Insomniac Events

EDC Las Vegas - The 2018 Experience

Let me start off by saying that last year I said that I would be attending my last EDC Las Vegas... Well, I lied. I attended my 13th EDC this year, and I’m already planning out next years trip. The Las Vegas Motor Speedway has transformed into such a magical place, that I don’t ever see myself not attending. At least not anytime soon. Especially as each year seems to improve exponentially. The FOMO is real!

I arrived in Las Vegas from South Carolina on Wednesday night after having a hellish experience with the airline. Determined not to let anything damper my spirits, Thursday afternoon I attended the EDC Week Basscon Pool Party. I arrived a bit late since I had to find out where the airline had lost my luggage, then buy new clothes and a bathing suit. 

Cosmic Meadow  - Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Cosmic Meadow - Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

My group and I arrived to the speedway at 9pm. Traffic was killer, but we went straight to Basspod, then my favorite stage, Wasteland! We explored a bit and tried going to as many stages as possible, checked out the art installations, and had a few drinks. The mini cathedral which was designated as our meet up spot, was beautiful. One thing I noticed was the price difference depending on which stand you got beers from; prices varied by $2-4 dollars, which isn’t much, but can make a difference over the course of the weekend.

Wasteland  - Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Wasteland - Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Basspod - Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Basspod - Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

My favorite set on Friday, and possibly all weekend, was Avalon at Quantum Valley. The stage design made me reminisce of the 2011/2012 Main Stage EDC with all the LED panels. I do enjoy the Main Stage themes, however, I much prefer LED wall displays over everything. If you are not familiar with Avalon, he plays Psytrance and was absolutely amazing. I wish we had been able to watch his entire set, but I had to leave early in order to make it back to the meetup spot to leave with my group.

Quantum Valley  - Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Quantum Valley - Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Saturday and Sunday we went with our friend Kyle, whom we stayed with that weekend. Saturday was my favorite day as it had many of the sets I was looking forward to most (TNT, Excision Detox, Darren Styles, Armin Van Buuren, and Vini Vici to close out our night at Kinetic Field). We arrived a bit earlier Day 2 around 7:45pm and ran straight to Basspod to headbang to Space Jesus who always puts on a great show. Afterwards we all went to Wasteland with fists in the air for Darksiderz B2B Mekanikal, and TNT(Technoboy & Tuneboy).

We took a break to explore the different stages and noticed that this year there were VIP sections at the front of every stage, whereas before they were only located at Main Stage and Neon Garden. Super cool idea, but I do wish it had been announced beforehand(unless I missed the memo). I attained my EDC ticket through my Festival Passport so upgrading to VIP was not a possibility for me, but others decisions might have been swayed to VIP had I known this.

We headed over to Cosmic Meadow and made our way through the crowed to see Post Malone at 11:00pm. One thing that irked me was that he only had a 30min set, but we waited… and waited… and waited some more. By 11:20pm I was ready to leave. The stage was insanely  packed and people were getting restless. We made friends with the people standing near us, cracked jokes about how rappers are always late, and made the best of the situation. Post Malone finally came on shortly past 11:30pm, after his set was supposed to end, but Insomniac seemed to have predicted this and allowed for a 30min cushion before Malaa and Tchami came on. We more or less got to see his full set.

Cosmic Meadow  - Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Cosmic Meadow - Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

I opted to see the Malaa and Tchami No Redemption set which conflicted with Eric Prydz, but I have already seen him several times. No Redemption kept us groovin, but I wasn't too impressed considering the fact we passed up on Eric Prydz.

All in all, the vibes were fun, people were super nice, and the music was excellent. As always there were set conflicts which are totally unavoidable, but nothing too major. The pre-parties during EDC Week acted as such a great warm up, I do hope that next year we get a couple nightclub hardstyle shows in addition to the Basscon Pool Party... but I'm just being greedy. I'm very happy I went this year, and so happy I got to spend it with such beautiful souls.

