Four Days In Vegas: A "First Time At EDC" Travel Journal
photos by Marco Torres
"EDM has the power to make people profoundly happy. And if those good vibes are trickling down to the kids, well, that's alright."
Life is all about creating opportunities that will allow you to follow and achieve your dreams, however difficult, weird, or seemingly impossible those dreams may seem. In the past few months, years really, my own life has been both enchanted and treacherous, with love gained and lost, dealing with death and accepting new life into my family, and finally finding a calling that has me going "all in," ready to hit my jackpot.
Damn. Here I thought this article was only going to be about some music festival in the Nevada desert.
So when the opportunity to cover the 2013 Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas presented itself, I gladly took it. The three
day night celebration of EDM is one of the biggest and most adored music festivals in the world, with over one hundred thousand people visiting the Las Vegas Motor Speedway each night to live the PLUR (Peace.Love.Unity.Respect) life to the beat of a DJ's electronic pulse.
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The following is a timeline of my first EDC experience.
Thursday, June 20th
00:00 I arrive at McCarran Las Vegas International Airport at midnight. It was the cheapest direct flight I could find on short notice. Chuy, my friend, fellow photographer, and partner-in-crime wasn't scheduled to land until noon, which meant I had a full 12 hours to kill in Vegas. This should be interesting.
01:00 Note to self: if you are ever standing in the long line for a shuttle, and someone with more money than you hires a limo and offers a free ride to any hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, take it without hesitation. Fuck it, its Vegas baby!
07:00 I've spent my last few hours walking between The Bellagio, The Cosmopolitan, and The Aria hotels, gambling, drinking, and taking Vine video of an eerily empty Las Vegas Boulevard. I've been awake for 24-hours now, and my body desperately wants to shut down, but I'm also starving. Time to hit the breakfast buffet at The Bellagio. All-You-Can-Drink mimosas, here I come!
11:00 The restrooms at The Aria are a nice and quiet place to sleep.
13:00 Meet up with Chuy at the hotel. Leave our bags and head to the Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub for a pool party with Dutch producer and DJ Sander Von Doorn. The DJ's PR rep was able to add my name (+1) to the guest list. Within a few minutes, we were in. Let the drinking and debauchery begin.
22:00 After some much needed rest, we are back at the Marquee for the Nightclub version. Swedish DJ, remixer, and producer Avicii is headlining tonight, which means the line to get in is a mile long, and tickets are expensive. However, one of Chuy's connections in Vegas is a big-time club promoter who walks us right in through the VIP line. We somehow manage to sweet talk out way onto a private balcony overlooking the main dance floor. Today is Chuy's birthday, and we are celebrating. Salud, cabrón!
Friday, June 21st
11:00 "Hey Marco! Want to shoot a Vibe party today?"
14:00 So now I'm shooting a media lunch for Vibe/SPIN magazine at Pink Taco at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Networking is another great incentive to attend music festivals. Free food and drinks is as well.
19:00 Ready for EDC Vegas 2013 - Day One:
photo by Chuy Benitez
23:59 This is a music festival, but music seems to come in second place here. The people are the main attraction. Everyone is in a good mood, (un)dressed to impress and ready to make friends. Of course, the DJs rule the night, but only because they are on an elevated platform. They don't make the party, but they do make it better.
We caught sets by Fake Blood, Crookers, Gareth Emery, Madeon, Boys Noize, and Afrojack tonight.
This was us admiring the ladies:
photos by Marco Torres
photo by Chuy Benitez
Saturday, June 22nd
07:00 Walking back to the hotel.
17:00 Another day, another pool party. This time its Skrillex @ Daylight Beach Club. Awesome show at sunset is awesome.
23:59 Today had the best line-up of the weekend in my opinion. We catch sets from Tiesto, Baauer, A-Trak, Dog Blood, Major Lazer, and Empire Of The Sun. I leave a bit early (4 a.m.), but Chuy stays to see Fatboy Slim, Zeds Dead, David Guetta, and a spectacular desert sunrise.
Sunday, June 23rd
05:00 Desert Sunrise:
13:00 Another day, another buffet. We also hit the liquor store for bottles of champagne and cigars. Sunday Funday in Vegas.
23:59 Today was the most chill day at the festival. We didn't even look at the schedule, just roamed freely, drinking and dancing along the way. We did see Jack Beats, Kill The Noise, Knife Party, D-Block & S-te-Fan, Steve Angello, and Calvin Harris.
Easily one of the best experiences of my life. I liked EDC more than I liked Coachella, which was itself amazing. I'm thankful for the female festival attendee who showed me the kandi PLUR handshake, and everyone who hugged me after I took their photo, and for the dudes from Mexico who let me rage with them as I carried their Mexican flag over my head.
Chuy had the best 30th birthday anyone has ever had, ever. We ate, we drank, we danced, we made friends. We are already planning our trip for next year.
You should, too.
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