“Holy shit, what are you guys watching?”
-everyone who walks into the room
I decided that I needed a bigger screen than my laptop to watch a documentary about a 185,000+ -deep music festival that apparently caused riots during its opening screening in LA. Plus, I felt like a loser watching a movie about a giant music festival by myself, so I got a bunch of people together at my friend (with the giant TV)’s house for the EDC Experience.
If you’re going to give this movie shit for being a giant PR stunt by Insomniac Events, composed mostly of aerial shots of the huge LA Coliseum stadium filled with thousands people saying “This is the biggest party in the world!” over and over so even more kids want to go to this festival, then … so be it.
But this is the biggest party in the world—and isn’t it crazy that half of these raves are going on in the middle of the afternoon? Who wouldn’t want to watch a movie about sexy dancers dressed like fuckable clowns and toxic bunnies jumping around on pogo-stick legs, or kids up to their eyeballs in kandi bracelets, or some fat British dancer dude sticking light up objects in his belly button (and who ended up being one of the funniest/most sympathetic characters by the end)?
You go to a festival for the music; you remember it for the crazy experiences and people you meet.
And there’s something to be said about thousands of kids from all over the United States taking road trips or saving up all year to all go to the same place to escape reality. You meet the DJs too, like when you go into Kaskade’s house, where he’s eating Crunch Berries with his two little daughters and talking about how he spends more time traveling between festivals than at home. It’s funny to hear him talk about how he was nervous to live up to his set in 2009—it shows who the DJs are when they are not perched up high and a mile of ravers away from you like some sort of gods of bass.
Glimpsing Swedish House Mafia’s faces right before their set, and then following them as they slowly step up to the DJ booth—seeing what the crowd looks like from that perspective—is another point of view you never get when you’re actually at a festival, caught on the ground, pressed against thousands of sweaty bodies. You see photos of Skrillex’s back in magazine reviews as he looks out on the crowd and, yeah, those are epic, but seeing what the flashing lights and moving bodies look like with the music was totally bonkers.
One of the best interviews is with Will.I.Am, who explains his upcoming DJ set, beat-boxing a transition between a Rolling Stones song into a Benny Benassi track. This alone is enough reason to see the documentary—guy can do guitar riffs, hip-hop beats, and a house bassline with his own diaphragm and vocal chords.
And don’t even get me started about the crowd-wide neon green spider web rave scene. I was cursing my lack of teleportation device.
This documentary accomplishes its point: this huge fucking thing, don’t ignore it anymore.
This thing the creator, Pasquale, made, after spending all his days in high school passing out flyers for underground dance music shows.
“Seeing this scene grow from warehouse parties to these events is astonishing. It’s like, ‘what is this thing you did while no one was looking?”
-crazy go-go dancer lady
There’s only one thought that crossed my mind during my favorite shot—a close up of Benassi’s face as he played his music and danced and looked out at the crowd—and I think that encapsulates the point I got out of the doc: his smile was genuine. He was having so much fun. This is what he loves. Playing music and bringing people together so they can get lost in it.
So Electric Daisy shows you a huge group of people, and yes, you could make fun of some of them. But they’re all there because this is what they love. This is their one escape of the year and they’ve finally got their tickets to EDC—which is, in fact, the biggest party in the world.
TOGETHER 2012 PRESENTS:
THE ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL EXPERIENCE
THE BRATTLE THEATRE
40 BRATTLE ST.