I had yet another weekend for the books. I drove home to Orlando to go to the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) with two of my best friends who I haven’t seen in months.
I briefly mentioned it when I talked about glitter in my last post about 90’s beauty trends, but there’s so much more to this event than glitter, so it deserves its own post.
EDC is one of the many music festivals here in the U.S., but this one is the biggest EDM (electronic dance music) festivals in the world! Besides Orlando, it’s also held in Las Vegas, Nevada, which is a bigger event than the one here in Orlando. EDC Las Vegas is a bigger event, and it goes for three days, while the Orlando one is two, but either way I’ve heard really good things about both. To describe it in simpler terms, it’s basically a giant rave.
I’ve only been to two music festivals before this one: Vans Warped Tour in Orlando, Florida in 2011, and Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival in Okeechobee, Florida this past March, but I can confirm that that the vibes and crowd at each one were totally different. Vans Warped Tour is a lot more punk and alternative, while Okeechobee is one of the ones on the bohemian and hippie side, and both have live musicians. EDC on the other hand, is slightly more diverse but since the genre is EDM, the artists performing are pretty much all DJ’s and producers.
When it comes to the fashion, if you’ve ever been to a music festival, or have seen pictures from one, you know that there’s a huge range. However, because of the crowd that the specific festival attracts it’s easy to spot a general type of overall style. At Warped Tour, you’d see a lot of punk rock styles, band tees, several tattoos and piercings, and bright unnatural hair colors, but at Okeechobee, you’re more likely to see boho and indie styles, crochet tops, flower crowns and headwraps, and braids. Think Zumiez vs. Urban Outfitters.
Something that both Warped Tour and Okeechobee have in common is that the outfits a lot of people wear there are outfits they could wear to school or to lunch, EDC, is a little more out there, and mostly everyone, especially girls, seems to be half naked and in tight, revealing, and bright clothing, especially the girls.
Common pieces I saw over the weekend were spandex booty shorts, bra-like crop tops, low-cut onsies, and tutus. Accessory wise, there were a lot of leg wraps, furry leg warmers, fish nets, and elaborate face and body paint.
It wasn’t uncommon to see people dressed as characters, or in matching outfits either, especially on the second day. As the festival went on, clothing became more elaborate, colorful, decorative, and out there. Some of the more memorable ones we saw were a girl dressed as Wonder Woman, a group of friends dressed as classic Nintendo characters, a group of girls in matching corsets and tall colorful hair, and a man in a dinosaur suit.
The outfits that I put together weren’t that intense, but I still fit right in. I threw something together very last minute, like 30 minutes before leaving last minute. I basically brought a big bag of various pieces, some of which I had bought that morning, to my friend Cole’s house, the place where we prepared and recovered from the festival.
Since my DSLR camera wasn’t allowed in, I didn’t get any quality pictures of my outfits, so I recreated them in my apartment so I could showcase them more clearly, well, except for the bottoms from outfit because accidentally left them back home. But, I will post some pictures I took at the actual event too, so you won’t be missing much.
For the first day, I wore a burnt orange lace bralette top from a store called Styles For Less, and a rainbow tutu from Party City, which were two of the things I had to run and get a few hours before. I was originally planning on wearing a yellow highlighter colored tutu I had from high school, but I’m not as small as I was back then, and when I got home and tried it on, it was way too small. I had to go on a hunt for a replacement, and luckily I was able to find one.
I paired the lace bralette and tutu with pink homemade leg wraps, which were actually very easy to make. All there was to it was getting some elastic cording from the craft store, making a band that fits around your thigh, securing it with hot glue and/or a needle and thread, then slipping a long piece of cord through the band, wrapping it around your leg how you please, and tying it to secure it.
I topped off the look with a daisy flower crown made from garland, and a bright yellow D.A.R.E. fanny pack. For shoes, I borrowed these awesome silver metallic slip ons that my mom had, they matched perfectly too!
On day two, I wore the metallic shoes and fanny pack again, but this time with a ruffled neon bikini top, pink Under Armour spandex, pink and white fuzzy leg warmers, and a multi-colored flower crown which I also made from garland. I got a lot of complements on this outfit, mostly because all of the colors went really well together and just worked.
The beaded bracelets I’m wearing on my wrist are called Kandi, and they’re one of the unique aspects of rave culture. A single piece of Kandi is constructed with elastic string, decorative beads, and a message written with alphabet beads. Some people go all out and make decorative cuffs, necklaces, and pop culture charms made from the beads you melt together with an iron. They’re made before raves to trade or giveaway to other ravers when they have a bonding moment.
Trading isn’t just taking off your bracelet and handing it to the other person, there’s a special handshake involved, called the PLUR handshake. P.L.U.R. stands for Peace, Love, Unity, Respect, and each motion of the handshake spells this out respectively in gestures.
The actual trade happens during the fourth (respect) motion. While the hands are still clasped, one at a time the ravers pull the Kandi they are giving over both hands and on to the receiver’s wrist. It works a lot better than it sounds!
I traded with people in the crowd, a girl I met that had the same fanny pack as me, and someone I met who also happens to go to FSU. I also gave one away to a girl I bonded with by the bathrooms when she gave me toilet paper and smuggled Captain Morgan. That exchange was my favorite because that girl had no idea what the PLUR handshake was or what I was doing, and when I taught her she was completely in awe. That’s really what PLUR is all about, spreading the love and kindness.
Besides the little bit of rain on Friday night, my first EDC was an amazing experience and huge success, and I’m so happy I got to spend the weekend with two of my best friends. I would go again in a heartbeat. I hope I inspired those of you that have a rave-like event or EDM concert coming up. But, while they’re super fun, they can be dangerous if you don’t take care of yourself. Make sure you eat, stay hydrated, don’t bring anything you would want to get lost or stolen, and don’t wear your favorite pair of shoes!
dress well. eat well. live well.