Rising Travel Costs Dampen Excitement for Las Vegas Electronic Music Festival


The exorbitant $649 general admission pass to this year’s Electronic Daisy Carnival (EDC) – a pulsating, high-energy electronic music festival held in Las Vegas – is likely to be the least of your financial worries if you’ve decided to dive in, given that there is some decidedly un-vibey news about the transportation arrangements on the festival dates, May 17, 18, and 19.

Populated by a line-up of the most sizzling hot DJs on the electronic scene in 2024 – including the likes of Martin Garrix, Zedd, Alison Wonderland, Kaskade, John Summit, Dom Dolla, and deadmau5 – the EDC typically draws hordes of exhilarated music lovers to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Yet the ardor of the estimated 520,000 people expected to attend might just take a slight hit with the revelation that taxicabs intend to impose a $40 per person surcharge for drop-offs at the venue, and a steep $60 per person for pickups – over and above the usual traffic-induced fare for the 17-mile route linking mid-Strip to North Las Vegas.

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The Nevada Taxicab Authority sanctioned the surge last month, setting it in motion on the taximeter any time a cab clatters its way into or departs from the venue. Framed by the Authority as a way to “financially incentivize taxi drivers to work during the EDC”, it’s likely to sting festival-goers already stung by the ticket price.

If an online discussion on EDC subreddit is any guide, alternate means may not offer much respite to EDC attendees looking to dodge the taxi surcharge. An Uber, as per a user’s comments, cost them a staggering $180 each way from and back to the Strip during peak arrival and exit times last year. Astoundingly, the user seemed to view this as a lesser of two evils, having had a close brush with a dust storm and two canceled rides the previous year. An ambulance ride seemed easier to secure than an Uber, sardonically commented the user.

The EDC itself seems to have acknowledged the limited rideshare availability, steering festival attendees instead to use cabs, or to make use of the good old friend with a vehicle, or to the lost-but-not-forgotten practice of carpooling.

One would think the festival’s shuttle service would extend a lifeline to stranded attendees. Alas, EDC’s standard shuttles, originally priced at $169 plus taxes and fees, have sold out leaving only the loftier $279 peak shuttles that ply from the Strip at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. and make the return journey at 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.

The only frugal option that appears to be viable for attendees is driving themselves, as general parking is free. Then again, the trek back and forth from the free lots to the venue seems to be long enough that the Premiere Parking Lot right next to the venue sold out almost instantaneously, despite charging for a $165 parking space.