It has been almost a month since the 21st Electric Daisy Carnival. Since then, I have had time to process all the feelings and emotions that I had felt on that scorching hot weekend in the deserts of Las Vegas. Sorry for the delay in letting y’all about my feelings but I mean, we all have day jobs.
If you want my review of the event itself, then I’ll simply just say it was pretty f***ing awesome. This is just going to be about my *shudders* feelings and emo stuff. There were some ups and downs but the production was sick, and there was a large pool of talent. Even though the good always outweighs the unpleasant, the bad always leave a stain on the beautiful picture of EDC I’ve composed from the fleeting memories I’m struggling to preserve.
One knows that there is no such thing as PLUR when it comes to leaving EDC. My past few years I have experienced that first hand in the parking lot. This year, I got to experience the worst of humanity firsthand while waiting in the shuttle line. I remember people cutting with no disregards for anyone as they bully their way to the front. Shuttle staff members throwing water bottles aimlessly into the crowd (I saw a girl get her nose busted by one at the Festival Grounds shuttle. When informing the staff member he replied “That’s not my problem.”)
Even inside the festival I still felt that there were some bad people doing bad things. Which is probably why there were so many arrests and medic calls. Some people, not everyone, just a few d-bags, were pushing people through the crowd, while some were just unfriendly. I had my own bad experience on the second night where some dude tried to get into my face about inflatable animals and how they were in his way when he could have easily walk around. And they weren’t even mine. Also, it’s a festival, bro. Try and have some fun.
But let’s be real here, despite all the checklist that Insomniac gives us and the safety tips and the pro blogs out there, we all came into EDC to rage and have fun. However, that mindset maybe the reason why some attendees this year felt as if there was a lack of respect; this year might have been the least PLUR year of all.
With the bad, there is good. I met some really cool people. On the first night, I met a brother taking his older sister to experience a festival for the first time from Nashville. At the trance stage, everyone was friendly and willing to offer me gum and water when I didn’t even ask. And of course, there were plenty of hugs and smiles all around EDC (not just at the trance stage).
Another new experience at this years EDC was seeing my boy Niko Zografos playing on the Quantum Valley stage . I remember being at this man’s show in the garages of San Jose to the last trance show at Ruby Skye. Seeing one of your mates achieving his dreams is such a jubilant feeling.
The journey into Neverland is one best taken with your best friends, crew, rave fam, squad, whatever you decide to call your festival troupe. As much as I cherish my past seven EDCs with my ZipperSquad, I realized that hopes and memories are not immune to the wrath of time. Like the awkward first hair of puberty, change is inevitable (especially in the rave scene). I knew that change was on the horizon when I found out that I was going to EDC. And I was scared knowing that I wouldn’t have my core friends with me to travel stage to stage with under the Electric Sky.
This year I partied with a different group and saw DJs that I necessarily would not see. My early fear of being alone in a sea of people (the fear of every emo kid growing up in the 90s) was soon relinquish by a welcoming group I met Thursday night: Tyler, Alexis, Katie, Katie, Thomas, Lorenzo, Jason, and Martin. Although I did meet up with familiar faces, these few people help expanded my horizons in music, and I was able to achieve a different level of joy that I would not have felt if I would have stayed in my comfort zone of trance and techno. Despite feeling regret that I traded up Purple Haze for another, getting ratchet to JAUZ and Major Lazer was pretty rad (do kids still say this?).
Just how Tiesto sold out *cough* I mean, just as Tiesto changed genres, the people you keep at a festival will also change. Some will go through an “adulting phase” and denounce popular events such as EDC and relish in alternative options, or some will simply have real life obstacles where attending a music festival on the hottest weekend of June does not take top priority. You just can’t help it.
As people mature, we all grow into the person we are meant to become, and our values will overtake the need to partake in some events. This doesn’t change your friendships with them (I would hope not), but this does mean that you will have to find some new people to rage with.
I realized through this journey that change is nothing to fear, but to be embraced. Life is all about choices and how you deal with obstacles. Since everyone in their mommas is a Harry Potter fan, I’ll leave you with words from Mr. Radcliffe himself:
I suppose whenever you go through periods of transition, or in a way, it’s a very definite closing of a certain chapter of your life – I suppose those times are always going to be both very upsetting and also very exciting by the very nature because things are changing and you don’t know what’s going to happen.
As for EDC, would I do it again for the 9th time . . . Well, I’m sure you know the answer to that question.
I graduated with a degree in College at SFSU. When I'm not writing for iHeartRaves, I'm scribbling away at Schulz Army and The Scene Is Dead. I'm just trying to navigate life one adventure at a time, all while trying to document a piece of my life for y'all with just the right amount of crazy. #SorryAsianParents