Electric Daisy Carnival: Orlando 2011
The festivals just keep on coming, and we keep hauling our asses to all the places good times roll. Of course, no exception was made in the way of Florida’s first-ever Electric Daisy Carnival in Orlando. Turns out the home of Mickey Mouse knows how to get down and wastey-faced. Booyah Vegas.
For two days, the Florida Citrus Bowl was taken over by about 20,000 ravers, kandi kids, hipsters and bros. Okay, a lot of freakin bros. Probably more bros than anything else. But even with that many frat kids running amok, the place could have used another 10K, easily. It was often that DJs played to effing no one, and that’s not sexy, ever.
Another gripe, why was there only one entrance for some odd 20,000 people? Have you ever seen a funnel? That’s what was happening, so getting in took about an hour and that’s early in the day. And security was tighter than a prude on prom night. No chapsticks, throw your ciggs out if they’re open (even if they’re full) and you know you’re getting a pat down. They must have been paying well because these guys were actually looking in each purse pocket.
But you bet your ass the party favors were flowing.
Once inside, it became obvious party-throwers Insomniac know exactly what they’re doing. Two main stages, Circuit Grounds and Kinetic Field, along with two smaller set ups, Bass Pod and Neon Garden, surrounded by free carnival rides and enough painted dancers to parade the French Quarter. At night, the place came to life with Christmas lights and paper lanterns stuck in the trees. The daisies were certainly electric.
EDC Orlando gets a healthy A- for fest friendliness. Free water refills all weekend and free rides made everyone a happy camper, but beer was excruciatingly expensive all the same.
Friday, our friends GTA got things started at the Bass Pod with a pretty eclectic set booming over to everyone still in line. Chris Lake built a nice crowd up for himself at the main stage, and a bit later across the way, newcomers Metropolis kept things heavy.
I caught a bit of Kastle‘s incredibly sexy set at the Bass Pod, and afterward had my mind totally blown by Klever with what may have been the best set of the entire event. Every song that man played became his bitch. He was working the controls like a madman while chugging Whiskey from the bottle. When it started to rain, he didn’t seem to mind, but then lightning followed and things went beyond his control.
The whole festival was shut down for about 40 minutes and everyone around ducked for cover wherever they could; VIP tents, backstage, even under the stages became hide outs for the most adventurous.
While it didn’t last forever to ruin the show completely, the rain certainly fucked things up a bit. The schedule for the main stages was totally switched up, something about not wanting Skrillex to play at the same time as Tiesto (cause Tiesto prolly can’t handle so much bass in his face), so Bunny ended up switching places with Porter Robinson to close out the night with his epic light suit shitshow.
As soon as the lights came back up and the stages came to life, soggy kids appeared from every direction to follow the sound. At the Bass Pod, Downlink gathered the largest crowd the side stage had seen all day, followed by the impeccable Craze who wowed the audience with more tricks than a high-class hooker. That tiny dude was like, I can DJ while spinning around, under my leg, behind my back, anything basically. That’s why he’s a champ.
12th Planet followed him and made the best of a small crowd. He somehow managed to crowd surf by getting everyone together, that’s commitment.
Tiesto finished out the night on the main stage, where most everyone was. Fire and smoke billowed from the stage, and about 20million pounds of confetti was shot out during his last song. Some small fireworks signaled the night was over, time to pile out of the one entrance and find your car in the mud.
Saturday was sunnier and it seems fuller in capacity, though there were still plenty of emtpy dance floors. Florida’s fav Boston boys Hot Pink Delorean got the crowd riled-up at the Circuit Grounds while the sun brought the heat. Some sexy mime girls joined them on stage and got all up on the MC. He was all, “Do you take Mastercard?” Sexxxy.
Old favorites AK1200 got down on some D&B with hints of reggea while new school boss Harvard Bass got things techy and dirty. Felix Cartel kept things going in the hard electro direction after them, while Baby Anne fought for her title as Queen of Breaks and brought out the biggest crowd the Neon Garden stage saw all weekend.
Beardyman became an instant favorite of mine once he blew minds with his crazy blend of beatboxing, looping and old fashioned beat dropping. In moments, he’d record a line of mouth-made percussion and layer it with vocals to become awesome, on the spot renditions of fan favorites and electro originals. No wonder people were talking up his set all day.
From then on, the Circuit Grounds was where Wet Paint stayed our happy asses because the motherfucking Dirty Bird badass himself, Claude VonStroke, followed with the funkiest, techiest set of all time. He mixed from beginning to end, never taking a breather, and he even worked in a bit of old school drum and bass without loosing his cool.
Calvin Harris came next, packing the place in with people ready to party, and Diplo finished the night with an incredible genre-hopping set, nothing less than I’d expect from the man who rocks so hard Blackberry wants to throw money at his pretty face. I can’t hate on that dude, no matter how hard he sells out, because he’s probably one of the best DJs alive regardless of shitty Beyonce blowhards.
All in all, EDC Orlando was a dope get-away from reality, but it has a lot of growing to do before it becomes the next Ultra Fest. Hopefully it remains as crowd friendly as it is, and hopefully they open up another entrance next time. There’s only one thing I really regret about the whole event, and that’s that I missed Afrojack. Anyone wanna fill me in on what I missed? Grazie.