EDC Headliners  - Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

EDC Headliners - Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

One more thing that I feel needs to be said… I’ve attended 5 EDCs in LA, and 8 in Las Vegas. I loved EDC when it was in LA, loved attending my favorite rave/festival in my backyard (25 minutes with minimal traffic) but it’s more from the nostalgia and all the good memories I made there than anything. The pool parties leading up to EDC and the EDC pre-parties are a good precursor for the festival itself. Las Vegas is a party town, and there's so much to do if you arrive earlier or stay after the festival. Be it gambling, watching a Cirque show, buffets, etc... I prefer it stays in Las Vegas. Also, moving it up a month to May was an EXCELLENT decision as the weather was so much better. I didn’t camp this year, but I'm sure the May weather fared much better for all the campers as well.

Camp EDC  - Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Camp EDC - Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

One thing I will change, is that I will arrive to the speedway WAAAAY earlier, and continue to just go with the flow. Exploring new artists assuming there are no set conflicts.

See y’all next year!!


Who was your favorite set this year? Did you join Camp EDC? Let me know how your experience was in the comments section below!

Header photo source: Insomniac Events

EDC Orlando - 2017 Experience

This was my third year attending EDC Orlando, and I can say it has only improved from the first time I attended. The production, stages, and vibes in general were amazing! Our group arrived with eight people, four of whom had never attended a music festival before. I am happy they were able to have this first experience at EDC Orlando, and they loved every minute of it. Getting ready and attending an event is always the most fun when you’re surrounded by family and the people you love the most.

Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

The only thing that killed our mood a bit were the lines to get in... There needs to be a much better system in place. We were waiting in line up to an hour and a half each day. I know it has to do with how the venue is built, but having an additional entrance would help to alleviate this issue. Also, it is not held in the nicest part of town. We had a scary situation walking to get an Uber. Insomniac should add security outside of the event as a safety precaution for all Headliners.

The diversity in music was great (but still no Hardstyle, grrr), from grooving at Jamie Jones presents Paradise, to rail breaking with Snails, and headbanging to Excision, our music experience was great. Even the shows they put on in between sets kept us more than entertained. 

Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

My favorite set was definitely Green Velvet. Snails as always, was epic and so much fun to ride the rail to! We closed the night with Armin Van Buuren for day two. Although Trance isn’t really my thing, I have began to warm up to it as we watched him close. The fact that he played some Hardstyle made me happy.

Yet again, I did not go on any rides. As always, I got caught in the moment running from stage to stage, and making pit stops for misc. snacks, turkey legs, and the delicious arepas. They had ferris wheels, giant spinning swings and a zipline over the lake all of which looked like a lot of fun... Maybe next time.

Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Thankfully there weren’t many set conflicts, and even though we got in pretty late each day we made the most of it and saw 80% of the sets we wanted to see. I know I am a little biased, but I do wish Insomniac would start booking a couple Hardstyle DJ's for EDC Orlando. Even only if it is one or two DJ's. While Hardstyle is blowing up on the West Coast, it is seriously lacking on the East Coast. My fellow ravers shouldn't need to travel all the way to Cali to hear the music they love... Speaking of traveling for festivals, I attained the festival passport which included EDC Orlando. I didn’t have to worry about tickets selling out which took a lot of stress away knowing my wristband was waiting for me at the event. Festival Passport attendees were able to use the VIP will call line so my friends and family didn’t have to wait long for me to get my wristband... Side note, I LOVED this year’s wristband, so colorful, bright, and it glowed in the dark! 

The vibes... They are very different on the East Coast vs. West Coast. While people still dress up in interesting costumes and wear beautiful rave outfits, I didn’t see half as many kandi kids at EDCO as I have at events in Cali or EDC Las Vegas. I still felt the PLUR in the crowd and made a few new friends as well as reuniting with old ones. I love how we can go to different festivals and always run into people we know, or easily make new friends. All in all, I will continue to attend EDC Orlando again next year. It has not disappointed me in my 3 years attending.

Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

If you do get the opportunity to attend EDC Orlando, my recommendation is to add this festival to your bucket list!


What do you feel was perfect or could use some improvement for the upcoming years?

Header photo source: Insomniac Events

Electric Forest - The Experience

This year, I attended my very first Electric Forest and it was nothing short from amazing.  I was there for weekend 2, due lineup preference and the ForeverFAMM’s attendance. Compared to any other festival I’ve been to, Electric Forest sets itself apart by far.  Between the people, the decor, and the vibes, it was truly unforgettable.

Photo Credit - Electric Forest : Entering the Forest.

Photo Credit - Electric Forest: Entering the Forest.

