The largest music festival in the United States in terms of attendance is not Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, or Austin City Limits. While each sees thousands of music fans pass through the gates every year, the real attendance champ is Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas. The 2012 version of the event hosted 320,000 electronic dance music fans from around the world.
While Las Vegas is the crown jewel, it's only part of the greater EDC whole. EDC promoter Insomniac Events has spent the last few years expanding the brand across the country and this week they announced the six locations that will hold annual versions of the fest: Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, Orlando, Puerto Rico and Texas.
Deciding where in our great state to hold EDC Texas seems like a difficult decision, but the choice is clear. Realistically, only so many locations can host a major festival on the scale of what we assume Insomniac wants EDC Texas to be, and a quick bit of compare/contrast shows that Houston is really the only place to host it.
5. Houston vs. San Antonio Does anyone really want to go to San Antonio for a music festival? It's a great city that's nice to visit for an afternoon, it doesn't really scream out "music city" unless you happen to be into heavy metal. Ozzfest Texas being in San Antonio? Makes sense. EDC Texas? Not much sense. While promoters are trying to turn SA in to an EDM hotspot, they still have a ways to go to compete with the rest of the state.
4. Houston vs. Dallas Not to focus too much on the uncomfortable past, but after the events of EDC Dallas in 2011 it's hard to imagine that the city and Insomniac want a lot to do with each other. Our friends at the Dallas Observer have a good write-up on the subject, but the long story short is that the lasting memory of EDC Dallas is one dead and dozens hospitalized.
Plus Dallas already has their own major EDM festival in Lights All Night; do we really want to force our EDM friends across the state the pain of going to Dallas twice in the same year?
3. Houston vs. South Padre Island Ever hear anyone talk about going to South Padre for something other than Spring Break? Sure they've managed to bring some EDM heavyweights when the college kids are out on vacation, but that doesn't mean it's an EDM hotspot, it just means promoters know easy money when they see it.
And not for nothing, but do we really want the rest of the country looking at EDC Texas and asking themselves, "What's a Schlitterbahn?" because that's where the show would end up down there.
2. Houston vs. Austin We know Austin knows how to throw major music events; SXSW, ACL Fest, and Fun Fun Fun Fest are all proof of this. Everyone also knows that Austin is where all the "cool" people go. It's even got a great location right in the center of the state.
Although it's an opinion that flies in the face of logic, we're inclined to believe these things hurt Austin's chances. Have you ever asked the average Austinite what he or she thinks of all these festivals? They whine up a storm about traffic and all the extra people. You think they want a bunch of dirty rave kids in their city? Be real, these kids just aren't the right type of "weird."
1. Houston vs. El Paso Although we tend to view it as almost being in a different state entirely, there are many similarities between the El Paso and our fair city. Look at who SMG Events brought to EP and who NightCulture brought to Houston last year to see the massive amount of talent that swung through both cities. Both have thriving EDM communities full of passionate fans who want to see EDC Texas land in their backyard.
And both of them will provide travel inconveniences for the other.
From that perspective, Houston is obviously the easier sell. Is someone from Dallas or Austin really going to want to drive across West Texas when Houston is just a few hours away? Of course not.
And don't feel too bad for El Paso; it's got the Sun City Music Festival to take care of their EDM fest needs.
Whether it's held in the trees of Sam Houston Race Park that hosted Something Wicked or the concrete confines of Reliant Park, EDC would be a great fit for Houston. We've got the fans, event space, and hotel rooms needed for a festival wearing the EDC brand.
We've given you the information, Mr. Rotella. Do the right thing.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.