EDC New York: Preview and Festival Guide

Posted by on May 15, 2012

This weekend, the outrageous three-day extravaganza better known as Electric Daisy Carnival heads east for the first time. Will you be in New York? Will you be anywhere remotely near New York? Are you still bummed you couldn’t get tickets to SHM at MSG? Have you ever wondered what would happen if you replaced 100,000 screaming Giants fans with 100,000 furry-booted ravers? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should probably plan on swinging by Metlife Stadium — because you’d be insane to miss out on this experience.

Individual passes for Friday and Saturday are sold out, but you can still purchase three-day passes and passes for Sunday (when Bassnectar, Afrojack, Dirty South, Sub Focus, Nero, Chuckie, Borgore and many more amazing artists will be performing). GET TICKETS HERE.

I’ve also prepared an EDC guide for those of you who will be attending the festival. Read on for my suggested itinerary for each day and some handy tips that are guaranteed to help you survive the weekend.


Must See: Cosmic Gate, Madeon, Fedde Le Grand, Chase and Status, Pendulum (if attending on Saturday), Armin Van Buuren (if not attending on Saturday)
Recommended: DJ Craze, Zomboy, Fatboy Slim

Fridays are always a bit of a wild card. They’re shorter, they start later, and everyone’s usually a bit worn out from traveling. However, there’s also that first night energy in the air that can’t be topped. If you will be attending on Friday, arrive on time, get a feel for the venue, take a couple of rides on the ferris wheel and then find a good spot near the front of the mainstage crowd to catch early sets from French house wunderkind Madeon and trance gods Cosmic Gate. The mainstage lineup is excellent from start to finish, though retreating briefly to take in the facemelting musical stylings of Zomboy is also highly advisable. If you’re a big fan of Knife Party, ending your night with Pendulum will be a no-brainer (I’m not sure if Rob and Gareth will be swinging back around these here parts until Electric Zoo). But Armin Van Buuren is also closing out the mainstage with an overlapping set…what to do?

Perhaps anticipating that many would crumble in the face of this profound moral quandary, Insomniac has helpfully booked Armin for a second show in the ASOT tent on Saturday. Whew. Crisis averted. If you’re sticking around for the whole weekend, catch Pendulum on Friday and let Armin transport you to A State of Tra(uuu)nce on Saturday.

Friday Anthem: Coldplay – Paradise (Fedde Le Grand Remix)

Must See: Cazette, Alesso, Calvin Harris, Alesso, Sebastian Ingrosso, Jochen Miller, Gareth Emery, Markus Schulz, ATB, Armin Van Buuren
Recommended: EDX, Tim Mason, Thomas Gold, AN21 and Max Vangeli, Steve Angello
Performances You’ll Feel Obligated to See but Should Skip: Avicii

One word and one word only matters on Saturday: ASOT. Armin and his extended #TranceFamily will be broadcasting the 561st episode of A State of Trance live from Metlife Stadium, and if 10 p.m. rolls around and you suddenly realize that you’ve parked yourself in there all day…well, I wouldn’t blame you. Trance music at its best is made for festivals; there’s nothing out there like it to make you feel like you’re part of something bigger and magical and collective. If you’ve never experienced trance live, make sure that you do so at EDC — with performances by ATB, Gareth Emery, Markus Schulz, and Jochen Miller, you’re certain to have a wonderful time.

Complicating things, however, is the fact that Saturday features some prodigious non-trance talent that also shouldn’t be missed. Sigh. ‘Twas ever so. Well, you can’t hug every cat, and you sure as hell can’t see and do everything there is to see and do at a festival, so you’ll have to make some tough choices. So without further adieu, let’s state the obvious: Seb and Steve of Swedish House Mafia will be making highly anticipated appearances, along with Calvin Harris, Alesso, and some heavy-hitters from Size Matters (like rising progressive house star Tim Mason). All of these artists will put on amazing shows loaded with moments where everyone knows the lyrics and sings along with their eyes closed.

Now, I don’t recommend ending Saturday with Avicii, unless you heard “Silhouettes” for the first time when it was officially released a few weeks ago. Bottom line? His live performances can be a bit underwhelming. While we won’t know what the potential conflicts are until Insomniac releases set times, it already seems clear that there will be better options than Avicii on Saturday night; I can say from experience that Steve Angello is a far more entertaining performer and that Armin in his element will blow them both out of the water.

Saturday Anthem(s): Ferry Corsten (feat. Aruna) – Live Forever (Shogun Remix)

Keane – Silenced By The Night (Alesso Remix)

Must See: Bassnectar, Sub Focus, Nero, Borgore, Delta Heavy, Dieselboy, Downlink, Sazon Booya
Recommended: Afrojack, Dirty South, Chuckie, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, R3HAB, Quintino, Bassjackers, Shermanology

What has been conspicuously absent from the past two days of EDC? The answer is pretty obvious: filthy, head-knocking bass music. By the time Sunday rolls around, you’ll have heard hours and hours of trance, house, and all the subgenres thereof (electro-, Dutch-, progressive-….etc). Fortunately, Sunday will be serving up a delicious tasting menu of dubstep and drum n’ bass for your dining pleasure. Start early at the Bassrush stage to ease into things with Sazon Booya. Moombahton winds up a crowd like nobody’s business and will prime you for the mayhem to come. Afterwards, it’s pretty much a demented downward spiral into closing sets by Bassnectar and Nero, with high octane turns from awesome, versatile up-and-comers Delta Heavy, dubstep/DnB vanguard Dieselboy, notorious filth-monger Borgore and perennial FNT favorite Sub Focus. I wouldn’t even bother leaving the Bassrush stage except to catch Bassnectar — whose performances are mind-blowing and typically not to be missed.

If dubstep isn’t your thing, not to worry — expect strong, dance-friendly showings from Shermanology, Quintino, R3HAB, and of course Dirty South. A solid Dutch house contingent will also be in attendance, with Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, Chuckie, and the legend that is Paris Hilton Afrojack.

Sunday Anthem: Nero – Must Be The Feeling (Kill The Noise Remix)

Worried about surviving three days of EDC madness? Don’t be. There are only a few things you need to ensure that you have a great time: copious water, daily meals, a decent night’s sleep, comfortable shoes, a fully charged phone, waterproof makeup (if applicable), a backpack or purse that won’t bother you when dancing, and a game-for-anything attitude. Be prepared for any and all of the following: having no cell service, losing every single one of your friends, finding every single one of your friends, being voiceless by Sunday night, running into a kid you went to summer camp with in 2001, becoming obsessed with an artist you’d previously never heard of, developing an intimate appreciation for toilet paper, and having the absolute time of your life.

Stay hungry. Stay foolish. This weekend is going to be one for the books.