If there’s one useful piece of information that came out of The Matrix Reloaded—and believe us, there’s only just the one—it’s that massive dance parties will survive even the apocalypse. Now, you’re not going to have to plan for anything quite so extreme as sentient murderbots if you’re going to Electric Daisy Carnival June 21-23 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but you’re going to want to keep a few things in mind.
Do: Either bring your own camelback or buy one of the approved, refillable water bottles like the nanosecond you step foot on the Speedway grounds. Don’t: Try to bring your own bottled water, five-gallon water cooler jug, children’s pool or fire hose that you’re just constantly spraying on yourself. You will be tempted. Sorely tempted. By Day 2, you will be praying to semi-forgotten Babylonian river gods for sweet, sweet hydration. But you will be denied, without an official Insomniac water bottle there to walk you through these dusty times. Technically, they’ll refill any empty beverage container, but festival rules prohibit bringing in any outside food or drink.
Do: Plan alternate routes and modes of transportation. With an $89.90 pass, you can ride shuttle buses that run to the Speedway from Bellagio, Rio, Mandalay Bay, Monte Carlo, Excalibur, Aria, MGM Grand, Cosmopolitan, Hard Rock, Mirage, Circus Circus and the Downtown Bus Terminal. You could even take a helicopter for $5,000 round trip. Hell, you could construct your own jet pack and touch down in the middle of the Kinetic Field, cackling like a madman. The important thing is that you don’t take Interstate 15 all the way up, right around 7 p.m. It will be a parking lot, and you will be stuck in it like a sucker. A sucker whose enthusiasm is waning faster every second he spends staring at the bumper of an ’04 Sentra with flowers drawn on the back window in soap.
Do: Figure out a means of communication with your group. If you’re lucky, you might be able to sneak a few texts through, but cell service is notoriously spotty during the event. If you don’t want to buy walkie talkies, or go through the trouble of teaching all your friends semaphore, at least agree on a meeting spot and a rough window of when you’ll convene there at the end of the night. Don’t: Be the guy who says “screw it” and just takes off when he can’t find his friends at the end of the night, even though he’s the driver and they’ll be stranded. Or do, if your friends are dicks.
Do: Be cognizant of your age. If you’re a guy over 30 and going to this thing, you can still go and have a good time, but it’s going to be jarring how many 19-year-old girls are there without anything that could get a whiff of a hint of occupying the same ballpark as a shirt. On the surface, this seems like a fantastic idea. But when you’re not in a strip club, and are confronted with this situation, it will make you feel a thousand years old and vaguely embarrassed. Which will in turn make you feel even older. Don’t: Be creepy about it. You’ll get used to it. Like much of the other visual overload, it will seem like one big, blurry, shiny collage by the end of the event.
Don’t: Wear angel wings. Just don’t. Navigating the crowd is hard enough without extra bulk. And you’ll put someone’s eye out. Also, maybe we really are a thousand years old.
Do: Cut against the grain. Wandering around during big-name DJs in primetime will allow you to get up closer to some of the art, when you’re not fighting the rest of the crowd. It also gives you a chance to get a sense of the scope of the crowd when someone like Tiësto is playing, and a huge contingent is densely packed in front of the stage. Don’t: Spend all day camping out in one spot so you can get right up close during a major set. You’ll let all the cool stuff pass you by, and more importantly, DJs aren’t all that interesting to watch perform.
Do: Ride the rides. Just not in angel wings. They could get caught in the gears or something.