Just messing around and making a music video about Dreamstate SoCal 2022 and Lane 8. Obviously, I don’t own any of the songs, nor am I monetizing this project; I wanted to piece together fragments of videos and memories to celebrate my friends and the music we shared.
Songs Cher “Believe” Lane 8 “Sunday Song” Elysian “Moonchild”
As Xmas ends and Mariah Carey sealed away til next December, I finally got the time to coerce my friends into doing a podcast thingy! In this Festies with Besties episode, Lance and Ray join me alongside new faces Lucy and Layal to recap our Tranceventures at Dreamstate SoCal last November. The event was hella sick as we saw the likes of Bryan Kearney, ATB, and Trance Jesus Armin Van Buuren!
You might want to skip around if you’re looking for a comprehensive discourse about Insomniac’s trance festival. But if you want to hear some friends share some laughs, please come along for the ride. If you were at Dreamstate this year, comment below about your experience and why you loved/hated the event.
Last weekend, Insomniac took over the Port of Los Angeles with its newest addition to the Dreamstate series: Dreamstate Harbor. With only two stages, this rave by the bay is smaller when compared to the massive DS SoCal coming in November. But, this intimate group therapy was more than enough to barge into my heart with all the big festival feelz.
The first stage I went to was The Hydra because it was the closest to the entrance and the only set of GA bathrooms. Its layout reminded me of kineticFIELD with its monstrous LED screens and speaker towers spread across the dance floor. Like the serpent in Greek mythology, this stage showed the versatility of styles steaming from the body of trance.
On the first day, The Hydra took me on a trip filled with psychedelic riffs and energetic tempos from Alchimyst, Astrix, and Infected Mushroom. All the psytrance made Saturday a battle because everyone in their mamas was trying to get to the front. The next day went just as hard with aggressive percussion and driving basslines from the likes of David Forbes, Will Atkinson, Mark Sherry, and Bryan (Bryan, Bryan effin’) Kearney. It’s been over two years since Bryan played in the USA, but his set was utter Kearnage.
Across the harbor was The Aquaria, where the DJs still wrecked my legs but in a loving take-you-out-for-breakfast-after kinda way. A silver cage of naked Truss Segments encompassed the stage, forcing everyone to huddle together for an intimate dance floor. Even when it was packed like sardines because the cold wind was blasting everyone from a state of trance, it was still easier to move around than in The Hydra.
Christina Novelli, Craig Connelly, Estiva, and Giuseppe Ottaviani were some of the DJs who opened The Aquaria, easing us into the night. But when it got dark, so did the music because it was banger after banger from Sean Tyas, Paul van Dyk, John O’Callaghan, and Sander van Doorn (presents Purple Haze). So many fantastic DJs played at this stage, but my favorite act from this pool was Markus Schulz.
Why? Well, I suppose it’s because I feel like a man possessed every time I see the Unicorn Slayer. The way he balances the vigorous snares and kicks from techno with the euphoric melodies of trance is a work of art that makes me want to hug friends and strangers while also punching the air like it owes me money. chef’s kiss
Honestly, there’s not much for me to complain about besides wishing there were more bathrooms, but space in the venue is limited, so I understand. But the free and quick in-and-out parking was fantastic! There were moments when I encountered some not-so-PLUR people who would elbow their way through the crowd or to the front, but that’s not Insomniac’s problem. People were generally friendly, spreading the good vibes from the Book of PLUR. There weren’t all the bells and whistles you would typically see at a festival, but I don’t think DSH needed the extra production or stages because the sound management was perfect.
Rewatching my “Sun & Moon” recording during Ilan Bluestone’s set made me realize something. I realized how much I suck at singing and that I dance like I’m losing a game of DDR. But none of my horrible singing and terrible dance moves matter because, in these small moments of imperfection shared amongst my friends and strangers, I am happy. Thank you, Insomniac, for creating a culture celebrating the magic of trance.
All-in-all, the first Dreamstate Harbor was pretty cool. I have no regrets, not even when I spent 17 dollars on dry chicken tenders and fries. (No lie, I saw a basket of fries on the floor and thought how someone wasted nine dollars.) The star-packed lineup and breathtaking sights of laser-colored fog with giant ships in the background made it all worth my while. TL;DR: New location, same feelz, 100 out of 10, highly recommended.
