The inaugural "New York" edition of Electric Daisy Carnival, the nation's biggest electronic dance music (EDM) festival series, touched down at the Meadowlands in New Jersey on Friday.
Dance music festival are more commonly referred to as raves, but that word -- with its underground connotations -- feels disingenuous in an era dominated by organized, expensive events. Insomniac, the company behind EDC, says nearly 100,000 people attended the three-day event. In addition to the New York and Las Vegas EDC's (the latter is expected to draw over 300,000 revelers), music fans can check out Electric Zoo in New York, Together As One in Los Angeles, Ultra Music Festival in Miami and plenty of others.
The usual suspects were on hand at EDC this year -- heavy hitters Armin van Buuren, Avicii and Afrojack anchored the lineups on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, and other DJ's, including veteran Carl Cox, occupied smaller stages. Notably, a voter registration (Spin the Vote!) was also included as part of the fun.
For those who weren't able to make it out to Met Life Stadium, here's a list of the sights and sounds that only an electronic dance music festival can provide:
1. Bed bug bite marks proudly on display on extremely well-toned shoulders and backs.
2. Chest tattoos that consist solely of the word "Family," albeit in a variety of fonts.
3. White males with Tupac's "THUG LIFE" tattoo re-imagined on their own stomachs. (Really.)
4. Women wearing sunglasses with the words "BASS WHORE" painted on the lenses.
5. Half-naked young men giving each other high-fives over and over and over again.
6. People who stop dancing rabidly to use some Halls and/or Vicks products.
7. Related: Grown women and men with pacifiers in their mouths.
8. Tens of thousands of people jumping at the very same time.
9. Paris Hilton, being appreciated. (Hilton is dating Afrojack, and though she wasn't at EDC New York, she often makes an appearance at one of his sets, generally to the great pleasure of the audience.)
10. Happy people, dancing happily without a hint of cynicism.
BONUS: A few things you'll see both at EDM festivals and inside any bar in America: People screaming along to Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," men and women dancing while staring at each other through the corners of their eyes, people viewing life through the prism of an iPhone screen.