All good things must come to an end, sadly! At 11:00 tonight, another successful edition of Electric Daisy Carnival New York came to a close at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Once again, EDC NY proved to be a magical experience. This year, I only attended Day 1 of the event, but stick with me in this article as I take you inside my personal journey through the mayhem of a Saturday my friends and I will never forget (or never remember, for some of my friends, but that’s a different story entirely).
A word of warning for any prospective future EDC attendees: there is no tailgating permitted outside of the gates for EDC. I find this weird since I’ve tailgated at this exact venue for a New York Jets game in the past year. Anyway, if you need to pregame before the big show, get your group of friends together, split the cost of liquor, and have a small get-together at someone’s house in the local area. We were lucky to have a friend who lived in the town, so we had somewhere to go and hangout before the festival started. Even if you aren’t about turning up at a pregame or you’re underage like I am, the tailgating party is a fun way to get everyone relaxed for the big day and hyped up at the same time. Sometimes it’s nice to have that alone time with your pals before the huge crowds surface.
Everyone gets to the festival differently. Last year when the venue was Citi Field, we drove, but we took our chances this year and parked the car where we tailgated and took a shuttle over to MetLife. This was an easy and enjoyable, hassle-free way to get there without worrying about designated drivers. Just make sure to download an app to your phone with a transit schedule! See ‘Departure’ for more info on how public transportation fared for us.
The nice thing about getting there was it was very lax. There was plenty of open space in the parking lot to hangout before the security gates. There were port-o-potties available and enough time to take group photos without being pressured to enter immediately. Once entering, security was on point. They checked everyone’s bags and personal items with extreme care. As a diabetic, I once again had a bit of a longer interaction with security than the average festival-goer, but I was already expecting that. When you have insulin needles (unopened of course), someone has to take it seriously and your ride or die has to be by your side to provide comic relief — no, I’m not shooting up heroin. Jokes aside, security was lacking a metal detector. I at least didn’t see one there. But overall I think security did their job well, and the success of this weekend’s festival as well as last year’s festival proves that. Electric Zoo should take a hint from Insomniac on this one. Moving on to the fun stuff now…
We started our day off with 3LAU, who put on an incredible high-energy set. The highlight of his set was of course his track ‘How You Love Me’ with Heather Bright. 3LAU already had huge buzz before his performance. Locals were intrigued by him since last September when he was supposed to play the cancelled final day of Electric Zoo Festival. As a lesser known DJ at the time, 3LAU really stood out by uploading his mix “What I Would Have Played at EZOO” to SoundCloud on the same day. Disappointed fans were able to blast the mix from their homes on the same day, the internet buzzed about him, and the rest is history. While some fans found a way to see 3LAU during that time period between EZOO and this year’s EDC, many fans including myself did not. We can safely say 3LAU delivered, and he’s going to be a huge name to watch out for from this point on.
The rain hit hard towards the end of 3LAU’s set. We were expecting rain, but an enjoyable 70 degree rain to dance under. What we received was a high wind rainstorm that was extremely freezing. Everyone ran for cover under the under-hang of MetLife Stadium until the showers passed 30-40 minutes later. Hint: Don’t try using bathrooms during this time, even if you’re a guy. There will be lines. You’re better off hiding in the crowd and using an empty water bottle. There’s absolutely no shame in doing that on rave day, so feel safe knowing that.
Alvaro welcomed us with open arms following the rain passing, screaming out to the crowd that EDC isn’t afraid of a little rain, so he put on a lot of party! I only caught the tail end of his set, but he brought out the heavy beats and had the crowd getting their cardio on.
Up next for my crew was Martin Garrix. As you can already imagine, this rising star put on one hell of a show! ‘Wizard’ and ‘Animals’ were definitely highlights of his set. It kind of hit me at once in a wave of shock that I was actually hearing Martin Garrix perform ‘Animals’ live, and once that realization hit me, it was kind of a huge deal. It was definitely a moment I was proud to feel a part of. EDC Sunday friends, you know what I’m talking about! Garrix blessed us with his presence for both days of the festival.
