Although I am an 80’s baby from the South Shore of Montreal, somehow I’ve managed to stay out of the rave scene until last week when I was assigned to cover quirky fashion and party extravagance at LA’s Electric Daisy Carnival for JT’s blog. Open-toe sandals, heavy backpack, tiny American Apparel dress (âœ”), and expensive camera; I must admit that I came unprepared… not expecting to find myself shoulder wrestling with some 185,000 raging attendees over two days or that I’d wish some PR chick would have handed me a neon pink wig when I picked up my press pass.
There were memorable highlights: I stumbled into Steve Aoki right as I walked into the artist entrance of the coliseum; caught Basement Jaxx for one of their rare DJ sets in the U.S.; toes got puked on by some hyped-up girl; saw the most innovative fire installations ever and soaked up that wild, youthful dance energy while saving my brain cells (…at least most of them). Ultimately, I snapped some kickass pics and collected random wisdom for all of you daisy virgins to enjoy.
No matter how old or young you are, here are my 7 rules for a fun, lucky rave:
Rule # 1: Stay Away From The Coliseum’s Floor
How fascinating is it to watch this mob scene rock to Black Eyed Peas Will.i.am’s performance from a somewhat comfortable seat? Unless electronic music is the most important thing in your life, there really is no need to venture into the main field.
Rule # 2: Wear Comfortable, Worn-In Shoes
Wear a pair of old Converse kicks you don’t care about because your feet are about to get dirty. If you’d rather not wear flats with a short-ass dress (#totallyunderstandable), then make sure you pick platform heels. If you do have faux fur boots hanging in your closet from your last trip in Harajuku, it’s now or never. 🙂
Rule # 3:Â Stick With Your Friends
In a sea of people dressed in technicolor, it’s really hard to keep track of your group of friends. Walk into the venue together and don’t part ways unless you set a meeting point. Communication is key to staying connected, so bring a remote charger for your phone. EDC is not the type of event I’d recommend going to with strangers, unless of course they’ve got an extra VIP bracelet for you. Prepare for a lot of human heat and don’t roll in with poopers.
Kids Bonding By The Ferris Wheel
Rule # 4: Monitor Your Sleep
You are going leave the EDC fields exhausted, so make sure you’re rested and in your best shape shape when you get to the event. Sleep a few extra hours every night in the week leading up to the festival. Take a disco nap right before you head out, or learn how to fall asleep to loud house music.
Rule # 5: Sport A Beaded Bracelet That Spells Out Your Name (Or Twitter Handle)
One constant style leitmotiv amongst the crowd: Plastic neon beaded bracelets and necklaces, called Kandi (cause they all look like candy.) Beads have been around since the early days of 80s rave culture… most kids make them at home and often give them away as gifts to remember past raves and honor new friends. (A lot of the bracelets have names on it. We are told in case the kids get soooooo out of it from dancing and drugs that they can’t feel their face, or remember their name. We hope that’s a joke.)
Rule # 5: Stay Hydrated
Drink from Alien bottles. Nuff said.
Rule # 7: Be Open-Minded
Either you do your thing and consciously avoid interaction with the rest of the humans around you OR you run with it and participate. Think about it: where else are you going to body paint outdoors under black lights?
Boys Body Painting
Photos by yours truly & Lauren Jane Berger @WildDaisyLove