Epic Days of Cacophony @ Electric Daisy Carnival: Day 2
Hello freaks! I am doing something a little bit different with my EDC review; I attended the massive rave on the press pass tip and took my friend Skandar from San Diego. Not only are his cargo pockets good for sneaking in various party paraphernalia, but he also writes, and as a DJ is privy to some insights that escape this dancing queen. I will be mixing our reviews together to give you a different voice and perspective on the carnival; his words are in green.
DAY TWO found us arriving at the carnival grounds much earlier, around 5:30 after a quick 4:20 run by Hollywood. Although I have read a thousand bitchings about traffic on EDC threads, it was never a problem for me, perhaps that’s because I believe traffic rules are for other people. Nevertheless we were into the $25 parking lot past the cavalcade of departing ambulances in no time- about half an hour from Hollywood to EDC, which is equal to the speed of light in LA.
If day 1 was a carnival then day 2 was a cosmic intergalactic amusement park for the masses. When we arrived around 5:30 you could already tell from the traffic that this day was going to be bigger, much bigger. Deciding to beat the bigger crowds later we checked out a few of the carnival rides – the lines were not too bad considering the rides were free. A few chats with random strangers (that dude’s belt must be delicious because he’s gnawing on it like a churros) passed the time while waiting between gut-tumbling adventures. I can’t even imagine the insurance liability involved with sketchy looking carnival rides and a small city of reckless, drugged-out youth.
Getting to the party earlier meant one thing for me: RIDES. FREE rides, no less, from the lame-ass Ferris Wheel (oh okay, I love it) to the cruel and delightful Zipper. Rides dotted the grounds and even the dance floors in the case of Kinetic Field, as did blinking, moving, and living art installations from bus-sized cubes of multicolored light bulbs to decadent stilt walkers to the black-and-white Hollywood Klowns that go-go danced while they freaked you out.
After a few rides and a bout of nausea or two we embarked on our true mission – to rock out like there was not tomorrow. Stopping by the Drum & bass area first, LTJ Bukem’s atmospheric bass pulsated as surprise guest MC Conrad regaled the audience in his soulful manner. I could not help but be amused by the tall fences surrounding the Jungle area like a prison yard – a metaphor by how the Drum & Bass community has been shunned into the corner for many years.
Saturday included an insane amount and wide variety of performers: Yogi, The Crystal Method, Diplo, Simian Mobile Disco, Roger Sanchez, Paul Van Dyk and Infected Mushroom were all in there somewhere.
Wandering over to some more experimental sounds, Diplo mashed dubstep with electro and hip hop, always serving up a smorgasbord of musical flavors infused with turntablism. As the sun began to set the fire performers emerged on stage, assuring us that the entertainment would only step up from here on out. By nightfall the mass of glowsticks, blinking art pieces, pyrotechnics, lasers, visual screens, and LED displays made the place one giant inescapable light show. One could almost O.D. on the eye candy.
Attempting to find our musical bliss for the night we did a lot of wandering in and out of disappointing sets that could not hold our attention. Andy C & Friction – how can they be boring? Infected Mushroom – fake rock band boring. Paul Van Dyk – epic boring. The real stars of the show on EDC day 2 were the 90,000+ attendees in full rave regalia. Entertainment was everywhere, making the music almost secondary (almost). Deciding to check out the Cosmic Meadow stage that was only used on Saturday, it seemed like a half-million-dollar afterthought crammed in a corner of the huge festival grounds. One of the pleasant surprises of the night, Roger Sanchez banged out NYC tribal techno – a flavor of techno you don’t hear on the West Coast, and people were digging it.
The party didn’t end at 4AM when the festival closed; rather we had a choice selection of afterparties to choose from and we chose TECHNO at the Moontribe party, went and danced some more until well past daylight, went home and slept the entire day away. You know.
At this point it was about 3 AM and time to find the afterparty. Luckily we had our destination set already and did not have to endure the flyer gauntlet at the main entrance. We left the Electric Daisy Carnival in awe of the electronic music community – clear proof that the “rave” was not just a fad; it is a powerful artistic phenomenon whose resurging influence will push boundaries for years to come.
ALL IN ALL- HOLY MOTHER OF RAVES you guys MUST put the Electric Daisy Carnival on your list. I travel all over the place for festivals, riding across the country in RVs and spending mega bucks to fly to random party spots, all the while I have what is undoubtedly one of the most epic EDM festivals in the world literally ten minutes away from my house.
Yes, there were crowds (and bitching about crowds) but the masses of near-naked bodies flowed, and I never felt stuck or that I couldn’t move or get away from people- and that’s when crowds freak me out. With 90,000 people you are going to have a bit of a ruckus, but even the toilet situation was above par- huge bathrooms with 30 sinks and 75 toilets dotted the grounds around the football stadium. This place is prepared for lots of people and handles them well, the weather was perfect and the festival blew my fucking mind, hands down. Or hands up, as it were.
I will definitely be going back next year, even if there is a similar trance and house and DNB-heavy lineup, hell even if it was the same EXACT lineup. We are living in monumental times, and our community is alive and well and kicking and dancing, and I don’t understand why anyone would not want to be a part of a culture who lives to have fun, dance, listen to music and rock the fuck out.
See you next year.