EDC Night 1: The 2017 fest begins as a feast for the senses once again

The Electric Avenue is in full swing during the opening night of EDC Las Vegas 2017 at the Las Vegas Speedway on Friday, June 16, 2017.
Photo: L.E. Baskow

“All are welcome here.” That’s the message Electric Daisy Carnival has for its attendees this year, and judging from an inviting and successful first day, the slogan couldn’t be more accurate.

Like all EDCs before it, everything at the festival on Friday night was a sight to be seen, photographed and Instagrammed. From glowing mushrooms and daisies to light-up boom box cars, Ferris wheels and other carnival rides, Las Vegas Motor Speedway sparkled like a neon wonderland under the firework-studded electric sky.

EDC 2017 Night 1

Roving performers—women dressed up as cartoonified piranhas, bees and “cyber angels”—traipsed the festival grounds, and a procession of post-apocalyptic “animals” and steampunk mimes on stilts had everyone stopping to document the moment. There was even a fur-covered art car made in the likeness of an adorable pug puppy.

But the real spectacle was the festival’s main attraction: the attendees. Wild costumes and light-up kicks were everywhere Friday into early Saturday, not to mention the normal barrage of pasties, butt-baring shorts and loads of neon. mermaid-inspired face glitter is another huge trend this year, while furry boots seem to be on their way out. Head to the “Glitter and Makeup Services” booth and give your eyes and cheeks the sparkly, sequined EDC treatment for $10.

And we must talk totems. Rick and Morty sightings were all over the Speedway (shout out to Mr. Meeseeks), along with a few Pokemon references (Pikachu, Exeggutor), baby Goku from Dragon Ball Z, unicorns, piñatas, boba tea, LED cannabis leaves and more.

While totem-toting festivalgoers get an A+ for creativity, others didn’t seem to get EDC’s all-inclusive message. I counted 13 folks wearing headdresses on Friday—to which I recommend reading up on cultural appropriation and ditching the Native American-inspired headbands for something less offensive.

As for the music, Major Lazer’s 1 a.m. Cosmic Meadow set was a lesson in supercharged dancehall-inspired house and trap. Mixing hit after hit—the group’s own “Cold Water," Flosstradamus’ “Mosh Pit” and Fat Joe’s “I’m All the Way Up”—Diplo & Co. kept bodies jumping and hands pumping the entire time.

All in all, Day 1 saw a smooth start to EDC’s seventh year in Vegas—with two important takeaways heading into Saturday and Sunday nights:

1. Stay hydrated in this heat. This is obvious, but should be reiterated. If you or a friend are experiencing dizziness, confusion or any other signs of heatstroke or intoxication, get to a medical tent immediately.

2. Once you’ve parked at the festival, open your phone’s map application and mark your location. Also, take a photo of the nearest lot number. There’s nothing like looking for your car for hours in a dark parking lot to put a damper on an otherwise stellar night.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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