Krewella got things lighting up, literally. As the sun headed south, the stars and the strobes rose up. The eclectic trio introduced themselves with their Chicago roots as they normally do, and kudos to them for doing that! As a huge Krewella fan, seeing them for the first time was honestly the highlight of my weekend. The played several of their hits, including ‘Lights & Thunder’, ‘Alive’, and ‘Killin’ It’ to heavy audience love. Their performance had everyone united. Flags from every corner of the globe rose to the sky, and everyone was feeling the good vibes.
In a turn of events, I did not end my night with Hardwell, so I cannot comment on what he played. I had high expectations from him though, so if any readers saw him perform and would like to share their thoughts, the floor is yours! My crew and I chose Afrojack to go out with a bang, and a bang it was. Flames burst into the air for an hour of hard-hitting, anthem-smashing chaos. Afrojack made things fun by playing a decent mix of popular songs as well as his own tracks off his just released artist album Forget the World. Although I admit I wanted to see Hardwell after partying hard to his Electric Zoo set last year, I genuinely enjoyed Afrojack’s set and sent up a million hand signals in his direction to let him know I thought he was doing a good job. He probably didn’t see me. Scratch that, he definitely didn’t see me, but that’s fine. I was in my own little world at that point. And sincee then, my EDC experience lives on in memories and filtered Instagram photos.
Food and Beverage
I’m sending you guys another tip if you’re broke and ballin’ on a budget like yours truly. Prepare a sandwich for lunch before you leave the house, and eat it before entering the gates at EDC. Food is ridiculously overpriced. One hot dog was $9, and beers were sold for $10 each. So, do the math. Luckily, I ate lunch right before entering EDC, so I only spent money on a hot dog for dinner while I was there, but expenses add up quickly, especially if you found yourself at the sweet merch tent. (I avoided that at all costs. Like I said, it’s a rough world when you have no money.) Absolutely calculate your planned expenses on food and drink the night before leaving your house. You will thank me, and you will come back to this article and write a comment personally thanking me. 😉
Rides and Attractions
Due to the rain, we lost a small fraction of our raving experience, so we spent our entire day with the DJ’s. The rides, however, did look sick! We planned on going on the Ferris Wheel and the Super Himalaya, but time got the best of us. If this is an important goal of yours, plan your time well and do it during your downtime. If you’re not interested in a particular DJ, go then. This is best for those planning on attending more than one day of the festival. There is so much to do and just not enough time. I highly recommend going on the rides before eating or consuming one too many beers. Okay, I’m done being your dad now! 🙂
This was definitely the worst part of the night, and honestly one of the only parts of the EDC experience that was unsatisfactory. Our shuttle bus from arrival did not help us depart from the stadium. Our crew ended up walking back to where we tailgated a few miles away, which translates into a 40 minute walk on the dark, cold side of a major highway, but somehow we pulled through. We also had a jerk bus driver who let us on for about a mile and told us to get off so he could continue his bus route in the opposite direction, which ended up being a complete lie as he continued driving in our desired direction. Have your public transportation planned to a T before going to any festival or event. This is why we drove last year, but you know what? We learn things like this from experience and we now have a crazy story to tell!
Plan everything essential the night before. Bring a health insurance card. Tailgate with friends. Take pictures. Arrive safely. Eat lunch before entering to save your hard-earned cash. Be friendly but serious with security. Dance in the rain. Dance in the rain some more. Rave really hard when the rain clears up. Represent your country. PLUR it up! Eat something cheap but edible. Find time for the rides. Go see your favorite DJ, but stick together! Depart safely. Make memories. Love life. Be happy. Tell a wild story to friends for years to come. Share the love of the EDM scene with everyone you meet.
I can confidently say that Pasquale Rotella’s vision for Electric Daisy Carnival came to life once again. While we’re sad to see it go, we’re glad it was here and we were able to enjoy it together. The good news is festival season is just kicking off as summer heats up. Happy raving!