My friend O, 3 of his friends, and I met up in Vegas last weekend for the 250,000-strong, 3-day shit show known as Electric Daisy Carnival. We bought 3-day passes for $220 each (I eventually sold the third portion of my ticket for $20), and O’s friend NK (who is a midget and has a lazy eye) smuggled ecstasy from Boston. Over the course of two nights, we consumed 10 pills of MDMA, a 10-milligram vial of ketamine, and copious, undocumented amounts of alcohol.
Since we wanted to take things easy the first night, we abstained from the ecstasy and each snorted a few bumps of ketamine, which was cool while it lasted but wore off within an hour. The rave, held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, was located 17 miles from the Vegas strip and took more than half an hour to get to by cab. We arrived at EDC after 3 a.m. after a $60 cab ride that we had to bargain for, waited in the wrong line, walked the perimeter of the speedway for a quarter of a mile, waited in two other security lines, and bribed the security guard $20 to let me in without my ID (which I had lost while drinking with O the night before).
EDC was a rave mini-city, illuminated by dancing lights from carnival rides, 6 gigantic stages, and hundreds of thousands of glow sticks and other rave paraphernalia. Each stage had DJs and troops of dancers, cheerleaders, and gymnasts. It was like a circus-carnival-concert on crack. We spent the majority of Friday night walking around absorbing it all and didn’t even make it to the main stage.
At 4:30 a.m., I got tired and convinced everyone to leave. We got in line for the shuttle at 5 a.m. and waited on a large expanse of gravel for the next 3 hours. During that time, I got really tired, and since there was no other place to lie down, I curled up and passed out on the dusty gravel. Lots of other people did the same. That was probably the low point of the evening and one of the low points of my life. After 3 hours of waiting, O found a “fast-track” shuttle that cost $40 per person, which took us back to the Venetian (a whole 17 miles away) in 1 hour. We stumbled into the hotel at 9 a.m., munched some McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches, and passed out until early afternoon (I slept until 2:30 p.m., a little later than the others). After that experience, we collectively decided to drive to EDC the next night.
Saturday night, we geared up again for the rave, this time armed with ecstasy, gum, cigarettes, and Visine (for those of us with contact lenses). We popped our first pill shortly after we got there, started feeling it about 45 minutes later, then popped our second pills. We hung out mostly at the main stage, where we rocked (and rolled) out to David Guetta, Above & Beyond, and firework and laser shows as lighted planes and skydivers floated high above us. O described the scene as the pinnacle of civilization. I couldn’t have agreed more.
At this point, we met and started chatting to MC, a nice girl who sat near us and made sure I was ok throughout my roll, and with whom I exchanged numbers. She told me that she’d taken 2 ecstasy pills about 2 hours earlier and wasn’t feeling anything, probably because she had rolled hard the night before. I felt bad that she wasn’t having as good a time as she wanted, which was a sign that my empathy/ecstasy had kicked in.
main stage at Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, a.k.a. Kinetic Field
Credit: Electric Daisy Carnival
During my time at the main stage, I had one of the best ecstasy experiences in my life, eclipsed only by my first experience, which I hear is usually the best for everyone. I was standing around enjoying the music and the lights when I glanced over at O and noticed that he looked like a completely different person, not in an emotional or existential sense, but like someone I did not physically recognize. His facial features were completely out of whack. His face then morphed into that of a 70-year-old man, which freaked me out temporarily. When I told him what I’d seen, he shook his head vigorously, which made him look like a different 70-year-old man.
As O was experiencing similar hallucinations over my face, we sat down and watched each others’ faces for 10 minutes straight. During that time, his face bent into crazy shapes. His eyes would bulge like a frog’s then shrink suddenly into tiny black dots, then his entire face would split into 4 different sections. Those sections would morph into individual shapes then shrink quickly into nothingness, and finally his face would reappear as normal. This went on for at least half an hour. It was like a movie made more compelling by its physical impossibility.
We also enjoyed light shows given by people passing by, and those were awesome as well.
I started getting really tired again at around 4 a.m. and convinced O to carry me out of the rave. For some reason, I felt so tired that I found myself incapable of walking, speaking, or staying awake, which I later learned was a sign of potentially dangerous dehydration. O’s friend DC carried me the rest of the way to the car, where I passed out in the back seat on the drive home. We got back to the hotel at around 6:30 a.m., and I proceeded to pass out until 3:30 p.m. The 4 guys stayed up and hung out and even had 6 other people over at one point. (Apparently O’s friend NM had met a hot girl at EDC on Friday night, invited her and her friends over, and treated them to our minibar and free Sunday night EDC tickets.) I slept through most of it and was woken up only briefly by the sound of 3 unfamiliar girls’ voices near my bed. They all hung out in the room for a little while before migrating to the pool.
All in all, I wish I’d been more high-energy for EDC this year, but I had a great time in spite of my fatigue, thanks to an awesome group of people.