Las Vegas Sun

October 21, 2020

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Checking in with music festival producer Pasquale Rotella of EDC

Pasquale Rotella


Pasquale Rotella

The annual Electric Daisy Carnival dance music festival was one of the last big live events in Las Vegas to postpone until 2021. Produced by Insomniac, the festival is now set to celebrate its 25th year (and 20th in Las Vegas) on May 21-23 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and it is sold out.

Insomniac and its founder Pasquale Rotella have kept busy during the pandemic by creating virtual events while planning for the return of EDC and other festivals around the world, and in August, the company announced a new partnership with HeadCount, a nonprofit organization that promotes voter registration and participation, through its Insomniac Cares charitable division.

The Sun recently checked in with Rotella, a longtime Las Vegas resident, to discuss the partnership and the future of EDC and Insomniac.

Why is it important for Insomniac to partner with HeadCount for this voting campaign?

HeadCount provides a great resource for people to check whether they’re registered to vote, and if they’re not, how to go about getting registered. People care about change but don’t always take the time to make their voice heard by voting, and we want to encourage them to participate. With the captive audience Insomniac has, it only makes sense we would work together.

How do you think your audience feels about the election and the importance of voting?

I believe people are engaged and have strong feelings about what’s going on in the world now more than ever, which is a great thing, but there’s always people that feel like their vote doesn’t really contribute and doesn’t matter. That’s something we want to educate people on because it does matter.

EDC 2021 sold out very quickly, which is not a big surprise. But considering the current unusual circumstances, was there some relief that people are still really excited to return to the festival?

It was difficult to predict how people would react during this time so it did provide some reassurance. We’ve been doing our best to stay in touch with our fans online throughout quarantine and we’ve gotten the sense that people are itching to get back to live events as soon as it’s safe to do so. The EDC on-sale helped confirm this and give us confidence going into next year.

There is an overall belief that huge live events won’t be able to return until there’s a vaccine. Do you believe you can hold these events in a safe way without a vaccine?

I think it’s difficult to say at this moment because we don’t know what other medical advances may come along. We’re all hoping for a vaccine as soon as possible, but there may be other steps that can be taken, and we’re making sure to stay up to speed on all of the newest technologies. Still, we won’t have these large events until it’s safe to do so.

Insomniac has been streaming new and different music events for months now. What other kinds of programming could we see your company produce in the future?

I’m really excited about what we have in store for Insomniac TV, which is the online channel we’ve gotten to focus on during quarantine. It will go beyond just streaming music events and will include new, original programming and concepts with shows coming out on a weekly basis. We’ve begun to announce weekly residencies with artists, and there are new brands we’re working with for fun, creative shows. The plan is to continue with Insomniac TV even after the pandemic is over.