Disclaimer: Puerto Rico is it’s own world. People have their own way of living, and I understand that festivals need to adapt to their way of living in order to pull off a successful event.
I am back at my mom’s house just a few minutes away from San Juan where EDC held its iconic two-day event on the beach for the world to experience. I could not have asked for a more suitable lineup with acts like Fat Boy Slim, Sasha, Flux Pavillion, and a slew of others that exceeded expectations in their sets. Everyone really fed off the island vibe and did a great job of keeping a consistent flow for everyone to dance to. It was intoxicating just to be there and on the same page as everyone else dancing with you. With three stages to choose from, EDC PR was much smaller than other insomniac events, but is in no way less of an experience.
Kinetic Field often had your Main Room sound, with the exception of acts like Bassnectar taking the stage and sharing blends of uplifting melodies and grimy bass. The stage resembled the mushroom and flower designs from the main stage in Las Vegas 2013, and left plenty of room for every artists’ personal light shows for everyone to enjoy. There was always plenty of room to dance and everyone was very open to each other, so it was very easy to connect with total strangers, which is one of my favorite things about EDC in the first place. My only issue was the fact that you could not sit in the VIP seating area unless you had a beer in your hand…It didn’t matter if you paid extra for the ticket, there better be a Coors Light in your hand if you want to pop a squat. There’s more to this, but I’ll get to that later. Some favorite acts I saw were Kaskade (I have a very biased adoration for him), Fat Boy Slim and his diverse world sounds blended with banging house beats, Oliver Heldens’ future house vibe, and even Afrojack’s Dirty Dutch sound despite having this snooty idea that I’m not supposed to like him because he’s mainstream. Everyone read the crowd and had a perfect balance of energy (best represented by the giant Sculpture of Buddha resting across from the stage).
I would say the Basspod had the most diverse sounds exploding from its speakers. Acts such as Crizzly, Datsik, Friction, and Dieselboy were throwing out so many different tracks from Drum and Bass to Dubstep to aggressive Electro House. There were no limitations to genre at this stage and I think that appealed to a lot of people. This stage looked like an older EDC design with massive circles around the DJ booth projecting beautiful rays of color that pushed with the beat. I didn’t stay here long, but the stage had its purpose and I think it went beyond expectations. There were a few rides around, but the lines had an unnecessarily long wait because the boys running the machines would let the same people ride 3 more times if they could steal a kiss from one of the girls. That’s just Puerto Rico. I found myself saying that a lot…
Finally the Neon Garden…mmm. With fluorescent purple palm trees leading the way, This stage was a home to legends like Claude Von Stroke, Sasha, and Tiga. Every DJ i saw stayed true to the hypnotic characteristics of deep and jungle house. As usual, there weren’t as many people at this stage, but that didn’t stop anyone from losing themselves in the beat, which is always a beautiful thing to see. The stage had pillars of lights lining the wall behind the booth that created this sort of Cathedral feel. Being the only stage with a tent, it was a perfect escape from the occasional rainfall with its infectious rhythms. Once again the VIP section blew my mind. They ran out of water (which was $4 a bottle with no way of refilling) yet they had cases and cases of Coors Light. That’s just Puerto Rico? I might have been the only one complaining, but making water the most expensive thing on the grounds definitely manifested itself with a mind-boggling amount people passing out from dehydration. I hope they work around this in the future, because Puerto Rico’s overall disorganization, while fun and free, totally disregarded people’s safety. It felt like you were being forced to buy more beer. Other than that, EDC met up to its musical expectations. I might just be over critical because it isn’t as well executed as my experience in Vegas two years ago. I was tired of people saying “Oh yea well that’s just Puerto Rico”… But I know that Insomniac has always been concerned for the safety of their headliners, so I hope proper measures are taken to do so in the future.