Okay, I’m finally over the festival flu, and I’m ready to share my 14th Electric Daisy Carnival experience with y’all! With over 166k Headliners attending each night, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, this was probably my biggest EDC. I had a fantastic time, but there were a few bumps down the rabbit hole for Insomniac’s 26th Windy-C (sorry-not-sorry for the pun).
Quick SparkNotes about Electric Daisy Carnival 2022
Insomniac added a ninth stage called bionicJUNGLE for house lovers. The new addition featured Lee Foss and Felix Da Housecat.
NFTs were everywhere. Canadian star Grimes, who played a DJ set at cosmicMEADOW, and Jauz’s surprise guest Snoop Dogg were some of the few who debuted their new crypto projects this weekend. A Bored Ape even appeared during one of the midnight drone shows.
LV police diverted traffic around the speedway, so leaving the anti-PLUR parking lot wasn’t too bad. It took us about an hour to get back to our hotel each night.
The rave drip was on-point this year. Saw a lot of vibrant tanks and fishnets, furry boots, anime-themed costumes, and a whole mess of glitter! Oh, and let’s not forget about the sea of Rezz, Seven Lions, and Illenium jerseys throughout the weekend.
Frolicking Between circuitGROUNDS, quantumVALLEY, and neonGARDEN.
The talent at circuitGROUNDS this year was unreal: Tinlicker, Nora en Pure, Jason Ross, KX5, the list goes on! My favorite set, though, was no other than Eric Prydz!
For 75 minutes, Prydz created an experience so immersive that I forgot about the ginormous festival happening behind me. Illuminating visuals of stars zipping around lush planets, lightning storms, and androids whose glossy shells reflected the radiant colors of space teleported me into a Prydaverse of electrifying synths. It was a breathtaking journey across a dazzling universe as he played “Allein,” “Every Day,” and “Juletider.”
To the right of CG was quantumVALLEY. I missed Ilan Bluestone’s set, but I did catch Mat Zo, Craig Connelly, and freakin’ MaRLo. It was an emotional end for the Australian’s set as Triode and Linney (who sang live) appeared on stage for their rendition of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up.” (RIP)
Just outside of QV was neonGARDEN. NG stayed true to its underground roots with a minimalistic design compared to the other eight stages. Between the dusky neon lights sweeping the crowd and the onslaught of techno reverberating off the stacks of steel containers encasing the dance floor, I felt like I was at a rave within a festival. Joseph Capriati, Charlotte de Witte, Anfisa Letyago, Deborah De Luca, and I Hate Models were some artists I saw over the weekend. Though, Adam Beyer’s three-hour set was my choice of the best act at NG.
A Negative And A Positive.
My biggest complaint about this year’s EDC is about the bathrooms by BP and NG. There was only one opening used as an exit and an entrance, so people would get stuck trying to leave or enter. There were times when I feared a trampling situation would happen. Of course, the frustration caused a few fights, and a few people got their phones stolen while crammed in the herd of ravers. The situation got better on the second and third day of EDC.
Stepping away from the negatives, one cool thing about this year’s EDC was seeing people my age or older Under the Electric Sky. Josh, 35, a travel nurse from Texas, was one of the many who brought his parents.
“My whole life, my dad has shown me different cultures, places he loved as a child, and things he didn’t have growing up,” he said. Josh knew his father would enjoy the festival because they share an interest in art, and his stepmother loves to dance. “Now my dad has a crew for next year and already has his VIP tickets secured, lol.”
“They wanted to stop everywhere and take pictures; it felt kinda like I was parenting small children because if we got separated, I couldn’t just text them to find them,” he said. Despite having the parental roles reversed, Josh could not think of any way to better celebrate his 7th EDC than by sharing it with his parents. “I think the most fun part for me was at Tiesto since it’s one of the few artists they knew; watching them dance and really enjoying the set was priceless.”
My Take Away
Reading everyone’s posts online about how they wish they were still with other Headliners Under the Electric Sky made me realize the most significant thing EDC offers is a connection with other people. I felt more PLUR this year compared to the last five years. I believe the Electric Daisy Carnival can create these magical moments of love and joy through music and adventure. Of course, I don’t want to discredit other people’s negative experiences because some things are out of your hands. But if you take the risk, I believe you’ll find a community willing to help elevate your experience (if it’s within their power, of course).
