EDM is my first love. I’ve been to more EDM festivals than I can count, and I always have such an amazing time. Sometimes though it can be so fun to shake things up a bit and go to shows which are completely different. I was lucky enough to see A$AP Rocky and Tyler the Creator a few nights ago at the same venue which USC Events holds many of their annual events, and let me tell you it was an incredibly different experience.
Although it was a very different environment, I still had an incredible time and it was so fun to hear many different styles of music. The differences in how this event handled health and safety precautions were extreme, but after experiencing this I wonder if this is a good thing. Here are some of the biggest things I noticed throughout the night:
The first thing which immediately caught me of guard was the process of getting into the show. I was scanned with a metal detector, and my purse was opened and glanced at. Nobody even touched me, asked me to empty my pockets or take off my shoes. There was no “clear bag” policy which they use at EDM related events. I was completely amazed at how lax security was, considering my experiences getting in to EDM shows are what I would imagine it would be like to visit a prison.
Walking into the venue there was a huge difference in the crowd at this show versus the crowd at an EDM festival. There was no love among attendees, I was pushed and shoved and everybody wants to get to the front. But different doesn’t mean it was bad! There was so much fun energy, and everybody was so into the show in a different way. Instead of meeting people and spending time on rides or at attractions, they simply come for the artists. It’s so cool to see people singing along, dancing to music they know so well, seeing an artist they love. The passion for the music is the same as any EDM show, just expressed in a different way. However, the lax security allowed a lot of things in, and I was surprised because the crowd in general seemed more messed up than people at a lot of EDM shows I’ve been to.
Availability of Water
The water system at this show bothered me more than anything. For $5, I could purchase a water bottle which was then poured into a plastic, lidless cup. This cup could be refilled at the one water fountain, which always had a huge line of people waiting. It couldn’t be taken into the crowd because it would spill, and if you were trying to get to the front of the stage there was absolutely no way to bring the water with you. The free availability of water is something I had always taken for granted at EDM events, where you can buy water bottles with lids and refill them at water stations all across the venue. It was so frustrating to be thirsty all night and have to wait in line for twenty minutes for a few sips of water.
Health and Safety Measures
While EDM shows usually get a bad rep with drug use, it’s important to realize that they aren’t the only concerts where drug use happens. Half-way through the night we witnessed a girl drop to the ground. We immediately ran to try to find the nearest venue staff to get help but there were very few walking around the crowd and it took a few minutes of precious time. At any USC Event, there would be dozens of Conscious Crew members wearing neon orange shirts equipped to handle situations like these. Regulations of EDM shows create a safer environment with better health and safety measures, all concerts should follow these precautions to keep attendees safe. People complain about all types of things related to health and safety measures, but fail to realize that these precautions are put in place for a reason.
Overall, they are completely different experiences, and it’s a bit like comparing apples to oranges. It can be so nice to break up all the EDM with something a little different, and I encourage every die-hard raver to attend a show that isn’t a rave at least once. I for one, had a blast!