EDC Tips (Updated 2019)
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I compiled a giant list of tips for EDC. Enjoy! This doesn’t include a shopping list.
Before the event begins
- Don’t put your wristband on until Friday before you leave for the event. Follow the instructions for putting it on. It’s nearly impossible to remove once on, or to un-tighten once tightened. Put it on your right wrist only! Don’t tamper with your wristband at all — you may be denied entry. See the tips on the EDC website.
- If you want to experience the event before going, watch either the documentary “Under the Electric Sky” or “The Electric Daisy Carnival Experience.”
- Create a rough plan for who you want to see. But know that you’ll be flexible
- Phone background: Put a note with your name, friend’s phone number, and the hotel you’re staying at, and then screenshot it and set it as your phone background so it’s easy to return to you if lost
- You’ll walk a ton. Expect 10-20 miles walked per day. Consider training once or twice the week before so that your body gets less of a shock!
- Ideally arrive a day early and leave a day late (Thurs to Tues). Benefits include being able to get a good night sleep on Thursday — you want to be well rested for Day 1, avoiding crazy long hotel check-in times on Friday, and being able to rest on Monday before heading home — you won’t want to be flying when you’re super tired on Monday. Up to 20% of people don’t even make it on Friday.
- “Even if you don’t shuffle, find a shuffle meetup. Crews and individuals post them on Instagram and facebook well before the event ( any event really). It will most likely be the most insane dance scenario you have ever seen, and these things get LIIIIT. 30-80 people forming a circle in the crowd to loud live music and some of the best dancers from across the US jump in to throw down.”
- Commit yourself to 4pm Friday to 4pm Monday.
- Plan to spend lots of money! Don’t be stingy at EDC, you’ll struggle.
- Be prepared for FOMO. You may not be able to see everyone you want.
- Prepare to be constantly tired.
- Consider going to meetups from EDC Facebook groups. Some people find those to be some of the best parts of the weekend.
- If you’re arriving on Friday, prep all of your outfits, bags, food so that you’re ready to go as soon as you arrive.
- “Ladies, test your outfits BEFORE coming to the festival. Make sure nothing is going to break or snap(my bottoms broke last year). Make sure your ‘girls’ aren’t gonna fall out. You might think you won’t care but trust me, you will.”
- “Plan our your must see shows so that you don’t miss them. Coordinate with the group ahead of time.”
Getting ready to head to the event
- Consider wearing sunscreen. If you’re there are 5am, the sun will be out! But, the UV will be super low until about 8am, so it’s up to you.
- Apply anti-friction products! You’ll strongly regret getting chafed. See tips here: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/managing-chafing.html
- Do either premium shuttles, or Uber/Lyft, or a regular taxi, or drive there and park VIP.
- The pro of the premium shuttles is that they can often get there faster because they go through a faster shuttle only route and you do a security pre-check rather than a security check at the venue. Shuttles may have more thorough security inspections.
- The pro of Uber/Lyft is that it’s more flexible. With the premium shuttles, there’s no standby — you have to stick to the departure times that you pre-select, which sucks.
- The pro of driving is that it’s flexible and cheap. Apparently the driving security check is very relaxed. If you drive, take a photo of where you parked!
Traveling to the Speedway
- Get there early! You paid for EDC, you might as well enjoy more of it. Plus then you avoid traffic.
- Bring water/Gatorade or fill up your hydration pack for when you’re standing in line. Start out hydrated, not dehydrated!
- Take supplements (Magnesium, etc) before you go in, because you cannot bring them inside.
- Know who your rave buddy will be! Pick a small group perhaps just 1 other person that you’ll stay with the whole night
- Pick where you’ll meet at the end of the night. Make it the same spot each night. You’ll likely split up unless your group is super small.
- First day: arrive early on the first day! Start heading out about 2.5 hrs before you want to be inside. Don’t complain! Just have a good time getting there.
- Be ready to leave by 6pm every day. If you leave at 8-10pm, expect to be frustrated.
- Remember that everything will take longer than you expect and longer than you want.
- Keep your spirts up while traveling! Entertain yourself and your group during the ride there.
- “Pick a side of a stage to be on. Our group would always meet to the right of each stages sound booth if we knew we were gonna see the same set and were separated. This worked every. single. time.”
- “If you haven’t done it already download the Insomniac App. It’s pretty helpful and functions on airplane mode.”
In / before getting into security lines
- Put all your belongings in a clear zip lock bag. It makes security checks easier and faster.
