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January 29, 2015

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j. patrick coolican:

Was Electric Daisy Carnival the beginning of a rave-based economy?

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J. Patrick Coolican

Electric Daisy Carnival Sunday Night

The final day of the Electric Daisy Carnival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on June 27, 2011. Launch slideshow »

When it comes to making money, Las Vegas, admirably in my view, doesn’t do cloying moralism.

Exhibit A: Before last month’s Electric Daisy Carnival, the massive electronic music festival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, there was some hand-wringing about whether we should have allowed the event given problems with previous festivals put on by promoter Insomniac. The concern was somewhat justified: Last year in Los Angeles an underage girl died of an apparent ecstasy overdose, and two people died in Dallas at an Insomniac event this year.

But our event went off well. You can read my column about it here.

No one was seriously injured, and the art and music injected a jolt of cultural energy into our bloodstream.

And of course the event, which drew 230,000, pumped some money into the local economy. That drew notice from board members of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which, before the festival, sort of wanted nothing to do with it.

At a board meeting Tuesday, “several board members spoke about developing a closer relationship with producers of the three-day electronic music rave,” my colleague Rick Velotta reports.

As Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins put it: “The participants were the most polite young kids that I’ve ever been around.”

(The kids were all rolling on ecstasy, which I understand causes acute politeness.)

Even Metro Police officers know the score. As one told the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “I don’t see the nuance in staring at lights for hours. But it doesn’t take much to see this has generated some money for the valley.”

There’s a serious point here, though. Velotta reports discussions about “developing an electronic music conference in conjunction with the event and having related events in the city. Others discussed showing off the success of the event and inviting other musical genres to stage festivals here.”

Smart thinking, and a model that can be applied to other events in our city. Conversely, large conventions can also drive events.

Perhaps we can lure a glow-stick manufacturer here.

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  1. Yeah a rave economy. First of all you can't really call this a traditional 'Rave'. Secondly the 'Niceness' everyone was experiencing was from the 'Pot' not from the hyper dangerous Ecstasy or Alcohol. Who would write something positive about illicit man made chemical usage? People die from Ecstasy all the time and the reason they call it a rave is because the people on the dangerous chemical drug ecstasy get a thrill from the lights while on it.
    The LVCVA wants whatever will generate income, first they were all against it then suddenly someones dollar signs lit up... "Oh we can make money from this?" The next time this comes to town it will be so commercially overrun by money making schemes that it too will be ruined by greed of this state and city. I hope the LVCVA just leaves it alone because it went through just fine without any government fingers in the punch bowl. It will not be a rave fun fest if it is allowed to come under the scrutiny of event promoters who are in bed with the city, that is how things lose their charm. Leave it alone. Stop trying to suck the life out of everything cool. I think the LVCVA is so starving for income potential that they see this festival as an money maker and not a festival for fun and people. Why do they need to be involved at all? Nothing they do ever comes without a hefty price and again the ones who will pay will be us.

  2. "The kids were all rolling on ecstasy, which I understand causes acute politeness."

    This is journalism today at its finest. A completely unsubstantiated assertion that, if one were to actually take a poll, would find completely untrue. I know many people who went to this and did not use any illicit drugs. They actually enjoy the music....<gasp> imagine that!!!! Wow, going to a music festival for

    Get real.

  3. I suspect that, with his comment about the kids rolling on ecstasy, Patrick was being ironic. Always a chancy move with this crowd.

  4. I am pleased to see that Festival went off well, with minimal people hurt. And I do agree it provided a cash starved Las Vegas economy a bit of a boost.

    But I still say there should be a wait and see attitude on this. And not let it be propelled by people who have pretty much failed Las Vegas before.

    I don't believe a damn thing the Las Vegas Convention Visitor's Authority (LVCVA) says. Never have.

    People need to understand that they did this wait and see attitude with that Festival. And all of a sudden it was successful, and NOW they jump on board. Not before. They're just opportunists.