Not sure when I’ll stop going to EDC, but it won’t be soon. I hope to see y’all next year Under the Electric Sky.
Finally got off my lazy bum and did something for the #iheartraves blog. Just some #musicfestival wear stuff to try and keep cool the next time you’re sweating balls at a #festival . God I miss my neon #rave attire. Can’t wait for #EDC
I know I haven’t created any content lately. I finished working at a property without Internet and have been back in LA for almost two months getting my life back together. Hopefully, I can finish up some writing and videos soon. The iHeartRaves blog post is the latest thing I’ve finished so I figured I might as well share it. So…enjoy?
The lads from EVT give some advice on finding your tribe. I know it’s hard picking your friends or the right rave family to open your heart to; trust me, I know. It took me a while to feel like I was good enough to be loved and to love. I’m not an expert at making friends, which is why Harman, Devin, Kevin, and Michael are here to help me try and explain how to? Iono, I’m weird, and feelings are hard. DON’T LOOK AT ME. I’M A MONSTER.
If you would like to share your story about how you found your tribe, let us know in the comment section below.
ALSO!!!! The posting date of this clip is Feb 17th, 2021. It’s also the date for two members of the EVTs birthdays: Kevin and Harpreet!!! So happy bday and I wish the best to your health and happiness.
Festivals have been a massive part of my life. In a time when I was discovering my love for a genre of music once labeled for losers and outcasts, my rave family was there to help me find a sense of home and feel accepted. Compared to my Asian upbringing, my expeditions under the Electric Skys with the ZipperSquad helped me find and freed a wilder, weirder, and more affectionate part of myself I didn’t know was there.
On this episode of #sorryasianparents, I am lucky to have Harman, Devin, Kevin, and Michael sit down with me to share their own story about their chosen family: Eternal Vibe Tribe. A group of unique individuals who managed to catch lightning in a bottle at a Dada Life show in some Chicago club through a serendipitous series of events.
To be honest, I chuckled when Kevin called his EVT brothers shamans of music. Being Asian, I imagined their near 100 members wearing traditional clothes and dancing underneath a bass-heavy tent. However, by the end of the video, I knew he was right.
From start to finish, I couldn’t help but feel overcome by their affection and spirit as these four cheerfully narrated their journey to me. When our meeting was over, I knew that their bond transcended music festivals’ boundaries as they continue to support one another in their everyday lives.
If you enjoyed their story or want to share your own story, comment down below. I would love to hear it, especially during this time of isolation.
00:00 – Shooting the Shizznats
00:38 – Welcoming Kev, Dev, Harman, and Mike
01:50 – What Does EVT Stand For? And Their Origin Story
13:30 – The Rave Scene in the Midwest and How Everyone Got into the Electronic Dance Music
20:28 – How Friends Became Family After EDC Chicago 2013
32:32 – Describing Their First EDC Experience
38:26 – Comparing Raves and Music Festivals Outside of California
40:00 – EVT Heads to EDC 2016 in Vegas
44:00 – Comparing EDC to TomorrowWorld and TW 2013 Connections IRL
47:15 – How Many People Are in EVT? And EDC 2016 Stories
54:00 – EDC 2016 Favorite Moment w/ Above & Beyond and The Rally
1:02:30 – Electric Forest
1:06:15 – Harman’s Memorable Moment w/ EVT
1:07:47 – Dev’s Memorable Moment at Electric Forest 2019
1:09:23 – Mike’s Memorable Moment at TomorrowWorld 2015
1:13:30 – Kev Remembering All Great Sucky Times Together and EF 2018 Storm
1:23:00 – The Birth of The Real DLR, U4IK & SNRG
1:37:02 – EVT Supporting Eachother in Many Different Ways
1:41:55 – Advice on Finding Your Own Tribe/Be Yourself
On this episode of #sorryasainparents, I’m joined by CupCake, RidicuLance, and Vortex for a mini ZipperSquad reunion. We will be sharing with y’all stories of a time when we were just a bunch of broke youths trying to make festivals happen and (of course) EDC!!!
