What you need to know about the largest electronic dance music festival in North America! EDC Tips and Survival Guide
EDC, or Electric Daisy Carnival, is known as the happiest place on Earth, a playground for adults, and some even consider it to be their home! As an EDM veteran, I have been to EDC over five times and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I can honestly say that besides getting married, attending EDC has probably been the best experience of my life (so far)! If you are a newcomer to this magical place or a faithful returner, I’ve got an extensive EDC tips and survival guide list below that will help you feel prepared and ready to survive this amazing weekend!
- Figure out your hotel, tickets, and transportation situation
- Plan and decide if you want to attend any events for EDC week (ticket prices increase as you wait)
- Work out to build up your stamina and immune system (I walked over 50 miles last EDC)!
- Start taking supplements (I have specifics listed later)
- Get plenty of sleep
- Begin crafting on fun items like totems, outfits (check out my post about what to wear here), and kandi
- If you are looking for tickets or other information, check groups like Facebook and Redditt
What to Pack (Besides the obvious)
- ID (they will check)!
- Wrist Bands (be sure to register before you get to the venue)
- Kandi (something fun to trade and to help you remember the moments)
- Read the list of items that are allowed and prohibited here
- Comfy clothes (for lounging, sleeping, even for the festival if you so desire)
- Comfy shoes (Highly recommend as EDC is so physically demanding)
- Bandanna or a light scarf to cover your nose if it gets dusty
- Cooling towel
- Pedialyte (saves me every time)
- Emergen-C (has a variety of vitamins and minerals to help sustain you)
- Wipes and tissues as the port-o-potties don’t always have them!
- Portable hand sanitizer
- Sunglasses and hats for the shuttle lines when the sun is out
- Camel pack and or Insomniac water canteens (use for the free water stations)
- Bags under 12” x 12”
- Portable chargers (EDC has some outlets, but this is so much easier as you can walk around while your phone or device charges)!
- Ear plugs (my ears are still functioning more than well thanks to these)
- Fans (perfect for when you’re in the crowd and getting warm)
- Sealed chapstick (check the list of prohibited items above as nothing unsealed makes it in really)
- Water, snacks, tea, alcohol
- Supplements (Calcium magnesium helps for joints and melatonin for sleeping), Ibuprofen
- Cash (some vendors don’t take cards)
- Charger for your room
- If you are driving, be sure to leave the day or night before EDC starts as traffic is pretty bad the morning of
- You will see a lot of people decorating their cars while on the road. This is a fun idea and helps get you excited for the festivities, but in all honesty, it draws a lot of attention to you and who wants to be pulled over for some sort of suspicion by the police?
- EDC week is getting even more elaborate these days, and there are always amazing pool parties and other events at clubs leading up to the event. I have tried this in the past, but I highly recommend saving your energy for the big extravaganza! I like to check out highly rated restaurants instead (Vegas has amazing food)!
- When checking in, I always ask for a fridge to be brought up to my room so I can put random food and drinks in there. If you say it’s for medical purposes, they will bring one up!
- If you drove and have time, I recommend driving to Whole Foods as it’s a short 10 minute drive from the strip. I always stock up on random snacks like cheese, yogurt, deli meat, or fruit! It will save you lots of money and it’s so convenient to eat before you leave and when you get back to your room. Also more nutritious than eating crackers all weekend!
- Kandi – This is something I like to do if I get in early, gets me in the spirit!
- Download the Insomniac app and figure out sets/meeting times
- Register your wrist band if you haven’t already
- Rest – it does wonders for your body and helps you feel more alert during the super late hours
- Eat—there is plenty of tasty food to try out at EDC, but I recommend eating a snack beforehand
- Take Emergen-C –this gives me a kickstart of energy and also boosts your immune system
- Green tea –I like drinking this versus coffee because it slowly releases caffeine in your body and helps detoxify at the same time!
- Hydrate—it is very dry in the desert and plenty of water helps stave off headaches
- Go easy on pre-partying—I’ve learned this the hard way! You can’t bring alcohol on the buses, so it’s going to be hours before you get into EDC. You can have a few drinks, but avoid too many as you will certainly crash before walking in!