- “Security can and might grope your junk/make you take off your shoes/shake out your clothes/touch you EVERYWHERE.” Gross.
First day at the event
- Pick a meeting spot for your crew. Use that spot at the end of the night. Make sure the spot will not move, and that it’s not confusable with any other spots, and that it’s easy to see. Don’t change the spot between nights!
- Buy any merchandise you want on the first day because it may sell out. The photo booth is fun.
- Pace yourself especially on the first night! EDC is a marathon, not a sprint.
- On your first day spend a few hours getting to know the layout during the day when it is light. It’ll help you! Get a map too, when you walk in. Do at least a lap of the festival grounds when you arrive.
- Consider getting a locker. Some people love them.
- Consider going sober the first night. Some people say that their sober nights at EDC are the most fun.
- Arrive early on the first day! Start heading out about 2.5 hrs before you want to be inside. Don’t complain! Just have a good time getting there. And you want to be able to check out the grounds while it’s still light, and while they’re still super clean.
- When you walk through the tunnel, move to the side to be out of peoples’ way and then pause to talk it all in. The view is great!
At the event generally
- Start low and go slow with drugs.
- Feel unwell? Ask paramedics or staff for help. hey’re friendly! The people in purple shirts (EDC Ground Control) are especially friendly. Medical aid is free.
- See someone unwell? Try and help them.
- Explore: See artists you don’t know, see the art cars, sit in cosmic meadow.
- Be flexible with your plan of who to see. Don’t try and stick to it at all costs.
- Buy some cut fruit like an orange or watermelon. Ask them to cut it for you when you buy it.
- There are lots of undercover cops. Remember this when someone asks you if you have something or are on something or if you want something — they may well be an undercover cop. They’re in bathrooms, in the crowds, etc, it’ll be hard to tell. Don’t give drugs to strangers or take drugs from strangers.
- They sell Gatorade/Powerade and pedialyte packs in the raceway, buy some. Bring cash to buy it!
- “Don’t try to drag a group of 20 around with you. Don’t try to follow a schedule. Don’t have any expectations.”
- Put your phone on airplane mode to save precious battery.
- Theft: Put your phones and wallets in front pockets, zip up your pockets, stay vigilant.
- Have meetup spots whenever you have to separate — for splitting up to see different sets, and even for water filling and going to the bathroom. Before you separate pick a spot that’s highly specific. Don’t say something general like you’ll meet outside. You may get separated if you’re not vigilant about picking specific spots to meet up after even minor separations.
- “KNOW YOUR RIGHTS “Am I being detained?” “Am I free to go?” These are phrases you need to be familiar with. Do not freak out and do not let officers bully you into admitting anything. I’ve never encountered a bad cop at EDC. They are there to make sure we are safe. Please be respectful of them and they will be good to you. They are just in awe of everything too.”
- Plan on splitting up! It’ll be annoying to try and group everyone — it’s generally more hassle than it’s worth — it’ll be annoying to be restricted by your other group members eg when they need to go to the bathrooms, etc. Just pick a time and spot to meet up for next shows you want to see together — be super specific! And agree on how long you’ll wait for them before you go on without them. Small groups only.
- Hide your locker combo from others. Remain vigilant
- Water: Fill up as soon as you get inside.
- “Don’t make it a priority to meet up throughout the night. YOU. WILL. MISS. EVERYTHING. Seriously don’t.”
- Food: Go with the branded food drugs, avoid the generic concession stand food. And the smoothies are great.
- Visit the EDC parade down Rainbow Road at least once. Check the app for times.
- Alcohol: Consuming alcohol? Stay hydrated with water and electrolytes. Otherwise the dehydration will crush you. And be careful, drunk people are at much higher risk for doing something rude or regretful.
- Check your favorite artists social media accounts to see if they’re doing a surprise set somewhere
- Catch a sunrise set at least once. Night 2 is ideal because night 3 will be super busy to leave after sunrise with Monday morning Vegas traffic
- Getting in and out of the crowd: Join a train of people heading in or out! And use your manners, that really helps.
- Accept that you won’t see all the shows you want.
- Want to cool off? Go to the small area with grass.
- The fire: Don’t get too close! It’s super hot
- Give off the vibes that you want to receive.
- Be aware that everything is very far apart!
- Compliments: Compliment people if you feel it! It’ll bring positivity back to you.
