Rave On: Electric Daisy Carnival Still Packs a Day-Glo Punch

LA’s annual Electric Daisy Carnival kept true to its eccentric tradition and ensured that this year’s event was larger, louder, and less organized than ever before. If you were one of the 55,000 in attendance who had to stand in lines for three hours of security check as staff went to great lengths to fish out glow sticks and drug paraphernalia before giving up and letting people just walk in, and an hour delay in the set times at most, if not all of the stages, then you earned your right to be there.

Thousands of neon clad concert goers packed the historic Los Angeles Coliseum to catch a glimpse of some of electro music’s biggest. Despite the long lines – supposedly caused my an unexpectedly large turnout – and the absence of the highly anticipated Berlin-based Boys Noize, who missed the show due to an undisclosed illness, fans were still treated to a number of fantastic sets. After a strong start on the main stage on the Coliseum field, Italian DJ Benny Benassi seemed to fizzle towards the end of his set, but his less than stellar finale was quickly forgotten when Moby took the stage. It’s been long enough since everyone’s favorite bald vegan DJ’d a rave in California, some were skeptical about what his performance would bring. Thankfully, his high energy set, coupled with his typical audience interaction and a surprise fireworks show, proved to be the highlight of the night.

There wasn’t a dull moment, the best sets coming from Classixx, Z-Trip, and Shinichi Osawa, who shone at his first U.S. appearance that night.

Some side stage highlights came from the “Cosmic Meadow,” where everyone from Armand Van Helden to Harry Romero got everyone moving, and the “Circuit Field,” where Freestylers and DJ Dan spun the crowd into a frenzy. This year’s underdog was the Bass Pod stage, riddled with trouble (that’s where Boys Noize was to have played) and musical criticism for upstart locals Paparazzi and Le Castle Vania. Despite the negativity, there wasn’t a dull moment, the best sets coming from Classixx, Z-Trip, and Shinichi Osawa, who shone at his first U.S. appearance that night.

The best way to enjoy the event was to roam around. Since most sets overlapped anyway it was worth the walk to catch a glimpse of everyone, and prevented you from getting bored too quickly; most of the sets shared the same elements, so traveling around kept it stimulating. It also invited a chance to run into friends or make new ones, as throngs of teens clad in neon fur, skimpy underwear and craft store bracelets mingled and posed for photos. After all, being seen is what these events are for.

Words: David Bond & Tim McLaughlin


images by Insomniac

Darren Ressler

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