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Helicopter Rides, Pasties and Justin Bieber: My Journey Through EDC Las Vegas

There’s something about Vegas during EDC that turns the city into a beautifully chaotic mess that keeps even the most insane partiers from visiting that weekend. I, on the other hand, have a screw loose in my head from five weird years in college and decided to experience the insane weekend for 3 days on my own. I repeat, I did EDC alone.

Do I advise only getting 9 hours of sleep in 3 days and living off a room service and Jameson diet? No, I do not. But damn, was it fun.

From interviewing leading DJs to controlling the lights of a live show to weirdly partying next to Justin Bieber, my EDC Las Vegas weekend was something for the books.


FRIDAY, JUNE 19

12:30: I realize it’s hotter than hell once you leave the perfect bubble of L.A. I immediately question my entire wardrobe. Like no, Nicole, you didn’t need that black turtleneck.

2:30: Finally enter the shit show we call Vegas. Head to The Cromwell, which I’d thankfully call home for the next three days. I take the elevator up to the roof which hosts Drai’s Beach and Nightclub. I instantly understand I may not be ready for the insanity of this weekend after witnessing the pool. God help me.

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5:00: The Cromwell has a bridge that goes to Caesar’s Palace, so I headed there for dinner at Nobu (naturally I quoted The Hangover the entire time.) I was super pressed for time though as I had to catch my helicopter (yes, I never thought I’d say that in my life). But the problem about Nobu? You can’t rush that shit. This type of sushi is an art form.

7:05: I’m late for my helicopter because apparently Vegas doesn’t believe in Ubers, and paying for my antiquated taxi took a good 5 years off my life.

7:30: After downing a whisky ginger at the speed of light, I load into the helicopter with five other strangers. I think they are on drugs. I’m actually 100 percent sure they are on drugs. I know this because one of them keeps smiling at me like I’m also on drugs and he thinks we both understand each other.

7:55: I enter the pearly gates of no return. For some reason Guns N’ Roses “Welcome to the Jungle” is playing in my head as I’m surrounded by 135,000 people. My initial reaction: “I’m easily the most clothed person here.”

8:30: Finally find the press tent, which I refer to as “home base” for this entire three-day adventure. Not only does it have air conditioning, it has water, snacks, necessary Internet and humans that were on my level of soberness.

8:47: After getting prepared for a few interviews, I head to the main stage, known as Kinetic Field for Dutch DJ Afrojack’s headlining show. I’m taking pics in the pit and the bass is so intense I feel my entire body moving. Ensue headache.

9:00: HOLY CRAP WHY ARE ALL THE GIRLS HERE SO HOT? Why am I not wearing pasties? Why did I not wear a costume here? Why am I not wearing cool platform shoes?

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10:40: Oh, that’s right—because I can barely even walk in Converse.

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11:00: I make my way to Bass Pod, a stage near the center of the festival with fire shooting out of metal structures every time the bass drops. Appropriate huh? From a design standpoint, it’s really sweet.

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11:15: Water. Need. Water.

11:17: Found water. It involved a stampede similar to The Lion King before Mufasa tragically dies but all that matters is I got it.

12:00: Meet up with Nicky Romero at his trailer for an interview before his performance at Circuit Grounds. Yes it’s true—I showed an internationally acclaimed DJ his first Playboy centerfold. Pretty standard Friday.

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12:15: Head to press tent to recharge my cell phone and my soul. Eat some cookies and have my second drink of the night. Instantly regret it because I want more alcohol but I can’t because I need to be able to function. I stuff my face with cookies instead.

12:30: After I snapped a pic of a cute girl, she grabbed my hand and taught me what “PLUR” meant: Peace, love, unity, respect. We did some weird hand signals then she gifted me her kandy as a sign of friendship. Friend count: 1.

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12:40: Seriously, look at the love in this place. It might be the drugs (okay it’s probably the drugs) but everyone in here is happy.

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1:00: I had to see if Kaskade was going to break EDC like he did with weekend 1 of Coachella this year, and since I had a press pass, I could watch from the pit and not within the sweaty crowd.

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1:45: Trek through the neon-clad masses back to the artist trailer to interview British gentlemen Flux Pavilion, who turned out to be an amazing dude. We bonded over track pants and ‘70s music like Cream. I want a British accent now.

