Idris Elba Set to Expand DJ Career at EDC Las Vegas 2019

Deadmau5, Alesso, Kaskade, Diplo and Pasquale Rotella make room for the Golden Globe winner “under the electric sky”

When Coachella booked Idris Elba back in January, we called it a “shocker.”

With a few months to get acquainted with the British actor’s musical bonafides — including a top 10 song on Spotify’s closely-watched “U.S. Viral 50” chart — we now appreciate that his DJ set at Sundance a few years ago wasn’t just a cringey photo opp.

Insomniac founder Pasquale Rotella has now tapped Elba to join 240 of the world’s top DJs and producers for the 23rd edition of the Electric Daisy Carnival, taking place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on the weekend of May 17-19.

After Rotella leaked parts of the lineup via mixes on his radio show on Tuesday night, rabid fans collaborated in a Google document to piece together the roster, and Insomniac then released the encyclopedic bill Wednesday morning.

Elba is the only person in the world to DJ a royal wedding (Prince Harry and Meghan Markle), present a Golden Globe to Lady Gaga (with Taylor Swift), and now spin at North America’s largest dance music festival.

EDC 2018

In addition to Elba, early reaction to surprise bookings like hip-hop artist A$AP Rocky and Bill Nye the Science Guy (who will emcee the opening ceremony) have been all been positive.

Chase Fiedler, Kenny G, Moe Shalizi

Chase Fiedler, surprise guest Kenny G, and mega manager Moe Shalizi backstage at EDC 2018. (Instagram)

In its main lane, EDC 2019 will again draw every subgenre of electronic musician and fan to a throbbing, glowing, neon oasis 19 miles northeast of the Las Vegas strip from dusk until dawn.

The bill includes heavyweights (Tiesto, Deadmau5, David Guetta, Kaskade, Armin Van Buuren), the new A-list (Rezz, Illenium, Zhu, Dillon Francis), veterans (Paul Oakenfold and Paul Van Dyk), party hosts (Elephante, Deorro, Steve Aoki, Diplo, Fisher), and none of the crossover pop stars that appeal to casuals. Don’t go looking for Marshmello, The Chainsmokers, Zedd, or Calvin Harris here – at least not this year.

EDC 2018

Despite the near clean sweep of male names, several female producers will continue to dent the gender disparity in electronic music.

In addition to the aforementioned Rezz, TheWrap applauds the strong bookings of Whipped Cream, main stage alum Alison Wonderland, Belgian techno producer Charlotte de Witte, too-young-to-drink multi-hyphenate Callie Reiff, and returnee Lady Faith. They will be amongst the few female trailers in the artist village.

For the full lineup, click here.

Where’s Swedish House Mafia?

Axwell, Sebastien Ingrosso, and Steve Angello are about to embark on a worldwide reunion tour beginning in May. Curiously, the tour has no U.S. stops this year.

Swedish House Mafia - Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, Steve Angello

No Plur. (Getty Images)

With a show in Mexico City in the middle of EDC weekend as their only show during a month-long stretch, it would have been easy for the Swedes to pop up to Vegas and steal the show that night. It looked right on paper, but it’s not on the poster.

EDC Las Vegas

EDC stages are monstrosities that leave little room for individual artists’ production. That’s a feature, not a bug. It could have provided a neat alibi for the trio who are known to spend months and millions plotting their production, had they wanted to tick the “America” box on this tour and collect a check with much less effort.

Announcing the lineup this late – seven weeks and a day before the campers start rolling in to “Camp EDC” – is an EDC flex. Tickets have been on sale without a lineup for six months, since Sept. 28. It positions the festival as bigger than any single artist, or more accurately, the festival is the artist.

EDC Week

EDC 2018 - Pasquale Rotella with Fans Infield - Instagram

Rotella with attendees. He was spotted in the camp grounds on Monday morning last year, at the tail end of the four night camping experience winding it down with the diehards. (Insomniac)

The three nights at the Speedway are the centerpiece of a week-long series of music, charity events, and subgenre events across the pools, resorts, and nightclubs in Las Vegas.

This will be the second year that the festival takes place in May, dodging the nearly 100-degree overnight temperatures of its former timeslot in June.

Passes start at $319 on the low end and extend up to $779 for VIP, with high end options like bottle service tables from Marquee and helicopter shuttles in and out going much higher.