Have you ever felt the love of a total stranger? Felt total acceptance from them? Going into a festival like EDCNY, you’re overwhelmed by the good music, the lights, and the throngs of people. But that’s not all a festival like this is about. Within the EDM culture, there’s a certain sense of unity and unspoken love that you feel from the people around you. Something about this music and this culture brings people together in a way I’ve never seen before. No matter what your race, culture, or background is, you will be accepted. It’s hard to describe the feeling…but it’s addicting.
Festival season came down upon us faster than we had expected. Our trip to NY for this festival wasn’t very organized or planned out ahead of time, but it turned out to be one of the best weekends we’ve ever had! Approaching the festival grounds, you can feel the bass roaring through the ground. Massive amounts of people are lined up, eager to get in. Although the lines were pretty long, they moved much faster than we expected them to, especially on the second day. Once we shuffled our way through security, we finally made it inside. That’s when I realized I was missing my ticket. I must have lost it during the pat down. I was told by security to go down to the will call booth. They didn’t take more than 10 minutes to get me a new ticket. I was very impressed with how fast, polite, and composed they were even with all the commotion of the festival going on.
After, exploring the area for a little bit, we found ourselves drawn to The Circuit Grounds, hypnotized by Martin Solveig’s intoxicating sound. Laidback Luke would follow shortly after. Between sets, we were able to meet up with the people from Roll Random. For those who don’t know, Roll Random is an app for ravers to link up with other ravers of like mentality. The people in this app radiate P.L.U.R (peace, love, unity, and respect) and meeting them face to face was truly a blessing! We moved on to watch as Laidback Luke finished putting on an amazing performance, which he never fails to do. Throw up the double L’s!!
Walking from The Circuit Grounds to The Kinetic Field, we had a lot of people dance and rage with us. It’s an amazing thing to have this type of interaction with a total stranger. The ones who weren’t partying were all hanging out in the designated lounging areas. While I thought these areas were awesome and I loved the themes, the problem was that there wasn’t quite enough room for everyone. We found that people were having to sit out on the concrete which can be a safety hazard.
Once we got to The Kinetic Field, it was time to see Carnage! I had seen him perform at Echostage in DC and close at Moonrise festival last year, so it’s needless to say that I was expecting nothing short of an epic performance. It was all going as I expected, but then it got even better. As I was using my Go-Pro to record a song from his set, I got lifted into the air by my brother and friend so I could record the whole crowd. The expressions on people’s faces were of pure joy. Thank you, Carnage, for not letting us down once more.
The sun had finally set and as we were making our way to see Armin close the night, I witnesses a beautiful scene play out in front of me. For just a moment, there was no one around except one couple illuminated by the lights of a carnival ride. That scene, accompanied by the sound of Armin’s godly trance music playing in the background, was enough to hit anyone right in the feelz. It was a simple example of what this culture is all about: love.
The next day we had a larger group of people with us and we were ready to go hard. Knife party was going to close the night for us and I couldn’t wait. We made our way through the lines, which were moving much faster than the previous day, and went straight for the water stations, we weren’t feeling well at all. We drank our water mixed with a pack of Raveolution Recovery Formula. All we had to do after that was let time do its job.
While we waited for the Raveolution to kick in, we decided to go get a smoothie. Once we got to the smoothie line though, we noticed that the fruit they were using was out in the hot sun, with no ice in sight and was turning into a pile of mush. But desperate times called for desperate measures. We went ahead got some anyways. Being that we were right in the food area, we decided to get more food. You’d figure that with as much as these ticket cost, they would provide at least halfway decent food. That was not the case. Everything was dried, tasted old, or was too oily. I guess if we would’ve been turnt while eating it wouldn’t have mattered. But we weren’t and it just made us feel worse.
Despite the bad food, once the Raveolution kicked in, we were ready to rage! We had many artists that we wanted to see during the day. Our problem, of course, was time. As anyone who’s been to festivals before will tell you, following set times can be a challenge. We decided to tried to stick to two stages so we wouldn’t waste as much time. We bounced from Oliver Heldens and Andrew Rayel to Tchami only to find ourselves watching Benny Benassi do what he does best. And we did what we do best: hype the crowd up for a shuffle battle!
As the sun was setting and we made our way around the festival grounds, we noticed that there were people in purple shirts passing out water bottles. It was ground control, and they were doing an excellent job at making sure that most people were staying hydrated. That’s one thing we must appreciate about this festival. They at least care enough to provide free water, and at a festival, that’s a necessity.
The night was coming to a close and we had a decision to make, either close with Calvin Harris or Knife Party. It was a tough choice since the group was split in half on this matter. So my brother, a friend, and I decided to try the impossible. We were going to try to make it to the very front of the stage where Calvin Harris was performing and back in time to finish with Knife Party. It was a treacherous journey and we lost a good man along the way, but finally, my brother and I made it to the front just in time to continue with our plan.
Making our way back to the Kinetic Field, I was stopped by two glovers. The two of them, along with my brother, gave me a pretty epic lightshow to prepare for my favorite djs. There’s nothing that I can appreciate more than a good lightshow. It’s a beautiful art form and certainly not a crime!
We finally made it the main stage, right in time for Knife Party to drop “Internet Friends”. The hairs in the back of my neck stood up as I watched a combination of lasers, strobes, fireworks, and actual flames. The bass roared through the ground and deep into my chest as I struggled to comprehend exactly what was going on in front of me. Did I die and go to heaven?
This weekend was more than just a giant party. New friendships were forged through shared experiences and the power of music. I don’t believe that a stronger force exists. As the founder of “Single Ravers” told me during the second day, “music is love.” Those words still echo through my head and lead me to believe that if God had a voice, it would be the sound of music. No other force unites so many different people and allows them to enjoy one another despite the fact that they are total strangers. An EDM festival such as this one is the perfect place to witness that magic. Memories like these will last a life time. Thank you, insomniac, for providing us with this opportunity to enjoy such an awesome event!
Author: Felipe Vasquez