Sweet: As a former transplant to Las Vegas I’ve enjoyed my fare share of late nights turned to mornings, slot machines, night clubs, and local bars. There’s a hint of normality felt in Vegas’ suburbs, until you realize that among the cookie cutter houses there are many different things, like 24 hour grocery shopping (a plus in the heat), 24 hour bars, pawn shops, and $2.99 steak and eggs specials. 5 years ago I moved to Southern California, and set a new pace of life that includes a break from work. Now is the best time to seek new experiences, which is why we chose to head back to Vegas and attend EDC.
At first, I was a little skeptical to attend EDC, mostly due to the negatives associated with it (drugs, minimal clothing, and heat). I couldn’t have been more wrong to feel insecure about going. If you’ve ever been to a Las Vegas pool, you’ve probably already experienced more sloppiness than EDC. There’s a unique style for EDC, it’s neon, fun, and festive!
Sour: We were advised about the traffic getting to EDC, but since my girlfriend was a local, she knew to pick out a local boutique hotel in Summerlin (Element), and to take I-215 to avoid most of the traffic. On the first morning that we exited EDC we got caught in a two and a half hour traffic jam.
Sweet: We valeted every night after that, which worked really well! Also, most of the nights we were through the security lines in about 30 minutes. Once you enter into the grandstands there is a spectacular view over the entire speedway, and it is breathtaking!
Sour: Since it’s in the middle of the summer, of course it is hot! So expect people to dress accordingly. Water and cold beverages are a vital part of being able to hang out for hours in the desert. Also, my girlfriend couldn’t get enough of the fluff ice.
Sweet: The speedway held 10 stages, numerous free rides, 6 restroom locations, bars, water stations, a food court, lounges, and hundreds of vendors. We didn’t go all out and purchase the VIP tickets, and we were just fine with GA. EDC can be whatever you choose to make out of it (just like most things in life). To make a grand entrance, one may choose a seat in a private helicopter ($500), the economical way is to carpool or take one of the many shuttles (three people even popped out of the trunk of an SUV parked next to us on night one). The event is enormous (over 400,000 attendees this year), and although I heard of incidents in the news, 99% of what I witnessed was people dancing, singing, and having an overall good time.
Sour: Don’t bother trying to use your cell phone, there was no service available. However, at this event, you only need your phone to take pictures. I can’t explain the overall size of the event. Each stage was huge and drew thousands of people to it. On the first night we used the app and went by the schedule of who we wanted to see, and at other times we just went with the flow, stopping for a song here and there. With so much selection there are always multiple great acts simultaneously.
Sweet: There’s something to see everywhere you look. The largest stage, kineticField, rivaled any Broadway musical, complete with kryptonite waterfalls, the insomniac owl, performers, and fireworks. One of my favorite stages, CircuitGROUNDS was equally impressive.
Sour: The art moves through the space in parades, and is intertwined in every area that you walk by, sit at, or swing over. Some art is literally on fire, adding more heat to the already hot venue.
Sour: Insomniac could have hired more staff to clean up the garbage. We had to watch our step because there were bottles everywhere. Also, the restrooms were pretty trashed by the end of the night.
Sweet: EDC was an adventure. It may not be for everyone, but if you leave your expectations behind and are with good company, you will certainly have an epic time. I had a blast picking out carnival outfits, watching the firework shows, and enjoying Ferris Wheel rides.
Sour: I joke that the best part of EDC was leaving, but I really enjoyed relaxing on the grass, listening to music, and experiencing something where so many people come together to have a good time.