What got you into the EDM scene?
When I was in high school, my cousin took me to a paint party that would change my life. The paint party turned out to be DayGlow, now known as Life in Color, and it introduced me to a life that had been hidden from me up until that point. Both of my parents were cops and I was their eldest child, so I didn’t have much in the way of freedom back then. After DayGlow, I began to look up more and more electronic music, drifting slowly towards the more bass heavy side of things. When I first moved to Knoxville, TN and finally broke free from my abusive relationship, I started to rebuild myself into the person I’ve always wanted to be. I was in a place where nobody knew who I was and I had no family here to judge me for being different or not being “clean cut.” When I was out making new friends in this new place, I finally came across someone who enjoyed electronic music and they told me that I needed to go with them and their friends to an Excision show. So I bought my ticket and two days later, my inner headbanger was born. Ever since then, I’ve only grown in my love for bass, my love for headbanging, and my love for being around people who enjoy the same things as myself.
I had to do a lot of convincing to make it to my first EDC. I had been denied the opportunity two heartbreaking years in a row before I got the chance to make the trip in 2015. Sadly, I went with the person I was in an abusive relationship and she put a huge damper on the event. We missed probably three-quarters of what EDC had to offer because she was such a gigantic party pooper and the biggest buzzkill on the face of the planet. I broke up with her a few months later and in 2016, I bought my second EDC ticket after saving up enough money. I decided to go at it solo that year and in doing so, I was able to learn all the ins and outs and truly fall in love with the festival’s welcoming environment.
Dress appropriately for heat! Some costumes are super elaborate and fun looking but could also potentially cause heat stroke or become so bothersome that you have to take it off and carry it around. There are many other ways to look cute and stay cool for the Vegas heat, crowds of people, and pyrotechnics especially if you’re being active and dancing around.
And FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, bring extra toilet paper in a fanny pack or something, you’re gonna need it!
Which sets did you catch this year?
I was fortunate enough to be able to catch all of these sets:
Marshmello’s set was the only disappointing set I was at besides Post Malone, who I think shouldn’t have even been there in the first place in my opinion because I don’t believe rappers belong at an EDM festival. It wasn’t necessarily Marshmello’s set that was disappointing, but I think something was wrong with the sound system because we went to one of our usual listening spots and we couldn’t hear anything! It sounded as if the bass was just too overpowered and distorted but not in a good way.
What was some of the craziest props and costumes that you came across?
Some of the craziest costumes I saw were those fully dressed people wearing those giant animal heads, I thought I was going to have a heat stroke just looking at them! Also glitter boobs. I feel like sweating and bumping into people in crowds would just make it come right off so kudos to the ladies who were able to make them work.
What did you do to decompress at the event?
Drank plenty of water and listened to my body. If I needed to stop headbanging for a second, I would. If my feet were hurting too much, I took a break to lean on something, shift my weight, or take a seat. If I had to use the restroom, I would! It’s never a good idea to push through the pain at these things because you might forget about it and end up with some pretty bad consequences later.
What are some of the memories that will stay with you forever from these events?
Going solo my second year really helped me grow more independent. I made a whole bunch of friends using Tinder of all things and a couple other chance encounters. It was definitely a risky move but luckily I didn’t get myself into any shady situations. I’ve met so many great people and now I have amazing friends in Boston and Colorado who I have met up with in subsequent carnivals. The one from Colorado was just sitting in the bed of this truck in front of me in traffic and just asked if he could get in my car. I agreed and here we are today!
My third EDC, my then fiancée and I were supposed to get married on the second day inside the festival, but despite the hard work from Insomniac’s accounting team and a banking manager from Suntrust, payment just wasn’t getting where it needed to go. Instead, we had to freshen up after the second day to run over to the court house and sealed the deal. To this day we’re still going strong, partying hard, and keeping the adventure alive! Looking forward to going back next year!
Chris W. Lao
DJ, Writer, and Student.
High 'n' Rich
Luane de Lima
DJ Natalia Moon