I worked as a volunteer this year, so I saw the festival from two different perspectives.  While I was working my shifts, I had several people come up to me and offer me food and water.  Some were other volunteers or had volunteered in the past. They told me “we have to look out for each other” then gave me cold water and fruit.  Others were just attendees looking out for one another and that is something all of us need to learn from. If we can spread this kind of love and positivity outside of the festival, it will bring us closer together and make the world a much better place to live in.

ForeverFAMM  -  When you see a nice rave booty   "Damn, guys... Dat ass tho!"

ForeverFAMM - When you see a nice rave booty "Damn, guys... Dat ass tho!"

The people of the forest were some of the most interesting people I have ever met.  So diverse, and each person was even more unique than the last. I met one girl who traveled to China to take pictures of pandas in the wild, and one man had spent his entire life just traveling the world.

I met a lovely group of girls on Sunday night that went around hugging everyone they saw.  "We just want everyone to be as happy as we are to be here."

Photo Credit - Electric Forest:  Sometimes a hug is all we need.

Photo Credit - Electric Forest: Sometimes a hug is all we need.

On top of everything, EForest had an unbelievable lineup this year and each of the 7 unique stages gave off their own vibes.  Whether you were sitting in the back at The Ranch, getting funky at the Jubilee Stage, or getting weird at Tripolee.  EForest had it all.  Located within the heart of the forest, The Forest Stage and the Observatory, were visually stunning in every way.  There was something at EForest for everyone, so if you have never been, bump this festival to the top of your bucket list and make it a point to experience it for yourself.

I woke up to the view of a Hot Air Balloon Today.

I woke up to the view of a Hot Air Balloon Today.

I'm a big fan of space bass, so I wasn't going to miss Space Jesus for anything.  He warped our minds and left us feeling spacey as always.  Thursday night after getting lost in the woods, I stumbled upon "The Russ Liquid Test".  If you are like me and have never heard of them before, do yourself a favor and check these guys out.  The lasers lured me in and the music held me captive until the end of the set.  They honestly had one of the best sets I've ever seen and I would love to see them again.  Very talented.  G Jones b2b Eprom fell nothing short of incredible.  They had one of my favorite sets of the weekend.  Jauz closed out Friday night going harder than ever.  I CANNOT wait to see what he puts together for Lost Lands this year.  Nobody ever believes me when I tell them Jauz goes hard!  They most definitely learned at Electric Forest.

The forest itself was something out of a fairy tale. 

Photo Credit - Electric Forest -  The Forest

Photo Credit - Electric Forest - The Forest

I had only seen pictures up until now, but they really don't do it any justice.  There was a "twerk off" in the wedding chapel, Silent Discos, and LED panels that projected images all night long.  All of the trees were lit up with different colored lights and there were lasers bouncing off of them in what seemed to be every direction.  They had huts and light up domes that you could sit in and vibe with the other festival goers. There was honestly so much to look at that I didn’t know what to look at first.  It’s something you have to see for yourself and I promise, you won’t regret it. I’ve never seen anything like it and at times, it was so spectacular that I had to pinch myself to make sure it was real.  I will 100% be back next year to get lost in the Electric Forest once again. I hope to see all of you there! For those of you who have yet to attend this one of a kind festival, I hope to get lost with you in the forest in 2019!  

Mother Nature has no chill...

As with all festivals there is always something that can be improved upon.... and Sunday was a little rough for a lot of us.  A storm came through and the festival made us all evacuate the grounds into the camping area.  About an hour later, they opened the gates to let us back in. However, a lot of us ended up waiting in line for 3 hours roughly and we missed the majority of the festival that day.  We were lucky enough to make it just in time for Bassnectar’s set, but did miss a lot of the DJ's we were looking forward to seeing. Attendees were not very happy about this (Myself included), but we have to remember that things do happen and the festival cannot control the weather.  They were simply trying to keep us safe. Maybe they could’ve been a little more prepared for such events, but hopefully they will have a stronger back up plan in the future.

See you next year!

See you next year!


Let me know how your experience was in the comments below!

Header photo source: Insomniac Events

Countdown NYE 2017 - Full Lineup Released!

The time is fast approaching to countdown for the new year, and if Deadmau5 and Porter Robinson weren't enough to convince you to attend Countdown NYE, then the stacked lineup below should do the trick. Sets from Borgore, Flux Pavilion, Shiba San, Zeds Dead B2B Jauz, and Datsik should lead you out of 2017 with NO RAGRETS!

