When many people hear the term EDM, they picture pacifier-sucking drug fiends, talentless knob-twisters, and the vapid drone of monotonous rhythms. Basically, the antithesis to an authentic and resonant music culture.
Truly, this is nothing more than an immensely reductive perspective of a beautiful, welcoming, thriving community. Look no further than the Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas—one of the most well-known EDM events in the country—to see for yourself.
As for what it's actually like in person? Picture eight sparkling stages illuminating an expansive concrete valley that is the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a 1,200-acre racing track the nearly the size of eight Disneylands. Multiple Ferris wheels dot the landscape as mutant stilt-walkers and flaming, metallic octopi circle the grounds. The festival's lights create a radiant hue that expands into the darkness of the desert night.
From the pulsing minimalism of techno to the intricate melodies of trance, what the various subgenres of EDM share is a repetitive base that gives a song its foundation. In our increasingly digital world, we spend more time than ever in our heads, and what a blessing it is to experience thoughtless oneness with the movement of our bodies. In other words, this is a place where you can just let go and dance.
EDC gives its attendees the freedom to truly unleash their inner children, and in this way, the event itself fosters a welcoming, non-judgmental space. You don’t need an excuse to talk to anyone at EDC.
Throughout the festival, kindness radiated from everyone as the Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect (PLUR) of rave culture reverberated. Smiling strangers exchanged bracelets with me, others approached me and asked to dance. It’s a party in the truest sense.
Thankfully, at least 150,000 people get it. Bud Light, who is literally #upforwhatever, gets it and supplied the festival with glowing body paint at their House of Whatever. You can't get more authentic than that.