EDC Texas 2013 Update – Down to Two Venues
EDC Texas 2013 Update – Down to Two Venues
6/19/13 Update: Insomniac and Live Nation officially announced their partnership today. Hopefully this moves EDC Texas along.
There’s been a firestorm of EDC Texas related news recently, so we thought we’d take some time to walk you through the details. There’s a lot of moving parts and a recent announcement that should have a big effect on where the festival is held. Check it all out below!
Ever since the announcement of EDC Texas back in February, there’s been a mad rush for answers. All we’ve known for sure is that a “soon to be determined” city in Texas would play host to the world famous concert series. Now that “soon” has turned into months, the search for answers continues. Luckily Pasquale Rotella, CEO of Insomniac, Inc., the producers of the Electric Daisy Carnival series, took the time to answer some questions about the potential venue on Twitter recently:
The obvious new information here is that Insomniac is down to negotiations with two venues, but the fact that the venues are “virgin” locations and have been difficult in negotiations also lends some useful information. What are the two venues? We’ll get to that in a moment.
Insomniac Sold to Live Nation?
Then came an announcement from the Wall Street Journal last Thursday that Live Nation was finalizing a deal with Insomniac to purchase a 50% stake in the company. It’s been a widely known fact that both Live Nation, owner of EDM promoters HARD Events and Cream Holdings as well as various concert venues, and SFX Entertainment, owner of Disco Donnie Presents, ID&T, Life in Color, and much more, have been interested in purchasing a stake. The news of a done deal turned out to be premature, but it still sounds like an imminent possibility.
So what does all of this have to do with EDC Texas? That leads us to our analysis of likely host cities…
Which City Will EDC Texas Be In?
Austin – Likely
The biggest reason the potential Live Nation sale would have an effect on the venue starts in the capital city. One of the most likely locations, the new Austin360 Amphitheater at the Circuit of the Americas, already has a booking agreement in place with Live Nation to bring concerts to the venue. With that business connection already there, it would make bringing EDC Texas to Austin a lot easier.
The Austin360 Amphitheater
The biggest challenge to the festival coming to Austin is layout and capacity issues. The last EDC in Texas, Dallas in 2011, had 25,000 concert goers. However, given EDM’s growth in the past two years, expecting 50,000-60,000 attendees in 2013 is not unreasonable. The main amphitheater is listed at a capacity of only 14,000, so the question is whether the rest of the Circuit of the Americas ground could hold the rest of the “headliners.” The good news for those hoping for Austin is that the venue will host a four stage rock and metal festival in August, so it seems like it would be able to handle something the size and scale of EDC.
The central location of Austin, combined with a good venue and the potential for a Live Nation deal make the city a likely host.
Dallas/Fort Worth - Likely
There’s also a likely host city in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The immediate advantages that DFW has over Austin is Insomniac’s established preference for the area, an existing business connection should the Live Nation transaction not go through, and the area having a couple potential venues.
Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth
Texas Motor Speedway remains as the most likely venue in the area. We covered why TMS has high potential to be selected back in February (TMS is owned by the same company as the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, which hosts EDC Las Vegas), but we also discussed why it was not likely to happen. However, as what appeared to be an imminent venue decision was not quickly made and Pasquale has gone on to publicly discuss the venues “being hard,” which we know Texas Motor Speedway was, they’re back in the ring as a potential site.
We contacted Eddie Gossage, President of TMS, whom we spoke with in February, after Pasquale’s recent comments. He was quick to discuss the festival with us before, but he has now declined to answer our questions. Is it because their negotiations have resumed? Signs are pointing towards TMS being one of the “two venues.”
What are other potential venues in DFW?
The main limitation to DFW area venues is the recent unfriendliness cities have shown to EDM festivals. After the bad press following EDC Dallas 2011, the limitations placed on Lights All Night 2012, and Meltdown 2013 getting pushed to Fort Worth, it’s safe to say that anywhere inside the city limits of Dallas and Grand Prairie are out…but not Arlington! Cowboys Stadium also has the potential to be a host venue. It has the room both inside the stadium and in the surrounding area, but can Insomniac squeeze itself into an away game weekend and fork up the money for Jerry World?
Houston – Possible
Houston’s biggest disadvantage is a lack of venues. The potential Live Nation deal may have helped as they do control the booking for Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, however it’s A. Too small and B. Not a “virgin” dance festival venue. B also applies to Sam Houston Race Park prospects as it has hosted EDM festivals before, although it does have the space.
What’s a more likely site? Reliant Park. It has tons of room not only in the area around Reliant Stadium, Reliant Center and Reliant Arena, but also across Kirby where Life in Color was recently held. It’s hosted its share of EDM concerts, but never a full-fledged festival, leaving it open to the “virgin location” qualifier. However, the same problem exists as does with Cowboys Stadium: it would have to be on an away game weekend.
The limited number of venues, potential scheduling issues, and a less central location than DFW and Austin all add up to Houston being a less likely host city. But don’t give up hope, Houston, as it is still a possibility.
El Paso – Not Likely
The main advantage El Paso has is enthusiasm. The EDM scene there is constantly praised by visiting artists as the loudest, rowdiest place to play in the whole country. They show it online too as they absolutely DOMINATED our “Which city should EDC Texas be in?” poll (and our website servers for that matter). You couldn’t vote more than once if anyone is wondering! Here were the final results:
They’ve shown that they can pack a festival too as last year’s Sun City Music Festival over Labor Day weekend turned out 20,000 attendees. Unfortunately, all of those advantages still don’t outweigh the biggest disadvantage: location. The reason that EDC has been in Dallas in the past was that it is centrally located. Not to Texas, but to the entire Midwest. DFW, Austin, and Houston are all a lot easier of a drive from the major population centers of the Midwest than El Paso is. On top of that, SCMF is around the same time of year that EDC would likely be.
Sorry El Paso, we don’t think it’s going to happen. We are all still in awe of your love of EDM though. Keep El Paso crazy.
South Texas – Not Likely
See above disadvantage. Unless it’s Spring Break, South Texas isn’t going to pull the same attendance as somewhere further North.
Where Does This Leave Us?
Unfortunately, until we hear something official, we’re still left to speculate. Right now it seems as though the Circuit of the Americas and Texas Motor Speedway are likely the two venues mentioned by Pasquale. However, the longer this process goes on, the more likely a venue not considered here is to come into contention. In the meantime, make sure you’re not missing out on any EDM shows in Texas with our Event Calendar!