By Andrea Domanick
It's around 4 a.m. when DJ Steve Aoki starts pouring sparkling wine on himself, and one gets the feeling that the first night of Electric Daisy Carnival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is finally beginning to crest. Rapper Iggy Azalea appears alongside Aoki; the spitfire's set works the crowd further into a frenzy. Whether pressed against the stage or lingering by an “Electric Lemonade” stand, there isn’t a single person who isn’t dancing for as far as the eye can see.
The dance music and arts festival opened its doors at 7 p.m., letting in an estimated 115,000 fans until the early hours of the morning. Given the scale and nature of the event, the evening went off with relatively few incidents.
"I was very impressed. They're a very well-behaved group. Not a single incident came through on the radio," says Joe Valdastri, a member of the security staff. He says the biggest problem he'd encountered was instances of attendees getting sick after carnival rides or from one too many drinks.
While medical personnel could not comment on issues they encountered, the night's cool weather — temperatures fell to a breezy mid-70s — and abundance of resting spots and water stations appeared to keep instances of fainting and dehydration to a minimum. However, a handful of stretchers carrying people out of the venue were spotted throughout the night.
Andrew Williamson, a festival volunteer manning the water stations, described the thirsty attendees as “gracious and patient,” while noting that lines for water were somewhat thinner than they were last year.
The grounds remained spacious enough to comfortably walk or dance; however, those looking to sit were faced with water bottles, cans, spent glowsticks and other trash that seemed to blanket the entire speedway.
Traffic to and from the event was a nuisance, as attendees waited up to two hours getting in and out.
“You can’t really do anything about traffic, but at least the security line was a breeze,” says Diana, 27, from San Diego. She and a group of friends also attended last year and says that the increase in both scale and attendance has only enhanced the experience.
“We’re crazy about the music, but it’s also the whole scene. There’s nothing like it. Everyone has been really respectful to each other,” she says.
When the sun came up, fans began making their way out en masse, but many remained immersed in the music, rides and art installations. If it weren't for staff kicking everyone out at 6 a.m., the party could keep going all day long.
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