Pasquale Rotella is a hero. No promoter over the past 14 months has come closer to putting on a major festival than him. On April 20, 2021, a mere four weeks before the massive Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas was to happen with some 40 trucks en route and the lineup booked, Rotella broke the bad news on Instagram. “I am sorry to say that EDC Las Vegas needs to move to October,” he wrote. Four days later, in an impressively candid and transparent manner, the promoter did a Reddit Ask Me Anything session, where he directly answered questions and accusations and made clear he had done all in his power to try and make EDC safely happen. Here are a few of those exchanges from that session.
How do you plan on taking responsibility for the millions of dollars your fans lost in nonrefundable flights/hotels that they lost because of YOUR guarantee?
Pasquale Rotella: Your question is based on a misconception that I announced EDC when we knew it was not happening. I’ve never moved forward with a show unless there was a clear path for the show to take place. EDC in May was no different. Regarding flights and hotels, when I first suggested that Headliners begin looking at travel arrangements in my Instagram post on March 25, I encouraged everyone to review the cancellation policy on their flight and hotel reservations before booking just in case….For those who missed that post or were unable to go that route, we will continue to work with every single ticket holder who has reached out to help them mitigate their loss one by one.
What really happened on April 8th? You told us that if everything wasn’t green and completely ready, you’d delay?
On April 8, we were aware that the COVID restrictions put in place by the State of Nevada would be lifted by the time of our EDC May dates, and our safety plan would meet or exceed all state guidelines. However, on April 20, the County’s mitigation plan introduced new criteria beyond our control that required a certain amount of the local population to be vaccinated. Given the vaccine hesitancy that’s currently out there, we couldn’t risk the threshold not being met in time for EDC. As soon as this became evident, I made the decision that very same day to postpone the event and let all of our Headliners know as soon as possible.
What if anything do you think you and the Insomniac team have learned from this experience?
I take everything that we do as a learning lesson, good or bad. This is my first pandemic. We are facing an unpredictable situation with absolutely no historical reference or clear end date. Trying to plan events right now is extremely complicated as there’s so many moving parts. Giving up is never an option. I’ve concluded that being transparent with just one plan isn’t sufficient enough. Moving forward, I will announce backup plans whenever possible. My hope is that this will help ticketholders feel more comfortable and more engaged on our journey back towards the dancefloor.