It was EDC’s (Electric Daisy Carnival) first appearance in the UK and there was a lot that was expected of the organisers and they didn’t disappoint. From hearing and reading about EDC events from across the globe, the organisers know how to put on a show of epic proportions. The anticipation was already evident on the train journey up from Essex. People dressed in ravey colours and drinking cider at 11 in the morning summed up the excitement. I was to found later that many people from the north of England has travelled down for this event, and even met some people from Brazil who had travelled over just for this event!
A flood of people walking from Stratford train station through the Olympic park was a sight. As you got closer and closer to the main arena, you could start to feel that rumble in your heart when the huge beat kicks in. Straight away you could see there was many ways to enjoy yourself away from the music with a various amount of fairground rides available for those that like an adrenaline rush. The location was ideal; however I found the onsite stages to be a fair bit of a walk away. There was the Kinetic stage located in the main arena area where the likes of Steve Angello, Avicii and Tiesto were playing. Other tent stages across from the Kinectic stage were the Cosmic Meadow, Bass Pod and Neon Garden. Acts such as Chuckie, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike and Sub Focus played across all 3 stages.
With the UK seeing the best heat wave it has had since 2006, the overcast weather was something of a surprise. When the sun did appear every so often, it was greeted with a roar of applause from the thousands in attendance. As 2pm came up, and I had stopped being angry at paying £5 a pint, Nervo were second up on the Kinetic Stage, and received a brilliant reception. The Australian pair have lived in London for the last 10 years. This was greatly shown and appreciated when they played ‘Like Home’ in which they got everyone doing all the moves associated with the song. Even though there was some feedback issues towards the end of the set that also affected the start of Hardwells set, it was resolved quickly.
The Kinectic Stage was a very Swedish affair, with the first swede DJ of the day being Alesso. He got the crowd jumping around and clapping when he dropped in the song ‘Years’. By this time, the crowd were many drinks down and this only added to the already dreamy, joyous and the ‘I don’t care about anything, I’m just going to dance’ attitude. Something of which we have in all of us! Up next was 1/3 of Swedish House Mafia Steve Angello. Regretting never seeing the Swedish House Mafia, it was amazing to see Steve Angello. To mine and the crowds enjoyment, he dropped in a few SHM hits, most notably ‘Greyhound’ and ‘Don’t you worry child’. The crowd kicked off when these songs came on.
Next up was Avicii, who is currently sitting firmly in the No1 single spot around the world with ‘Wake me up’. The country/dance track that features Aloe Blacc is the perfect combination of beautiful lyrics, a country vibe and then a jumpy dance vibe. These shouldn’t really combine so well but Avicii somehow manages to make this work, and the EDC London crowd was the perfect example of this. Friends arm in arm, singing word for word at the top of their lungs was brilliant, and this was at the end of his set! Avicii really looked like he was enjoying himself to, waving on the crowd more and more with his different looking DJ fist pump. Other hits in the set included ‘Levels’ and ‘Silhouettes. ‘Levels’ is what introduced Avicii to the world, and is a song that will remain amazing forever.
Last but not least was Tiësto who closed the Kinetic Stage in dramatic fashion. The muliple winner of the DJ Magazine Top 100 DJ played hit after hit. ‘Adagio for Strings’ was simply amazing, as well as ‘Maximal Crazy’ which added a hard jumping element. The lighting and visuals were incredible too and added even more to the experience of a Tiësto show. He also dropped in many crowd pleasers such as ‘Pursuit of happiness’ which was mixed in well with last year’s song of the summer ‘Rattle’. Crowd pleasing tracks 'Lethal Industry', 'Love Comes Again' & 'Suburban Train' where just some of the highlights of the Dutch DJ's set. The song ‘Mystery Land’ was also played which created a euphoric feeling across the whole of the EDC main stage area as the darkness crawled in at night time.
I definitely recommend EDC if it was to return to London again. For the cost of a £72 ticket to a one day festival that provides the quality of names available to see and the amazing production, it is well worth spending that money for a really good day of dance music!
Photos courtesy of Eric Kabik & Neal Houghton