Last weekend, the parking lot of Citi Field was transformed into the otherworldly landscape of Insomniac’s Electric Daisy Carnival, the biggest electronic dance music festival in the USA, with four stages, dozens of headliners and thousands of excited, happy people -- one of whom was me, the purchaser of a two day General Admissions pass.
The lineup for this year’s EDC, featured music from Afrojack, Kaskade, and Zedd, had throngs of hopeful people gathered outside, hoping to score a ticket before the gates opened at 1:00 p.m. The lucky ones were able to join what undoubtedly was THE place to be for lovers of Electronic Dance Music all around New York.
To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of EDM, but my friend had convinced me to shell out the cash for the tickets. The entire way there, I worried about whether or not I had made a huge mistake and if I just should have bought a pair (or two!) of new shoes instead. Entering the festival, however, I knew at once that EDC would be enjoyable. Even before I got through security I was taken in by the sight of people in banana suits and others in barely-there bikinis, people screaming on the carnival rides and singing along to the blaring music, and the scent of pizza, burgers, and my personal favorite -- fried Oreos -- wafting through the air. After trying out snacks from the many vendors, including Home Frite fries, The Nugget Spot, and Coolhaus, I headed to some of the carnival rides, braving the lengthy lines to spin around on the Wave Swinger and get a bird’s eye view of the festival from the Giant Wheel.
Between rides, my friends and I explored the festival grounds and checked out the other headliners, among them Bro Safari, Fury, and Rusko, all of whom played simultaneously on the four extravagant stages prepared for their performances -- the cosmicMEADOWS, the kinteticFIELD, the neonGARDENS and the circuitGROUNDS. Keeping with the theme of universality, each of these stages corresponded to the elements of Earth, Water, Fire, and Air, bonding together nature and technology in a way that reflected the harmonious spirit of EDM.
In addition to having fun attractions to accompany the headliners, EDC also provided complimentary amenities for attendees, like the Secret Refresh Station, which offered up mini deodorants, free arm painting, and beautiful installation art pieces for festival goers to admire.
There were also abundant opportunities to take pictures with and enjoy the antics of any of the character performers hired to entertain on the grounds under the electric sky, from the colorful Coney Island Clowns to the marvelous Marching Majorettes.
Finally, following dozens of fantastic performances, the first day of EDC NY 2016 concluded with Zedd performing in the cosmicMEADOW and DJ Snake in the kineticFIELD. In true rave fashion, all the EDC goers packed tightly together and sang, danced, and vibed along to the pounding beat, rocking out and having a great time.
Even though it was my first time at an event like EDC and my knowledge of electronic dance music was limited, the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd was infectious. Pretty soon I was just as pumped up as everyone else. While the weather wasn’t fantastic, I can completely understand why so many people were hyped to go to something like this -- EDC really is an EVENT, in every sense of the term. There was so much to see and do that by the end of the day, although my iPhone said I had walked ten miles and I was completely wiped out, I couldn’t wait to come back.
EDM fan or not, EDC is definitely something people of all ages should experience at least once. And with EDM gaining more and more popularity as a genre, next year’s festival is bound to be just as sick -- so remember to buy your tickets early! I’ll be sure to see you there.