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December 19, 2014

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Diary of a sick woman just trying to go to a party

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Erik Kabik/Retna/ErikKabik.com

The Electric Daisy Carnival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on June 25, 2011.

FRIDAY

I was in bed sick all week. Still, I was determined to go to my first EDC. I had media credentials for the weekend, and had previously seen the cushy Media Center, so I figured it wouldn’t be too strenuous and that I could get away with it, finally seeing what I’d been missing all these years. I only had two easy steps to complete …

Step 1: Get Ticket. I dragged myself out of bed and head to Cosmopolitan, where media, artists and other VIPs were being checked in. “We ran out of media passes,” a man behind an iPad said. “I’m trying to find out when we’re getting more. When I know, you’ll know.” I drank delicious, free juice and snacked on free pretzels, nuts and granola for awhile before giving up and returning a few hours later.

Step 2: Ride Shuttle. I purchased a shuttle pass online ($30 for Friday) from AWG, believing their claims that it was the fastest, safest way to go. Since I was sick, I just didn’t want to deal with driving, and thought it would be best to sit in a crowded vessel and spread my germs (kidding). Of course, the shuttles didn’t take off from the Cosmo, because that would have been too easy.

An hour went by at Golden Nugget before, “We have run out of wristbands. As soon as we get more wristbands, we can start checking people in again.”

Another 45 minutes later, we were given wristbands, and I was officially missing the one band I really cared to see. I looked at the line I’d then have to wait in to actually get on the bus, then thought about the line to get into the event and go through security, reading through horror stories online, and decided the best thing was to put myself to bed.

It was about that time that an Insomniac email came through announcing the addition of free shuttles for people like media, artists and production, departing from places like… Cosmopolitan. By the time this was announced, I wouldn’t even have time to get to my car and get to their shuttle before they stopped picking up at midnight, so I went home to my high-rise, pulled out my binoculars, and watched EDC’s little crazy lights go off in the distance.

SATURDAY

7:45 p.m.: This time, I was not playing games. I rode with an artist friend in their car, departing from the Strip, and traffic was not bad at all. Of course, the sun was still up ...

8:30 p.m.: Here begins the night of “I-don’t-knows.”

Electric Daisy Carnival Night & Day 2

Khristian Olstad lies takes a break on the grass as the sun rises during the Electric Daisy Carnival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sunday, June 26, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Where is Lot 2? (Traffic cop, plus 3 parking attendants: “I don’t know.”)

Where are the artist/media shuttles to go back to the strip? (Media Center employees, security, EDC shuttle staff, parking lot attendant: “I don’t know.”)

One man seemed to know everything I needed, and provided the most fun of the night, twice speeding me through the event grounds and weaving through people in a golf cart. Why didn’t I do this last night? Why on Earth would I bother with General Admission? No line. No security. I didn’t need to buy that brand new, sealed lip gloss, after all. I am spoiled rotten.

9 p.m.: Friend R and I traversed the grounds before the real crowd arrived, catching Pleasurekraft’s tech-house goodness under a lighted dome of cooling misters. Unfortunately, the Circuit Grounds were on dirt, and it wasn’t long before the dust being kicked up by dancers was bothering my sinuses.

10 p.m.: It was time for Martin Solveig in Kinetic Field, which felt like all mega Vegas clubs came together to produce (just look at that lineup), flanked with super VIP Marquee and XS stands. His set of hits could have been heard anywhere around Vegas, but his well-wishes as he grabbed the microphone a few times were warming: “This is such an amazing gift you’ve given me! Thanks so much, you guys!”

I hopped on the small Ferris wheel during his set, the line for which ran behind bass bins so disturbing that the girl next to me said they made her throw up the night before. I was definitely doing some gagging, but I held on. Kinetic Field was busy, yet comfortable when we got in line for the ride; When we exited about 40 minutes later, it was slam-packed from front to back as Afrojack pumped his first few tracks. We made a quick stop at the Cosmic Meadow, where the temperature must have dropped 10 degrees on the grass.

11:30 p.m.: The crowds had officially arrived, and I was making a run for it back to the Media Center and its adjacent, outdoor VIP areas that were virtually empty, yet offered great views of and great sounds from many of the stages. It was also snack time, and I stole a delicious brownie from the artists’ catering of chicken, green beans, garlic potatoes, rolls and salad.

12:30 - 2 a.m.: I told my friend to go have fun while I quarantined myself. From my “perch,” I watched glowing people fall from the sky, a giant purple squid walking around hugging people, a gold fish driving around the race track, a pirate ship cruising through the crowd, people continuing to stream in through the stands, the moon rise, and nearly all of Empire of the Sun’s show. Their visuals were quite minimal compared to the insanity happening at the other stages, and felt more like a normal concert. The crowd, of course, sang along to “Walking on a Dream” and was soon dancing in glitter confetti blowing in the cool night breeze. The weather really couldn’t have been more beautiful at this point in the night, about 80 degrees with a breeze.

2 - 2:30 a.m.: Fireworks! And then the beginning of Skrillex’s set in the Neon Garden, which I can see and hear perfectly from my “perch,” as well, but my throat cannot take it anymore.

2:30 a.m.: The aforementioned trying to figure out where to go to get on my shuttle. Back in the golf cart, I manage to let out a little, “Woohoo!” despite my sore throat.

2:45 a.m.: I’m shuttling home, while I suck on my tenth lozenge of the night.

SUNDAY

Bed rest. Nothing else. If I am somehow awake at 2 a.m., I’ll be watching Daisy, heart and sparkly, glittery fireworks through my binoculars...

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