1. Color. Every. Freaking. Where.
Color will hit you in the face the second you step out of the security line and look down at the arena—the colored costumes, the clothing, the lights sparkling and dancing and changing and blinking, the sunset, the glittery, neon signs and totems. Prepare to be overwhelmed by splashes and messes of color everywhere you turn. Embrace it.
2. Lights. Lights. Lights.
This goes hand-in-hand with the color, but lights will overwhelm you whether it’s 3 in the afternoon with the sun beating down on you, or midnight when the sky is pitch black. Lights will make you dizzy, will make you laugh, will make your head spin, will make you want to throw your hands in the air and scream. Lights are everywhere, from the stages and rides, to pathways and people’s outfits. Lights are what makes EDC so incredible.
3. Half-naked people celebrating life. (And the urge to join them.)
EDC is a place of community—any sexuality, any race, any bra-and-panty-wearing woman or man is accepted and loved. You will see people in fur hats and boots, people in dresses and scarves, people with painted faces, and people in rave bras. They all will be celebrating, smiling, and dancing. You will never feel more excited to join them. You will never feel more at home.
4. Music that shakes you—literally and metaphorically.
The bass will be so loud it will vibrate from your feet all the way to your hair. You will get lost in the sounds. The music will shake you physically, but it will also grab at some inside part of you and wake you up.
5. Little-kid excitement over carnival rides.
Ferris wheels, spinny rides, swings—the epitome of your childhood carnival. As music echoes all around you, as you laugh, eat popcorn, breathe warm Vegas air, and as you kiss the person you love at the top-most point of the ride, you are suddenly a child again, living in the moment. Pure bliss.
6. A wonderful chaos of sound everywhere you turn.
There are DJs and sets and booths and stages surrounding you. Each area is somewhat blocked to hold in the sound, but it is still a chaotic, wonderful jumble of melodies and rhythms. It’s powerful. The bass beats in your chest. You become one with the sound and there is no silence—you are covered, captivated, completely filled by music.
7. Happiness that rises up from some crazy, inner-soul part of you.
You will experience happiness in ways you haven’t before. There is something about the music and the heat and the thousands of jumping, laughing, singing, dancing bodies all around you that are celebrating music, celebrating life. You will be filled by this happiness. It will bubble from your chest and spread through your arms and fingers and muscles like electricity. You will feel half-drunk, half-crazy on this happiness. You will feel so alive.
8. This unexplainable feeling that you are so deeply connected to the world around you.
You won’t want to close your eyes, but you will at some point. You will close them and breathe and feel the people walking and laughing and head-banging all around you. You will feel their energy. And you will feel so connected in that moment, through the music and lyrics and hearts pumping to the same bass beat.
9. An absence of fear.
There is nothing to be afraid of. Nothing that scares you, nothing to break you. There is nothing but happiness, but celebration, but love. Hold onto this for as long as you can.
10. A stage that you claim as yours.
There are so many stages and DJ’s, but somewhere in your experience you will find a stage and you will call it yours. It will be the place that you wander back to, again and again. The stage with the lights that captivate you, with the sound that pulls you in, with the grass that feels so soft, so comforting, when you lay your head back and look at the stars. You will find a piece of yourself here. This will be your place, your sanctuary.
11. The urge to just go absolutely crazy.
You are crazy. You are drunk. You are a human, a person that is ALIVE. You want to celebrate. You want to scream at the top of your lungs. You want to throw your hands up and wiggle your body and head-bang and jump up and down and never stop. The music is filling you; it is taking over. This is life. This is reality. This is what it means to really live, to be filled, to be happy. You are crazy. You are drunk on it all.
12. An overwhelming sense of love.
You will hug strangers. You will tell them they look beautiful with their eyelashes and red lips and tu-tus and arm kandi. You will accept compliments from people you’ve never met, who will smile and tell you they love your hair, your laugh, the color of your fuzzy leggings. They will love you. You will love them. There are no boundaries here, no restrictions on love. You are loved because you exist. And you love because you exist. That is the only truth.