Inside ‘Under the Electric Sky,’ the New Electric Daisy Carnival Documentary
By Scott T. Sterling
At this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, the snow-covered hills were alive with the sound of EDM beats, thanks to the new documentary, Under the Electric Sky.
This exclusive clip from Under the Electric Sky is the first scene from the doc to be revealed to the public, highlighting the massive crowds and bombastic productions values that typify the annual dance festival. Watch below.
The movie chronicles Las Vegas’ massive Electric Daisy Carnival through the eyes of various attendees, including a fan with scoliosis who attends in a wheelchair, a rowdy group of guys from Cape Cod known as “Wolfpack” and a free-loving “rave family” whose aspirations are aimed at group marriage. The different stories are told with the bombast of Electric Daisy Carnival raging around them, with one of the movie’s main subjects ending up onstage during Above and Beyond‘s celebratory set.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” said Pasquale Rotella, CEO of Insomniac Events, which has been producing Electric Daisy Carnival events since 1997. “I’ve never been to Sundance, and I don’t know if people were just blowing smoke, but they were saying they’d never seen a crowd reaction like we received at the screenings. People were really excited about seeing the movie. It was a good time, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
“Man, they really got it,” added producer/DJ Kaskade, who created the original score for Under the Electric Sky and was present for the Sundance screenings. “I think there’s so many fans of the festival that they were excited to see what was gonna be on the screen. Even before the movie started, people were screaming, freaking out. When the lights dimmed, it was like a concert. It was amazing to watch a group of people see the movie for the first time — something that I’d worked so hard on — and have them appreciate it.”
As for when fans can expect an opportunity to see Under the Electric Sky, Rotella insists that it will happen before crowds make their way to Vegas for this year’s main event in late June.
“We haven’t closed a deal with anyone, because we’re still negotiating and understanding which each partner would bring to the equation, since they all offer different things,” Rotella explained when asked about the film’s distribution. “One of the things that we’ve told everyone we’re talking to is that we would like the movie to come out before EDC Las Vegas 2014. We should be talking about a different movie before EDC 2015. I’m confident that we’ll have the movie out in theaters sometime in March or April, at the latest by May.”
For Rotella, capturing EDC in a documentary format “felt like a natural step” after nurturing the event into a destination festival that attracts people in the hundreds of thousands to Las Vegas every year.
“Dance culture has been misunderstood for decades. I’ve always wanted to tell the story and display it in a more accurate light,” Rotella insisted. “I think it makes a good movie. So much money, energy, blood, sweat and tears are put into these events that are up for three or four days, and then it’s all torn down to be part of a distant memory. To have a movie documenting the experience, production level and following some of the fans around is a natural fit. We’ve been filming [EDC] for years, but never been able to put something out of this quality.”
Pasquale Rotella (C) flanked by filmmakers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz (Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
This year’s edition of Electric Daisy Carnival will mark four years since the flagship event was moved from the L.A. Memorial Coliseum to Las Vegas, a relocation that was at least in part precipitated by the tragic drug-related death of 15-year-old Sasha Rodriguez. With the unfortunate incident now settled, Rotella respectfully considered questions regarding EDC someday returning to the place where it all began.
“EDC Vegas isn’t going anywhere,” Rotella insisted. “That being said, it doesn’t mean I would not be willing to explore an additional EDC for Southern California. I do believe that the demand and fan base is there in California, and there are some people who just can’t make it to Vegas. So doing both is an option. The one thing that has prevented [a return to Southern California] is having the right venue. If that were to come up, I’d definitely be up for it.”
Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas 2014 is set for the weekend of June 20-22 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The lineup has yet to be announced.