When I started this YouTube project, I knew I would be talking about my music festival journey a lot. This video is the second time I’ve brought up the Electric Daisy Carnival, and it probably won’t be the last. I am grateful to have these three (this time and probably more times) with me, so y’all won’t have to hear just me blabbering on about my glory daze for almost two hours!
So, you’re welcome.
It could be a bit hard to follow our overeager-storytelling as we zip and zap through a bunch of cautionary tales of our early raver days. Still, we couldn’t help getting excited when talking about our nights under the Electric Sky. For this reason, I’ve included timestamps marking things like our early struggles raving in a pre-smartphone era and having to deal with paper tickets, Nocturnal Wonderland and the NOS Event Center, and even infamous TomorrowWorld! I know our conversation may seem a bit erratic, but I’m sure our love for the events hosted by Insomniac will make everything seem connected . . . I hope.
It’s a shame I can’t get all of my rave family together in one video (because that would just be a chaotic mess, let’s be honest). I wish I could, though. I love everyone whom I’ve met throughout my rave journey. Being in this pandemic, I’ve come to realize how much I miss every one of those beautiful souls. And If I’ve learned anything from being stuck at home, limited to Zoom calls, it’s not to take your bonds and friendships for granted.
So I hope this video can bring some of y’all (who are also missing their rafe fam, festie besties, and the euphoric feeling of being on the dance floor surrounded by beats and lights) a little comfort. If y’all have any stories y’all wanna share, feel free to post them down below.
PS, I want to apologize for some of the crappy pictures; I had to extract most of them from Facebook. But like the memories we made, these shitty pictures are an accurate representations of the times we shared, cloaked in a beautiful haze of dreams and stupidity.
0:00:00 – Intro
0:01:00 – Welcoming In The Gang
0:02:00 – Starting Off 2020 w/ A Bang!
0:02:50 – Prepping For 2021 Festivals (COVID Measures)
0:05:00 – INSOMNIAC And EDC 2020 Problems
0:07:30 – 2020, The Year Of DJ Livestreams
0:11:50 – We Used To Deal w/ Physical Tickets, GrooveTickets, And MapQuest
0:16:30 – The NOS Event Center and Beginning Our Journey At Nocturnal Wonderland
0:23:17 – HARD vs INSOMNIAC Events
0:28:10 – Evolving Our Music Taste And Timeless Artist On Repeat (Above & Beyond, Seven Lions)
0:32:00 – Beyond Wonderland 2012 w/ ASOT 550 and The Knights Inn
0:35:55 – EDC Part1: 2012 Duststorm, Thursday Night Bar Crawl, And The Friendship Lineup
0:46:30 – Vegas Kinda Sucks w/out EDC
0:48:30 – Doing Crazier (Stupider) Stuff When We Were Younger
0:50:45 – TomorrowWorld 2015, Chicago Fam, And Risking Our Life And Jobs For Squad
1:05:40 – EDC Part2: EDC 2013 (Da Best Year), Fitting 13 People in a 2 Bed Hotelroom, EDC Traffic
1:13:00 – Boomer Ravers, Raving Used To Be Controlled Chaos, Off The Main Stages
1:18:40 – Being Messed Up At Raves and TomorrowWorld (Again!)
1:20:30 – Those EDC Moments, Our EDC Numbers, And Our Favorite EDC Stages
1:31:20 – The Last Time We Gave Out Kandi At A Festival, And The Scene Has Changed
1:35:20 – Prohibited Rave Items And Festival Security
1:39:00 – Safety At Festivals, Finally Getting Free Water, And New Friends
1:44:40 – We Miss Festivals And The Friendship Lineup
1:49:43 – Being Broke And Raving Made Everything Stressful
1:52:53 – Saying Our Goodbyes, Till Next Time
I know it’s been a while since I posted something on this thing. And lately, I’ve just been posting videos from my project with my friends and I. I hope to get some good, painstakingly long writing to y’all soon. The last two months have been a little crazy with my brother passing and me contracting COVID/pneumonia. But I’ve recovered and promise to get some stuff down soon. But in the meantime, here is a video my long time buddy Daniel and I created for my #SorryAsianParents YouTube channel.