Countdown NYE will be held in San Bernardino at the NOS Events Center, December 30th-31st 2017!


COUNTDOWN NEW YEAR'S EVE 2017 | LINEUP

Countdown NYE Lineup.jpg

Check out our last year's Countdown NYE Experience!


Header photo source: Insomniac Events

Nocturnal Wonderland - 2017 Review

Nocturnal over the past few years has seen many changes. From moving locations (NOS Event Center to the San Manuel Amphitheater), to adding a third day. This specific festival has always held a special place in my heart (attending my first in 2012) and it essentially marks the beginning of my festival lifestyle. Being my 6th Nocturnal Wonderland in attendance this year, I have seen how the festival has evolved over time. Though in the past few years Nocturnal has been a 3-day affair with big name artists, Pasquale decided that this year would be a smaller, more intimate 2-day festival designed for headliners to discover new music.

DAY ONE

Upon entering the festival, I felt that I was going into an entirely new world (musically that is) as I had not heard of many names that were on the lineup aside from Dillon Francis, GTA, Snails, DJ Mustard, Just A Gent, and Will Clarke. Most of my weekend was in fact spent jumping from stage to stage and traveling to wherever the music guided my ears. My group and I arrived around 7pm on the first day and were excited to begin wandering through wonderland. We found ourselves at the Sunken Garden, one of my favorite stages of the weekend, right in time to catch LO’99.

SUNKEN GARDEN: Photo Credit - Insomniac Events

SUNKEN GARDEN: Photo Credit - Insomniac Events

Sunken Garden was located in an incredibly intimate area of the venue. Located in the furthest corner from the main stage, the funky beats of this stage had me dancing my heart out. The music from Sunken Garden was definitely my style, and I found tons of new artists that I have been listening to on the daily. The design of the stage was also made into what seemed like a tower, surrounded by colorful trees full of life and light. As the night carried on further we journeyed to the different stages and explored the venue.

We eventually ended up at the main stage to see one of my favorite DJs, Dillon Francis. At one point during his set however, his laptop began to malfunction and he was unsure if he was going to be able to finish his set. Thankfully, his laptop made a come-back and an unexpected special guest made an appearance on stage, DJ Snake! With night one concluded and off to a great start, I was more than ready for day 2 of Nocturnal to begin.

DAY TWO

With a wonderful experience already in hand, we promptly made our way to the second day of Nocturnal Wonderland, as we arrived fairly late on the first night (resulting in parking about a mile away), we found parking much closer to the venue this time around. Now, as I’ve stated in previous reviews, I am quite the trance head. Lately however, I’ve been drawn into the Bassrush side of Insomniac. When I first started attending festivals regularly back in 2012, my music taste was much different, as I was into dubstep. The second day of Nocturnal definitely brought back that inner bass head in me as we enjoyed a set from Spock. Again, another artist I had not previously been familiar with, but was getting down to nonetheless.

Despite all the fun I had at the main stage to set the mood for the evening, I could not miss Sacha Robotti’s set. Sunken Garden was hosted by "This Ain’t Bristol” on day two, which was also the day I frankly found myself torn between going back to the main stage, or staying there the rest of the night. However, my adventure at Nocturnal was to be purely based on discovering new music to listen to. We bounced around from the Labyrinth, Temple Noctem, and back to the Wolves Den.

TEMPLE NOCTEM: Photo Credit - Insomniac Events

TEMPLE NOCTEM: Photo Credit - Insomniac Events

One of the sets that I was looking forward to the most was from Valentino Khan, who took over the crowd and made night two memorable for me as all my friends danced together to his music. We finished off the night with Zomboy and Excision, which let me say, probably broke my neck. I’m not really a head banger, but I guess my inner bass head made its appearance during those two sets. (Could this be my true form? Nah). Needless to say, I was sore for the rest of the week.

Before leaving the magical world of Nocturnal, we made one final stop at the campgrounds. Though we did not camp, we checked out the silent disco and it was an amazing area where headliners were given their own personal headphones to listen to the music that the DJ was playing live. Relaxing here for an hour or so after the event was the perfect cap to our weekend.

