Coachella has proven that rock and dance music not only can coexist at the same festival, but prosper. Still, the addition of a rock stage to this year's Electric Daisy Carnival is a surprise. Now in its ninth year, EDC, which returns to San Bernardino's National Orange Show this Saturday, has been almost exclusively a dance music event.
Insomniac Events' CEO Pasquale Rotella, who puts together EDC (and Nocturnal Wonderland, which will also feature live acts Sept. 3), knew he would hear some cries of sellout when he brought in Spaceland Productions to host a stage featuring the Donnas, Jurassic 5, Ozomatli and more live acts.
"Of course you have people that were taken back a bit, but that's expected when you do something different," Rotella says. "As much as we've been labeled as an electronic music festival, I don't want to be pigeonholed. I'm going to try to continue to pull different elements in every year."
Spaceland's Mitchell Frank says that in booking the acts for their stage he tried to remain true to the history of EDC. "I think we did a decent job of blending in elements of EDC in our bands," he says. "Ozo and J5 both have DJs. Having a J5 is not too far askew from the DJs."
Ultimately, Rotella hopes that the infusion of rock acts into EDC and Nocturnal will be good for the scene he loves and help him expose dance music to a broader audience.
"People are talking about this," he says. "This is something that is going to be beneficial to dance music."
Electric Daisy Carnival, at the National Orange Show, 689 S. "E" St., San Bernardino.
4 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday. $40.