It’s about that time for our official event recap of Electric Daisy Carnival 2013. Are you ready? Because I am, even though I’m currently writing this on little to no sleep and a power bar in my stomach. It’s all fresh as daisies though (pun definitely intended) so I hope you’re going to be right here with me as I take this dive back into one of the best EDM music events of the year.
The traffic, was regulated much more tightly this year, with more highway patrol helping to direct the massive lines of cars pouring into the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It wasn’t painful; we got in, parked our cars and high-tailed it to the gates. In the security check lines, we were already working on making new friends, as is protocol for EDC. Once we passed all of the necessary checkpoints, we were home free.
In order to get inside, you have to walk through the massive pillars, just like at a baseball stadium, to get in. It’s an awesome moment, one that gets those giddy feelings rolling in your stomach. We walked through the pillars, and then EDC raised its neon, lit up, massive hand and pretty effectively slapped us in the face; the sight was miraculous.
There’s just something about the grounds and the music that awaits us there that I almost can’t explain. Almost. It’s magnetic, challenging in a way that makes you want to throw up your fist all Breakfast Club style and pledge to never sleep again. That’s how I feel, anyway. So after the initial “holy Jesus is this real life?” we had going on there for a moment, we regained ourselves and walked down into the arena where we’d be spending the better half of the next three nights.
The thing about EDC Las Vegas, and I don’t want to sound too much like a little hippy, but the vibes are good, genuine and crazy; the best mixture. You put all of that concentrated energy in one place, at one time and wam-bam-thank-you-mam, you’ve got something pretty damn close to actual magic. We all sort of just looked at each other and ran like children toward all of the little playground-type goodies that sat off to the side of the Cosmic Meadow stage.
The first that we ran for was the circle of neon platforms that changed color when you jumped on them, the second was the tunnel of white Christmas lights called the Rabbit Hole. Now this was there two years prior at EDC Las Vegas 2011, and I was glad they brought it back this year. The Rabbit Hole, for those of you who do not know, is a tunnel composed solely of white Christmas lights, and upon entrance everyone is given a pair of 3D glasses. Put those bad boys on and you’re no longer in a tunnel, in fact, you’re no longer even in anything, really. It’s just lights, color and that hot Las Vegas air; in other words, for about the two minutes it takes to get through the Rabbit Hole, you’re kind of drunk and blind at the same time. But don’t worry; it’s a good thing.
We ran everywhere; there was just too much to see. Between the various goodies placed around like the neon sharpie tent, the blacklight museum tent, the fire-spouting sculptures, the multitudes of rides and add to that of course the actual stages, I was having a little trouble keeping my eyes in my face.
Pasquale Rotella outdid himself this year, the main stage size, design and concept alone was an accomplishment that won’t be easily rivaled. The main stage took over most of the left wing of the venue; the set design was like something out of Alice in Wonderland’s dreams, or nightmares. Depends on what the massive owl, the mechanical centerpiece to the big, fat electric cake of a stage, was doing.
The owl was huge, with both wings stretched out around the DJ booth. He changed color, his wings moved and enclosed the booth every now and then, but the really impressive thing about it was its eyes. Throughout the night, the owl’s eyes periodically turned down toward the DJ and took on an evil glare. The details of this owl were what made it so great. At certain times, the pupils went completely black and fire raced around its eye’s edges, all of this while various DJs laid waste to the sea of people covered in color and lit by fireworks. It was a “holy shit” moment for three days straight.
I need to spend a moment here on Dirtyphonics; some of you may know that I recently spent a day with the Dirtyphonics boys getting to know them and watching their DJ set at Club Nokia about a month or so ago. Well, it was time to see the boys in action again at the Basspod on Saturday night, which by the way held performances by Noisia, Dillon Frnacis, Nadastrom, Doctor P and more. Dirtyphonics took the stage around 3:40 a.m., and they just tore it down, I really mean tore it down. I’m not sure if it was the crowd’s energy, the time, or even the physical effects of the bass rattling bones, but the whole place was nuts with an energy that was pretty admirable. Dirtyphonics brought it, and I was blown away by the massive presence and the force beneath the sound.
We rode the rides, sharpied our backs and stomachs with suns and old sayings, danced at every stage, loaded ourselves up with Redbull and finally rounded off at dawn with Borgore at the main stage. That was all just Friday night, there was still the rest of the weekend to go.
On the Kinetic Field alone acts like Tiesto, Dash Berlin, Avicii, Armen Van Buuren, Dada Life and Borgore performed over the next two days. There was the Cosmic Meadow stage, where acts like Major Lazer, Rusko, Dog Blood, Knife Party, The Bloody Beetroots, Jack Beats and Claude Vonstroke had at it with the crowd as headliners. The Circuit Grounds saw Krewella, Cazzette, Dirty South, Clockwork and Madeon, while the Neon Garden boasted Carl Cox, Richie Hawtin, Pete Tong, Sasha and more.
Alright onto the next one; By Saturday, everyone was already in the swing of things, screaming EDC on the street, sporting their Insomniac best and walking off their hangovers like champs; it was EDC Las Vegas at its finest, and only day two. Halleilujah.
Saturday night all of the cars pulled into the lots with music blasting and hands first-pumping into the air; it was a big night, both Tiesto and Avicii were set to face the owl on the main stage, not to mention Destructo, Dog Blood and A-Trak at Cosmic Meadow, 12th Planet, Baauer and Foreign Beggars at the Basspod, and countless others at the multitude of stages surrounding the speedway. We made more and more friends, danced, ran and celebrated; it was the second night of EDC Las Vegas 2013, good moods were pretty much free-falling from the sky.
I wanted to spend some time here to make a little fun of some of the outfits I saw out there these past three days, but in truth, most were pretty well-done and eccentric enough for me to actually appreciate them.
That doesn’t mean that I didn’t see some God-awful outfits out there. For instance, I think I’ve now seen my fair share of ass, I think I’ve officially reached my limit. Although I’m not a specific fan of the whole ass-showing situation in the EDC outfits, there were a lot of girls who just knew how to work it, and my hat’s off to them. On the other hand, there were also a large portion of girls who really should have checked that mirror a second time, because dear sweet Lord there some sights I have the right not to have to see. No disrespect ladies, but sometimes the cat just doesn’t need to come out of that bag.
Sunday was the last day of EDC and also one of the hottest of the weekend. Day parties galore rocked the strip, and you could just tell that everyone was gearing up to rage pretty hard, it being the last night and all. We left at around 9 to arrive there at about 10-10:15. I think you could feel the finality in the air, because there were extra smiles, extra red bulls, extra tutus, and extra ass.
Jack Beats was on at Cosmic Meadow bringing in the masses, with Kill the Noise and Rusko soon to follow. Calvin Harris lit up the main stage with his happy, inspiring beats, Nervo nearly started the happiest riot there ever was at the Circuit Grounds, and the Night Owl Experience kind of blew everyone’s minds.
“I can’t even believe how much fun I’ve had…” That was a direct quote from a friend who had never been to EDC, and it pretty much sums the overall experience. This year’s EDC outdid itself, there was something for everyone, and countless ways to let it all go, have some fun and share the experience. To everyone that made the trek and came out and had the fun they deserved, congrats. You may be hurting just as much as I am, but I’d say that any small inconveniences were well earned.
Good job putting your all in it headliners, I expect to see you around the same time next year, dusk till dawn.
All photos credit: Imagination Visions