around.
Do you have any parting words for Orlando?
I want to remind people that they are the most important part of the event. You really are the headliners and the experience will be whatever you make it. Insomniac as a team puts all the pieces together, we provide an infrastructure and the platform for people to come and have a good time and celebrate and enjoy each other. It’s really in your hands. I’m excited to see what people bring to the festival, I always look forward to Orlando and I can’t wait to be there celebrating with all of you.