SILENT DISCO: Photo Credit - Insomniac Events

SILENT DISCO: Photo Credit - Insomniac Events

MY TAKEAWAY

With an amazing weekend now behind me and various memories for me to hold, I could say that the more intimate nature of this year’s Nocturnal Wonderland was a success. I enjoyed and truly value the new music I have discovered. The 2-day structure also brought me back to my roots to my first Nocturnal many years ago, and the music that originally brought me into the rave culture made it all the more special. The stages did not have a large and intricate mega structure as it has had in previous years (i.e., Zen Owl featured in 2014) and this is a change that I have been noticing in more and more local Insomniac festivals. Beyond Wonderland also did not have the Caterpillar stage, and even moved its location to the NOS Center.

Of course, there’s the ugly side to these events. While I LOVE attending these festivals, there are just some things that are unfortunately always complicated. We were fortunate enough to have our friend drive us to the event on the first day, however, finding our way back was more difficult. The Uber situation could be worse I guess, but it still lacks organization when everyone is just trying to go home or back to their hotel. The singular free water refill station also seems to be an ongoing issue at many festivals as well. Luckily this festival wasn’t hot, in fact it was pretty cold, but after many hours of dancing, dehydration is always an issue and headliners need easier access to water. Finally, the restrooms...I really have no idea what goes on in there, just YIKES!

Despite these factors, which are generally the usual ones for everyone, my Nocturnal experience was nothing short of amazing this year. I definitely support Pasquale in his decision to make this a smaller and more intimate festival overall. Hands down, the best Nocturnal I’ve had in years.


What did you think of Nocturnal becoming a smaller festival? Yay or nay? What new artists did YOU discover?


EDC Las Vegas - The 2017 Experience

The Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas is an event that many ravers spend months upon months preparing, planning, and saving up for. Being the most anticipated event of the year, we carefully plan our creative and colorful costumes for each day of the weekend. We reserve our hotels and purchase our tickets 6 months in advance, and patiently wait until we can return to what many call “Home”. My initial visit was back in June, 2013 when the “Blue Owl” stage was initially introduced to kineticFIELD. Over the years, I have seen significant changes in stage development, increases in ticket sales, inconveniences, improvements, and plenty of instances that have left me baffled. This year marked my 5th year attending the Electric Daisy Carnival.

PAST EDC EXPERIENCES

When I attended my first EDC Las Vegas I had been dreaming of overlooking the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for years. Although, I had been to a handful of events such as Nocturnal and Escape from Wonderland, HARD Summer, HARD Day of the Dead, Crush, and Beyond Wonderland, I still considered myself a rookie. My first EDC was more intense than I expected it to be, especially being that it’s from dusk till dawn every day of the festival. I was lucky to have been with more experienced ravers that had previously attended EDC to show me the ropes.

Needless to say, when I finally arrived to the speedway I was amazed. It was one the most beautiful sights I had seen in my life. kineticFIELD brought on the theme of the large blue owl which opened and closed it’s wings at the beginning and ending of every DJ’s set. neonGARDEN was not the large pyramid structure that we have seen over the past three years, and circuitGROUNDS was still a covered mega-structure.

That first year, I decided to try out the shuttle system. While everything was impeccable, this was one aspect I did not enjoy. The shuttles were completely unorganized, and the headliners had to wait over two hours in the Las Vegas heat to get on their shuttle. By the third day, we did not even bother with the shuttles anymore and decided to drive. The traffic was seemingly a breeze which made me question why I had even purchased the shuttle pass in the first place. I believe with the increase in popularity to attend EDC, every year the traffic has continued to get worse. As my first year in attendance came to a close, I was exhausted but ready for more.

As the years went on and I gained more experience raving, EDC (and Insomniac in general) changed in monumental ways. The stages got more creative, with the arrival of 2014’s Kinetic Cathedral, 2015’s Crystal Village, 2016‘s Kinetic Temple, and this year’s Gaia theme! Returning in 2017 as a more experienced raver with 6 years of events under my belt, I started this year’s adventure wondering what this year will have in store for me?


