How to get to the venue: Transportation
One of the first decisions you'll make is how to get to the festival. In 2022, we drove a rental car in and had to wait through long traffic times as well as the fatigue after the festival.
In 2023, we purchased a premium shuttle pass which was a total game changer since shuttles can shortcut through the air force base. These shuttles provided exclusive lines, shorter travel times (around one hour), and convenient pick-up and drop-off locations. While you still have to allow a bit of time for delays like waiting for your rideshare, the drive to the shuttle stop, finding and waiting in the line, it saved us a huge amount of time for only a little more than regular shuttle price. While we weren’t able to buy them together with our tickets, we were lucky that some passes were released after an initial wave being sold out.
Where to stay: Strip vs. The Strat vs. Downtown Las Vegas
The options were basically camping at EDC itself ($1500 for a 4 person tent) or staying at a hotel or Airbnb. Last year, we stayed at the Flamingo for a night super last minute ($1354 for 1 queen, 1 queen sofa bed) but it was a terrible experience because we were on the ~5th/~6th floor and we could hear the dayclub blasting music after it opened at 9am. This year, we decided to opt for a hotel again because it’s just easier and convenient to not have to worry about Airbnb host fiascos. I cross-referenced the EDC shuttle stops with hotel prices, and we decided to select Horseshoe (fka Bally’s) around the middle of the strip for a combo of price and proximity to both regular and premium shuttles. This ended up being irrelevant because - due to construction for the upcoming F1 race - the Bally’s regular shuttle stop was removed.
The green highlighted cells were hotels where the regular shuttle stops. The yellow highlighted hotel is the premium shuttle stop. The blue highlighted hotels are a short walk (like 5-10m) from a regular shuttle stop.
What to expect at night:
Unlike other music festivals like Coachella, EDC happens overnight. We were there about 8pm to 5am each night, but others stay from 6pm-6am. The lights, stages, and art spread out make for a really unique experience just being walking around. One of the biggest things to watch for is temperature. The desert can be random; in 2022, the first night was super cold, forcing us to sit on the bleachers by the Cosmic Meadow stage to hide from the wind. But sometimes, like this year 2023, it was a super pleasant 70-80F overnight (even though it rained for a few minutes on night one). Check the weather forecast before heading out, and make sure you’re ready with emergency blankets or layers to shed/add if the temperature changes.
Some of the most fun I had was walking around the venue and just seeing what was around. There was art, games, bars, dance floors, wedding chapels, karaoke spots, and more! There’s a ton to do and I’d recommend grabbing a friend or even exploring alone if you feel safe re-finding your group again in the crowds.
At one point I found a phone on the ground and went through a whole journey finding the owner by the end of the weekend. A first-time EDC goer had dropped his phone and thought it was pick-pocketed but luckily I was able to return it to him.
While other friends attended, its super hard to find people among 175,000 other attendees, and I didn’t get to meet up with friends outside my group.
Recovery during and after the weekend:
EDC is for sure a marathon, not a sprint. I tried to be as rested and as nourished as possible so I wouldn’t feel terrible during the weekend, or struggle afterward. I bought foam ear plugs to wear after getting back from the festival so I could sleep as deeply as possible, and I thought it was really nice, especially since I was sharing a full hotel room. When I woke up, I always hydrated with water, an electrolyte supplement, and an emergen-c packet. I tried to eat some fruit plus at least two full meals a day, which was pretty easy staying at a hotel on the Strip. If you can, I’d also recommend booking a flight home in the afternoon on Monday so you can get a little bit of sleep after the last night, or even staying an extra day. We also flew in a day early (Thursday) which felt really nice since we weren’t worried about starting the festival on Friday (made even more relieving as many flights got cancelled by Southwest coming into Vegas on Friday!)