This is My Last Rave

“EDC Las Vegas 2016 will be my last rave.”

I remember saying that, only to keep on going to rave after rave and eventually saying the same thing at EDC Las Vegas 2017.

When I was 17 years old, I came across Electronic Dance Music on YouTube. “Armin van Buuren live at Ultra Miami 2014,” was the first live set that I watched. Ever since then, Armin became my favorite DJ and got me hooked on EDM. I eventually started to watch more videos of other DJs’ live sets and became pretty familiar with the big names such as Hardwell, Martin Garrix, Tiesto, Axwell /\ Ingrosso (two-thirds of Swedish House Mafia), Yellow Claw, etc… The genre grew on me and that’s all I listened to.

At the time, I was still in high school and not many people liked EDM; I felt like an outcast and didn’t really talk about EDM with anyone. I remember only talking to a couple of people that I knew who were also into EDM at the time. They would bring up “EDC” into the conversations and I was confused as to what “EDC” was.

I did my research, only to be amazed to find out what the Electric Daisy Festival was: the biggest rave in the United States filled with multiple stages and with production like no other. I had to go. But, there was no way I could go in 2014 due to the festival being 18+. Then, December 2014 came and I finally turned 18. I attended my first rave, which happened to be a New Year’s Eve rave here in San Diego.

I got hooked straight away. The thumping bass lines, the multiple lights flashing, lasers, LED screens and confetti popping out after the bass drop made for an unforgettable atmosphere that I enjoyed, along with thousands of other people who shared the same interest.

I wanted to go to more raves, but had no one else to go with since everyone I knew at the time was under 18. And, due to this, it was a quiet 2015 until September, when one of my friends turned 18. From then on, I attended other events such as Nocturnal Wonderland, Escape: Psycho Circus, Countdown NYE as well as smaller events and some Artist/DJ shows. I had no urge to stop and literally had at least one rave planned out for each month. June 2016 came and that’s when I had the opportunity to attend EDC Las Vegas 2016.

Even though all my friends flaked on going to EDC, I decided that they weren’t going to stop me and I went alone. Even today, this is a decision I will never regret in my life.

Experiencing a festival of such magnitude alone makes you appreciate everything that life has to offer. How people set aside differences and hate in the interest of unity, brought on by music that has no language barriers. I connected with a lot of people and also grew as a person on my single EDC trip. It made me realize that we shouldn’t let anyone stop us from doing what we want with our lives. At the time, I again said that it would be my last rave. But yet again I couldn’t resist.

Nocturnal Wonderland, Escape, Countdown NYE, other, EDC. Nocturnal Wonderland, Escape, Countdown NYE, other, EDC. This is the schedule that I have been repeating ever since 2015. Of course, every single time I attend these events, it’s a unique experience where I meet some new people and see some people that I met previously. I mostly attend these events alone now. I don’t bother asking people if they want to join me because, honestly, I prefer it this way. It gets me to talk more to people around me and let’s me enjoy the experience without having to constantly worry about somebody else.

Now, here I am in 2017, fresh out of Escape, writing about the 20+ raves that I have attended and will continue to attend (because I already have tickets for raves in the upcoming months). I’ll admit it, it’s getting harder and harder doing the same thing. Not because it’s getting repetitive, but because my body is starting to hurt after these events. Maybe EDC Las Vegas 2018 will finally be my last rave? I guess I won’t find out until then.

Gustavo Cristobal

Journalism Major at SDSU.