My Review of EDC 2018
I can’t believe it’s been over a week since EDC ended! I finally feel rested and back on a normal schedule (whether I like it or not)! This year’s EDC was certainly special to me because it was unlike any of the others I have attended.
To start off, EDC is my absolute favorite festival to date! It is so difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t been as it’s honestly just magical and like nothing else on Earth! I originally was not planning on attending because my husband and I have been saving all our time off (and some money) for Tomorrowland this Summer. After seeing all the pre EDC hype on social media, I was getting severe FOMO and was trying to come to terms with the fact that it was out of the cards this year (especially since GA sold out)! On a whim, I entered a few contests and was completely shocked to find out that I had scored two GA tickets about a week before the festival began!
Both my husband and I are type A by nature, and I am a big planner (find out how I typically pack and prep for EDC here). You can imagine how finding out about my attendance last minute might drive someone like me into chaos! Where would we stay? What artists do we need to see? How will we get there? And last but not least, what would I wear?! I answer all of those questions below and also share my 7th experience under the electric sky and how it compares to previous trips.
As soon as I had confirmation that I was the winner of the two GA tickets, I immediately asked my boss for Friday and Monday off from work (I was so nervous because I am taking almost 3 weeks off for Tomorrowland)! Luckily, all was good, so the next step was to book our hotel. The best deal we found was for the Hilton by Circus Circus at about $300 a night. We actually stayed at this hotel last year and really liked it because there was no casino, the hotel was not massive, the rooms come with a small kitchen, and we are a 3-minute walk to the shuttles. Speaking of shuttles, we quickly booked two passes (we never drive to EDC itself). Regarding transportation, we always drive to Vegas. Rather than take more time off work, we decided to drive up first thing on Friday morning at around 8.
The Road to EDC
With one giant suitcase full of my ensembles for the festival, one personal suitcase for my normal attire, and another bag full of snacks and water, we hit the road at around 9 AM. Fortunately, there was absolutely no traffic and we ended up in Vegas at around 1 PM. Surprisingly, we were able to check in and go up to our room immediately. Per our normal tradition, we then headed out to Whole Foods to stock up on some food for the weekend. After picking our easy to eat items including green juice, deli meat, fruit, yogurt, salads, and sushi, we went up to the register to pay. To our dismay, my husband couldn’t find his wallet and we went into full on panic mode after we couldn’t find it in our car, in the store, or at lost in found. I left my wallet in our room, so we had to abandon our items and head back to the room. Fortunately, I had a backup ID for him and the replacement fee for our shuttle passes was only $20. He later found his wallet wedged on the side of his car on Tuesday morning, HAHA! Ok, so I think I’ve set the scene for you enough. Let’s get to the good part!
I couldn’t believe the day had finally arrived and that I was actually going to be at the speedway in just a few hours! After our little mishap at Whole Foods, we decided to focus on the positive! We put on some music, chugged some tea and Emergen-C, and got ready.
Since EDC was so last minute for me, I was fortunate enough to have a local boutique outfit me. Looking back at the photos, I have a very Glinda from the Wizard of OZ vibe going on, but we just threw some fun colors together in all honesty! The furry bra, hot pink harness and choker, and Demonia UV shoes are all courtesy of Wicked Chamber! You can read more about this enchanting spot here. My amazing headpiece is from Magic Magpie. Fun diffraction glasses are from GloFX.
At around 6, we finished getting ready and began our walk to the shuttles. Thankfully there was hardly any wait and security did the pat down once our pass was scanned. In all my years of attending Insomniac events, I will say that this was by far the easiest pat down I have ever experienced. We basically went through a metal detector and I opened my bag where they did a quick glance at what was inside. In line, we met a few people and you could tell everyone was super excited for the night! Our shuttle ride was about the usual 45 minute drive time. In the distance, we could see the string of lights approaching and I got the butterflies like always.
Walking in is always such a surreal experience as everyone enters judgement free and ready to live in the magical moment! I always like to try to get to EDC on the earlier side as you have more time to explore before the major crowds roll in.