Shuttles/Traveling to and From the Venue
- Get to the shuttles early! The average wait time over the years is around 45 minutes, but last year was a nightmare for so many people. I was lucky, but some waited 3 hours to get on the shuttle!! They usually start boarding at 4. Getting into the venue early is also a great idea because you have less people around! This gives you more time to look around, take photos, and go on rides before it gets packed!
- The ride to the Speedway is about 45 minutes, so plan on closer to an hour with traffic (especially on Friday)
- I’ve never taken an Uber or Lyft to the venue, but would advise against it as the rates can be crazy high and the shuttles actually go down a private road so the traffic is usually better!
- Bring water or snacks if you want—like I mentioned, the shuttle lines can be long, so I like to be prepared and have a water or small snack on me while waiting.
- Fans, hats, and glasses are great to shield you from the sun (some lines are outside depending on the pickup location)
- If you want to get more sleep or don’t want to leave super late, I would recommend leaving before 3:30 as the lines at 5 start getting crazy packed and you won’t get back to your room until like 9 AM!
- More details on the shuttles can be found here
- There are two lines—one for ID check and the other is for the pat down. Do not put anything you don’t want thrown away in your pockets, backpack, bra, or hats because they will check it. Shoes usually don’t get checked (hint hint)!
- Rides—don’t forget to check out a few! Come early to avoid lines.
- Artists—EDC gets such a great lineup and now is the time to experience new talent if you are having conflicts at all
- Water stations—Look at the app and map to find one. There are so many and it’s free if you bring a Camel Pack, Insomniac canteen, or purchase a water in the venue. This is so critical!
- Lockers—you can reserve these ahead of time, but I think this is a great investment! You can put random merch that you buy or other items here and leave them all night over the weekend.
- Food—EDC has a great variety of treats and drinks including vegan food, healthy plates, sweets, coffee, alcoholic beverages, fresh fruit, etc.
- Drinks—super expensive and they measure the shots. We usually sneak plastic flasks in ?
- Bathrooms—Unless you get VIP, there are only port-o-potties here. Like I recommended above, bring wet wipes because the soap runs out often (they have portable ones that are sealed)!
- Meeting up—the reception is pretty bad here, so do your best to coordinate meeting spots beforehand. I like to use specifics such as “the left pole of x stage.” Time stamp your texts, use totems, or unique landmarks on the maps to find others. If you get lost, go with the flow and have fun! Everyone is there to have a good time and is super friendly!
- Trade kandi and make friends! It’s part of the experience.
- Art cars—these travel across the venue and are awesome to ride on.
- EDC village is a nice spot to take a break at as there is decent reception here and it has cute little things to look at and do like write a post card to someone or watch a performer.
- Take breaks—it’s a long weekend, you need to pace yourself! There are plenty of areas to lounge in like Cosmic Meadow.
- See a sunrise set at least once, it’s magical!
- Enjoy the moment! Save your battery and data and really try to live through everything! I’m guilty of snapping, but no need to record sets. You can find them on YouTube and Sound Cloud.
- I can’t stress enough how important it is to sleep. I usually only get 4-5 hours a night, but try and take melatonin/Valerian root as natural sleep aids.
- As soon as I get back I chug water, Pedialyte, and take a calcium magnesium supplement to replenish my electrolytes. I also eat a small snack so I don’t wake up hungry in the middle of the night (I mean day)!
- Be sure to eat the next day (this sounds obvious but your body gets so thrown off on the new sleep schedule). Those snacks come in handy!
- Ibuprofen for aches and pains
- Stay an extra day for recovery and to sightsee Las Vegas
- Eat, sleep, rave, repeat!
Did I get it all? Let me know if I missed any tips or something you recommend! I know I didn’t touch on the camping, but I am very interested to see how it pans out this year as that will hopefully alleviate a lot of the traffic and crowd issues. Hope you enjoyed my EDC tips and survival guide. Being under the electric sky is such an incredible experience and above all else, have fun!