REVIEW: Electric Daisy Carnival Experience
Electronic music festival packs L.A.'s Memorial Coliseum
No words, photos or videos could describe the mesmerizing feeling of more than 100,000 people dancing around you, their hearts pulsing to the same beat, but The Electric Daisy Carnival Experience comes pretty close. As Will.I.Am. said, “When people are passionate, they do amazing things.” And this is an amazing work of art. The series of scenes highlighting each artist’s devotion to the crowd, a crowd utterly immersed in pure exhilaration, evokes a universal sensation of euphoria within every music lover. Anybody who was there was reminded of that feeling and anybody who wasn’t there wished they were.
If you haven’t experienced the Electric Daisy Carnival firsthand, this documentary brings the party to you. Director Kevin Kerslake brings to light this growing movement of dance culture and he brings to life the loving, friendly and carefree environment of EDC. This event, described as bigger than the Olympics, proved exactly just how much the “underground is bigger than the surface.” Every member of this generation filled with uncertainties wants to have something to believe in, and electronic dance music is just that. Every influential DJ is a ringleader of this circus, where you can find people from all walks of life sharing and enjoying the same thing with no judgments, only love.
Featuring world-class DJ’s such as Kaskade, Fedde Le Grand, Afrojack, Benny Benassi, Swedish House Mafia and Deadmau5, this documentary illustrates the rigorous amount of energy put into the production of these festivals. Will.I.Am describes DJ’s as tastemakers, preparing the perfect menu of sounds to feed the audience a different pleasure with every beat. The love and sweat dedicated to the music, lights and entertainment radiates so much positivity that the audience becomes part of the performance. And EDC is all about the presentation.
Kerslake takes you through the daily life and preparation of performance artists of all sorts, from go-go dancers to acrobats. The promoters hire up to 500 performers for these events to excite festival-goers from not only onstage but also as part of the crowd. The crowd can be seen laughing, crying and shivering with an uncontrollable cascade of emotions. Since the tragic death of two teenagers at previous EDC events and the unruly riot at the premiere of this documentary, increasing criticism has surfaced questioning the safety and appropriateness of these music festivals. Even several DJ’s have urged fans to calm down and respect the culture. But you can’t let a few dozen rowdy people spoil the sanctity of dance music for hundreds and thousands of peaceful attendees.
The documentary revealed an interview with a police officer who said the arrests, DUI’s and drug overdoses were few and far between. He described the party people as a fantastic crowd full of “good people who want to have a fantastic time and listen to good music.” He even wore a charm bracelet, or “candy,” someone gifted him.
“You don’t have to deal with belligerent people who hate the police,” he said. “Everybody loves everybody here.” The love is apparent in this film, which serves as a reminder of a past frozen in time and an inspiration for the future of this culture. The Electric Daisy Carnival Experience is the perfect tribute to this annual celebration of life.