Canadian Headliners Spread the Spirit of EDC
With several editions across the US and a growing expansion into international lands, EDC has become a truly global phenomenon in its 20-year existence. The festival attracts ravers from all over the world, so it should come as no surprise that there’s always a strong contingent of neighbors from the North making the annual rave pilgrimage to EDC Las Vegas and various other EDC destinations. Last year, we met a ton of Canadian ravers in Vegas, and we got to experience the kindness and friendliness of ravers from the Great White North firsthand.
With EDC Vegas less than 100 days away, we caught up with some Canadian kandi kids who are spreading the spirit of EDC to their homeland and beyond. Meet Amanda Silbernagel of Calgary, Alberta, who was so excited to return to her happy place Under the Electric Sky, she created the EhDC Facebook group to bring together kindred spirits from the land where the maple syrup flows freely and lumberjacks dance through forests with techno blasting from their headphones. Also, get to know fellow Canadian Scott Sideways, who is a bit of a rave celeb in Toronto, representing the city with his +27,000-strong Instagram presence.
Read all about these raving Canucks, and if you run into Canadians like Amanda and Scott at EDC, don’t be shy—give them a hug! It’s true what they say about Canadian manners.
Who are you in your everyday life, and where do you live?
Amanda Silbernagel: I live in Calgary, Alberta—born and raised. It’s tough to leave the mountains! I’m a dental hygienist by day and a competitive cheerleader and gymnastics instructor by night. Let’s just say I can’t have as much fun with my daytime scrub uniform as I can creating my rave bras and other rave attire. Being a competitive cheerleader allows for me to take cool pictures.
Scott Sideways: Toronto (the 6ix), Ontario, Canada. In my day-to-day life, I work as a digital marketing manager. As my full-time career endeavor, I’m a model/actor and pilot, and I work with many different companies through Instagram for different promotions and sponsorships. And of course, I’m a contributor to iHeartRaves.
Amanda, why did you start the EhDC Facebook page?
Amanda Silbernagel: I began the page to make new friends. I had a falling out with some individuals with whom I had planned to go to EDC Las Vegas 2015, and I was now a lone wolf with a ticket to EDC. I figured, what better way to meet some new friends before EDC and potentially find a hotel mate and a new rave family. It then became a place for advice for newbies and veterans and a place to share our experiences Under the Electric Sky.
How many times have you been to EDC?
Amanda Silbernagel: I’ve attended EDC in Las Vegas twice: 2014 and 2015. I am hoping to make my return this year for the 20th anniversary.
Scott Sideways: Last year was my first one, actually. I already have my ticket for this year! I would like to continue to come back every year. It’s a wonderful experience, and I’ve had the ability to meet many artists and fellow ravers because of it.
It’s a pretty big distance to travel! What makes EDC amazing for you?
Amanda Silbernagel: It’s decently far to travel just for a festival. However, EDC is not just a festival. It’s life-changing. My first year, in 2014, I met so many wonderful souls, people of all walks of life. Every person I met was happy to be celebrating music, friendship and life. It isn’t just about the party in Vegas. The crowd EDC attracts is really one big family. I was so blessed to be a part of it, I couldn’t wait to return and bought my EDC Las Vegas 2015 ticket the day they went on sale.
Scott Sideways: It is a big distance—about a 5.5-hour flight! For me, EDC is less about the music as it is the experience, the feeling of being around thousands of like-minded individuals that share a common love. It’s a feeling that can’t be explained enough. EDC is amazing because of the whole adventure. I travel across countries, across the continent, thousands of miles. It takes a car, cab, plane, taxi and the bus. There is so much to do and see; it’s an overwhelming punch to your senses.
How do you represent Canada at EDC? I heard there’s a special Canada gear day being planned.
Amanda Silbernagel: Day one at EDC seems to be the day where most attendees wear their country’s colors. Last year, I planned for this day and made an event for it on Facebook, requesting for everyone to proudly wear red and white and bring our nation’s flag! We had a group meetup on Friday and were lucky enough to contact Insomniac photographer Barrie Martelle of edmphotos.com. He was our man!
Scott Sideways: I always carry around a Canadian flag. When anyone sees or hears that I’m from Canada, they get excited. People love to meet people from other countries, and the general perception of Canada is quite positive, which always opens the door to many conversations. I also bring along many little Canadian trinkets, such as maple syrup bottles, necklaces, charms, etc., which I will give away to people.
What’s the weirdest question about Canada you’ve received at EDC?
Amanda Silbernagel: I can’t say I’ve had too many weird questions at festivals. Most people don’t really know too much about Canada, but to answer the typical Canadian question: No, we do not live in igloos and ride our dogsleds to work.
Scott Sideways: All the stereotypical ones: “Do you have an igloo? A pet beaver? Do you drink maple syrup? Is the Queen your president?” The weirdest question I can remember came from a girl in her early 20s, who approached me and asked if I could speak Canadian to her, and she couldn’t grasp the concept that it’s still English!
What were some of your favorite EDC moments?
Amanda Silbernagel: I’d have to say my favorite EDC moments are when an entire crowd of thousands of people joins together in singing the lyrics to a DJ set. It’s really like we are collectively one huge, loving family. My most memorable one is probably when Galantis closed kineticFIELD on the last day and everyone sang their hit “Runaway.” Another favorite part of EDC, in general, is trading kandi with fellow ravers through the well-known PLUR hand motions, which allow us to connect and share peace, love, unity and respect for one another.
Scott Sideways: After Above & Beyond, when the fireworks were going off—everyone turned away from the stage to watch. I could see tears in the eyes of almost everyone around me, bewilderment and amazement, a moment I won’t ever forget.
Where are your favorite places to party at home?
Amanda Silbernagel: The electronic scene in Calgary is definitely growing. Flames Central hosts a lot of big-name DJs, and the venue is great! Marquee also has hosted a few DJs and oftentimes has complimentary entrance, which is great for those of us on a budget planning to return to EDC. There are a few massive raves between Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, that happen throughout the year. A lot of us travel between the two cities to attend these events, which are often two days. It’s a chance for us to meet up with EDC-goers in other cities and have meetups.
Scott Sideways: Back in Toronto, I often visit Uniun, Coda, the Guvernment (before it closed down), Comfort Zone and Nest. I tend to go to a lot of house parties, though, which still rank among the best events since it’s much more intimate and relaxed.
Jesse Ship is based in Toronto and may or may not live in an igloo.
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