Fellow night owls, with EDC NYC and EDC Chicago under wraps, we are now only a mere weeks away from the flagship EDC in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The days in between now and June 21st will be the ones in which anticipation becomes unbearable and time seems to pass at a snail’s pace.  So, as you wait for your weekend under the desert sky, here’s a comprehensive survival guide for the largest dance music festival in North America.


Got Water? – Any form of physical activity in dry desert heat will dehydrate your body quicker than you can trade kandi.  So, it’s absolutely imperative that you remember to drink fluids throughout the night.  Take full advantage of the free water refills at the water stations inside the festival grounds by taking a Camelbak or purchasing a bottle inside.  On the flip side of keeping hydrated, it is dangerous to over hydrate.  Drinking too much water too fast can deplete all the electrolytes and vital nutrients from your body.  So, take moderate sips in between dancing rather than pounding an entire bottle.  Alternate your water intake with a sports drink or fresh squeezed juice which are available from vendors inside.  If you’re on a strict budget or just don’t want to pay $6 for a cup of OJ, Emergen-C or electrolyte packets are a great alternative for staying hydrated and not having to worry about over flushing your body.

Dog Days – Your feet will be put through the EDC gauntlet of dancing, running, walking, jumping, kicking, standing, and getting stepped on for extended periods of time over three nights.  So, do them a favor… Leave the heels for the club and the sandals for the pool parties!  Wear a comfortable pair of sneaks and even treat yourself with some gel inserts.


Can You Hear Me Now? – People are going to be looking for cell phone reception at EDC like they’re looking for Molly.  Chances are, you won’t find it.  Desert + massive electricity + 100,000 other people trying to use their cellular service = blackout zone.  So, scope out the festival grounds and designate a meeting spot if someone were to separate or get lost from the pack.  Pick an area with little human traffic so you don’t have to play Where’s Waldo.  Also, remember to time stamp your texts as they won’t always go through immediately.  This way if the text goes through later, the receiver will know what time you sent the text.


It’s All Gone Pete Tong – The story of Frankie Wilde is every music lover’s worst nightmare – losing your hearing over time then one day realizing you can’t hear anything at all.  If you’re a live music junkie like me, ear plugs are your best friend and your enemy.  Your ear drums take a beating every time they are exposed to high decibels for a prolonged period.  The most you can safely withstand is about 80 db up to 4 hours and most outdoor festivals crank it up between 100-125 db.  Although your listening experience will be affected by any earplug whether cheap or expensive, actively protecting your ears will ensure you will get to enjoy your favorite tunes later in life.  So, don’t be a speaker tweeker with the side of your face planted on a sub unless you want a wicked case of tinnitus.  (If you don’t get the above Pete Tong reference, I suggest you go watch the classic rave film right meow!)


Porta-potties are awesome…..said no one EVER – Prepare yourself for the dark, vomitose, rattling abyss that is the EDC porta potty.  Stock your fanny pack, back pack, purse, sling back, or pockets with travel size anti-bacterial wipes and tissue so you don’t land yourself in a shitty situation.  Bandanas are also a good way to cover your face and safe guard your nose from offensive smells. (EDC Tip: Check out Rachel’s diagram for prime porta potty selection. Via Thesceneisdead.com) 

Traffic Jamz – 100,000 people traveling to the same place will cause major traffic congestion anywhere especially when there’s limited routes to take.  Hopefully, for the third EDC in Las Vegas, Insomniac and city police will have a more organized method of directing commuters to and from the speedway.  But, always prepare yourself for the worst case scenario.  For those of you driving, make sure you have plenty of gas in your tank to avoid running out.  Leave some fruit, snacks, and extra water for the drive back.  TRY to be courteous of others when on the road to the speedway or leaving the parking lot.  And, of course, designate a sober and alert driver to get everyone back safe.  To avoid traffic all together, get to EDC early and leave early.  (EDC Tip: For 2012, Taxi’s were caught price gouging EDC attendees so be weary of using this as your form of transportation.  Also, be aware that it can cost $100 one way especially if there’s traffic.  If you have no other choice, leave early to avoid traffic and always find friends to split the cost with.)

Mother Nature – She can be an unpredictable bitch sometimes especially out in the desert.  When the gates open, temperatures can still be in the triple digits and definitely in the high 90’s.  So, wear appropriate clothes that won’t cause you to overheat.  Going almost naked is also an option and one that many attendees take.  Also, keep in mind that howling winds in the desert can drop the temperature down significantly so have a sweater/hoodie handy.

Security – Every security line is different.  Some are worse than airport security and some are laxer than club security.  In true Vegas fashion, it depends on your luck.  In order to not find yourself without your festival essentials, make sure everything is sealed.  It’s ridiculous to have to buy three of everything (lip balm, packs of gum, etc.) for each day, but, if you get that one guy/gal who’s doing it by the book, they will throw away your open packs of gum or cigarettes.  Triple check the restricted items list on the EDC website to make sure you’re not bringing anything that will be taken away.

A couple more reminders:

– Cash is king! Remember to bring enough for the night.
– Sunglasses to give your eyeballs a rest from all the visual stimulation
– Fanny packs for a hands free night
– Backup battery for your phone
– Don’t lose your ID. Have a backup you can easily access.
– Remember where you parked your car!
– Do your neighbors a favor and wear deodorant.
– If you’re too inebriated, don’t get on a high speed carnival ride. You might ruin someone’s night.
– Make a schedule and list set times on your phone.
– Luckily, there’s no trees in the speedway. But, don’t make out with any inanimate objects or you will get famous on YouTube.
– Keep cuddle puddles off the dance floor.
– Peace Love Unity Respect RESPONSIBILITY

Any veteran knows that EDC Las Vegas is a marathon, and silly amateur mistakes will hinder a smooth arrival at the finish line.  So, if you’re a festival newbie or EDC virgin, feel free to ask any questions on the EDMTunes site and Facebook so the community can help you prepare for the wildest weekend of your life.  And, to all the veterans, share your tips and helpful additions for the survival guide!