Along with an earlier and, we hope, cooler calendar date, EDC Las Vegas will be rolling out an expanded list of food vendors for the annual event. This year, campers and others at the first Camp EDC, just outside the festival's main gate, will enjoy a menu of healthy food choices that cater to all tastes and predilections: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or meat-friendly.
"I would say this year is more diverse than any year that we've had, specifically because of what we're doing at Camp EDC," says Rich Thomas, Insomniac's vice president of culture and content. "It's an extension of the festival, so we can play around a little more in terms of what we can offer.
"We will have a wide array of food trucks there," he says. "People will have a lot of really good-quality choices."
Inside the festival grounds, the additional food trucks will supplement the concession fare; it's a more conventional lineup that will satisfy the tradition-minded.
A team curated the restaurants and food trucks that were invited to Camp EDC, Thomas says. "We wanted to have cool things for our fans. A lot of them are age 18 to late 20s, so we wanted fun as well as healthy options."
Festival operations and experience specialist Yvonne Liu played a big part in the choice of vendors. "Some of them are local but not all of them. I spent a lot of time Googling and tasting and doing my research," she says.
Some of the companies have intense cult followings, Liu says. "Donut Bar has this little shop (in) downtown (Las Vegas). On their door is a sign that says, 'Open 8 a.m. to sold out.' They sell out every day. We're super-excited that they could come."
Donut Bar opened its first storefront in downtown San Diego in 2013. After expanding to that city's airport, it opened its third location in Las Vegas. It has been on the "best of" lists of USA Today, Thrillist.com and MSN.
Liu wanted to make sure there were good vegan options this year as well. "These days, a lot of people are asking for vegan menus."
Insomniac founder Pasquale Rotella chose one vegan place personally, Liu says. "Pasquale met the people from Buddha Bowls in October. He really liked them and gave them my number. A lot of these (vendors) are people that Pasquale personally likes."
Other Las Vegas food purveyors include Culinary Logic, a catering company specializing in mobile food vending; Boqueria Street, a food truck that specializes in unique Spanish tapas; and The Spice Is Right, which is well-loved for its Lao and Thai street food.
Insomniac uses social media to let potential concertgoers know about food options at its events. "Over the last few years we have publicized our food lineup for certain shows. For this (event), we posted on Instagram and we included food images from the various vendors," Thomas says.
The food booths are gearing up for massive food sales. Joe Thomas, a manager and partner at Donut Bar Las Vegas, sounds apprehensive but ready.
"We've been speaking to the Insomniac family about trying to gauge how many (doughnuts) we think they will need. Nobody's sure, since this is the first year of the campground." So how many? "Maybe 200-plus per day. They said there'll be about 15,000 people camping. Out of that, we figure 10 to 15 percent will be buying doughnuts and coffee."
To keep things simple and streamlined, only four of Donut Bar's customary 30 options will be available at the campground. "We're offering the Homer, which has pink frosting with sprinkles; the red velvet cake; Chocolate Euphoria, with a chocolate glaze and coconut curls; and our crème brûlée, which is our No. 1 seller at the shop." The others are all in the top 10.
As for handling the crowds, "We're very well staffed," Thomas says. "We have an RV and a few of our staff members will be camping out there on-site. We are also setting up a kegerator that will serve the coffee efficiently."
Doughnuts will be $6 each, but Thomas pointed out they're quite large. "The average Krispy Kreme doughnut is 2 inches in diameter. Ours are about 3.5 inches or even more." The cold-brew nitro-infused coffee is $6.50 for 16 ounces. Thomas says he expects to sell 300 cups a day.
Donut Bar's hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.
Boqueria Street, a popular food truck that serves Barcelona-inspired cuisine in Las Vegas, will have two locations at the festival: one inside the venue and the other in the campground.
"We're going to feature our best bocata rolls," says managing partner Roberto Liendo. Their best-seller is the vaca saltada. "We braise short ribs and mix in yellow chili aioli, and top it with some manchego cheese," Liendo says. Other sandwiches use ingredients that will have carnivores salivating: 10-hour pulled pork, Barcelona-style sausage, jamón serrano. All sandwiches are $15. One side plate is also available — patatas bravas, or Spanish-style fries — for $8.
Liendo says those expecting typical Latino food-truck fare should be pleasantly surprised by Boqueria Street. "Our cuisine is based on Barcelona-style food, which is Catalan yet with strong flavors of Peru and its heavy Japanese influence, which is big in Barcelona. Our chef, Oscar Amador, was born and raised near Barcelona and he went to chef's school there. He cooks with flair and a lot of imagination."
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One of the secrets to the popularity of Amador's sandwiches is the bread, Liendo says. "We use a brioche. We toast it on butter, so it holds up really well and brings a lot of beautiful flavors to the sandwich."
The Boqueria team plans to make and sell a lot of sandwiches with its 20-person team; the restaurant has booked a nearby home that sleeps eight people so they can be close to the action. "We are calculating that we will serve 4,000 to 5,000 sandwiches and about 1,000 orders of patatas bravas in both locations," Liendo says.
Boqueria Street will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Here's the complete list of food vendors at Camp EDC: Afters Ice Cream, Boqueria Street, Buddha Bowls, Buqqa Gourmet Food Truck, the Classic Taco, Culinary Logics' Bad Ass Burritos, Danny's Vegan, Donut Bar Las Vegas, Govinda's Veggie Bomb, Grilled Cheese Love, Ground House Burger, Island Noodles, Just Squeezed, the Loving Cup, La Pousserie Beignets & Coffee, the Spice Is Right, Spicy Pie, Voodoo Chicken & Waffles Shack and White Rabbit Truck.