This past weekend, the Las Vegas Strip (aptly renamed Electric Daisy Lane for the weekend) was transformed into a raver's paradise.
Over 400,000 people from across the US and around the world attended EDC's 21st festival. From surprise guests to breathtaking stage designs and an absolute plethora of new music, there were many things that stunned and delighted ravers this past weekend.
It's almost impossible to condense EDC into a top ten list, but I've made (a highly biased) attempt. While there were many highlights and incredible sets of the weekend, I've boiled them down to my top ten favorite moments of EDC 2017.
1. Ravers Looking Out For Each Other
It was a hot weekend in Vegas, with temperatures hitting 117 during the day and staying in the high 90's throughout the night. Combine the heat with dancing all night and the body heat of over 200,000 other people on any given night, the climate got a bit dangerous. But PLUR was alive and well during EDC as ravers shared water, fanned each other during sets and while walking by, and spritzed each other with spray bottles filled with cold water.
I remember during Alesso's set, I saw someone stop by a girl and start giving her water, fanning her and dabbing her neck with a cold handkerchief because he saw that she was overheating. He stayed with her and her friends for over ten minutes, just making sure she was okay. They all traded kandi after, and the girl was alright, thanks to the ministrations of this kind stranger. Ravers kept the PLUR alive and kept each other safe.
2. Alison Wonderland B2B Diplo B2B Jauz Set
One of the most highly anticipated sets of EDC lit up kineticFIELD on Sunday night when Alison Wonderland, Diplo and Jauz took the stage in a huge b2b2b set. While EDC featured many b2b performances over the weekend, the threeway set was arguably one of the best. The trio kept things hot with a combination of their individual tracks and rave throwback favorites like Darude's Sandstorm, Cascada's "Everytime We Touch" and even DJ Casper's "Cha Cha Slide." The three artists filled kineticFIELD to bursting point, and the only thing that disappointed fans was when the set was over.
3. Bass Music Takes the Main Stage With Slander
While there are many stages at EDC, kineticFIELD is the main stage. Decked out with the newest technology, best lasers and hottest pyrotechnics, kineticFIELD is definitely one of the dream stages for DJs around the world. KineticFIELD residents include artists like Martin Garrix, Armin van Buuren and Marshmello, but bass music saw its time on the stage when Slander took over kineticFIELD on Sunday night. It was the first time that an entirely bass-boosted set shook the enormous Gaia statue and headbangers and bass zombies alike descended upon kineticFIELD. Bass heavy artists were usually kept at bassPOD, but Slander had a chance to bring bass music to the main stage. And it was lit. Slander also brought a number of surprise guests to the stage, including Kayzo, Say My Name and NGHTMRE. So much new music. So much headbanging.
4. Miguel's Surprise Appearance During RL Grime's Set
RL Grime had one of the biggest surprise guests of the weekend when he brought out Miguel during his Friday set to perform their hit single "Stay For It" live. "Stay For It" is the trap king's newest single and Miguel's vocals combined with Grime's perfect ear for beats was the perfect closing for Grime's set. The surprise guest appearance transformed circuitGROUNDS and gave fans a memory that they would never forget. I remember seeing two guys running at top speed towards circuitGROUNDS when they heard about Miguel's surprise appearance. I hope they made it!
5. The Totems. All the Totems.
Ravers are some of the most artistic and creative people that I've ever met and the totems were on point this weekend. Totems took every shape, size, and color. From Rick and Morty, to advertising free hugs and promoting PLUR, totems were omnipresent at every field, during every set of the night. The best way to find your rave family (or to tell people where you are) totems are always a fun way for ravers to show their creativity. Totems did everything this year, from providing political statements to handing out rave bae applications. Bonus points to the people who matched their outfits to their totems (you know who you are).
6. Fireworks During Porter Robinson's Set
I am an unabashed and unapologetic Porter Robinson fan and his set at cosmicMEADOW was enthralling and featured a perfect blend of Porter's dubstep roots and his newer Worlds-esque emotive tracks. But as good as Porter's set was, the truly magical moment was when he was closing and the official fireworks started shooting off while he was playing "Shelter" and continued through "Goodbye To A World" and of course, the finale was during his fan-favorite track "Language." There was something so enchanting about hearing thousands of people singing along to every line of "Shelter" while fireworks shot off in the background. I remember standing there, literally holding my hands over my mouth and feeling chills down my back. It was one of those moments that I know I'll never forget.
7. All Are Welcome Here
With the political and social turmoil that has been rocking the US (especially since the inauguration), EDC was a chance to clap back at all the hate and intolerance. Ravers and Insomniac teamed up to bring PLUR front and center, with the weekend theme of "All Are Welcome Here." The phrase while seemingly simple and sweet at first had much deeper layers of meaning. It represented the love and unity in the EDM community and how music transcends race, sex, religion and other binaries. The giant sign hung over the entrance to EDC and reminded ravers that we were all there to celebrate our love of music and to unite in our shared passion for EDM. Truly all were welcome at EDC and it was a place where love reigned supreme.
8. Kaskade's Secret Set on Kalliope Art Car
Many fans (myself included) were initially disheartened when EDC dropped the official lineup and Kaskade was conspicuously absent. Kaskade has been a staple of EDC for years and his absence was both confusing and distressing. But as EDC drew closer, rumors began to swirl that Kaskade would actually be at EDC. Fast-forward to Sunday night at the Kalliope Art Car and fans were converging as early as 3:00 AM hoping for Kaskade to make a cameo. At 4:00 AM fans were rewarded for their diligence when Kaskade played a surprise sunrise set at the art car. Kaskade played fan-favorite tracks including "Angel on my Shoulder" and "Sweet Memories" as the sun rose on the final day of EDC.
9. EDC Week Charity
EDC is about so much more than raving and artists teamed up with Insomniac for some good old-fashioned charity. The EDC Week Charity Auction offered fans the chance to bid on once-in-a-lifetime experiences, from meet-and-greets with their favorite artists, a chance to drop the first track of the weekend and to pop the question on stage. Artists who participated in EDC Week Charity included Hardwell, Above and Beyond, Armin van Buuren, Jauz, Party Favor, Tiesto and many more. The EDC Week Charity Auction raised over $162,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada. Kudos to Insomniac, the artists and the fans themselves for making a difference in the community!
10. Flosstradamus Brings Out Lil Jon
There were many surprise guests this weekend and one of my personal favorites was when Flosstradamus brought out Lil Jon, the vocals on the festival anthem of "Prison Riot." The hard-hitting trap track had dominated EDC the previous year, being played by artists from every end of the genre spectrum and giving fans sore necks from the constant headbanging. So when Flosstradamus brought out Lil Jon to perform "Prison Riot" live, fans lost their damn minds (yes, me included). "Prison Riot" is one of those quintessential tracks that will get a crowd going no matter what. So on Sunday night, after two nights of raving from dusk till dawn in 100+ temperatures, "Prison Riot" did it again. Everyone was up, screaming the lyrics, fist pumping, head banging and jumping to the track that never fails.
EDC was honestly one of the most magical weekends of my life, I know I'll never forget what it was like to rave for 12 hours with hundreds of thousands of people. Inspired to rave? Check out our sick festival season collection and our bestselling rave gear.