DAY ONE


Let me start off by saying that making the trek out to Vegas was a mission. Not only did I have a final exam the morning of day one, but I also had to catch a flight from LAX to LAS, which I MISSED! After a tedious hour on standby, I boarded the following flight and was on my way. I arrived to Vegas at around 7pm. I opted to give the Shuttles another try as I had seen that the organization had improved with each passing year. One thing I did not take into account, was the time that I was heading out to the festival (it was about 7:30pm). It took approximately 3 hours to reach the festival. Yet again, the shuttles were an absolute mess. They were extremely over sold, and there were so many ravers boarding the shuttles that did not have a pass. The lines alone made for an exhausting 2 and a 1/2 hour wait in line. Despite my experience with the shuttles, I was determined to have an amazing first night.

The Parliament Art Car : Photo Credit - Insomniac Events

The Parliament Art Car: Photo Credit - Insomniac Events

My evening started off exploring the various artCARS that were roaming the venue. Each colorful and unique in their own way. After familiarizing myself with the map and locations of stages, free water stations, and vendor areas, I made way to kineticFIELD to enjoy sets from Martin Garrix, Armin Van Buuren, and caught a part of Hardwell's set before switching gears and going to my favorite stage, quantumVALLEY hosted by Dreamstate. I especially enjoyed sets from Freedom Fighters and Sean Tyas.

Video taken by another Headliner

The first night of my story does not simply end with a fabulous evening of enjoying my favorite music. This is going to one of the various conundrums that I saw while exploring the venue, but let me start off by saying: Vegas, you are WILD! I know everyone is out here to have a good time, but we all definitely need to know our limits. When you see a raver walking around butt naked, hissing at workers, dancing on top of port-o-potties and diving into the concrete as if they were about to go into a pool, you know you’ve seen it all. In all my years of attending EDC Las Vegas, I have never seen so many headliners walking around butt naked. Who knows... maybe they just wanted to feel the breeze? While everything is all in good and fun, keep in mind that these type of actions will get you kicked out of the festival or worse, so please party safe!


DAY TWO


EDC Las Vegas

With night one in the books, I was more than ready to start day two and arrive WAY earlier than I did the previous day. Night two of EDC in my experience always goes the hardest and most of my favorite DJ's are usually playing. I decided to not take the shuttle on the way there, and it turned out to be the best decision I could have made. There was news of shuttles being shut down for over an hour without any leaving to venue. With an ever increasing line, it turned out to be a mad-house. As a result of leaving early with my friends in their car, we arrived within 24 minutes of leaving strip. It definitely seems to have been a complicated year for the shuttles as the organization seems to have backtracked from recent years.

We made it to the venue just after the doors had opened, and were off to a positive start. I also had the pleasure of enjoying my friends wedding ceremony at the venue. I had always heard of ravers getting married, but had never had any people I knew actually plan their wedding there. It was a beautiful ceremony full of lights, love, and just the right twist of EDC fun and uniqueness. As I moved forward with my night, my group and I headed over to watch Laidback Luke and KYGO’s set at kineticFIELD. Leaving in the middle of KYGO's set I made my way over to circuitGROUNDS to see Duke Dumont, Alesso, and Above and Beyond. I was torn that Above and Beyond was at the exact same time as Dillon Francis, so I made time toward the end to catch part of his set. We took the time to re-group and decided to call it a night early (around 4am) since we were all so traumatized by the traffic and shuttle situation from the previous day. Many ravers said that they waited over an hour to board the shuttle, and another 45 minutes to arrive to their hotels. Others had to deal with the treacherous journey of leaving the EDC parking lot. Though I heard many left around 4:30am, they were still caught in bumper to bumper traffic until 7am. So what really is the proper way to go? Shuttle? or Car? And when is the best time to leave the venue without missing out on your favorite closing sets? This is one issue that Insomniac needs to improve.


DAY THREE


All good things must come to an end. As the final day of the festival came, there were many mixed emotions. Many ravers were tired, some even decided to sell the final day passes since they had to work Monday or just couldn't handle the intensity of a three day festival. Then, there were the warriors that decided to end the weekend with a bang, going harder than ever! My rave family and I once again left early to festival, arriving without any major traffic issues to delay our entrance. We had an interesting time watching the downfall of DJ Khaled as he was getting boo’d off stage (Honestly, I’m not even sure why we were even there).

Video taken by another Headliner

We then spent a fair portion of our evening at the neonGARDEN, getting down the artists such as Dense and Pika, and Alan Fitzpatrick, and the legendary Adam Beyer.

