What it's like to attend Electric Daisy Carnival, one of America's biggest electronic music dance parties

Edc nyc 2016Adi Adinayev for InsomniacA massive owl face looked over partygoers at the EDC NY main stage at Citi Field.

One of the world’s biggest electronic dance festivals returned to New York this weekend. A wildly popular experience that started in Los Angeles and then moved to Las Vegas, Electric Daisy Carnival brought in over 79,000 visitors to New York’s Citi Field Saturday and Sunday.

EDC is known for its whimsical themes: attendees dressed in bold costumes, rode a brightly-lit Ferris wheel and other carnival rides, and danced underneath a giant, stylised owl face that decorated the main stage. Each of the four stages, in fact, was a veritable light show — and, there were fireworks.

For legendary trance DJ Ferry Corsten, who’s been in the business for over two decades and plays over 100 shows a year, EDC is still one of the biggest festivals around. This weekend, he brought his trance project Gouryella to the stage.

“What I like about EDC is that they always put a lot of effort into production,” Corsten told Business Insider. “It’s quite visual-driven.”

Business Insider checked out the sprawling festival, where four stages hosted big-name DJs like Zedd, Kaskade, and Afrojack alongside up-and-comers like Alison Wonderland and Marshmello. As guests of Jägermeister, we got to have the full EDC experience. Tickets started at $119 for one day of access.

Take a look at the weekend’s adventure below.

During the day, the festival was a riot of activity and spectacle.

Adi Adinayev for Insomniac

Face and body painting were popular, and attractions like a ball pit and carnival rides kept partygoers entertained.

Get Tiny for Insomniac

As electronic dance music (EDM) and the accompanying festivals have blown up over the past few years, the music has had a tendency to be 'very much bro music for the dudes out there,' Corsten said.

Adi Adinayev for Insomniac

But that's all changing. 'Crisscrossing the terrain at EDC New York, I noticed that the music is slowly becoming a lot more danceable again,' Corsten said.

Freedom Film LLC for Insomniac

'This time I really noticed there was more groove going on, tracks were played longer, and music was breathing a lot more,' he said.

Freedom Film LLC for Insomniac

A giant, light-up Ferris wheel was a major attraction, and it towered over the grounds.

Jessica Mai/Business Insider

Even Tinder had its own ride. Naturally, it was a 'matchmaker' theme.

Jessica Mai/Business Insider

Or you could wait in line for the swings.

Jessica Mai/Business Insider

Despite chilly weather, optimistic partiers dressed for summer. We met all kinds of characters.

Adi Adinayev for Insomniac

These models hosted a quirky treehouse-style bar for J├Ągermeister.


This guy, a model who has worked for Versace, didn't seem to mind the evening cold at all.

Jessica Mai/Business Insider

Here's Afrojack during his main stage set. At his night club residencies, Afrojack will make $150,000 a night or more. Club-goers will often pay thousands of dollars just to get in to the venues. In comparison, festival tickets are a steal.

aLIVE Coverage for Insomniac

Source: The New Yorker

The production of these festivals improves every year, and new events crop up each season.

Adi Adinayev for Insomniac

For longtime DJs like Corsten, the increasing sophistication of the audience's music taste is an encouraging trend. 'I really want to go back to the big old melodies that give you goosebumps,' he said.

Jessica Mai/Business Insider

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.