Overall, EDC had a similar layout to previous years, it’s just the themes and décor that changes a bit. This year and last year, I spent barely any time at Kinectic field mainly because my husband and I have become major Trance and Techno fans, so we live in Neon Garden, Circuit Grounds, and Quantum Valley! I also want to mention that the weather was absolutely amazing this year! Highs were in the upper 80s and lows in the 70s. It was perfect! Last year got to nearly 120 and I thought I was going to die.
Kinetic Field – This is the biggest stage at EDC. I liked the love theme that they had going this year, but my favorite will always be the Cathedral in 2014. I walked in and out of this stage, but didn’t care for most of the artists that played here. Sad that there was a balloon performer on night 3, but oh well!
Basspod – I noticed that this stage was upgraded to some robot looking installations. Pretty interesting, but I’m not one for breaking my neck, so did a quick walk through on this one!
Wasteland – This stage is always a lot of fun, and I like how they added sea containers and graffiti everywhere. This is mainly a hardstyle stage and I saw HeadHunterz and Wasted Penguins here (both amazing)! This crowd is pretty plur and really gets into it!
Circuit Grounds –This might be my favorite stage as it’s roomy, has an outstanding sound system, and gorgeous LED screens everywhere! It has a dome-like shape, is the second largest stage, and features a ton of different artists. Two of my favorite sets were hosted here (Eric Prydz and Rezz – both were incredible as usual)! I felt like the crowd was pretty good at this spot, nothing out of the ordinary. Everyone was dancing and having a good time!
Quantum Valley – Dreamstate is my absolute favorite brand of Insomniac, and I was eager to see how this stage would look as last year was kind of a disappointment. This year was a big improvement as an open stage concept was incorporated, the sound system was amplified, and giant screens framed the DJ. The crowd here never fails to make me smile. Always plur vibes and plenty of kandi trading going on at this place! Mostly saw the Anjuna crew here as well as Dash Berlin’s classic set (my favorite set of the weekend).
Neon Garden – There is something so unique and special about Neon Garden. Ask anyone! Every time I come in here, it’s like a black hole and I seem to lose track of time and space. This stage looked really different! The pyramid concept was removed, and there was definitely more of a Factory 93 branding going on in here. Dancers were added in the center as well as the cube installation from the Carl Cox event. The roof was open and the stage seemed larger. I overall liked the look, but kind of miss the intimate vibe of the old Neon Garden. No matter, as the crowd is super chill and you are sure to be put in a trance!
Cosmic Meadow – This stage is at the very back and is perfect for relaxing on the bleachers or in the grass if you need a break! This is technically sponsored by HARD events and we caught most of Shiba San’s set on day 3. Love the panoramic view of EDC that this stage provides. I also think this is where the campers enter?
Random Things to Note
The fireworks are always next level at EDC. At around 1 AM, there is big production every night and it rivals what you would see at Disneyland and anything on the 4th of July!
Something else I want to call out are the lockers. I highly recommend getting these for the weekend as I was able to put away random, unwanted items! You get access to it all weekend.
We did our best to eat at least one meal at EDC to keep our energy levels up. I recommend going with the food trucks as there are more unique options and the portions are typically larger. Insomniac has a ton of other items to choose from such as chicken fingers (I think I got sick from these on night 2), smoothies, burgers, desserts, and drinks. Drink prices are super steep at around $12 for a regular beer and $15 for a cocktail. Our server messed up on night two and actually charged us $15 for two drinks!
I am so sad that I didn’t make it on any of the rides this year! Every time we checked, the lines were super long, but your best shot is always before 8!
As much as I wanted to stay until closing to catch Green Velvet, Charlotte De Witte, and many others, we ended up leaving at around 3:30 every morning so we wouldn’t have to wait more than 20 minutes for the shuttles. Anytime you leave after 4 AM, the line grows exponentially and you’re looking at arriving to your hotel at around 7 AM.
