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A festival extension – Powering the Experience

The Vital Role of Electricity in Festivals


Using the correct power at festivals is crucial for ensuring the safety of attendees, performers, and crew members, as well as the proper functioning of technical equipment. One notable example that highlights the importance of using the correct power involves the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) Las Vegas in 2011:

At the 2011 Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, a major electronic dance music festival, improper power distribution and inadequate planning led to significant safety concerns and a chaotic situation. The festival experienced power outages due to overloaded generators, leading to complete darkness in some areas of the venue.

This had several negative consequences:

Safety Hazards: The sudden loss of power created hazardous conditions in the darkened areas, as attendees and crew members struggled to navigate the festival grounds. Lack of visibility increased the risk of accidents, including slips, trips, and falls.

Communication Breakdown: With power outages affecting communication systems, organisers and emergency personnel faced challenges in coordinating responses to potential emergencies or medical incidents. Timely communication is essential to ensure the well-being of attendees and swift response to any issues.

Technical Disruptions: Power outages disrupted performances, causing interruptions and delays for artists and disappointing attendees who had come to see their favorite acts. Sound systems, lighting rigs, and other technical equipment were affected, impacting the overall festival experience.

Security Concerns: The lack of proper lighting and power affected the effectiveness of security measures, potentially making it easier for unauthorized individuals to access restricted areas or engage in unsafe behavior.

The 2011 EDC incident emphasised the critical role of correct power distribution and planning in ensuring a safe and enjoyable festival experience. In response to the issues faced during that event, subsequent editions of Electric Daisy Carnival and other festivals around the world have implemented improved power management strategies, including:

  • Conducting thorough power load assessments to ensure that generators and power sources can handle the demands of the event.
  • Implementing backup power sources and redundancy systems to prevent complete power failures.
  • Enhancing communication protocols among event staff, security personnel, and emergency responders to address unforeseen situations effectively.
  • Educating crew members and vendors about the importance of adhering to proper power usage guidelines.

By using the correct power and implementing robust power management strategies, festivals can mitigate safety risks, minimise disruptions, and provide a more enjoyable and secure experience for all participants.


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