Arts & Life

Electric Daisy Carnival: ‘a whole ‘nother culture’

We live in a generation where dance music has topped charts, pushing hip-hop, rock and pop aside. The niche of electro-based music is becoming the norm.

Electric Daisy Carnival, sponsored by Insomniac Events, is an annual dance music festival that was held on June 25 and 26 at the Exposition Park and Coliseum in downtown Los Angeles. Dance music lovers from all over the world united to fist pump to numerous DJs, including Armin van Buuren, Deadmau5, and Will.I.Am.

More than 90 artists were featured and divided into five different stages: Kinetic Field, Circuit Grounds, Cosmic Meadow, Neon Garden and Bass Pod. The stages showed off various genres of dance music such as house, trance, techno, drum and bass, dubstep and jungle.

Kinetic Field was the main stage and thousands of people filled up the Coliseum and its bleachers to hear Dirty South, Above & Beyond, Benny Benassi, Kaskade and many others.

Circuit Grounds, Cosmic Meadow, Neon Garden and Bass Pod stages had headlining musicians such as Moby, Boys Noize, Mstrkrft and LA Riots. The stages were dispersed all around Exposition Park. Attendees were allowed to weave in and out of different stages whenever they pleased.

Attractions included full size carnival rides, stilt walkers, fire twirlers, drum circles, aerial performers and art installations. The walkways were lined up with vendors who sold jewelry, clothing, body decorations and party items. Classic carnival food, such as hot dogs, nachos and lemonade, were available.

No one within a mile radius could escape the loud thumping music of the DJs who spun their music inside EDC.

Any local resident of L.A. would be able to distinguish attendees by the colorful getups that they wore.

Inside, as DJ Steve Aoki shrieked nonsense words into the microphone, the crowd jumped up and down in anticipation of the next melodramatic scream. Hands were waving in the air as bodies were continuously knocked aside. But no one cared or got mad; this is what people come for.

“I came all the way from Louisiana just to see Deadmau5,” Ahmed Shamin, 24, said. “It was nothing I would’ve ever expected. It was unbelievable. It was my first time, but it definitely won’t be my last.”
Another attendee, Michael Thai, 25, has been a regular since 2006. Once again, he felt EDC did not disappoint.

“The best part of the event, other than the intense music action, is the people-watching,” Thai said.

Thai said he loves when the crowd gets wild and sings a cappella style to the DJ’s tunes.

Vibrant colors and eccentricity were celebrated at EDC.

“Costumes are pretty crazy too, it’s Halloween all over again,” Thai said.

Indeed, the festival is a Lady Gaga vs. Harajuku Girls vs. Rainbow Bright scene at EDC. Girls wore frilly tutus, while boys wore equally frilly briefs. There were Hello Kitty backpacks galore. Almost everyone had colorful bracelets around their arms and glowsticks in their hands.

“This is a whole ‘nother culture,” Thai said with a chuckle. “A rave culture.”

The term “rave” is often used to describe these types of dance events, but beware in using the term toward veterans of the dance parties.

“It has such a bad rep now, mainly because a bunch of little kids are running around on drugs,” Tina Truong, 22, said. “We’re here for the music – and that’s it.”

In the past, EDC offered tickets available for all ages. This year, however, there was a minimum age of 16 required upon entry.

Although these type of events are entertaining, they also hold a reputation for being dangerous.

The L.A. Times reported that more than 100 people were injured at EDC and transported to hospitals. Some of the injuries were a result of people trying to break through the gates in order to get inside.

“This whole thing is just crazy,” Truong said. “Every year, more and more people come. Back then, it used to just be one day only with a couple of artists, and now it’s a two-day event with big names headlining. What’s next?”

Insomniac Events hosts many popular dance music festivals such as Nocturnal Wonderland, How Sweet It Is and Together As One. The next upcoming event is Audiotistic on Saturday, July 24th at National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino. For more information, visit www.insomniac.com.

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