2:00-3:30: Total blackout mode from 113 degree heat and lack of alcohol. Your body shuts down because of too much alcohol? Mine does the opposite.

4:00 am: GET TO THE CHOPPA! Yes, I ran to my helicopter screaming that in an Arnold voice. I might be hallucinating at this point.

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SATURDAY, JUNE 20

11:00: What? Where am I? Oh pillows. Blanket. Yes. Bed.

11:17: Head to Giada De Laurentiis’ restaurant located conveniently in The Cromwell. A professional Italian chef cooking me breakfast and a bloody mary is exactly what I needed.

11:25: This caprese-inspired frittata just saved my life. Thank you, Giada.

2:00: Head upstairs to Drai’s for a video interview with Canadian duo Adventure Club, who’d be performing at the club before their set at EDC. There is so much debauchery going on I cannot handle it.

2:30: The Biebs is at Drais? So is Kirill Was Here? God save us all.

Ran into this guy and @slutwhisperer today #verynormal #justinbieber #bieberfever

A photo posted by Nicole Theodore (@nctheodore) on

5:30: Work done (for now.) Time for the pool.

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8:25: Head back to the festival, realize I will be in traffic for two and a half hours but I’m only going 18 miles from my hotel. Long gone are the days of the ‘copter.

10:45: Wondering if I should just crash my car and wave down the helicopter above me in the case they remember how fun I was and want to pick me up.

11:45: I MADE IT TO EDC. I also made more new friends! Except they are shirtless and the opposite sex, so I’m okay with it.

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11:52: Suddenly find myself behind the DJ booth with Mako at the 7UP stage which was going absolutely nuts all night long. I try to dance sober and realize I look like someone who is sober trying to dance. I realize that no one at EDC cares though, because everyone is just all about having fun. There is no fashion contest here—it’s just about the music and the community there.

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3:05 AM: Sprint to the artist trailer to interview dutch duo Showtek, aka Sjoerd and Wouter Janssen. They are brothers. They are awesome. I still can’t pronounce their names.

3:30 AM: Catch the end of Fatboy Slim’s set at Circuit Grounds. Honestly might have been my favorite set of the entire festival. He is the ultimate master of everything dance.

4:30: Where are my feet? Oh okay, phew, they are right here. Oh look! Fireworks.

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5:00: I’m still here. Trying to make it to sunset. I’m convincing myself 24 is the new 21.

5:15: No, turns out 24 is not the new 21. But I found these signs on the way out so I could at least die a slow death laughing in my car.

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SUNDAY, JUNE 21

4:30: Hi, world. Why do I have one sock on and why is a bottle of Grey Goose empty next to me? Audible sigh

5:30: After thinking about my actions in the shower, I head back to the festival before anyone else gets there not only for an interview, but because I don’t want to be in two hours of traffic again wishing another slow death.

6:00: EDC deserted is kind of amazing. It’s like this extreme, quiet calm before a storm of insanely fucked up people take over. It also made me realize how intricate the festival is designed, and how much man power it takes to get this entire festival together for 400,000 people.

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7:40: I interview Australian DJ AIison Wonderland who happens to be not only an amazing performer, but also an incredible person. She also offered me her stash of liquor so I made her my friend quickly.

11:30: Meet with The Bingo Players after their insane set at the main stage. I’ve now completed all my interviews for the whole festival. Time to get weird.

11:50: Head to Circuit Grounds to meet up with festival legend Steve Lieberman who got me up in the light and video booth to watch a live show.

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12:15: Uh, I just controlled the lights of a live show. I need another shot of Jameson.

1:15: Trap duo Flosstradamus is straight up murdering Cosmic Meadow right now. I can’t handle it. Also some guy keeps touching my leg so I need to leave.

1:45: I find a kandy making station and make some with strangers because why not.

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2:30: My body is beginning to shut down. I keep trying to convince myself I can do this. I can stay till sunrise. C’mon!

2:45: Attempted to go to DJ Snake’s set at main stage. Made it halfway there. Sadly turned around in utter defeat.

3:15: Catch my last firework show of EDC. At least I can say I did three days.

4:30: Dear The Cromwell — your comfy King sized bed made out of clouds and angels may have saved my life, along with Giada’s Frittata.

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Until next year, or never again, EDC.

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