EDC 2017 tickets go on sale today. Teasers have been popping up online for weeks. Naturally, I can't help but reflect on my experience at EDC last year. It was my very first time, and now that I know what to expect and understand the lay of the land, I am thrilled to start preparing for my 2nd carnival.
Not even going to lie, those couple of days were some of the hardest to endure, yet some of the most incredibly beautiful moments I have ever experienced in my lifetime. I have a bit of severe anxiety that turn into panic attacks that have sometimes turned into pseudo seizures. These episodes need immediate attention, and I typically need to be taken to a dark quiet place and either medicated or talked through the attack for a few hours, and occasionally the ER. So why would I try to parade myself around one of the biggest music festivals in the US in 100 degree weather from dusk till dawn for 3 days straight?
Because I refuse to let anything stop me from having a once in a lifetime experience, and so should you!
Even if you’re not a “die hard EDM” fan, I am telling you, this event will change you. From the moment you purchase your ticket, you’ll immediately realize you have so much family in this world that you didn’t know existed. As soon as you run into someone who has been or is planning to go, you'll have a million things to talk about. I remember going to H&M a few weeks before EDC and seeing one of the employees wearing an EDC hat, I asked him if he was going and we talked about how excited we were. This happened to my husband and I at numerous places where we knew no-one, but EDC instantly brings you together. People extend their homes, cars, wallets, and most importantly their hearts to take care of each other, to show each other so much love, and to make you feel more accepted than you ever knew possible.
The road to EDC - The moment you get on the road, no matter what state you’re coming in from you’ll start to see decorated cars. You’re all going the same place, you’re all going home. You’ll honk, you’ll wave, you’ll throw up heart signs with your hands to each other and know you’ve made friends for life.
Arriving in Las Vegas - Flower Children and Kandi Kids will flood the strip. EDC brings thousands of festival goers each year to Vegas, in 2016 alone they brought in 130,000 people. It’s magical, it’s beautiful, and it is something I can’t put into words.
I could tell you about the incredibly unique stages, the unpredictable DJ sets, or the magic of the secret performance art cars that randomly roll past you on the street. All of that is important, EDC wouldn’t be what it is without it. But what is most memorable, is the community, the people, and the love.
Am I talking like this because I was doped up on drugs and booze the entire time? No, nope, hell no! I was actually sober 90% of the time. Was my anxiety through the roof? YES! Did I have to sit out some of my favorite artists and talk myself out of walking to the car multiple times, YES! But do I regret going? NEVER!
If you’re thinking about going to EDC and you have anxiety, you CAN make it! HOW? Remember why you are there, remember the regret you will have if you walk away just to sit in the car or hotel, and most importantly remember you will never get a night like this again. Yes, you can go next year but will the same artists be there? The same stages? The same friends? The same street performers? No! You can take as many timeouts as you need, there are air-conditioned rooms, there are cuddle puddle bean bags, there are medic tents that are there to just talk to you if you need it (I did!).
So what is holding you back?
Is it the crowds? Go VIP! The VIP wristbands include private bathrooms, less crowded areas, makeup and hair appointments, FRESH coconut water, your own lines for rides, private stage viewing areas, FREE water with rarely a line and I am sure they’ve added even more perks this year too! I heard that they even added complimentary BREAKFAST! Wooooo!
Are you a recovering drug addict? Alcoholic? EDC is a place you can call home too! Every night there is a booth reserved for sober festival goers. That booth is there to empower one another and keep each other safe and strong.
The amount of themed booths and meet-ups at the festival is unreal! There is a place for everyone to feel safe, happy, and loved and EDC. You can’t go wrong when you’re there, I promise.
So I’ve convinced you to take the leap, right?
What you need to know before you go!
Las Vegas is hot!! Even after the sun goes down, don’t think you’re cooling off. Take a spray bottle / mister - this combo made us a ton of friends, who we still talk to almost 6 months later
Bring 3 sealed chapsticks, you can’t take anything open inside, so you’ll need a new one every single night.
Camelbak, you won’t survive without one, trust me. When you've made it to the front of the crowd and you're dancing the night away, you'll be so thankful you don't have to make your way out to stay hydrated.
Wear shoes you LOVE! You’re going to be wearing these things for at least 10 hours, and you will be on your feet most of the time.
KANDI! Okay, so if I am being honest here, which you know I ALWAYS am… I have never been a “raver” or a “kandi kid” …until EDC. Honestly back in the day when I attended raves all the time I always hated all of the beaded accessories, I thought they were “tacky”, but really… I just didn’t understand the culture. So here I am to tell you, bring kandi, and bring a LOT of it! If someone in your city is holding a kandi making session, GO! Everyone at EDC trades kandi, hugs, and suddenly you’re friending each other on social media and friends for LIFE! Not even joking, get into the kandi and embrace the culture!
Create a totem! A totem is a giant pole or flag to help your group find you. People get really into this. We didn’t do this last year, there were only 4 in our group and it was all of our first time, so we knew we wouldn’t be leaving each other’s side. But this time, we are going to go all out! Plus, totems are a conversation starter and photo op too.
Okay, let’s talk phones. You'll want to take them, you'll want a good case on them because you’re bound to drop them. With 130K people around you, I am sure you can expect the service to be garbage, and it is! But that’s okay, you’re not there to look at social media all night. You just need that thing for recording the moments. Keep it on airplane mode and turn your brightness all the way down. Only use it to take photos and videos, if it dies there are charging stations, but I strongly advise not spending 20 mins chained to a poll just for battery. You’ll miss out on too much, just toss a portable charger in your bag and you’ll be good.
Food! They actually have everything from burgers to sushi to smoothies. Please, please, please remember to feed yourself! This was hard for me. Once you’re dancing and walking for hours, your body feels like it can’t take any more and food is the last thing you want. But somehow, someway, you’ve just gotta get it down. I recommend smoothies and carbs, boost that sugar and energy baby! I think I survived off of fresh coconut water, smoothies, french fries, and sushi. You aren’t supposed to sneak food in, but I did and got away with it. I am a celiac, so I wasn’t sure what the gluten free options they had, so I was able to sneak in string cheeses and healthy snack bars. No promises if you will be able to or
You aren’t supposed to sneak food in, but I did and got away with it. I am a celiac, so I wasn’t sure what the gluten free options they had. I was able to sneak in string cheeses and snack bars. No promises if you will be able to or not, though.
The best advice I can give: Go to Vegas a few days early and flip your sleep schedule. Essentially this festival is like traveling to the opposite side of the world. You will be awake from the hours of 2pm – 9am, and most of those hours you will be EXTREMELY active.
We made the mistake of waking up at a 5am and driving down to Vegas on Friday, which is the FIRST night of the festival, HAHAHAHA! We actually thought we could stay up through that whole night, we didn’t we failed miserably. I think that set the tone for the whole trip, including my anxiety. LESSON LEARNED! This year we plan to go down 3 days early and flip our sleep schedule right away.
Most importantly, just go! Experience the magic of the Electric Daisy Carnival at least once. Witness couples getting married, street performers, art carts, sunrises and sunsets. Take part in the most overwhelmingly loving and positive energy this world can offer. Just go, go without judgment, go without preexisting ideas, go without fear, and go with eyes wide open, a loving heart and wide-open arms.
I can’t wait to show you what it feels like to go home. See you under the ELECTRIC SKY!