EDC 2014: THE EXPERIENCE THAT LEFT ME ALIVE

*written by Crystal Garcia for Electronica Life

From June 20-22, I attended the Electric Daisy Carnival for my 6th consecutive year in a row along with 400,000+ like minded beautiful souls over a period of three nights. This was the 4th EDC held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and what I consider to be the best EDC that Insomniac Events has produced to date. In the weeks leading up to the desert festival, Insomniac stated “The Best Is Yet To Come.” While I pondered how they could possibly top last years production, I knew we were all in for a special treat as Insomniac never fails to overly deliver. Upon entering the speedway for the first time in a year on Friday, I was utterly blown away by the innovative production, eclectic performers, awe inspiring stage designs,creative art installations, advanced festival layout and the jaw dropping nightly fireworks display.
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While making my way through the venue, I “discovered” the Discovery Project Stage. This wasn’t the first year that Insomniac hosted the Discovery Stage showcasing fifteen emerging artist that won their chance to perform at the prestigious EDC, but it was somehow the first time that I decided to stop and listen. It was extremely refreshing to see rising, young stars with real and raw talent having the time of their lives while performing exceptional sets to their hearts content. Each time I passed through the Discovery Stage on my way to another stage, I was pulled back in by a tidal wave and I was stuck in the rhythm of the sea. I couldn’t help myself, the beats and bass were too satisfying to pass up. I tried to leave, but the small voice in my head reminded me all that mattered in that moment was to just let go and get lost in the music. So I listened and I let go of my expectations, schedule and planned meetups, to just be with the music. Me + Music completely lost together for as long as I pleased.
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The main stage Kinetic Field dubbed as the “Kinetic Cathedral”, was quite the eye candy of the weekend. Insomniac’s largest stage to date, Kinetic Cathedral was just that down to every last detail. A pipe organ hosted the DJ booth, as mosaic light panels surrounded the entire stage. Water fountains and giant size mysterious owls entertained the crowds, while each DJ took fans on a spiritual experience. I waited until Armin Van Buuren’s set time to enter main stage, and I was shocked to witness how fitting the stage was for the legend of trance himself.

Armin took the massive crowd on a dark journey through music, that perfectly paired with his surroundings. In those moments throughout his set, it felt as though the stage had been made just for him.
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The totem poles were another pleasant surprise this year, which I feel definitely deserve a mention. It was inspiring to see the imaginative works of art created on an object as simple as a totem pole. I saw everything from mockeries of celebrities to beautiful and intricate displays of artwork, such as the Insomniac owl. One of my favorite totem’s was a poster board of actor Channing Tatum in an unattractive facial gesture displayed on a totem that read “Channing Totem.” I laughed throughout the weekend each time I thought of Channing Totem, and made it a point to share the picture of it on my phone with whomever was around me at the moment. Many laughs were shared throughout the weekend with fellow music lovers that may otherwise have stayed strangers to me during EDC. This is what I absolutely love about the global EDM community. We come together not only for a united love of music, but also for the little things that make life beautiful.

Although EDC was visually and aesthetically more pleasing than ever this year, I noticed something different taking over under the electric sky this time around. That something was nothing more than the most powerful force on this earth, L.O.V.E. Everywhere I turned, I witnessed the gratifying presence of love. From couples sharing a kiss to friends hugging to PLUR exchanges of kandi to marriages taking place at the chapel.
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There was no denying that love was in the air more than I’ve ever experienced at EDC, and any of the over fifty festivals I’ve attended. I admittedly felt love drunk throughout the weekend, just happy to witness and be surrounded by so many interactions of love. Even when I couldn’t see it, I could feel it.

Over the weekend and throughout the days after EDC, I contemplated on what made this year’s EDC have the effect on me that it did compared to previous years. I’ve had these experiences at past festivals of course, it’s the reason I continue to attend every year. There was just something about EDC 2014 that I have no other words to describe but as pure MAGIC.
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Magic is seeing the light in my best friends eyes as she stepped into EDC for the very first time in her life. Magic is seeing complete strangers trade kandi and embrace in bear hugs, knowing that these two now share a lifetime bond. Magic is seeing the guy in the wheelchair in the middle of a crowd who just wants a glimpse of his favorite DJ, lifted into the air by complete strangers. Magic is witnessing the love two people share, exchange vows in front of anyone who wants to be a part of their special moment. Magic is seeing the girl who desperately needs water, and every single person around her offering whatever they may have.

Magic at EDC consisted of many people and situations, but most of all I believe it was in realizing that Peace.Love.Unity.Respect is more alive than ever before. With high unemployment statistics, skyrocketing college tuition rates, and many other hardships that the Electronic Dance Music generation are currently facing, it would be easy for us to feel discouraged and give up on the beauty of life. It’s nothing short of amazing that our generation now unites in the masses at EDC, in celebration of life.
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Statistics from EDC 2014 tickets sales show that festival attendees came from all 50 states of the USA, and 40 countries from across the globe. Although EDC takes place in Las Vegas over just one weekend, the impact it has on the global EDM community is somewhat of a phenomenon and will last throughout lifetimes. We come together from all walks of life,cultures and religions with no judgement or expectations, to unite in a shared love for music and each other. It’s no coincidence that many call EDC “home.” This is the way daily life is meant to be lived, not the way we’ve been programmed to believe.

Until we all return home to EDC 2015, keep the magic alive in your own life, my fellow EDC revelers. <3
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