Despite problems associated with the Electric Daisy Carnival last year in Los Angeles, including the death of a 15-year-old girl, Mayor Oscar Goodman is expecting the event to be a success this year as it moves to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Goodman gave the June 24-26 electronic music festival and rave a hearty endorsement Thursday during his weekly news conference at City Hall — and even indicated he might show up at the event, which was essentially booted out of LA.
The EDC, which is in its 15th year, will include 200 performers and artists throughout the weekend and is expected to draw more than 250,000 people, making it North America's largest electronic music festival, Goodman said.
"It's going to be phenomenal," Goodman said.
One dollar of each ticket is going to be split among three local charities: the Clark County Community Partnership Program, the Smith Center for Performing Arts and the Injured Police Officers Fund, he said.
Goodman said the three-day festival will provide a carnival-like atmosphere, featuring dancers, fire twirlers, aerialists and stilt walkers, plus 28 carnival rides and attractions.
The event will feature six performance stages, state-of-the-art lighting and sound production, plus fireworks, Goodman said.
"We're going to declare June 20-26 Electric Daisy Carnival Week in the City of Las Vegas and ask all of our citizens to support this monumental event," Goodman said.
The mayor also introduced the EDC event's top official, Pasquale Rotella, the CEO and founder of Insomniac Events.
Rotella said the show was beginning to set up production at the speedway this week.
"EDC is a lot more than a music festival," Rotella said. "There's a lot going on, aside from the international performers that we have coming on the stages. We have a lot of theatrical performers and walkabouts throughout the festival. And art is a big part of this festival."
Those attending will see unique art pieces set up between the six performance stages, he said.
"The Las Vegas Motor Speedway was picked because it couldn't be better equipped to handle the mass gathering," Rotella said.
Goodman asked him if it would be in the daytime as well as in the evening. Rotella said it would start at 8 p.m.
"We put a lot of production into the shows, so it really, the event, really shines when the sun goes down," he said. Also, the weather in Las Vegas will be a lot cooler after dusk, he said.
"That's great. There are no neighbors to complain out there," Goodman said. "...I look forward to it. I may even show up there, who knows.... I have no idea what Electric Daisy music is, but you're never too old to learn, right?'
During a new conference that followed, Goodman was asked why he thought Las Vegas was a good fit, considering Los Angeles officials no longer welcome the event.
Last year, more than 100 people were hospitalized for injuries and drug-related issues.
A 15-year-old girl, Sasha Rodriguez, died after being hospitalized for suspected drug-related complications.
"I don't care what LA says, you know that," Goodman said. "LA is like a second-class entertainment thing. We're the world entertainment venue... It's the entertainment capital of the world."
Goodman said the 250,000 people expected to attend the three-day event will have fun and enjoy themselves.
"That's what Vegas is all about," he said. "When they come to Vegas, they want to have a good time. They want to enjoy themselves. They want to let all that energy out. They want to have a celebration. So I'm sure it's going to be a very positive experience for us."
The mayor brushed aside a question about the event bringing trouble to Las Vegas.
"Trouble never bothered me. You know, you do the very best you can to make sure that it's safe," he said. Metro Police and Las Vegas city marshals will have a presence at the event, he said.
"You do the best you can, but if people want to be idiots, you can't stop them," he said. "That's part of human nature. You can't make people necessarily behave by telling them to behave. But we'll do everything we can to make sure everybody has a good time."
Told that an underage girl died at last year's event in LA, Goodman said "an underage girl could die any place where she misbehaves. Really, I don't think, if you have 100,000 people, you don't hold the developer responsible for somebody's ill choices.'
He backtracked and said he didn't know if she was misbehaving and said he was sorry the girl died.
"I wish she could come here and enjoy it this year. But people have to be responsible," he said.
Goodman indicated the event would be an economic boon to the area.
"As far as I'm concerned, anything that's going to bring people and money and energy, that's all I care about," he said.