Fortunately, we were able to sleep from 8-4 so we woke up feeling somewhat decent (after chugging Pedialyte and eating some snacks) and ready for day 2! My second outfit was sponsored by The Glow Strobe. She makes amazing custom harnesses and I was so honored to debut her new holographic cage collection! My accessories included adorable hair pieces from Kritter Klips, an LED unicorn crown by SoCalbySteph (yes I’m extra and wore two hair items), and a ton of fun light up gear like a wand, boa, and wings from Flashing Blinky Lights. Fun faux fur rainbow hood from The Lumi Shop kept me warm into the early hours and I held all my belongings in an adorable butterfly backpack from Raver Booty Shop.
Day 2 was pretty eventful as this was the night that I was hosting my Festival Fashionistas meetup! I recently started a group on Facebook where anyone who is passionate about festival fashion can join and talk about trends, advice, or anything festival related! Click here to join in on the fun! I had a few people who came to the meetup, despite the difficulty of cell service and timing. That’s one of the beautiful things about EDC – meeting new people and making those memorable connections!
I hosted my meetup by the art installations near Cosmic Meadow. Insomniac always changes them up, but they continue to mesmerize me year after year!
Side note, if you are ever interested in getting some professional photos from the Insomniac crew, I like to get to EDC on the earlier side around 8:30 and hangout by the installations. You’ll find many photographers here, and I even was pulled aside to be in the EDC trailer for next year! A big thanks to Girls Gone Rave for snapping some amazing photos!
I’ve noticed that the kandi culture has been dwindling over the years, but it’s still very much alive in places like Quantum Valley, Neon Garden, and on the grass near Cosmic Meadow. I didn’t get a chance to create as much kandi as I normally would like to, but I got some cool pieces from the weekend that I will cherish forever.
Something else that I love doing, is to walk around and look at all the amazing performers! We even saw an electrical light parade!
Can’t forget the art cars! You can ride on some of these and dance to the music all night long!
It’s so unique that you can get married at EDC!
Fast forwarding to day 3, because I highlighted most of my favorite artists and stages in the day 1 recap. For my ensemble on the last day of EDC, I was fortunate enough to have Raver Nation Shop send me this gorgeous set! I never have worn maxis, but they were really fun and nice to sit down in when I needed a break. Use code “TheFestivalFashionista” to save!
For some reason, the final day of EDC always seems the most crowded. I know there are about 160,000 a night, but this day seemed the most populated by far! Despite the crowds, we were able to meet up with new and old friends!
The last day is always so bittersweet. You are pretty exhausted and sleep deprived, but EDC truly makes you forget about the “real world” and really gives your mind a vacation from reality. It’s so tough to explain, so I honestly do believe everyone should experience it for themselves at least once!
As mentioned earlier, we only took a few days off to go to EDC this year, so we were crazy and took the shuttle back at 3 AM, got to our hotel, showered and changed and headed back to Orange County to avoid traffic. It was tough, but we made it back in 4 hours and had the whole day to relax!
Wow, props to you if you are still reading! We did a lot of wandering and exploring this year, catching less artists than normal. I was totally ok with this, as I noticed some upgrades to the stages this time. Here’s a quick recap:
- Quick pat down
- Shuttles were fast to the speedway
- Upgraded stages
- Overall friendly and positive vibes
- Cooler weather
- Bathrooms had sanitizer and toilet paper at all times
- A little bit crowded this year
- Not enough shuttles after 3:30 AM, prepare for a wait
- Food seemed even pricier this year
- A lot of rap artists booked (not a con for some, but I like the EDM specific artists personally)
- Cell reception was poor
- A lot of major headliners were scheduled super late at around 3:30 and on
This has got to be the longest piece I’ve ever written. I seriously love EDC so much and it really has taught me to treasure this community and to focus on enjoying the moment. I can’t believe 2019 dates have already been released! Maybe I’ll try camping next year?! What did you think of EDC this year? Let me know your thoughts and if there’s anything I missed!