Usually after extremely long party weekends like EDC I feel really tired, and defeated. After returning from Vegas and hibernating for 3 days straight I woke up feeling strangely alive. I felt almost recharged. EDC weekend was really one of the best of my life. I had poured so much time and energy into preparing and anticipating this event. My last multiple day rave was EDC 2010, and I have never been to a rave in another state, so there was a lot of anticipation and nerves taking over my thoughts leading up to the weekend. I felt like I had so much to be nervous about. It felt like the person I am now and the person I used to be were about to collide- old life and new life come face to face. I spent months preparing for this event- designing and creating costumes, and planning and preparing for every single detail. An approach to raving I had only explored in the past but had never delved into with such intensity as I did for this event. This was going to be it. The ultimate party experience. The ultimate escape. The last big hoorah (supposedly).
For months Ally and I stalked these unicorn wigs online. Making them probably the best kept secret of my life time. They were so unique, so beautiful- and we wanted them to stay that way- one of a kind and totally special. For months I looked at these wigs trying to decide what colors I wanted- trying to come up with the perfect outfit to accompany it. I don’t know how the idea came about to buy stick on bras and decorate them but for some reason it seemed absolutely perfect to go with the wigs. Once, we decided leggings and bras were the direction we were going in the ideas began flowing. With the help of Black Milk and their incredible leggings- I began to develop my unicorn princess alter ego. I had painted the bra with glitter and was so happy with how it came out. As the event drew closer it began to hit me- I’m essentially wearing pasties to a rave- it’s happening. I’ll never forget the moment when we finally made it onto the shuttle on that scorching hot Friday afternoon- as a wave a panic over took both of our faces when we sat down and realized to our absolute dismay- the bras were not sticking as well as we had hoped. The worst was happening but I didn’t feel worried at all. I was mostly upset because I really liked my outfit- it looked awesome, I felt great in it, and I wanted to show it off.
I could feel the music pulsating from the field below me. As we walked through the security line and into the venue I felt my heart begin to beat in tune with the booming base as it drew me closer like a moth to the flame. I was in. This was the moment I had been waiting for. We walked through the dark corridor and took in the breath taking view below us. A moment I will never forget- the lights, the sounds, the energy. I looked up and a small plane with light up words flew over and displayed the phrase “this is love”. This is love. I just wanted to cry, and laugh ,and dance, and run all at the same time- it was so overwhelming. Friday I took in everything around me. The people, the costumes, the lights, the sounds- it truly was an electric carnival. The unicorn wigs turned out to be everything we had hoped for and more. From the moment we stepped foot onto the strip that afternoon we got stopped constantly. I felt like a celebrity that night. Everywhere we went people were looking at us, talking to us, and asking to take pictures with us. I had put so much effort and time into these outfits with hopes of receiving some attention for them but this was way beyond anything I could possibly have imagined. I embraced it wholeheartedly- even when I was exhausted I accepted each compliment with open arms- I kept reminding myself that I shouldn’t have worn the outfit if I wasn’t prepared to face the attention it brought me. We went straight for the costume booth when we arrived the first day and as we were walking away one of the Insomniac costume scouts stopped me and gave me a merchandise credit for the merch booth. I had wanted to win something so badly and I actually did.
