Vegas. VEGas. VeGAS. VegASS
I don’t care how you say it, Las Vegas means the same thing to everyone: who can do the most bad things with their friends first. Who can gamble more, who can drink more, who can have the craziest story, and still survive. Which is a legitimate challenge at an all night dance festival in the middle of the desert, in the summer, surrounded by 90k other intoxicated and people. Good thing people who go to raves are so friendly and willing to share water.
If there’s one way I could explain EDC Las Vegas 2012 it would have to be: Overwhelming. Everything was bigger. There were more people. But unfortunately I think the main take away from the event, and I think most people who attended would agree, was that the traffic was almost unbearable, completely taking away from the whole experience of the event. Before I even go off on a rant, let’s just acknowledge how ridiculous it is to have DJ’s miss their set because of traffic (Mat Zo), DJ’s literally having to get out of their rides and walk over 2 miles to get to the venue on time (Gabriel & Dresden) because of traffic, and DJ’s cancel all of their interviews (Markus Schulz) because they had to rearrange their driving schedule to leave their hotel 5 hours before their set. You think insomniac would have at least offered Markus Schulz a helicopter ride, especially since one of the grand prizes for best group costume was a helicopter ride.
Some Tweets I Received While at EDC
The ironic part about all of this is that Insomniac’s slogan, the slogan they paid thousands of dollars to plaster on billboards all over Las Vegas is: “It’s All About The Experience.” And whether they like it or not, the traffic, or lack of transportation planning, had a bigger effect on the overall “experience” than the 20 minute firework show during Above & Beyond’s set. Do you think I walked down the halls of the Hard Rock on my way to Rehab and heard anyone talking about how amazing the fireworks were? No. I heard people bitching and complaining about how bad the traffic was and how they’d already had 36 people hit them up for the ticket they just put on craigslist 2 hours ago. Ya, that actually happened. And Ya, that was really disappointing for me to hear. Traveling to Vegas for EDC is supposed to be like the pilgrimage to the Mecca of American EDM, an experience that brings people together over their love of Electronic Dance Music, not their dislike for traffic. It just sucked to hear friends who I knew were on the fence about EDM, speak negatively about their experience. I guess it’s hard to keep a buzz going for 3 hours in traffic on the way to a show without breaking a few laws, or having to pee a few times.
The only way I even got to the last night of EDC in less than 2 hours was because my buddy picked up two random guys working the event who knew back roads we could take; which literally turned into an off-roading experience down “Smiley Rd.” The only way we got out of the parking lot in less than 4 hours Sunday morning was by driving up on a dirt barrier and cutting everyone, which I feel horrible about, but I blame Insomniac. And this is an important lesson for Insomniac because my reasoning for blaming them is completely irrational, it’s not their fault people can’t drive, but people aren’t rational either. Every negative feeling about that weekend in Vegas gets connected back to the negative feelings experienced in traffic, which get connected back to Insomniac. I guess the reason I have no sympathy for blaming them is because they are supposed to be the best event company in the world, and it kind of makes me feel like they all sat around in a room and said fuck it, people will just have to deal with it. Of course they were probably being optimistic (which I understand) and hoped people would be better drivers, but that was a foolish assumption. They had to have learned something from the year before and dedicated a small slice of their budget to planning the logistics.
If you are going to claim that your events are all about the experience, you are responsible for the ENTIRE experience. Regardless of how many world-class DJ’s Insomniac brings to EDC 2013, the experience will continue to suffer until they come up with some sort of solution to the transportation problem.
But I have faith in Insomniac, and I know the traffic situation is something that was upsetting for them too. I look forward to attending the complete EDC experience in 2013.