EDC Orlando 2011-2022: The Evolution of Neon Garden
EDC Orlando, Insomniac’s flagship East Coast festival, returns to Tinker Field for its 2022 edition on November 11th-13th. Festival-goers from all walks of life travel far and wide to reunite “Under the Electric (Florida) Sky.” Insomniac raises the bar higher every year; this year is no exception. With a stellar lineup, jaw-dropping visuals, captivating art installations, and mesmerizing stages, EDC Orlando is a singular, transcendent festival experience.
The wonder of the EDC Orlando stages largely contributes to the success of Insomniac’s top-tier festival production. Insomniac takes pride in its ever-evolving stage designs, crafting each to have a distinct sound, ambiance, and architecture. Although their appearance transforms yearly, they’ve always kept their original names. Dating back to 2005, Insomniac officially introduced the OG stages as kineticFIELD, circuitGROUNDS, and neonGARDEN.
The dense atmosphere at each stage allows attendees to break out of their comfort zone and absorb the multi-sensory impressions around them. Unlike the other stages, neonGARDEN takes a stripped-back approach, toning down production and pyrotechnics while paying homage to the warehouse roots of Insomniac and a subculture that preaches music is all you need. From techno to house and every underground sound in between, it is the home for all house music lovers. Let’s take a look at the evolution of neonGARDEN.
Over the years, Insomniac has made several advancements in the overall production of neonGARDEN. In 2015, they constructed a golden Buddha and placed it at the center of the vibrant structure. Surrounding Buddha was 245 LED tiles that illuminated across the wooden exterior. At the time, neonGARDEN also featured trance. Legendary trance acts performed, including Paul van Dyk and Ferry Corsten.
neonGARDEN at EDC Orlando 2015
Alive Coverage for Insomniac Productions
In 2016, neonGARDEN received a long overdue upgrade. Instead of a giant Buddha blocking the main LED screen, Insomniac brought in the neonGARDEN from EDC Las Vegas. They installed a 150-foot circus-style tent that provided a club-like atmosphere. Jam-packed with lasers, eclectic beats, and deep rhythms, the energy of neonGARDEN was unmatched
neonGARDEN 2015 at EDC Orlando
Alive Coverage for Insomniac Producitons
neonGARDEN returned as a massive neon circus tent in 2017. Insomniac is not one to cut short on lasers, and their heavy arsenal of hypnotic beams only added to the clubbing ambiance. With a glimmering disco ball at the heart of the stage, it truly encapsulated the nightlife vibe. 2017 saw another stacked lineup, with renowned artists like Jamie Jones and Green Velvet performing on this electrifying stage.
In 2018, Insomniac’s underground house and techno brand Factory 93 started curating the stage, thus rewriting the history of neonGARDEN forever. Factory 93’s new and improved stage took shape as an open-air enclosure. This major redesign provided a more intimate environment, one that mirrored a festival within a festival. Factory 93 aims to enhance neonGARDEN’s production while maintaining its organic underground experience. By offering more space for techno and house music than in previous years, Factory 93 sparked a collective appreciation for the house music scene.
EDC Orlando 2019 was Insomniac’s biggest year yet, expanding the two-day festival to three and hosting over 200,000 festival-goers. With the addition of 10.5 more acres, they also premiered a new stage, stereoBLOOM. Now that a fourth stage was in the picture, Factory 93 hosted only house and techno acts at neonGARDEN, such as Adam Beyer, CamelPhat, and Charlotte de Witte. Once again, a large tent enclosed the stage, which kept attendees dry from the Florida rains.
In celebration of EDC Orlando’s 10th anniversary in 2021, Insomniac made history, hosting over 300,000 music lovers. neonGARDEN remained the only covered stage on the grounds but was upgraded to a megastructure-style, almost reminiscent of Carl Cox’s Ultra Resistance stage. It was also the only stage with a comfortable platform underneath your feet, built to withstand the weight of thousands of shufflers glued to the dancefloor.
So what do Insomniac and Factory 93 have in store for us this year? Unfortunately, we won’t find out until we’re inside the festival grounds. Still, suppose we assume Insomniac will reproduce the same stage as EDC Las Vegas. In that case, neonGARDEN will be completely revamped, ditching the hangar-style tent, and remodeling itself into an open-air warehouse party reminiscent of Europe’s iconic outdoor festivals. Surrounded by shipping containers embellished with graffiti, you will experience a real-life urban jungle.
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