I can still feel the butterflies that filled in my stomach as we were walking through the hallways of the bleachers, almost ready to embark on our EDC journey. My heart was pounding as I could literally feel my eyes fill with happy tears, and my body with a blanket of relief: I was home. I had flashbacks of years before… the endless amounts of lights, the fireworks, the music, the absolute incredible view of the entire speedway, consumed by brightness and absolute madness- a true adult wonderland, and a token of personal liberation in my life. I have attended 4 EDCs in a row, and my love for electronic music and raving started when I was very young- but thats too long to get into now. I treat EDC as my New Years, since its always brought along beautiful experiences and lessons: I kicked off a relationship with a beautiful man my first year, got married there the second year, and the third year still had a great time connecting with all my friends.
This year was such a different experience for me, and has been the most meaningful EDC yet. As many of you know, I am now divorced- which made EDC a topic of anxiety for me considering I got married there. I felt scared going to the very place that brought us together, the very place that symbolized our love. The year prior, I had a very hard time enjoying EDC due to the group I was with, and the long list of mishaps that went down during the event... I was so stressed, on edge, sad- I thought I had lost the meaning of raving, and that made me really disappointed. I had reached out to connect with one of my friends, Tyson Dayley, to see if we could unite forces and go to EDC with his group of friends. Being the incredible friend he is, he took me in with open arms and we planned our adventures together alongside with our friends Ric and Kristen, and one more friend who chooses to remain anonymous.
Much to my surprise, our anonymous friend surprised me with the gift of a VIP ticket for this years festivities. That is such a massive gift to me, and I cannot express enough how grateful I am to have experienced this new area of EDC that I hadn’t done years prior. My friend group completely recharged and reset my mindset in a time of despair- they encouraged positive thinking and vibrations, the importance of expressing your feelings and supporting each other, and the intent to have a fun, healthy, and meaningful EDC together as at team. I finally rekindled the feelings of love and passion I once had for raving, and knew that this year would be a magical, and soul setting experience. Even if you combined my past 3 years of EDC together, it could never amount to how importantly magical this year came to be.
The entire point of EDC is to be free in yourself, and be fully accepting and accepted for who you are. That being said, anyone who goes to EDC will tell you how much fun it is to make fun, bright, and creative outfits to highlight your personality and add artistic flare. For Day 1 I chose a holographic rainbow bodysuit from Your Lamode, with a heart shaped choker, and the festival staple: fanny pack. I love bodysuits because they are the most comfortable when you are dancing all night, and truly are the most flattering on all body types.
My second night, I chose to get kinky and wear holographic high waist spandex shorts, violet pasties, and a leather and chain harness- this was my favorite outfit of the weekend, as well as a crowd favorite. It may look exposing to some, but EDC is very open minded and wearing just pasties is very casual. There is nothing sexual about it, its just another style of fashion in the rave scene! I am very grateful to be part of a community that celebrates females, their bodies, and however they choose to portray themselves. In my years of raving, I have never been sexually harassed or objectified- comes to show that is strictly a societal issue.
My third night I adorned myself with crystal pasties and body stickers, while wearing a holographic micro bikini and mermaid blue holographic high waist shorts. This one really felt EDC vibes to me, since it portrait all the bright colors and happy vibes- not to mention extremely comfortable.
Production, and the VIP experience.
EDC’s production is something that cannot be matched by any other company or organization. The company Insomniac, run by Pasquale Rotella, has created the most notorious electronic music festival in the world, and they don’t ever sacrifice quality. There are 7+ stages, all running different electronic music genres that are incredibly presented through the highest quality of sound production. Each stage is intensely high tech and beams sea of colors, LED presentations, and some stages shoot fire and have waterfalls. It is a carnival, so there are carnival rides, activities, food, and art instillations that are free for you to enjoy during your EDC weekend. I hadn’t ridden rides years prior since lines were so long, but this year I got to do my first famous EDC Ferris Wheel ride, and rid in Michael Jackson's swing ride that he had in his original Neverland…. I felt like a 5 year old kid who had just been thrown Into Disney Land. Oh, and did I mention fireworks everywhere?No amount of my explaining could ever portray the actual beauty of this place.
As for the VIP, I was hesitant at first. I'm a firm believer that raving should be about hanging out with the crowd, and not have a hierarchy per say- but the VIP was absolutely incredible. It did not take away from the “raving” experience, and provided a lot of perks. Some of my favorite perks were private entrances (no lines to wait in), private bathrooms (clean with lights), fast passes for rides (the only reason I got to ride any this year), and did I mention free breakfast at 5am during the last sets? VIP also had private viewing decks which were also incredible considering I can tend to get overwhelmed in crowds sometimes, so having my own space to dance was much appreciated- and the crystal clear view of the stage wasn’t half bad. It was also lovely since they had many places to sit down and relax, hookah bars, oxygen bars, activities like Kandi making, pool, or ball pits, and an exclusive Ferris wheel. I can’t even tell you how incredible it was to watch VIni Vici close out while at the top of a Ferris wheel- a true EDC dream! In my opinion, VIP was definitely worth it purely out of convenience- it wasn’t some pretentious special treatment, it just made the experience easy, comfortable, and still provided everything EDC means to me. Well done Pasquale!
There really is no better way to connect with those around you, than at a festival. I felt that during our experience, my group and I got very close. We laughed, cried, bestowed trust, and shared an incredible weekend together- which has resulted in having a very special bond. Whether it be sharing deep life talks and realizations, or some Pina colada smoothies- we are bonded for life. Something about raving makes you dig deeper into who you are and how you wish to help the people around you- you check up on those who look tired or sad, you share your water, you sit down with someone if their feet hurt, you join hands with a stranger when the best part of a set comes on, and dance endlessly. It has helped me open up from my prior social anxiety, to being someone who is open to receiving and giving love and positive vibrations- with the help of good music too of course.
This EDC I felt my soul come alive and recharge, something that hasn’t happened for years. I found a part of myself that I thought was lost, a part of myself that I thought died throughout the past couple years. I felt creative, I felt abundant, I felt hopeful and positive. I let loose and felt childlike joy- no responsibilities, no biases, no hold backs- my only job was to have fun and enjoy the music. As the weekend closed out, I felt sad… sad that such an incredible time would be ending, but rest assured I will be home next year. As the sun rises over the speedway, and the bright lights suddenly dim out, a sense of accomplishment takes over- a gratitude so pure you couldn’t ruin it with anything.
I look back and still think….Damn. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have experienced that, and how excited I am to go back next year. Even if you don't do EDC, I highly suggest visiting a local EDM show and see what its all about!