Something to check off the Life List: Attend a 12-hour dance-music festival and immerse myself in some euphoric beats and an energy one rarely experiences on this planet.
Insomniac Events' annual ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL took place in downtown Los Angeles this past weekend, and Mona Holmes of SHEJAY.NET and I were fortunate enough to be included among the minimal press covering this musical event of epic proportions (Sadly, Big Chocolate herself was unable to attend at the last minute, so I was left to check out the shenanigans by myself).
A wi-fi Woodstock for the Facebook fiends of the 21st century, EDC, as the regulars call it, has grown considerably over its 12-year run. This year's event was quickly proving to be the biggest one yet. Among the celebrity DJs who filled up the roster: Benny Benassi, Armand Van Helden, DJ Heather, D.I.M., DJ Hype and MC Daddy Earl, Krafty Kuts, Freestylers and dozens more.
The night started early out on the 110 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard exit ramp. Two girls, fed up with the gridlock, bounced along the cars in the shoulder lane, hooting and cheering for those trapped in the standstill. Traffic was backed up for miles, caravans carrying alterna-teens and twentysomethings from all across the western half of the country: Eyebrow-pierced Zac Efron lookalikes in neon parachute pants. Bandana-covered bass boys decked out in Ed Hardy. Lollipop-sucking lolitas in colorful outfits rivaling Rainbow Brite's wardrobe. Tattooed Hello Kitty fetishists...
An estimated crowd of 50,000 invaded the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Exposition Park. Needless to say, crowd control was a major challenge. Security had their hands full with a mass entrance that didn't let up for hours.
Knowing full well that I'd probably get a contact high off the copious amounts of doobage that surrounded me, I surveyed the fairgrounds before the rest of my acquaintances showed up (good luck to them getting in). I befriended a group of out-of-towners while waiting in line for the Yo-Yo ride in the Circuit Grounds while Freestylers killed with a remix of N.E.R.D.'s "Everybody Nose." A blond fairy-princess stood behind us in line offering over-the-counter eye drops that apparently made your peepers "burn a little, then make them feel minty fresh." Soon after, the crazy kids were spotted sticking small, white Zycam-like tubes up their nostrils, inhaling the best pharmaceutical goodness CVS could supply.
BT opened shortly after 1am as he always does, spinning the original version of a well-known classic (this time, it was "Let it Be") and then warping the shit out of it with his trademark stutter edits. The man knows how to give good thump.
Colette spun and sang her rendition of "Didn't Mean to Turn You On" before Mark Farina's sick set in the Giant Peristyle corridor outside the Coliseum. Once Mark wrapped up at midnight, it was just a hop, skip and a bounce to Kinetic Field where Moby revved up his turntables and blew away the thousands of energy seekers who threw their hands into the air in praise of his sonic skillz.
Paul Van Dyk soon followed, closing the night on the massive Coliseum grounds. The Berlin-born maestro dominated the arena with "Time of Our Lives" and a variety of transcendent cuts from In Between.
It was a sobering 15-minute walk back to my car (I had lucked out with a spot in front of the Radisson at Figueroa and Exposition), and by the time I plopped myself into the driver's seat I saw that (shit) it was nearing 4am. My cell chimed telling me I had five new texts, all delayed from the f'ed-up signal inside the park. The most recent message was from a co-worker of mine who was stranded at the gates and needed a ride back to her car which was parked a mile away. With a quick look in the mirror (yay for bloodshot eyes!), I pulled out and drove back into the crowds.
A shoutout goes to all of the colorful characters I had the pleasure of meeting during my first EDC experience - The chatty couple who accompanied me on the walk back to the festival gates from my Quiznos dinner across the street. The dude who claimed to have had an in at Paul Van Dyk's penthouse suite afterparty. The peeved music exec who was on a mission to score some E or K (mental note: I should copy Sarah Polley's character in Go and sell baby aspirin next time...according to the short Asian dude who tried to sell me "some pills," the rate's fifteen bucks a pop). And of course, last but not least: Devo, Julie, Yolanda and Miss Amanda - glad we could meet up.
Bloodshot eyes no more,
*And special thanks to Matt at Insomniac for hooking us up with VIP access.