Well, if you didn’t know about it already, the first Electric Daisy Carnival India just happened last weekend.

12th and 13th November saw 37 artist/duo/groups take the stage, for what we can confirm, were two nights of foot-stomping, head-banging, fist-pumping energy in a really long time. Frankly speaking, I didn’t even have to resort to intoxication to find my groove. The music, the ambience, the weather, the people, the rides, the food, the vibe, the sound; wait, did I mention the music? I could have found myself a corner on the grassy pathways in between, not moved for a whole hour, and still had the time of my life.

Credits: Insomniac

So here is where I land myself in that situation where I am asked to sum up my experience at Budweiser presents Electric Daisy Carnival 2016. Since I can’t get away with the “lack of words to describe” answer, I’m going to gladly describe Festival Sherpa’s collective experience at EDC India.

The EDC Experience

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The brainchild of Insomniac Events, Electric Daisy Carnival has turned into a world-wide phenomenon with renditions taking place across the globe. This was the first year that EDC took place in India and we can safely say that it did complete justice to its international counterparts. The carnival experience was made complete with the addition of Ferris wheels, brightly lit installations and performers who willingly posed for photographs with excited attendees. The Ferris Wheel offered a 360 degree view of the venue which got even more breathtaking at night. But the highlight here was the Boombox Art Car that made rounds of the venue, providing music to people who weren’t anywhere close to the stages. The music here, too, was provided by the artists who shuffled from their shifts on the stage and the Radio Bus. 

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The biggest attractions of the event, ofcourse, were the three stages – kineticFIELDS, circuitGROUNDS and neonGARDEN. kineticFIELDS hosted the biggest acts across both nights and was colossal in size, to say the least. With two big owls standing side-by-side with their wings spread across between a massive cathedral setup, the sheer size of the stage gave complete justice to the performers who made optimum usage of it. circuitGROUNDS was trippy AF. The light show was crazy enough to send you into a trance and the music complemented the trance-like atmosphere perfectly. Size-wise, it was the second largest stage. But crowd-wise, it gave kineticFIELDS a tough competition. neonGARDEN was my personal favourite. It made for an intimate atmosphere, with a smaller stage and an audience that appreciated the music being played there. It was like a club, just without the four walls around it and a roof over it. Puurrrrrffeeccttttt.

The Ambience

Credits: Natasha Nair

Amidst fears of the recent smog attack, we were a little apprehensive about potential health hazards. But, we are happy to say that the only factor contributing to our hoarse voices was the display of our screaming prowess when edging on the performing artists. The weather was lovely. Once the sun began to set, a pleasant chill took over the venue. Even when it got chillier post 8, it didn’t make much difference because most of us were sweating it out by the stage. Hey! What else do you do when the performing artists say “Everybody jump!”

Coming to the Buddh Circuit – hands down the best man-made venue for a festival. It’s massive! And above all, it gives you the illusion of uninterrupted space. Sounds like an ad for a real estate developer, doesn’t it? But we’re serious about this one. We loved loved loved the Buddh grounds. Special mention here to the team that made optimum use of the ground by spacing out everything so effectively. What would have felt like a long walk from one stage to another was actually quite brisk. The music from one stage was never heard at another. This is the professionalism we have always credited the organisers for.

The Music

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Shit hit the roof the moment news got out about the artists performing at the festival. It was a beautiful mix of international and Indian names, each of who have a massive fan following and a magnetic stage presence. What more does a festival need? Seriously. Each of them lived up to their promise to entertain and delivered with sheer charisma.

The three stages saw hoards of people flocking in and out of the decorative gates because they didn’t want to miss anything. While kineticFIELDS catered to the hardcore EDM fans, circuitGROUNDS played out to the drum and bass, trap, dubstep and psy trance lovers. neonGARDEN tuned their audience to neon deep house and techno sounds. Here is a photo of the line-up, just as a reminder to those who witnessed it and an ‘in your face’ to those who missed it.

The Flea Market

Credits: Natasha Nair

Aptly positioned right near the entry/exit gate, the flea market drew crowds at all the right moments. People could look through the stalls at leisure when they weren’t rushing from one stage to another. The stalls were a good mix of fun props, clothes, shoes, the Festival Sherpa photo hut (had to put it there) and a host of food stalls. Though people were concerned with the cash restrictions, they were in for a happy surprise when cards were accepted at the coupon counter. Talk about being thoughtful.

The Budweiser Experience

The biggest sponsors of the event, Budweiser, went all out to provide a memorable EDC experience. There is a reason why the festival’s official name went by ‘Budweiser presents Electric Daisy Carnival India’. Their contribution, to creating an experience that would be remembered as vividly as the artists performing there, was immense. They even set up a Brew District (a privilege the Sherp thoroughly enjoyed) and invited a select group of people to enjoy the event like a boss. The district provided camping facilities along with grand meals and even spa privileges! Within the venue, they set up beer counters that served a glorious mix of beer and beer cocktails along with lip-smacking finger food.

All in all, the first Budweiser presents Electric Daisy Carnival India is going to go down as not just a successful, but a mega successful event. If you missed it this year, now you have reasons to make it for the next edition. Thank you EDC India and Budweiser!