My friends also knew a little secret, and that was that Kaskade would be playing a sunrise set at the Kalliope artCAR. Despite having to do A LOT of walking to even find where Kaskade was playing in the venue. We ended up finding his set and enjoyed it for about 45 minutes before heading off to see Vini Vici, who I was most excited to see. He has has quickly become one of the top DJ's on my list. This was hands down my favorite set of the entire weekend. Though my friends and I were exhausted, Vini Vici brought us back to life in that final hour, and we danced harder than we ever did.


THE TAKEAWAY


EDC has changed in so many ways over the past 5 years. I found this year was odd only in the sense that it did not sell out. Something I have not seen happen in years. I am not sure if Insomniac increased this year’s capacity, or perhaps the festival has simply gotten too expensive. In 2013 I remember there was a special ticketing price for headliners who purchased as early as November. Tier 1 GA starting at $199 and tier 2 $259. Comparing to today’s whopping $436, it has gone up a couple hundred dollars in the past few years.

In my opinion, it is worth the money because the production is always incredible. However, I found that the “Premier Parking Pass” and “Shuttle Pass” prices are absolutely ridiculous for the benefits received. If headliners are paying $114 for transport to the venue and free loaders are mooching off the shuttle services because the workers are not checking passes, it is not worth the wait. I also heard from friends who had purchased premier parking that they still waited 2-3 hours to even get out of the parking lot. These are huge issues that Insomniac needs to resolve for the safety of it’s headliners, and efficiency. Thousands of ravers were stranded for hours in the parking lot/shuttle lines without access to water and in intense heat. It’s a problem that has been on going and seemingly getting worse each year.

Despite the downside of the awful parking and transportation situation, EDC always holds a special place in my heart. I am always excited to see what the next year has to bring and how it will continue to evolve, grow, and improve. Overall, this year was hands down the best EDC I have experienced since 2014. The production was beautiful, I was surrounded by amazing friends, and I had a great laugh from all of the crazy things we saw. With a genuine love for the music and this rave community, I can’t wait for EDC Las Vegas in 2018.

Photo via aLIVE Coverage - Insomniac

Photo via aLIVE Coverage - Insomniac


How many EDC’s have YOU been to and what are your opinions on this year’s production? Will you be attending next year? Let me know in the comments below!

Countdown NYE - 2016 Review

Over this recent New Year’s Celebration, Insomniac’s Countdown NYE took place at the NOS Event Center in San Bernardino, California, returning with two epics nights of music.  This year’s lineup brought DJs such as Alesso, The Chainsmokers, Deorro, Showtek, Seven Lions and many more. Though temperatures were low (reaching below 50 degrees), and rain fell throughout the event, it did not stop thousands of festival goers from attending and closing out 2016 with a bang!

In previous years, the event had not been properly prepared for cold weather, for Californians at least. Countdown NYE 2015 was particularly chilly as temperatures reached 37 degrees Fahrenheit and heaters were scarcely available at a small picnic area where dozens crowded around them to keep warm. The entrance was also significantly more difficult if you had arrived later in the festival. It took my group and I over an hour to get into the event, so this is why early arrival is highly suggested to avoid long lines and waits. Nonetheless, improvements can always be made when it comes to the flow of entry by providing more attendants to check identifications, scan tickets, and inspect personal belongings, especially during peak hours.

Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Despite a few negatives from the previous year’s event, Insomniac made major improvements for the 2016 NYE festival. Installing a heated tent, and a much larger Resolution Stage production, this included an impressive megastructure and incredible visuals for every artist. The heated tent was a huge hit amongst ravers since it provided an area to escape both the cold and the rain for a while, and simply room to relax and take a break from dancing in the crowds. In future Countdown events, it would be great to see more of the indoor structures be put to use to accommodate to the winter season, along with the return of the ice rink. The main negative I found this year was that there was not a sufficient amount of free water stations, as there was only one placed within the entire venue. However, there is no doubt that Countdown NYE was a success as we left 2016, and entered 2017 with thousands of our closest friends.

Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

Photo Credit: Insomniac Events

The festivities continue throughout the month of January which Insomniac has stacked with events such as Audio on the Bay, Dreamstate SF, and Excision to name a few! How will you be kicking off your 2017?

Let me know in the comments below!