My memory of Friday is such a blur. We wandered everywhere. I felt like I was constantly lost in this new world but didn’t care. We stopped at every stage- even attempted to brave the Q-dance stage. In an attempt to find one of the members of our group we moved closer to the fire breathing, strobe light flashing, base booming, ominous stage. It was funny, the closer I got the more out of place I felt- like my inner unicorn princess didn’t belong there. Through out the course of the entire weekend every single interaction I had with a stranger was positive- aside from that one moment when that one weirdo at the Q-dance stage with that scary face you can’t go to a rave without seeing at least once- chased Ally, myself, and our unicorn princess spirits out of the crowd. Laughable now- kind of scary in the moment. I needed some Group Therapy- immediately. Gabriel and Dresden were absolutely my favorite set of the night and one of the most memorable of the weekend. I’ve seen them in a club setting but never in a massive- and they just completely blew me away. Every one we saw on the Group Therapy stage was incredible- it was hard to get away. We decided about half way through Gabriel and Dresden to go on the swings which were right outside the stage. As they lifted off the ground I took in the view- and what an incredible view it was. As they picked up speed I stretched my arms and legs out into the air- it felt like I was flying through the night sky as the melodic sounds of Gabriel and Dresden drifted towards me. The swings are one of my favorite memories of the weekend. Friday felt almost endless to me. We took in everything- and as the sun began to creep above the horizon and I looked around in the morning haze it was the strangest sensation. It wasn’t my first sunrise in Vegas but it was definitely the most bizarre. To see this electric world in the light of day was a huge adjustment- I almost didn’t like it- I felt like a vampire that needed to retreat immediately to darkness. I felt so at peace leaving. Usually I am devastated at the end of a rave- but knowing I still had two more nights to explore this incredible playground made me feel so content. I barely slept when we finally arrived back at the hotel. It was happening- I had jumped off the ledge and down the rabbit hole and there was no turning back. Day was night and night was day and I was completely submerged in the EDC experience.
I loved my Saturday outfit. I had known from the moment I decided to attend EDC that one of the outfits needed to be Hello Kitty. I toyed with several possible outfit ideas but nothing seemed right. Once Beezer died it came to me- I need to to merge my Hello Kitty concept with a slight tweak- I was going to make her black. I cut up an old sweatshirt to use as a pattern and constructed the cropped kitty hoodie. It took me weeks and some assistance from my mother- but I was SO proud of how it came out. I was so relieved to have been wearing a warm fuzzy hood- considering the windstorm that had taken over the speedway. We arrived at the main stage just in time for Calvin Harris’s set to begin. This was the moment I had waited for. I was finally seeing Calvin Harris- one of my most favorite producers- for the first time live it it’s entirety. I tried not to let my disappointment break my spirit. With every frequent gust of wind the sound would be carried off- I was finally seeing Calvin Harris- and this unpredictable wind storm was ruining it. I worried about a lot of things leading up to this event. Thought about every possible scenario of things that could possibly go wrong. Never did the thought ever cross my mind that I would be getting herded out of EDC just before midnight on the second day because bad weather had shut down the event. We sat patiently in the stands- watching as thousands upon thousands of people poured out of the speedway. It was more people than I have ever seen in my life and an absolutely mind blowing sight. We looked around and looked at each other and decided regardless of whether the wind died down, regardless of what we knew was actually happening we were going to enjoy ourselves- and that’s exactly what we did. I have the best friends in the world and that fact became all too clear to me when I realized- once it was all said and done- that I wouldn’t change a single thing about my EDC experience- I had a great time on Saturday- from charging off to inspect the weird random flying monkey art installation they had hidden off in the corner ( for obvious reasons), to being THOSE people on the shuttle bus raving to Deadmau5 the whole way home, to sitting all 4 of us in the jacuzzi tub chatting the night away- I wouldn’t change ANYTHING.
We all went to sleep as the sun began to creep into the sky that Sunday morning. We slept for a solid 8 hours. I woke up feeling like a new woman. The sun was shining, the wind was gone and I was going to go so hard to day 3 it wasn’t even funny. This was it- the final day and I was going to make the absolute most of it. We arrived at the main stage for Chuckie and the crowd was going crazy. I could tell from the moment we walked into the venue that it was going to be a good night. Everyone was so happy that it didn’t get cancelled again, and was going to make up for the night before in a big way. We moved through the crowd trying to find one of my friends and I literally could not stop dancing. It made it so hard trying to look for someone, and not lose my group, and dance. For my third outfit I had made a bra out of fluffly pom-poms and had also made matching glasses which I gave to Isah to wear. As we wandered through the crowd together we got stopped- constantly- “that girl just slapped my ass!” Isah shouted to me over the music- “me too” I yelled back at her as we carried on- laughing- through the crowd. At one point- mid dance move I turned around and Isah was gone. There I stood- alone at a rave- with nothing but my pom-pom bra and a smile. The crowd seemed so vast but I knew it was going to be OK. I knew they’d find me and several minutes later they did.
