Finding My Home On The Dance Floor
Photo taken by Vladimir Zaystev
In high school, all I ever did was talk about music. Metal, rock, indie – you name it, I loved it. I saved up all of my lunch money to go to concerts and shows every weekend in Chicagoland. I loved music, I loved seeing it live, but I never felt like I was at ‘home.’ I never felt completely comfortable in my own skin, and some light facebook stalking to my early high school days will show that.
Jump forward a few years to being 21. I had fallen in love with dance music by this time; I had even broken up with a boyfriend because of how much he hated it. I had gone to a good amount of concerts and raves but never an actual festival (with the exception of Warped Tour in my sc3ne kid days). Craving something bigger, five friends and I decided to say ‘fuck it’ and go to Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas. Yes I’m about to be extremely cliche and say that walking into EDC made me feel like I was home, but it completely did.
We traveled 1800 miles, pinched every penny we could for months, and dressed up exactly how we wanted with no fear of judgement. We felt free. Walking through the tunnels into the Las Vegas Motor Speedway where you can first see all of the massive stages, carnival rides, and art installations from multiple stories up – the only word I can think of is ‘magical.’ There was no trace of insecurities or self doubt, only uncontained excitement for what we were about to witness.
The music was incredible, the people were even better. I spent all three days completely sober and dancing in the desert with what felt like 100,000 of my closest friends. I have to admit that I had rather poor taste in music at the time (I spent majority of the time at the main stage), but it was the experience that makes me look back so fondly at that weekend.
It’s been four years since my first time under the electric sky and since then I’ve grown to consider myself a well-seasoned festival attendee, having gone to almost every festival the midwest has and making my rounds on the west coast as well. I’ve even grown a lot as a person and as a music listener, and now my tastes are definitely more towards the underground. Walking into Movement in Detroit, Michigan for the first time in 2015 made me feel the same amount of excitement and freedom that walking into EDC did back when I was younger. Movement had been a festival that I had dreamed about attending for years before I finally got to experience it, and it’s one that I plan on being at every year that I am able to. While its a completely different world from most festivals, the cathartic freedom is still felt at every moment.
I’m at my happiest in the middle of a crowd, all grooving along to the same beat. I’ve met so many amazing people at shows/festivals from all across the globe, everyone with the same love and appreciation for dance music. Whether it’s at EDC, Movement, or afters in my friend’s kitchen that he turned into a mini music venue, it’s my absolute favorite thing and I don’t see myself slowing down anytime soon.