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Memorial Day Weekend has come to an end, and festival season has officially kicked into full gear. This weekend might have been one of the biggest of the year for the EDM scene, with Mysteryland, Movement Detroit, Sunset Music Festival, and more all taking place over the long weekend. I was lucky enough to attend Electric Daisy Carnival NY on Saturday, and couldn’t have been more pleased with my day spent at Metlife Stadium.

Biggest Early Surprise(s): Firebeatz & Jack Beats

Firebeatz had always been on my list of must-sees, and after the day of their performance at Electric Zoo was canceled back in 2013, I was feeling like I’d never get to see the Dutch duo live. So, the minute I saw that they were performing early at EDCNY this Saturday, I made sure to head to their set right when I got in. Firebeatz COMPLETELY blew me away; they mixed up their set with a ton of different genres, and had the perfect mix of sing-along classics like Calvin Harris’s “Sweet Nothing” and Daft Punk’s “Harder Better Faster Stronger” and insane beats like their popular remix of Rune RK’s “Calabria” and, what might’ve been my favorite song of the day, a trap remix of “No Heroes,” their collab with KSHMR. They kept the energy up their entire set, drew a very impressive crowd for playing at 3pm, and played IDs that will take the scene by storm. They closed out, appropriately, with “Dear New York,” which left me impressed as I departed the circutGROUNDS.

Another surprise of the day were Jack Beats. I had heard the name, but never really made it a point to listen to their music before. As we were wandering between stages, their beats reverberated throughout my eardrums and pulled me into the circutGROUNDS. We stayed on the outskirts of the crowd and grooved out to duo’s sounds for the remainder of the set, and the first thing I did Sunday morning was check out more of their music. Definitely an act who took me by surprise last Saturday.

Biggest “Wow” Moment: Seeing the kineticCATHEDRAL

There are no words that can adequately put the sight of the kineticCATHEDRAL into words. Nicknamed the “owl” stage by many of my rookie rave friends, the stage blew every past EDCNY stage out of the water times a million. Hosting the likes of Carnage, UMEK, Blasterjaxx, Martin Garrix, and Hardwell throughout the day, I was in awe during most of the sets I saw there, simply because of its sheer size and the detail went into its creation. I also got great views of the mainstage from the swings, which I went on three separate times throughout the day. After Hardwell closed out a fantastic first day of EDCNY, the kineticCATHEDRAL sent a message out to its fans that it was closing for the evening, after a magical day, and that tomorrow would begin a new day. 3D graphics filled the windows, as the owls shut their eyes and doors shut, signaling the end of the night.

Biggest Logistical Issue: The Availability of Water Stations

Ah, the most common issue with a festival strikes again: H2O. I cannot harp on Insomniac too much, as they provided all festival-goers with free water refills. The problem, was, however, where these stations were located. After finding the water refill early on in the day, I failed to find the same station for the rest of the day, even as I traveled from stage-to-stage. The refill stations were not placed in logical locations for people traveling across the grounds, and were tucked away towards the sides of stages. I wonder if this was a decision made on purpose, as I wound up buying four waters throughout the day instead of refilling my water bottle for free. Either way, it didn’t make or break the night, but it was one of the few small issues that arose throughout the day.

Best Set of the Day (IMO): Yellow Claw

I’m obviously a little biased here, because I’ve loved the trio ever since I saw them for the first time at EDCNY 2014. I made sure to get to their set early, and I’m glad I did. The cosmicMEADOW filled up rapidly as Seven Lions (who also blew me away) closed his head-banging set. The minute Yellow Claw stepped on stage, they took EDCNY by the horns and didn’t turn down the energy for all 60 minutes. They played their most well-known tracks, such as “Shotgun,” “Till It Hurts,” and their trap remix of “Cannonball.” They also played a lot of IDs that will debut on their first album, “Blood for Mercy,” later on in 2015. Bizzey, Nils, and Jim are taking the trap scene by storm, so if you’re heading to EDC Las Vegas in just under a month, make sure you check out what is sure to be a killer set.

With many friends choosing Mysteryland over EDCNY because of the “good vibes” on the Woodstock grounds, I was a little bit nervous to study the crowd and see if what they were claiming would in fact be the truth. I was pleased that, despite the 18+ age limit (as opposed to 21+ of Mysteryland), there didn’t seem to be many people who were out of control or disruptive. I didn’t run into anyone being carried off on a stretcher or being reprimanded by police, which was a pleasant change from the last festival I attended. I think the vibes were just fine at EDCNY – maybe even improved from years past, and the lineup definitely showed why Insomniac is the best out there.

As usual the rides were a great addition to the many activities you could participate in. The light shows were magical, and, for the most part, the speaker systems were on point. Every stage’s design was drastically improved from last year, and everything appeared to run extremely smoothly (minus horrific entry and bathroom lines (to be expected)).

My only regret was not being able to attend on Sunday! From those I spoke to, Kaskade, Eric Prydz, and DJ Snake stole the show. Luckily, I have my second chance to see these three and more at EDC Las Vegas June 19-21!

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