What do you get when you mix DJs, crazy light displays, amusement park rides and circus acts? Throw in some glitter and a neon tutu and the answer can only be Electric Daisy Carnival. Debuted in Los Angeles in 1997, EDC has grown across the country, spreading the word of dance culture. While dance music has a respectable following at Northwestern, it still has nothing on the reign of the hipsters and hip-hop heads. However, Northwestern students didn’t have to travel far to get a taste of EDM movement as Electric Daisy set up shop for the first time in Joliet, Ill. this past weekend.
So what is it about the culture that is so appealing?
Well first of all, there is the obvious answer: the music. I was the most excited to see Armin van Buuren, with Hardwell and Cazzette coming in as close seconds. All three exceeded my expectations and completely blew my mind. Above & Beyond put on an incredible performance and the fireworks made it a really special experience. As for other NU attendees, Communication Studies sophomore Peter Moglia said he was looking forward to Eric Prydz and Cassy.
“Eric Prydz has a great chance of making me cry,” Moglia said. “I'm also looking forward to Cassy. She plays some great, deep, sexy beats that sound perfect to end a night on a groove.” While Moglia did end up crying at Eric Prydz, he also got to enjoy a lot of the other acts at the festival.
“Pleasant surprise of the festival was Borgore,” Moglia said. “That was so grimy."
At her third time at the festival, Communication sophomore Dulcinée Deguere was excited to see a lot of the big DJs, though she said she was mainly looking forward to seeing acts she’s never gotten to see live before. “I'm probably most excited to see Mat Zo and Noisia, [who] are two really different types of DJs,” Deguere said. “I'm also really excited to see Kaskade, Armin van Buuren, Brillz, Borgore, Adrian Lux, Tiësto and Arty.”
Communication sophomore Carlie Dobkin said she had a great time at W&W, Mimosa and Borgore, but Armin van Buuren trumped all. “My absolute favorite was Armin. He put on a fantastic set for two full hours,” Dobkin said. “The lights, the music, bringing Trevor Guthrie out at the end to do an encore of 'This Is What It Feels Like' just proved why he is the number one DJ in the world.”
And of course there are the costumes. Giant fuzzy legwarmers, glitter and daisy wreaths? Count me in. I always take advantage of any chance I get to cover my face in glitter and wear flowers in my hair. However, Chicago didn’t entirely cooperate and the weather for most of the festival was cold and rainy. This didn’t keep many festivalgoers from pulling out their craziest getups. Props to all of the daring souls who braved the 30-degree weather in teeny daisy-adorned bras and tutus.
One of the things I love best about the EDM culture is the community. People just want to have a good time and make sure everyone around them is also having the time of his or her life. It doesn’t matter who you came with, you’re going to leave with so many new friends. I volunteered this year and could not have asked for a better experience. People sometimes associate “ravers” with the negative connotations perpetuated by the media, but the EDM community is filled with the most kind, accepting and loving people I have ever met.
“You really have the sense of being enveloped by the music and the people and the experience,” Deguere said. “The people are so committed to EDM and dancing and having the best time in the entire world, and that energy is truly infectious. It's seriously impossible to describe one of these events in words, they really transcend any sort of verbal description.”