Last Friday, I went to my first ever (and probably last) RAVE. Yeah, crazy. To be as old as I am and still be doing things that people a decade younger are doing. But, let’s not dwell on that. Let’s all focus our attention on the absolute sensory assault that EDC epitomizes.
EDC – the Electric Daisy Carnival, is an annual electronic dance festival held on the last weekend of June in Southern California, but has also been held in Puerto Rico and Colorado. In 2009, the festival was expanded to a two day event, which brought in over 140,000 attendees, making it the biggest electronic dance festival outside Europe.
I figure, I need to at least go to one of these, because someday my kids are gonna want to go and I might as well know what happens. And from what I “heard” EDC is a really “happy” place. Everyone’s actually very nice to everyone else, and in a crowd of 150,000, it’s amazing that there are no fights.
I’ve also heard rumors of people bringing needles with HIV and heroin and poking people anonymously with them, though. BOO.
Luckily, no such thing happened to me that night. In fact, it was really, really fun. It was also really interesting watching people all night long.
EDC is also a carnival, so they had all the carnival rides. There were roller coasters and spinning rides, and of course, the ferris wheel.
I’m not a big fan of thrill rides (my theory is why pay to scare myself?), so we didn’t really ride any of them. We were there for the music, the dancing and the hugging.
However, my friends visiting from Whistler, Vancouver spent all of the daylight hours riding the rides. They said they were fun but that the rides kept breaking down. My other friends also reported that the “gatekeepers” to the rides were kind of paranoid and yelled at everyone to stay back. In the words of Evee, “He was hella yelling at everyone for no reason, like going crazy. Like ‘if i smell you, if you touch me, if you sit on that gate, if you push, I’m throwing you out!” So, I guess those attendants need to take a chill pill. I’m sure he wouldn’t have had a hard time finding one.
In any case, EDC is fairly overwhelming to the senses. There’s stuff that you see. Parts of people that you wish you could un-see. There’s shiny, glittery lights everywhere. There’s just flashes of extreme colors of people’s clothes walking around. It’s almost like a beautiful form of eyegasmic trauma.
They also had some pieces of artwork that were just made out of lights. It was really interesting at night. There was a canopy of millions of tiny little light bulbs and when you walked underneath them, you just felt kind of like engulfed in the universe. And no, I wasn’t even drunk when I had that thought. It almost made me want to have a wedding in there.
There was one that was like a maze of little alleys completely surrounded by lights. And still another one where a tree was decorated with disco balls and light bulbs. The light would just keep bouncing on and off these mirrored balls and it was so entertaining in of itself.
Then there’s the music which was one of the top three reasons I went to EDC. There are five different stages all throughout the LA Coliseum. They were called interesting new names like Kinetic Field for the Coliseum floor, Cosmic Meadows, Circuit Grounds, Neon Garden, and the Bass Pod. Each stage housed a different type of music within the genre. It was really cool. And according to some people, it made it really hard to decide which stage to lay a stake on because they just wanted to run around.
A year ago, I would not have been able to tell you that I liked electronica/techno music. But I’ve been going out with this group of people who have introduced me to the music. I think what really stands out for me is just the sheer energy of the type of crowd who listens to this music. These are definitely my type of people. The dance-till-you-drop and this-ain’t-about-posin’ kind of people.
I mean, the music was simply consuming. I stood next to the bass and I could almost swear it changed the rhythm of my heart. And when the crowd screams in unison…wow. Let me tell you, it makes your hair stand on end. You are basically just feeding off of everyone else’s energy. Evee asked me what my favorite moments were and my first thought was that moment right before “the drop.” Right when the music goes really low and the whole crowd stills in absolute anticipation before bursting into a frenzy. Can you say ecstatic?
