Electric Daisy Carnival: A True Pop Culture Event

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Are you familiar with PLUR? What about AVICII? Dada Life? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, chances are you know about EDC, Electric Daisy Carnival. If you don’t, I would like to introduce you to it.

This amazing event has been going on for 14 years and most recently took place last weekend in Las Vegas. It is 3 nights of music, 8 stages, 34 rides, dancing, food, fun and festivities. This was my first time there, and it won’t be my last.

The best parts of my time there were the DJs. The music is all house/rave music and is mixed live. I have heard many people describe the music as “crap”, “loud”, “unoriginal” and “horrible”. Fair enough, but there is no denying the talent needed to create an hour long seamless set that keeps the crowd jumping.

These DJs are listening to the music playing currently, music they intend to bring in and are constantly tweaking the sound. It was incredible to watch them work. The two man teams are my favorite to watch. They have to be working together at all times, reaching over each other to bring up beats, turn down the bass and bring in new tracks. These duos work in perfect tandem.

Along with the music comes some jaw dropping light shows. The stages are so huge, there are times you forget a DJ is even playing and just watch the images and dance to the rhythms.

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The largest stage is called Kinetic Field and is about 2.5 football fields wide. It featured two owls (the official mascot for EDC) who’s eyes moved to survey the crowd. Between them were arches and a huge organ, which is where the DJs played from. The screens in the arches displayed everything from stained glass windows to videos of stars and planets. Fire came from the tops of the arches and fireworks regularly were set off. It was truly a feast for the eyes AND the ears.

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My next favorite stage was Circuit Grounds. It was a giant tent with lighted panels that moved up and down. Streamers, confetti and fire were displayed throughout the various acts. What made Circuit Grounds so fun was the more intimate environment. You could really see the DJs and the music pulsed through your whole body.

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Speaking of that pulsing, I noticed several people communicating in sign language. At first I thought it was just an easy way to be understood (the music is VERY loud), but I read an article about how the deaf community is a big component of EDC because they can feel the beats, even if they can’t hear the music. This is all part of this amazing community that surrounds this event. No one is excluded and everyone is welcome.

One thing I noticed right away was the sense of coming home from many of the EDC crowd. In fact, as I was walking into the event, a young man walking next to me exclaimed “I’M HOME!” I knew how he felt. Not because of EDC, but because of how I feel when I go to the Disney parks. Two different places, but intertwined.

People dress up for the rave. Costumes, lack of clothing, those furry boots…they are all part of the scene. I saw many Disney related outfits, superhero outfits and minimalist outfits (think band aids for tops and thongs for bottoms). I myself wore basically a bra, exercise shorts and a tutu each night. Totally acceptable, and actually necessary to keep cool.

What I walked away with was a sense of belonging. Yeah, I may have been older then most of the people there, but not one person looked at me sideways or made any comments about how I didn’t belong. Instead, I heard/saw many polite comments, offers to take pictures of my husband and I for us, high fives and smiles. PLUR is a way of life for these rave goers. Peace. Love. Unity. Respect. They take it seriously.

The only down side I felt was the excessive (IMO) use of pot. I walked through 4 clouds of it and am pretty sure it affected me on Sunday night. But all things considered, this was a tremendous experience for me! Insomniac Productions pulls out all the stops to make EDC safe and fun. There are free water stations everywhere, massive amounts of security and medical teams roving the crowds. They care about the people attending and want everyone to have a good time.

And a good time is exactly what I had. If you have the chance to go, go at least once. Bring a water bottle, good shoes, earplugs and a major sense of adventure! You won’t be disappointed!

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Categorised in: America, Entertainment, Political, pop culture

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