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September 23, 2014

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2014 EDC Night 1: 134,000 fans; tight security; Hardwell, Afrojack, Armin Van Buuren; ‘Let It Go’

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Tom Donoghue / DonoghuePhotography.com

Night 1 of the 2014 Electric Daisy Carnival on Friday, June 20, 2014, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

2014 Electric Daisy Carnival: Night 1

Armin Van Buuren during Night 1 of the 2014 Electric Daisy Carnival on Friday, June 20, 2014, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Launch slideshow »

2014 Electric Daisy Carnival: Night 1, Part 2

Night 1 of the 2014 Electric Daisy Carnival on Friday, June 20, 2014, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Launch slideshow »

2014 Electric Daisy Carnival Night 1/Insomniac

2014 EDC: Night One

Attendees dance during the first night of the Electric Daisy Carnival early Saturday, June 21, 2014 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Launch slideshow »

2014 EDC: Maverick Helicopter Ride

CEO of Insomniac Pasquale Rotella is also the founder of EDC and at Maverick Helicopters on his way to opening night of EDC at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday, June 20, 2014. Launch slideshow »

Night 1 of the fourth-annual Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is in the books, and it was an evening of the world’s top DJs, a crowd of 134,000 (88,000 passed the gates by 11:30 p.m.), strong security and sadly one death.

Highlights of Night 1:

Traffic was reportedly an issue entering 2014 EDC at LVMS at the start time of 7 p.m. My guest and I departed Henderson at 11:30 p.m. and then the Speedway at 4 a.m. and had no traffic. We were very fortunate this year, not so much the previous three years.

We stood in line at security at Gate A to enter EDC, and it was fairly fast. While we made it past inspection quickly, others (men and women) were patted down very thoroughly. Chest and groin areas were of specific focus for security team members on men and women.

We focused on the sets of some of our favorite DJs, even though many of them are resident DJs or regulars here in Las Vegas: Steve Angello and Hardwell (the ginormous Kinetic Field), Afrojack (Circuit Grounds) and finally Armin Van Buuren (Kinetic.)

Kinetic Field is astounding and mesmerizing. The cathedral theme presents the DJ booth as a giant pipe organ flanked by two massive owls with outstretched wings. It is the largest stage in Insomniac history (Insomniac produces EDC) at 440 feet wide and 80 feet tall. The structure features more than 1,000 lighting fixtures, 30 lasers and water-fountain effects reminiscent of the Bellagio Fountains and requires 2.5 million watts of power.

Hardwell’s set included “Reload,” “Apollo” and Coldplay’s new and euphoric “Sky Full of Stars”; Afrojack, in the more-intimate Circuit Grounds (if that’s possible at EDC), “Take Over Control” and “Ten Feet Tall”); and Armin Van Buuren, at 3 a.m., a surprising remix of Idina Menzel’s Oscar-winning “Let It Go” from Disney’s “Frozen” and the dreamscape “This Is What If Feels Like” to end his set.

One thing all of these DJs have in common besides being white males: They all swear a lot when they address the crowd and their fans. A lot.

The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, The Ambiguously Gay Duo and a small group of Where’s Waldo? — kudos to the nostalgic nods — were the best costumes spotted Friday night amid the bountiful breasts in bras and abundant beefcake in board and basketball shorts.

Unsurprisingly, the smell of marijuana permeated the air the three hours we were there Friday night. Surprisingly, EDC-goers feel safe sitting on the ground among the 134,000 EDM revelers. Some of them were even laying on the asphalt littered with trash, trash and more trash.

Also at EDC: New art installations (a Lily Pond with towering leaves and Hug’s Life, with three ornately decorated 10x10 boxes, among them), performers and a six-minute fireworks display that, for the first time, encircled the entire Speedway. There also were fireworks and pyrotechnics galore throughout the evening in DJ sets and above the Speedway.

New this year, Insomniac has partnered with 7-Up to present curated content using 50 cameras throughout EDC at Insomniac.com/Curated from 8:30 p.m. PST to 8:30 a.m. PST each night.

Tragically, a California man died this morning after reportedly having a medical issue in the parking lot at EDC.

EDC returns tonight and Sunday at 7. Thanks to Tom Donoghue of Donoghue Photography and Sam Morris and L.E. Baskow of the Las Vegas Sun for their photo galleries from Night 1 at EDC.

Don Chareunsy is senior editor for arts and entertainment of the Las Vegas Sun.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

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