Insomniac and Pasquale Rotella consistently produce amazing music festivals, and they strive to create a loving atmosphere. They deserve tons of credit for creating another amazing EDC this year. For the most part, EDC Las Vegas 2014 had a fun-loving crowd who respected their fellow attendees. Unfortunately, just a few bad apples can ruin a festival experience for a lot of people.
Let's not kid ourselves: Despite an effort from rave purists to keep it alive, the "PLUR" lifestyle at raves has been long gone. Instead, it has been replaced by people who want to rage their faces off and experience the most hedonistic escape from their everyday lives. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this, and I encourage people to always have as much fun as they can. However, there comes a point where an individual's personal enjoyment encroaches on those around them. There were too many EDC attendees who held zero respect for anyone except themselves. Luckily, there were 400,000 people over a three-day period, so you might not have come into contact with any of the disrespectful crowd members.
I encountered one self-obsessed EDC attendee while I was walking over to catch Carl Cox at the Neon Garden. There was plenty of room around me, and anybody walking by could have avoided me if I were in their path. Out of nowhere, a girl sprinted past me and stiff-armed me as if she was Marshawn Lynch en route to a Skittles-filled touchdown celebration. After she ran past me, I saw her push away other people who weren't even in her way. I'm still wondering what she was doing and/or what she was on.
Another example of unruly crowd members was when Flosstradamus played "Mosh Pit." On the positive side, there were people who simply wanted to join the mosh pit so that they could lightheartedly push people around and be part of an unforgettable moment at the festival. Mosh pits can be a great way to release your energy and interact with crowd members around you. Unfortunately, there were some people who were clearly on a mission to hurt their fellow festival-goers. Why would you join a mosh pit with the sole intent to hurt other human beings? Throwing punches with ill intent is something that doesn't belong at any music festival, and it was a sad sight to see.
Although I didn't witness it, I've read many stories about people being pickpocketed at EDC this year. Some people save money all year so that they can afford to fly to Las Vegas, book a hotel room, and attend EDC. It is mind boggling that some EDC-goers are willing to prey on unsuspecting attendees who are experiencing the time of their lives. A thief can absolutely destroy someone's experience. It brings the victim from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows within minutes.
Despite everything written above, I still didn't plan on putting this article together until I watched a YouTube video today. It's titled "Hell Yeah! People Sneaking into EDC Las Vegas 2014." After all of the bad publicity dance music festivals have received for crazy crowds breaking the rules, you'd think people would have learned to not climb fences anymore.
I understand that not everyone has the disposable income to attend EDC Las Vegas, but sneaking into the festival is never a good idea. If you can't afford it, stay home. Insomniac has worked hard to provide people with various ways to experience the festival within the comfort of their own home. The people who sneak in cheapen the experience for those who saved money all year to purchase a ticket. In fact, when a group of people sneak in, it raises the risk of the festival being shut down completely. Even though you might think it's cool to yell "Fuck The Police" while sneaking into EDC and running away from them, there's a reason they are there. A limited number of tickets are sold in order to ensure the safety of everyone within the venue, and the police are employed to keep everyone safe. Las Vegas cops are the coolest I've come across at any music festival. They exchange kandi with people, and you can even see them dancing throughout the night. They generally stay out of your way unless you're hurt or physically hurting someone else. We shouldn't give them any reason to start acting like authoritarian cops.
I wouldn't be surprised if all of the people who read this are people who only had positive vibes at EDC. You care about the scene enough that you're actually reading about what happened at EDC. However, there were definitely some bad people at the festival this year, and I hope they don't return in 2015.
Cover photo credit: Insomniac Facebook