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#EDCTales – Night 1

In this week’s #EDCTales, our hero prepares for Night 1 of EDC with some new shoes, old mistakes, and some unwanted attention…

“Do I look like a guy with a plan?” are words I have been uttering long before Heath Ledger ever said them. And it is true – I rarely have a plan, relying on improvisation, intuition, and a lot of dumb luck. A chaos engine set sail in a sea of uncertainty always finding its way back to port, usually a little rough but still in one piece.

As such, I try not to have expectations. Call it too many years of crisis, or flying by the seat of my pants – I try to never have any clue how my adventures will end up. This has served me pretty well over the years – I mean I am still here and you are still reading these things. Bad decisions make for excellent stories. Right?

I had decided that I was going to Santa every night, because FUCKING DUH! Friday was a full Santa(ish) – Santa pants, coat, hat, and my “Ask Your Mom If I’m Real” t-shirt – along with the kandi I had made/been given. But the added bonus was a pair of new lightup shoes that I had been searching for years for. They were awesome and though I know better than to wear new shoes to an event where I would be standing for hours at a time, I took a little insurance in some new insoles. I was prepared for the night.

We arrived at the speedway with minimal delay. I had heard stories about the nightmare that is arriving and took a more “out of the way” route. This resulted in us getting there in right about 2 hours – there were reports of people coming the “main way” was taking 4+ hours. I was feeling confident. We walked the long path up to security and after a very cursorery search, we were in EDC.

I will admit that I really didn’t understand the scale of EDC. I had seen the maps and photos, but I didn’t really hit me until I entered the speedway and saw *everything*. Multiple stages and lights and rides and so much, crammed into a area about a half a mile wide. Black Rock City, by comparison is a little over 2 miles wide. EDC also has 115K people (daily average) versus 80K at BRC. I was quickly overwhelmed and didn’t know where anything was, since the wonderful app that Insominiac had DIDN’T WORK WHEN 100,000+ PEOPLE WERE ON THE SAME CELL TOWERS!

Eventually we found our way to the water station to fill up a waters, and then to the bathrooms. And here, dear reader, I must confess to you that I, your snarky neighborhood Santa, committed the ultimate faux paux that any Santa can commit. I lost a package. I won’t dig too much into this, but I was supposed to deliver something and the package was lost. I only hope that whatever good boy/girl/non-binary spirit who found it enjoyed it. But I was left without for the evening. Two hours into this adventure and I was ready to go back to the car and sell my wristband.

Thankfully I didn’t. I did have a minor meltdown but thanks to the comfort of the Art Director & good friends – the evening did turn around. Good times were on the horizon!

Unfortunately, the weather also turned. It had been really hot the past few days, but a “cold front” was moving in which dropped the temperature. And the winds were the bearer of this cold wind. The wind was frigid – in that Las Vegas cold sorta way. It also carried with it a ton of dust. I was thankful for my tiny Santa coat and my hat.

The highlight of Friday night was going to see Seven Lions @ Kinetic Field. Kinetic Field is kind of the “main stage” of EDC. It has all the bells & whistles as well as the site for the fireworks. BTW – there were no fireworks as such on Friday due to the wind. As we made out way to the stage there was no one there. On the big screens had an announcement that the stage was closed due to weather emergency. The giant figures on either side of the stage were swaying, as well as one of the hanging speaker stacks.

But this only seemed to last for a few minutes, because people began to swarm the stage and an announcement said the stage was reopened. Only a few minutes late, Seven Lions took to the stage. The wind blowing gave Seven Lions the opportunity to headband and have his long flowing hair blow around like some kind of super model – which to be fair he kinda looks like one.

As we stood there, I noticed a couple of the audience members looking slightly suspicious. But there were no Seven Lions fans. They were undercover cops, and they were (in part) keeping an eye on the middle aged man who was dressed like a certain “present” bringer. Let’s face it – you don’t live the life I have led with as clean a record and not learn to spot them. I smiled at them a few times and watched them eventually move off. I was doing anything wrong, and let’s face it – I’m good a pissing people off when I am in the right.

I am also good at knowing my limits. As the batteries gave out on my shoes, I knew my feet were not far behind. New shoes at an event did better than I thought. At this point, I had two options – stand there in pain and not enjoy anything, or abandon my crew and find someplace to park it for the next hour or so. I told the Art Director – who has played “Find the Santa at the Festival” – where I was going and promised not to move. Once I got to my destination through the sea of people, I sat my old fat ass on a bench and waited like a good boy.

When the rest of the crew came to find me, we decided that we wanted to go on some ride. Yeah – it isn’t all about DJs and overpriced food – there is carnival rides to go on. And upon the advice of multiple people, we decided to get on the Ferris wheel. For those who haven’t heard – I have a terrible fear of heights. I don’t like climbing ladders levels of fear. But, I was in a safe place and sufficiently “happy” that I didn’t let it get to me… much. There is a picture of me in said Ferris wheel and yes, I am double griping the pole. But it wasn’t bad.

That fucking Lightning Zipper thing everyone went on next? Fuck that shit!

The sun was beginning to crack the sky, as so we said goodbye to EDC Night 1. As we were leaving, someone yelled at me “Fuck you Santa!” That was a tickle and sadly I didn’t catch who yelled it. We made our way out to the car and left the site… eventually.

Humans are creatures of habit. When we see a line, we want to join it. We pulled from our parking spot into the line we assumed was the exit. And we waited, until Metro shouted that there was no exit that way and we were being lemmings.

We turned around and headed the other way and eventually got out and safe at home. After a few minutes I was in my comfy bed and dreaming of midgets.

Seriously. We had already established that Night 2 – we were hunting for little people!

Next – Night 2: midgets, rave booty, and Santa enters the BASS POD!