Experience creator, businessman, philanthropist, film producer, night owl. Over the last 20 years, Pasquale Rotella has been known as many things. First and foremost, he is the founder and creator of the world’s largest dance music and experience company: Insomniac. Instilled with the rock ’n' roll savvy of Bill Graham, the imagination of Walt Disney, and the showmanship of P.T. Barnum, he has dedicated himself to creating the most extraordinary live music experiences of his generation. He is internationally recognized as a leader in his field and a champion of electronic music culture, informed by its rich history and determined to pen the narrative to its bright future.
Inspired first and foremost as an attendee of the short-lived Los Angeles underground dance music scene of the early ’90s, Rotella founded Insomniac in 1993. The first events he organized—held at a new warehouse venue each week—hosted a mere 300 people. Driven by the positive vibes and unique environments these gatherings provided for him and his friends, Rotella managed all facets of the operation, from scouting the locations and curating the décor to booking the talent and distributing the flyers. Today, Insomniac festivals, concerts and club nights entertain over 1,000,000 people annually.
“Providing a memorable, one-of-a-kind experience for our fans has and always will be my first priority,” says Rotella. “We take a lot of pride in our productions, from the scenic stages and the performers to all the interactive art pieces we feature.”
Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, the company’s signature event, drew 400,000 people over three days to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2014, shattering the previous year’s attendance numbers and garnering the title of North America’s largest music festival. The Carnival also made its way to the big screen this year with the release of Under the Electric Sky. Executive Produced by Rotella, the film follows the journey of several festivalgoers as they make their way from their hometowns to the 2013 EDC Las Vegas festival grounds. The 3D documentary—the first of its kind to be screened at Sundance—is testament to the meteoric rise of Rotella, Insomniac, and the exhilarating, provocative world of electronic dance music; and the press has taken note.
Rotella earned spots on the prestigious Billboard Power 100 list in both 2013 and 2014, and was recently labeled by the magazine as a top “EDM Power Player” and the second most important person in EDM by Rolling Stone. He was voted the #1 Most Powerful Person in EDM by inthemix in 2013, awarded a spot on Vegas Inc.’s “Top 40 Under 40,” and was listed as #5 on Bob Lefsetz’s 2011 list of the Top Ten Most Powerful People in the Music Industry. Insomniac Events has been featured on Fast Company’s Top Ten list of the music industry’s Most Innovative Companies, alongside Spotify and Vevo. As part of its mission to give back to the communities that help support it, Insomniac has donated approximately $600,000 in the last two years to group like the Boys and Girls Club of America, Rock the Vote, the Second Harvest Food Bank, the Robert Shapiro Foundation, and the Emergency Medicine Resident Research Foundation at the University Of Nevada School Of Medicine.
Next year, Insomniac’s Nocturnal Wonderland will celebrate its 20th anniversary, making it the longest running dance music festival in America. With an ambitious, international brand expansion plan, an original dance music content destination at Insomniac.com, and the continued support of Live Nation, 2015 will surely be another transformative year for Rotella.