Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect at EDC

By Hanako Tjia (MSW Candidate 2016)

Having just moved to Los Angeles from Toronto, I was looking forward to all the American-style road trips I would have during my summer vacation. Of the ones I went on, the most memorable trip was my get-away to the Electric Daisy Carnival (aka EDC), an epic three day music and performance-driven extravaganza located at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  The annual EDC features all sorts of entertainment, from Electronica music to carnival rides to circus-like performances to interactive art installations.  On top of witnessing a visually spectacular scene, from the moment you walk in, you are surrounded by and fully immersed in the Electronica music culture from which EDC originally emerged – the principle of P.L.U.R (Peace, Love, Unity and Respect). With that said, EDC was beyond my expectations. 35,000 people attended this music celebration, taking over the Las Vegas Strip during the day and the Motor Speedway at night.

The stories are endless and the art displays have you believing that you are on a whole other planet. Much of this is thanks to EDC founder Pasquale Rotella who emphasizes that the experience is about the viewers rather than the actual musical acts. It is with this principle that he continuously (year after year) succeeds in delivering an experience that goes far beyond imagination.

EDC birdeye
Aerial drone shot of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the midst of the festival.
EDC stage
Thousands of people unite for the love of music at the EDC mainstage, where the headlining DJs performed.

EDC morning

The final picture in the series above is of the venue after the last act. As you can see, the sun is up and the Las Vegas heat begins to roll in. The heat was nearly unbearable, so the motto of the night for safety was “Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!”. Unfortunately, EDC can become a hazardous place to be in if event goers are not cautious about staying hydrated. The desert heat can make it a danger zone for people and, although there are paramedics all over the area, they often have a hard time penetrating the crowd to get to someone in immediate danger.

So what do people do during the day while awaiting the nighttime revelry that is EDC? As most people stay on the Las Vegas strip, the pool parties are endless during EDC Week. The clubs and day parties are filled with the most beloved DJ’s playing secret sets or releasing new music. This makes it hard for any of us who want to sleep! The routine for my group of friends was to head home around 7 am to be back to the hotel by 9 am (it took 2 hours to get back to the hotel due to the amount of people travelling back to the strip after the festival). Once at the hotel, we’d rest for an hour, grab breakfast, and then hit the pools until the festival resumed at 7 pm.

It was an exhausting 3 day endeavor with little room to rest, but it was worth it. EDC will be back at the Las Vegas Motorway next summer. If you like electronic music, or even just want to try something new, I guarantee that your time at EDC will be an experience you’ll never forget.