I know I have two other channels (Weebthusiast and Stage Name Comedy), but this one is primarily going to be me putting my friends on blast via the Internet. For this channel, it’s going to be recordings of my friends and I telling old stories or just exploring our thoughts about random things or current events with little to no filter. So expect a lot of videos of us yelling into the mic or getting excited at the most obscured things. And we’ll prob have a book club on the side.
So, I hope y’all enjoy it because as long as quarantine is going on, more of these “learning experiences” videos will be made!
Hi-hi. I guess this is the first video on this channel and what a better way to start it off than with one of my oldest friends talking about stupid shit we did. In this video, we are recapping (reliving) the most excellent Electric Dasiy Carnival EVER!!! 2013. Well, the one with the best friendship lineup ever, at least. You get to listen to some of our “coming of age” stories from EDC like the pool parties, neglecting responsibilities, and all-out good times with the ZipperSquad. Yes, I know. But it was the early music festival days, so everyone had a name for their squad.
I hope some of this gibberish can help those of you who are missing festival season right now during this quarantine. Times are tough, and we will get through it together. If y’all have a story y’all like to share, then post in the comments below. Bye-bye.
I would like to share a letter I wrote to my friends after someone shared with me some words to remember after the death of a loved one:
Someone who I had worked with recently passed away; her name was Judy. I didn’t work with her much, but I knew the fun person she was and the energy she brought to the room.
One of her close friends, Mark, gave me some wise words that have been lingering in my mind since last Thursday. While drinking a few Titos and soda with a Titos back, he told me to cherish the people who bring joy to my life because you never know what’s going to happen or when they will leave this world.
What Mark said made me think about all the times I have shared with everyone (my friends in the ZipperSquad) in and out of this group. All of those euphoric, blurry nights at music festivals (especially at the Electric Daisy Carnival) and beyond. For some of y’ all, it was like beyond, beyond.
I’m starting to realize that we are all living our life, growing into the spirited person we are all meant to be. And, of course, with life comes death. As we continue to grow from stupid teenagers to even sillier Adults, our encounters with lost will become more frequent as time continues to do its natural thing.
Sometimes our paths in life don’t always run alongside another or intercepts often, but that doesn’t mean the time we have shared was for naught. We have shared moments of joy and, of course, we were together in times of need. The company we each provided was the foundation of happiness I felt as I attempted to mature through my 20s.
In the grand scheme of things, all the hiccups and mistakes we all have made doesn’t really matter. What does matter is the bonds we forged through nights filled with side-aching laughter alongside those grey days showered by our tears. Life is short and we never really know what’s going to happen. I wish for everyone to appreciate the friends and family you keep and hope for you to enjoy their company to the fullest.
This could all be a bunch of gibberish from a man with too much time to think. But I would be lying if I said I don’t daydream of partying with everyone from dusk to dawn, or if I forgot about those times where we would sing offkey on our way to a burrito spot, or if I did not value the countless nights where I drunkenly shared a piece of myself. However, I did tell a lie. When I felt the distance between our friendship begin to grow, I reflected a cold manner where I did not care. Though some of y’ all saw through my facade, I was selfish to do so. My memories with everyone are endless, and so is my sincere affection for everyone.
I hope this message sparks a nostalgic stroll in that beautiful mind of yours. It could be tomorrow when hearing that one song causes your brain to malfunction, looping the same memory as the music teleports you to the past. Or it could be when you spontaneously burst in laughter and can’t stop smiling at some stupid meme that uncovers a forgotten moment. If you have missed your bus stop because you couldn’t help looking at festival pictures suggested by Facebook Memories, or any other moments like these, then I implore you to reshare that memory and tell them how much you appreciate the impact of their friendship.
(TL;DR) Sorry for rambling on. Just so I can sound like a broken record, just make sure you appreciate one another and cherish those bonds that you have formed with your friends, current or past. If someone is on your mind make sure you tell them that they have a special place in your heart and that you will always remember the times you have spent with one another. If you ever find yourself where you need a friend to talk to, reach out. Depression and social anxiety in our generation are common, and your friends are there for you. Being vulnerable is ok. Just being there to listen can be all someone needs. Life is too short for pettiness to come between love for another. Remember, friends are the family you chose; there is a reason why you selected them to be a part of yourself and your journey.
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