Months of preparation boils down to weeks, then days, then *BAM!* You’re speeding down Baseline Road to your friend’s house, running late (again), finally prepared for the experience you’ve been waiting for. Expecting the unexpected. Once the cars are packed, you begin a 5 hour journey that will turn acquaintances into friends as the radio replays the same songs over and over. After changing the station a few hundred times, asking questions, answering them, laughing, watching your passengers sleep; you arrive.
You’re here. Walking through an old casino filled with even older people, you catch a glimpse of lime green, and a tutu. You flash a smile to the small group of people and it speaks for itself: “See you there”. And if somebody doesn’t know where “there” is, it’s because they’re not going. You’re part of a not-so-secret society.
Head up to your room and begin preparing for the evening. Some will nap, some will make last minute costume adjustments, some will wait. Wait for the last of your group to show, for the girls to do their hair and makeup, to ask each other how good you look even though you know the answer. You look awesome.
Finally time to go, and people stare as your group walks through the lobby to catch a cab. Your final destination is a short distance, but anticipation coupled with bumper to bumper traffic will make it a long ride. You feel sympathy for the people walking the mile or two from their hotels, but you’ll be joining them sooner than you think for the end of their journey. The crowd grows thick and hot as you filter through security, but once you make it past the gates and see the first sign of flashing lights, it hits you…you’re at EDC baby!
You feel the bass in your chest, the breeze, the positive energy from everyone around you. Everyone. Meet up with the rest of your group for a brief moment, then head out into a sea of lights. There is no need to walk from place to place when you can dance there, or skip, or jump! You feel the type of freedom you had when you were a kid, but you didn’t know enough to appreciate it back then. You’re running to get a water refill when you suddenly stop to make way for a marching band, in full costume, on stilts.
That smile will be with you all evening from the rides, to the rabbit hole, to the colorful pods. No matter where you are you have music and engaging conversation. Great music, great friends, great strangers. The night ends too soon, but you can’t help but be happy it does. No light show can top watching the sun rise with your arms around your best friends. And as the grounds clear and you wait, exhausted, sitting on a curb, in a 2 hour cab line, you wonder if you have ever been this happy being this miserable.
You spend the rest of the day sleeping (if you can) and wake up just in time to do it all over again, only bigger. More tutus, paint, masks, a headdress, a huge bow, and of course, pictures! The second night brings even better lights, more music, more friends, and skydivers! Wait, did someone just say skydivers? You look up and there they are, sparks flying from their heels. Does it get any better than this? You catch a flirtatious smile from the cutie across from you and in an instant, your friend grabs your hand to pull you over to a piece of art, but you don’t mind. There are too many amazing things here to worry about the ones you miss out on. And in that moment you realize: the question is not, Does it get any better than this? but rather, Does it have to? If the answer is not no, if you leave the same way you came, then you’re not doing it right. So, satisfied with yourself after conquering a once scary ride, you walk to the parking lot. Flat hair and a dirty costume are your proof of a great experience.
After a long nap, it’s time to go. You prolong the goodbye by stopping for a meal, but it has to come eventually. There are no words that can be said, so you part with a few tears and several hugs. You’ll get to know your new friends even more on the way home; and although the same songs will continue to play on the radio, you’ll drown them out with memories of the past couple of days, and plans for next year…
Date: June 24, 2011
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Life Experience: Electric Daisy Carnival
More Pictures: Ray Designed – Electric Daisy Carnival 2011