Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) returned to UK shores for the second time ever and this year it was in a new venue.
EDC UK saw Milton Keynes Bowl transformed, the venue which has played host to Swedish House Mafia and Calvin Harris did not disappoint dance music fans. With LED screens erected around the whole of the Bowl, the kinetic FIELD (main stage) was awash with spotlights and lasers.
Originally billed as a 2-day festival EDC UK was reduced to one day just a few weeks before the event. There were a few disgruntled fans as DJs such as Fat Boy Slim and Nervo were axed from the bill, but Sunday’s headliner, Calvin Harris made an appearance on Saturday.
As you would expect from its name Electric Daisy Carnival wasn’t your ‘run of the mill’ music festival, it had a carnival procession from Cirque Bijou, face painters and fairground rides to get the punters in the carnival mood.
Blessed with blazing sunshine throughout the day festival-goers enjoyed the likes of Showtek known for their 2013 top 5 song ‘Booyah’ and Nicky Romero, best known for this collaboration with Avicii on ‘I Could be the One’. It was towards late afternoon when the big names made their appearance with Calvin Harris first up.
The clock had just hit 5pm when Mr Harris took to the stage. ‘Under Control’ was his opening tune and as expected festival-goers swarmed from all over the site to get a glimpse of the highest paid DJ in 2013 according to Forbes.
With so many chart-topping hits under his belt Harris could only select a few for his hour-long set, but they included his collaboration with Ellie Goulding, ‘I Need Your Love’, his 2011 hit ‘Feel So Close’ and he ended his set with his current smash hit, ‘Summer’ which went out with streamers and smoke, a sign of things to come that night.
Next up was 18-year-old Martin Garrix known for his chart-topping song, ‘Animals’. Starting with ‘Animals’ we were dubious as to what else he could bring to the set, but he proved us wrong and delighted the masses mixing Naughty Boy’s ‘La La La’, Swedish House Mafia’s ‘Antidote’, Icona Pop’s ‘I Don’t Care’ and Macklemore’s ‘Can’t Hold Us’ before sampling a bit of the Brit Pop classic, ‘Song 2’ by Blur.
Garrix also sneaked in Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ much to everyone’s delight, it seems this track above all others transcends all genres and is sure to get the crowds worked into a frenzy.
After an hour of Steve Aoki it was the chance for Steve Angello, one third of the former Swedish House Mafia to grace the stage. Starting in his usual style with Robyn’s ‘Show Me Love’, traditionally Angello’s sets have included a lot of Swedish House Mafia tracks. He didn’t stray away from his well-trodden path at EDC UK by playing a mix of ‘Don’t You Worry Child’, and ‘Reload’. He also threw a couple of older tracks including Eurthymics’ ‘Sweet Dreams’ and Delirium’s ‘Silence’ which as you’d expect got the crowds bouncing.
There had been dancers on stage all day, but it was during Angello’s set that the fire dancers took to the stage adding to the carnival atmosphere.
Angello’s set ended with his new single ‘Wasted Love’ which he played in public for the second time.
Avicii was the headline act this year, returning to the festival for the second time. Over the years Avicii festival performances have been variable, but this was definitely one of his best. He kicked off his set with his single ‘Hey Brother’ and continued to weave his chart-topping hits ‘Fade Into Darkness’, ‘I Could be the One’ and ‘Le7els’, with classic tunes from the 90s such as Ini Kamoze’s ‘Here Comes The Hotstepper’ and more recent ‘classics’, Florence’s ‘Spectrum (Say My Name)’, Disclosure’s ‘White Noise’ and Coldplay’s ‘Sky Full of Stars’.
Avicii ended this set and the festival with ‘Wake Me Up’, played out to streamers, lasers and fireworks in 360 degrees around the Bowl.
And so that’s it for another year, the EDC ‘road’ continues later this year with EDC Orlando in November.
Photos by Howard Hill