• The Final Touch

    The Final Touch

    As the hours tick down to the start of EDC Las Vegas weekend, you obsessively check the clock with excitement over and over again. It can’t come soon enough. But you also worry you still won’t be ready in time as the prime hour inches closer. After all, you’ve been planning your outfits for months, and you’ve been waiting for this exact moment all year long.

    As the final beat dropped during last year’s fête, you were already pondering how to top yourself the next time around. Would you enlist the help of your friends and go as a coordinated group? Should it be something representing your favorite DJ? Or perhaps it’ll be time fraught with an overabundance of creativity.

    Your desire to express your unique sense of self started with your first event, whenever ago. You were inspired by what you saw everywhere. There was the guy with furry, tiger-print pajama-style pants he sewed himself specifically for cuddle puddle situations and the girl with strategically placed white electrical tape and not much else besides an orange wig, to channel The Fifth Element. You also saw a group of girls who made their own tutus out of multiple layers of brightly colored tulle. The only thing out of the ordinary was the guy in a white T-shirt and jeans, and he was still welcomed with open arms and dancing like a wild man.

    After that, you discovered your own personal fountain of imagination from somewhere within. You’d make your own patterns to match the shoes you’d be wearing, and the house would be covered in a layer of fuzz when the sewing machine needle snapped as you guided the thick fabric beneath the metal foot. Extra swatches were carefully hand-sewn onto a bra for a coordinated top. Another trip to the local Jo-Ann yielded crochet hooks and yarn. Your bestie makes the best hair dreads, and while she made you a pair for your first EDC experience, you know it’s about time you learned on your own so you won’t have to bug her all the time.

    You and your friend Twilight (she got her rave name way before those vampire books) decide to make matching outfits—sort of “rave rag dolls,” if you will—with black fluffies, black pleated skirts, and black-and-red furry bras. It was crocheting the colored yarn hair dreads that took the longest, as they hung halfway down your backs. All in all, a month’s worth of sewing and crafting, between school and work and other daily life events, went into these ensembles alone. As an extra functionality measure, you also use Muppet fur to construct two drawstring backpacks.

    But while the outfit is ready, only half your work is done. Now come the intricacies of making a mountain of kandi to trade with your fellow Headliners and soon-to-meet new friends. So why not host a kandi-making party? You call up your rave family and remind them to BYOM: Bring Your Own Music. Days before everyone is set to come over, you comb through the EDC lineup, searching for the best songs from your favorite artists on this year’s roster. But there are a few names you don’t recognize, so then you fall down the playlist rabbit hole, discovering new DJs and ending up with more than 20 hours of music programmed. Well, if it turns into a weekend-long kandi sleepover, so be it; you’re more than prepared.

    Then, the big day comes: EDC Las Vegas is finally here. Your whole crew gathers at your hotel room hours before doors are set to open. Crowded around the bathroom mirror, putting the final and seemingly most miniscule details on the day’s outfit, and finishing up listening to that epic playlist, you wolf down a bowl of takeout pasta because no one had time to cook.

    As you gaze into the mirror one last time before heading out to the Speedway, you take a few minutes to look at your stunning creation and bask in its magnificence. You remember all the sweat and tears and long hours and deep concentration that went into that one outfit, and you begin to realize why it’s all worth it. You’re now a living, breathing element adding to the EDC experience, and your appearance adds a dash of extra charm and specialness in a vast sea of beauty.

    You take one perfect photo as you head out the door and off to your adventure, another EDC memory sure to last forever.

    EDC Las Vegas 2016 takes place June 17–19 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. A limited number of VIP tickets and shuttle passes are available now. For more information, visit the official website.

    Deanna Rilling is the most down-to-earth writer you’ll ever know. Follow her on Twitter.