EDC Gets Nomadic
Electric Daisy Carnival is traveling across the pond for the second year in a row, having recently announced their July UK presence at Milton Keynes Bowl. The two-day festival unsurprisingly boasts an exciting lineup including highly esteemed acts like Steve Angello, Calvin Harris, and Paul Oakenfold, among others. The 2014 “Road to Vegas” now features two international stops, one of which was in Mexico last month.
EDC’s travels left the continental US in 2009, finding a home for the first time in Puerto Rico. Last year’s EDC London marked its inaugural international appearance, and the continuation of its presence abroad in 2014 has added a significant element of dynamism to the EDC experience.
I have to say, I am really getting into this idea of nomadic festivals. When Mysteryland first stumbled into my conscious, I was enthralled by the idea of a festival that literally wanders around the world finding welcoming and trusting dance fans to entertain wherever it lands. That is exceptionally typical of my lifestyle as a human! Knowing that a festival survives the same way I do makes it all the more attractive to me, which is why I have taken a keen interest in these drifting, branded experiences.
Transient characteristics of festivals like EDC and Mysteryland are significant because it ensures a distinct experience reflective of the location, and highlights the diversity of the scene as a whole. While still keeping the festival’s theme intact—in EDC’s case, a carnival getaway—the cultural influences of a particular geographic region are warmly received and encouraged to permeate the festival space. Through this unique framework, what is produced is an environment reveling not only in the beauty of the host region, but also in the universal passion for the music presented.
EDC UK is not going to be the same experience as EDC Mexico was. For one, the prevailing language at the festival will differ enormously, influencing the way in which the audience as a whole interacts with the performances and each other. Furthermore, the geographical location influences where the audience is coming from, impacting the nature of cultural diffusion that occurs at these international events. However, if two people went to two different EDCs and came back to discuss it, I have confidence that they will still be able to draw on experiences influenced by EDC’s theme that resulted in similar feelings of joy and appreciation.
Now, I am fully aware that Ultra too has an international presence. But to me, Ultra has become the mean girl of electronic festivals—an exploitative entity enabling people to attend it for the wrong reasons. I’m sure my experiences in Miami differ from the experiences of someone who has attended UMF Korea, though, which only strengthens my point. Having truly appreciated the soundscapes created within UMF’s Miami venue, the negative aspects I have drawn from my involvements have to do with the social interactions spawned within the physical landscape…and Miami is without a doubt one of the most ridiculous places I have ever existed in.
Ultimately, nomadic festivals aim to produce the same outcome of memorable experiences regardless of location, doing so around a cohesive and universal theme. But it is fascinating to realize that the physical space occupied inherently encourages those in attendance to achieve this through a different cultural lens. I would love to see more dance festivals adapt this wandering characteristic, for the sole reason of exposing the countless ways of celebrating a universal love for this music.
Article written by Anita Obasi
Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of EDM.com.