- Rides: Some people say they suck, some people say it’s worth doing at least once. The lines can be long. The view from the ferris well at the top can be pretty cool.
- The Oasis: I’m not sure if this still exists. There may be a room with air conditioning, bean bags, and a general drug-friendly vibe. Check it out if it still exists.
- The port-a-potties towards the back can be cleaner and have shorter wait times.
- Cell service: It used to be terrible. It’s better but can still be bad. Time stamp your text messages to avoid confusion for the recipients. Plus it’s almost impossible to hear/feel your phone ringing. Plan on setting meetup spots and times, don’t rely on your phone.
- “Have a plan and let others know your plan but don’t try too hard to stick to it. Follow your ears they know what they like(:”
- While it’s rare, people have and do die: Stay safe, listen to your body, eat, drink water but not too much (less than 800ml/hour), and consume electrolytes
- Be careful with substances. Police can and do arrest people. There are cameras and cops in many many places, even in the crowds and bathrooms.
- Drugs: Go slow. Three nights is intense. Don’t compare yourself with others.
- Water: Drink less than 27 oz (800 ml) per hour to avoid water poisoning. 16 oz (480 ml) per hour is a good number to aim for.
- “Even if you don’t like hardstyle, visit Wasteland. Especially if rolling. ( maybe no so much if tripping). The speed and energy of hardstyle live is unlike another kind of music at EDC. No one is sad, everyone is pumped, and the bpm doesn’t allow you to do the slow swaying/ headbanging. The energy is through the roof. The melodies are like epic adventure soundtracks that blast you into space as they build up, without dropping you hard back on the ground like trap or slower bass music would do.”
- Friend didn’t meet up with you? THat’s alright. It’s easy to get lost or distracted.
- Seriously need water? You can ask for bottled water in the first aid tents.
- The non-main stages often play more unique more fun sets. Check them out. Plus the smaller stages often have especially friendly people.
- Try every stage! And explore new artists and genres.
- Take the time to look at everything. Skip some sets and just walk around.
- Talk to other people! You’ll regret not interacting with other people.
- No one cares how you’re dancing. Have fun and dance in a way that feels good to you.
- Want to see an artist? Go! If you have an inkling you want to see someone, you’ll regret not going once they’re done.
- Tired? Rest and take breaks when you feel they’d help!
- Take breaks even if you’re feeling alright!
- Hydration: Drink occasional Powerade/Gatorade/electrolyte water/pedialyte water. You need electrolytes to feel hydrated, not just water.
- Don’t accept drugs from strangers. It’s not worth the risk.
- Don’t do half sets — pick one DJ and stick with them. You’ll miss a bunch of both otherwise and it’ll be a sub-par experience.
- The best part of EDC is often not the shows, it’s the making new friends, traveling between sets and stages — it’s the journey not the destination.
- The fireworks at midnight are awesome. You can watch them at the bleachers. Watch them at least once.
- “Don’t let anyone blow a Vicks inhaler into your eye”
- “A smile, a peace sign, trading kandi can go a long way and make someone’s night including your own.”
- See artists you wouldn’t normally see.
- Minimize your expectations! Often people you have low expectations for will be the best.
Leaving at the end of the night
- Don’t leave right at the end or you’ll get stuck in massive traffic. Leave by 4 or 4.30am instead.
- Fill up your water at least a bit before you leave. You don’t want to be dehydrated during a three hour car/shuttle ride home.
- Don’t set a predetermined time to leave — stay flexible. But do try and avoid leaving at the very end of the night because it’ll be super packed!
- Attitude: Have a good attitude! It can take hours to get back. Have fun along the way! It’ll still take a long time even if you’re angry :)
Arriving home at the end of the night
- Supplements: Take any supplements when you get back to help you feel better the next day.
During the weekend outside the event
- Sleep is so helpful. Try a meditation if needed. Melatonin can also help.
- Driving in Vegas: traffic sucks. Use Amazon Prime Now or walk.
- “EDC. Pool parties. Rest. Pick two.”
- Avoid the pool parties on the weekends. You’ll regret it. Generally don’t do anything during the days other than sleep and eat.
- Try and have a big meal or two during the day each day.
- “Don’t expect to do anything during the day on saturday, sunday, or monday except lie in bed and eat. Force yourself to eat or you won’t get through the weekend.”
Tons of helpful pages, posts, commenters online. There are far too many to thank individually, you know who you are. Some specific tips have been included in quotes.
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Recommended documentary about MDMA therapy: Trip of Compassion.