With 2019 just starting, many people already have their eyes set on the biggest festival of the year: EDC Las Vegas. And as we look forward, we look to the event’s history as well. A new documentary just released by Le Liu titled “The Last Dance” brings us back to when people were first captivated by the neon sky. It highlights the first-ever EDC event, which took place in Los Angeles in 2010.

Liu – who is not affiliated with Insomniac – takes us on a journey through history and the role of rave culture that has developed since EDC’s 2010 event. Liu is a part of the DanceSafe team today, which is known around the country as a safe place to test substances and get medical assistance during raves.

The energy and the excitement of the first EDC has held true over the years. It was, and still remains, a place where people can gather and lose themselves in the music. However, Liu points out that as EDC and electronic music began to grow, so did the rise of MDMA. Media outlets began to target electronic music as the reason why seizure of ecstasy rose from 1.2 million in 1998 to 12.1 million in 1999. As a response, harm reduction groups grew in popularity and DanceSafe became entwined into a huge debate on how to handle drugs at raves.

Early harm reduction was negatively viewed by many venues because it could lead to legal action. Many club owners saw it as pleading guilty to allowing drugs into these events. Nevertheless, DanceSafe gave reinforcement and education to concertgoers about the effects of ecstasy. Unfortunately, the media had already shaped an image for electronic music with slander campaigns and false information. This made things difficult for people to change their viewpoint – and at EDC 2010, another blow was made.

Held at the LA Memorial Coliseum in 2010, EDC had grown into an event that sold more ticket that the venue could handle. With a poor setup and a lack of amenities like water and restrooms, riots and hysteria broke loose. As a result of this, EDC met with its first underage death at the venue.

In turn, media outlets went after Insomniac and flagged raves as dangerous places. This inspired Los Angeles to create a task force with the Public Health Department. With new changes and the spread of education, raves became much safer events to attend. The Department of Public Health’s studies found through their task force efforts:

  • Per every 10,000 attendees for a rock concert, there are about 80 to 100+ people that need medical attention
  • Per every 10,000 attendees for a NASCAR event, there are about 40-50 people
  • Per every 10,000 attendees for a rave, there are only about 10-20 people

Ultimately – and sadly – the event was forced to move to Las Vegas, where Insomniac has shown vast improvements to their harm reduction plans over the years. Moving the event in May to ensure people do not overheat, and providing copious amount of water, have played key roles in EDC’s improvement. Insomniac has made EDC an event that is embedded in our culture, and does not show any signs of ending anytime soon.

What are you thoughts about the docuemntary? Does it give good insight on the event and the scene? Let us know!