Without a doubt my favorite stage on Sunday was the Cosmic Meadow. From Green Velvet to my favorite set of the weekend- UMEK- an absolute mind fuck- to Carl Cox, to John Digweed, to Danny Tenglia- I could not get enough. Fucking house music. Every time they attempted to peel me away from that stage I felt this force pulling me back. We walked over to Bingo Players and as they started playing some top 40 remix of a song I had already heard Chuckie play- I had to leave- I was prepared to go alone- I had to get back- Sunday was all about the music and I couldn’t waste a single moment listening to boring top 40- it wasn’t happening. Back to the Cosmic Meadow we danced. One of my favorite things about raving with my friends is when a good beat drops and we’re on the move all 5 of us burst into flash dance- dance breakdowns- it’s so funny- it puts the biggest smile on face every time. I received so much dancing attention that night. While compliments for my outfits were great nothing means more than appreciation from strangers for my dancing. Dancing is what I come for. It’s who I am. The love and positive energy around me was almost too much. As I was dancing this guy came up to me and asked if he could dance with me. As the deep, dirty house sounds of Carl Cox resonated from the stage we danced together through the grass. He stopped and looked at me and told me him and his girlfriend had been standing there admiring me. She came over and told me how incredible it was to watch us dance together. It’s moments like these that are the reason I can’t stop doing this. The reason why I love it like I do. We began to move towards the main stage for Funkagenda as the sun began to peek over the horizon. Time was moving too fast. I had 30 minutes. I felt like I was going to throw up the vast amount of nothingness in my stomach and my body was about to give out from under me but there was NO way I was stopping. His set was the perfect ending to an incredible weekend. When I first saw the set times I was so mad he was only given a 30 minute set- but it actually turned out to be perfect- I couldn’t have taken much more. As the sun began to rise along with the heat and my nausea it began to dawn on me- its 5am on Monday morning and here I stand raging my face off after 3 intense days of partying. I had done it. I had made it until the end. I had achieved the ultimate party experience and it had been everything I had hoped for and more. We moved closer and closer towards the stage- I’ve never been so close to the main stage at a massive in my life. I looked around at the sea of thousands and thousands of plastic water bottles which covered the ground. It was a sight to be seen. The most epic weekend of my life was over- it was beginning to hit me as we gathered up our things and began to move towards the shuttles. We were of course amongst the last people to leave the speedway that day- as much I hated the scorching light of day I wouldn’t have expected anything less from us.
All I could do for the following 3 days was sleep. Thinking was too much to handle. When I finally got up on Thursday morning and had to face real life again it felt as though a new chapter of my life had begun. It’s time to stop dreaming and start doing. Making my dreams for my future my reality. I left this experience feeling like I have come so far. I made it through this intense weekend and I did it completely on my own terms. Life is so crazy- the lessons you learn, the people that come and go along the way. I feel a sense of calm now that it’s finally over- but the memories I made that magical weekend I will undoubtedly remember for the rest of my life.
Hello out there! I have finally emerged from 3 days of hibernation and am unfortunately having to face real life, work, and the fact that EDC is actually over. FUCK I can barely type it without wanting to cry. That was without a doubt one of the craziest, most magical, incredible weekends of my life and I can’t wait to share my stories with all of you. I hope every one that was there had as wonderful of a time as I did. Insomniac couldn’t have picked a more perfect tagline for the event because it truly was…
ALL ABOUT THE THE EXPERIENCE…
…many pictures and stories to come