As hard dance lovers prepare to reunite at EDC Las Vegas’ wasteLAND stage this year, let’s turn back the clock and revisit the past.
Hard dance music in America has blossomed into a scene full of dedicated fans that want nothing but the best in distorted kickdrums and powerful melodies. This crowd has grown and made their voices heard demanding the high octane sounds that provide an adrenaline rush like no other. Fans got a taste of what was to come in the future back in 2012 when Q-dance held a special takeover at EDC Las Vegas with performers like The Prophet, Headhunterz, E-Force, Brennan Heart, and more. Of course, this wasn’t enough to quench the thirst of hardstyle warriors and only prompted them to ask for more and more.
Luckily, in 2013, Basscon was born in an effort to provide ravenous fans with a dose of hard dance music at standalone events and premier Insomniac Events-hosted festivals, most notably with their curated stage at EDC Las Vegas. The inaugural Basscon event promised all styles of hard dance and over-the-top production as the biggest North American hard dance promoter. It all started with artists like Technoboy and Darksiderz and then a few months later, Basscon headed to Sin City. Yet it wasn’t until 2015 that the bassCON stage became wasteLAND.
Fast forward to the present day and hardstyle is alive and thriving with the wasteLAND stage being a staple of EDC Las Vegas and the biggest stage for all of the hard dance music in America. Dedicated fans of the harder styles convene here to get lost in the melodies of Hard Dance Heaven, the monstrous screeches of Hard Dance Hell, and the banging kick drums that pierce every single chest in the crowd. The music has gotten better and better, and the stage designs have changed to sprinkle in a little more spectacle with each passing year.
While the most dedicated crown in the universe waits to reunite under the electric sky, let’s take a look back and explore the different stage designs of wasteLAND through the years at EDC Las Vegas.
Looking Back at EDC Las Vegas’ wasteLAND Stage Designs
For the first time ever in 2013, Basscon was tasked with hosting their own stage at EDC Las Vegas after being created just a few months before. This was no easy task, but their team showed up and showed out bringing in artists such as Lady Faith, D-Block & S-Te-Fan, and DJ Isaac to get the party going and cement the brand as a key player in the hard dance realm.
The bassCON stage set the bar high with this design as performers played in front of a giant with a gas mask on, playing into the comparison that hardstyle equates to a toxic biohazard, hence the name wasteLAND. This was just the beginning of the nuclear fallout that the world would soon experience.
In 2014, Basscon took a complete turn from the previous year in terms of stage design. While in 2013, there were still human survivors represented by the giant with a gas mask, 2014 spelled doom for humanity as the giant cyclops took over the stage. Performers played while inside the mouth of the beast surrounded by shipping containers, crushed cars, and the lonely, iconic “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign modified to say, “Welcome to Basscon, Las Vegas.” Even if humanity was truly coming to an end, at least everyone would go out in a blaze of glory.
In another turn of events, the bassCON stage was shared between trance and hardstyle in 2014 where fans could catch the interesting transitions such as Brennan Heart into Astral Projection, Darren Styles into Astrix, and Angerfist into Bryan Kearney. This solidified the chaos you could only find when entering bassCON and experiencing the end of the world.
After experiencing a nuclear disaster and a giant cyclops, Basscon had to find a new home as their beloved world had been destroyed. Luckily, the brand found a new home base in the torch of Lady Liberty in the newly dubbed wasteLAND. How this monument ended up in Las Vegas, we have no idea. But, it made for an epic stage design that represented the growth of the American scene. It was time to show the world that the music could also thrive in the States – and you could catch many homegrown artists taking over the airwaves including the returning Lady Faith, Darksiderz, Carnage, and Noize Suppressor.
All weekend long, fans were wowed with breathtaking production that included lasers, flames, and of course, a healthy dose of pyro and fireworks. Despite all the destruction that occurred in the past two years, headliners could look to the torch of Lady Liberty as a sign of hope for the future and a promise to once again rebuild from the ground up.
In 2016, it became obvious that Basscon was taking inspiration from famous monuments around the country to build their stages. This year, the wasteLAND stage included the Golden Gate Bridge being taken over by a giant crab with washed-up shipping containers, shipwrecked boats, and crushed automobiles. Although the crab might seem like a monster, it actually represented the hope for life coming back onto the earth after going through devastating destruction. Whether or not that included human life was left to be seen. Fans of hard dance united in the battle to reclaim the bridge with leaders including Kutski, Ran-D, Gammer, Gunz For Hire, and many more.
So far, Basscon had taken hardstyle warriors around the States to famous locations and finally, it was time to travel around the world. In 2017, fans of hard dance were transported to the ruins of Ancient Egypt to evoke a sense of mystery and curiosity to find out what treasures (or horrors) lie behind the walls of the pyramids.
This year, Basscon gave fans the iconic winged stage that they’ve come to know and love along with one of the best lineups they ever had. There were tons of memorable moments like the epic B2B between Lady Faith and Stephanie, GRAVEDGR chopping riddim at the hardstyle stage, and Junkie Kid bringing out an entire mariachi band on stage during his performance.
wasteLAND 2019 and 2021
The two most recent editions of EDC Las Vegas have seen wasteLAND keep a very similar stage design with minor differences. Regardless, it still made for an incredible three nights of ground-shaking hard dance in the Las Vegas desert. LIL TEXAS and Tweekacore made their debut at the festival in 2019, with the latter helping further elevate the (happy) hardcore scene. This year also included three hardstyle classics sets from The Prophet, DJ Isaac, and Tuneboy, an idea many older fans of hard dance would love to see implemented again.
After taking a year off due to the pandemic, the 2021 edition kept the same stage design but still made it a special edition with a flurry of homegrown artists taking the stage as there was a limited number of European headliners that could make it. American Hard Dance proved why it’s here to stay with epic performances by TYEGUYS, Illuminize, Water Spirit, Rob Gee, and a special B3B among Blvckjesus, WSHNGTN, and Crime Family where they introduced EDCLV to the unique sounds of USTEMPO for the first time.
Now that the past has been acknowledged, we can look into the future. It’s time that fans of hard dance receive some love with an updated stage design, so what do you think this year will hold for the beloved wasteLAND stage? Let us know in the comments!