I would never have pictured myself attending Insomniac’s annual Electric Daisy Carnival. I would never have pictured myself being under “The Electric Sky” with my best friends and experiencing the magic that everyone says you feel being there. I would never have imagined myself driving all the way to Las Vegas from Reno for that. Why? Simple–Because I don’t rave. I do not like going to raves. I do not like the sound of raves, they just personally don’t appeal to me. They have a weird connotation behind them, the weirdest people you’ll ever see are there and try telling your parents “I’m going to a sick rave!” without sounding like a complete jackass. So then, why the hell did I go to EDC? Because EDC is not a rave. In fact, it’s the farthest thing from it. You see, EDC is a music festival, and there is a giant difference between a rave and a music festival. A rave is centered around the show, while a festival is centered around your experience. So after hearing about this festival for years from all my friends, I decided to see it for myself and take a last minute trip down to Las Vegas for EDC 2017.
Getting to EDC:
EDC is held every year in the middle of summer at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. If you’re a race fan, just the sound of this massive stadium makes you giddy. Yet when you remember how to get there, you get a little sad. The LVMS is out in the middle of the desert, so the only way to get there is through a long 4 lane road that leads out there. Well, when you and over 200,000 people are driving that same road, all trying to get to the same spot, things can become delayed and tempers can flare. In all fairness, EDC did the best they could getting everyone in and out safely with the circumstances given with having over 275 state troopers on the scene. When you plan to leave to go to the fairgrounds, leave an hour if not two earlier and know exactly how to get there. If your favorite performer is on at 9 and you leave at 8 with no idea what you’re doing, chances are you’re going to miss their whole set and half of the set of whoever comes after.
One of the very few complications I saw during EDC. This is another situation where there are so many people and there’s only so much you can do, but also could have been handled better. You see, right after you park, a giant white tent with about 20-30 lines of security pat downs are waiting for you. While gates don’t open until 6, people stand in that tent hours before for a good spot. On top of that, standing in Vegas heat with no misters or waters to cool you down can be absolutely brutal. The hack to both traffic and the gates is to get there early and beat the rush.
Right after the gates, you walk up a steep concrete hill that leads to the speedway, and lets you see the entire overview of the park. This was absolutely breathtaking to see over a Vegas sunset. Honestly, this is what makes EDC so amazing: the experience you are given. This year’s theme was “Love Wins”, in honor of the LGBTQ community and their fight for civil rights. So right when you enter the festival, you can feel this message clearly. Everything was the color of the LGBTQ flag and had the message of equality strongly behind it. There was everything you could ask for inside that pleased all sorts of crowds, from wedding chapels to church sermons, and fields of grass to open bars. Everyone had their own way of escaping reality. You could even get your palm read, do some shopping, take a nap, and even test your skills on CDJ’s, the professional mixers DJ’s use. Even the food was amazing. Hundreds of booths all around the grounds sold pizza, chicken tenders, sushi, tacos, ice cold lemonade, water and Powerade. A huge survival tip for the fairgrounds is to make sure you are very well hydrated, keep a camel back on you at all times, and conserve your water. The lines for water refills are always long and are never fun to stand in, so make sure you’re making the most of your water with sips here and there, and not having to refill every hour.
Some of the most well thought-out stages and designs I have ever seen were held at The Electric Daisy Carnival. Fans of all genres were pleased, with stages like BassPod for the drum and bass/dubstep fanatics, Circuit Grounds for everyone who thrives for dance and progressive house and Kinetic Field which held superstars like Dillon Francis, Marshmello and Kygo. Set times would run from 6 P.M. – 6 A.M. daily, so the party really never stopped. Best of all, if it was ever too much, you could always go to the middle of the food court, and watch live streams of each stage on a giant inflatable screen in the grass. My survival tip for stages would be to explore. Small stages like the Art Car, and Kaleidoscope, which were barely promoted, held many surprise performances not mentioned on the lineup, like Kayzo, Dack Janiels, and even Kaskade.
As I looked back on my experience, I realized, never had I seen so many people in a loving mood. People were looking out for each other. Love wins wasn’t just the theme, it was the mindset. So remember: stay hydrated, look out for each other, and put EDC on your bucket list. Everyone should experience this weekend at least once in a lifetime.