Written by Elizabeth Stafford
When I first signed up to volunteer at EDC, I felt slightly intimidated. I have seen so many videos, pictures, and Vines of intense EDM environments like the one EDC offers. I was nervous to go because I wasn’t sure if I could handle the intensity but as I watched video after video, I couldn’t help to become beyond excited for what I was going to experience.
Showing up early at the festival with some fellow sorority sisters, we received our bartender training (That’s right, I was a Smirnoff girl for a weekend.) and watched sound check. We all stood in awe at the larger than life stages and the array of performers with their intricate costumes and makeup. All of us just stopped and looked at each other because we were finally getting a feel for what we were in for.
The first day, I had a night shift at the bar so I spent the day roaming Tinker Field. I felt like I was in some sort of wonderland. There were thousands of people dressed in some of the most bizarre outfits I have ever seen. Bubbles filled the sky while speakers blasted across the three stages. People everywhere were dancing and raving, some having traveled across several states or countries to be there. The first day was filled with artists like Flux Pavilion, Ben Gold, Bro Safari, Crizzly, Laidback Luke, Paul Van Dyk, Tiesto, and Calvin Harris. Fortunately, the bar I was working at was on mainstage field so I was able to watch Calvin Harris and Tiesto wrap up the night. While I was mixing screwdrivers and denying free shots to creepy guys, I was staring at the crowd, amazed at the sight of 40,000 people under a sky of fireworks and confetti. Tiesto closed for the night and he kept me raging the whole time I worked.
The second day, I had the day shift so I arrived, worked, and then found freedom that night. Artists on the second day included Alison Wonderland, Audien, Bassnectar, Blasterjaxx, Carnage, Loudpvck, and Kaskade. My first stop was mainstage for Audien and Blasterjaxx. I was by myself but felt so comfortable and welcome. The night continued on with Carnage, Bassnectar (My body was not prepared for those bass drops. Well, the whole show was bass drop after bass drop.) and ended with Kaskade. Because I was by myself, I shoved my way to the front middle of the crowd for the final set of the festival. For the next two hours, I felt so free under the streamers, confetti, fire, and stars. Kaskade blew the crowd away with his set, and I couldn’t have been more impressed.
Overall, the festival exceeded every expectation. The crowds were kind, and the atmosphere was magical. It provided a great escape from reality while pushing everyone to explore individuality and artistic freedom. The lineup was solid, and I would definitely suggest going if you can.