    The last thing they ever did for Las Vegas was come up with some lame slogan that caught on. Then they retired it. Then nothing else worked, so they went back to it. Contrary to popular belief, the LVCVA doesn't have an innovative thinking bone in their body that capable of coming up with something to attract tourists here.

    You ask me, they just suck up money and try to justify why you should pay them.

    A very good example of their incompetence was when the economy first tanked here in Las Vegas. LVCVA was desperate for anything to happen. Well, the casinos came up with this rocket science idea that, since they couldn't get tourists to come to Las Vegas because the economy sucked nationwide, they decided to encourage locals to come to casinos. To make up for the lost revenue.

    They didn't offer anything new. Just the same comps they would give to tourists.

    The idea failed miserably. Because the locals saw right through it. You ask any casino worker, they will state emphatically they don't want locals in there anyways. Don't matter what their casino owner says. Because they believe they don't spend money and they don't tip.

    The other part that made it fail is the fact that the locals were getting paid and using it to pay bills and basically survive. And here come the casinos, with the LVCVA, saying, we pay you the money to work here, why don't you please come back in here and blow it, give it back to us, forget trying to survive, support our money grubbing casino, the house always wins, you know?

    It failed. Miserably.

    So, people jumping on board this Festival thing just because LVCVA endorses it, don't mean it's a good thing. Especially with their stupid track record. Only thing seen from the LVCVA big muck-a-mucks is the high paid six-digit figure salary a year they command and are all just trying to justify their existence so they can get money thrown at them constantly; all for not doing one damn thing.

  5. When Ralph Englestad built the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority turned down requests to be involved. Sure you are bringing that NASCAR car race thing to town, but you are not one of our favorite people so we wont help you. Then after seeing how big it was they came back acting like they supported it all along. No different when it came to youth basketball tournaments that dominated the Valley during slow December and in July. Oh it is kids that cant gamble, so why should we care about it. Now these events are a shadow of what they used to be and all of the hotels (alot non gaming) have felt the pain from these events not producing the same room nights.

    It was only a month ago where hotels decided that rooms should go for $700 a night in June, making it clear that they wanted nothing to do with this event. Now the LVCVA made up of board members from the mega companies Harrahs and MGM Grand many of the same ones demanding crazy pricing due to the customers want to become friends?

    At least this event did not have to wait all of the years that Ralph and these high school tournaments had to wait to get the attention of the LVCVA that they needed to be involved. Considering how much money was given to Horse Jumping Events at the Thomas and Mack are those giving money out to events while spending thousands on "dinners with $1,000 + bar tabs" with "event organizers - err Coach of the University of California's Football team" really that in touch with events that really benefit this town? Stop the high bar tabs, help out these events during slow months that help ALL Hotels including those who are not charging $700 a night during a rave festival.

  6. Wow, kirkland. I didn't know that about the Speedway.

    You just put an apostrophe on what I was trying to say.

    I said it before and I will say it again: LVCVA makes money out of nothing. They're useless. And they get paid mucho bucks for being as useless as mammaries on mushrooms.

    And when they do get involved, it costs tourists more and more money. All to line their pockets with money.

    Don't get me wrong. I enjoy tourists spending money in Las Vegas. But, c'mon! They shouldn't be raped dry!

    I emphatically contend that LVCVA is jumping on board this thing as opportunists. To make money and justify their useless butts to make moh money, moh money, moh money.

    We're talkin' Dire Straits here. "Money for nothin'...chicks fer free...." We need to cut LVCVA out of the equation to cut the costs.

    This not only helps Nevada, but provides a required service to tourists in order to continue going to these Festivals. And not worry about money grubbing butt wipes like them involved as middle men.

  7. All those pool parties, you know the ones with 2 hour long lines, $50-100 cover, and $15-20 drinks? Yeah, those are basically raves, except with sun and a pool.