But I guess, that’s one of the main points of a rave though. The ecstasy. It’s what I imagine Neuro Bliss times 100 would feel like: an impenetrable wall of euphoria 100 feet thick. I couldn’t do or say anything wrong to anyone ‘cuz everyone around me was so darned happy. I don’t really know what happens. Everyone’s got a goofy grin on. Everyone’s smiling. Everyone wants to know if you’re just as happy as they are. Not to say that I wasn’t happy, but…I probably wasn’t as happy.
And there were a lot of nuances to the experience that I wasn’t and couldn’t have been privy to. I had six people ask me if I wanted a “light show.” The first guy was this Asian dude, bald, and he had these eyebrows that had these really sharp tilts that just made him look angry. I’m sure he was happy though. But he came up to me and started to put on these white gloves. He got in my face and asked, “Hey, do you want a light show?”
I took a half-step back, wondering if this was some weird way of hitting on a girl. I gave his white gloves a suspicious look and kind of just started to shake my head slowly side-to-side. I’m thinking, First of all, Buddy, who are you? Secondly, what the hell is a light show? And finally, what are you gonna do with those gloves on?
He tilted one of his already-extremely tilted eyebrows…maybe suspiciously. Luckily, Evee and Rosebud both throw their arms around me and go, “Oooh, a light show.”
These two girls are so, so, so pretty that hey, if they had said, “Oooh, poop,” any guy would have been entranced anyway. So, eyebrow guy kind of forgot about me as he focused on these two other girls.
And that’s when I found out what a light show was. It’s basically getting little colorful lights waved around in intricate little motions right in front of your face. It seems really interesting. It seems utterly engrossing. Watching my friends get on the ground and focus on these lights made me realize that all over the Coliseum field, there were hundreds of these going on.
I wanted to smack my hand into my forehead and go, “Oh! So that’s what that is!”
I was infinitely curious to be part of that. But I knew that I couldn’t. So, I kind of enjoyed it vicariously through them. In the course of the evening, I had a few more of these guys come up and ask me the same thing. Each time I just shook my head and sent them over to my friends. A couple of people asked me if I was “rollin'” and it took me a couple of conversations to figure out what it was. And no, I wasn’t. Despite some very suggestive nudges from Tinman, haha! Not even you can convince me, sorry.
Evee asked me why I don’t. And I just shrugged and said, “I just don’t.” Not to say that it’s not as great as everyone says. I’m convinced that it is after EDC. After everyone’s euphoria surrounding me all night. But, I just think I also don’t need it. I was outdoors with a cool breeze, I was dancing, I was with amazing friends, and the music was reverberating inside and outside of me. As far as I was concerned, I was happy, too.
In fact, besides the music and the prospect of dancing all night long, I really just wanted to spend some quality happy time with my friends.
Overall, it was an amazing experience. I danced for eight hours. Yes…with nothing to fuel me but two beers. I power myself by my own sheer will and enthusiasm, I guess. Haha!
I loved making new friends, and as always, making new memories with best friends. One of my other favorite moments of that night was me getting absolutely caught up in the music and jumping and dancing around. When there was a moment to take a breath, I looked over my shoulder to the left where I thought people I knew were, and realized that I may be lost in a crowd of a hundred thousand. I could not see a familiar face. I looked over my right shoulder, and I caught Pimco’s eye immediately even though he was few people deep into the crowd. He pointed to me and nodded, and it made me feel like I wasn’t lost after all. It’s a good feeling. Thanks for that.
Tinman promised me that “I won’t regret it,” and he was absolutely right. I don’t regret it at all. *winks.
I loved how everyone seemed concerned if I was okay all night. Let me take this moment once again, to assure everyone that I was exactly where I wanted to be. I was as happy as I could be, and I really had a ton of fun. I am so happy to have shared in this experience with you guys.
EDC really is all about love and music. Can’t ask for more.
What a study break. Take that CA Bar!
This video I took when I moved up to the Bleachers does NOT do it justice at all. Just a tiny, tiny glimpse of how incredible the experience was.