Last weekend I went to Mad Decent Block Party in the beautiful Phoenix, Arizona. First and foremost, huge thanks to COED and Bud Light for hooking it up for me.
For anyone who doesn’t know Mad Decent Block Party is a EDM music festival featuring artists from the Mad Decent record label. This year in Phoenix there were a multitude of various artists from Yellow Claw to Dillon Francis spinning records.
This was my first time ever going to a Mad Decent Block Party. I had heard that they’re an insane time but I wanted to see it for myself. I’m going to tell you guys a little secret: I don’t go to these things. I just recently started getting into EDM music and I had little to no knowledge of the artists. That being said I knew I wanted to get the full experience of the event. So I bought a Banana suit, cause f*ck it, right? Turns out that was one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made but we’ll get to that part later.
Armed with my ticket, iPhone 6, and Banana suit I met up with four of my friends and we were off to Mad Decent.
Here’s my first advice if you’re going to any music festival. PARKING BLOWS!!!!! Seriously we left right as the show started (our fault). It took us almost an hour and a half to park. If you’re going to go to one of these festivals expect to wait a long amount of time to park. My advice is to get there well in advance. Yes, it’s weird to be one of the first groups of people there, but I’d rather be there early then deal with that painfully long process again.
As we entered through the gates, the reality of what I had signed up for hit me with 150 dB’s of bass. God how do I explain this part? The lights, the sounds, the people were fantasizing. I decided to jump right in, no holds back. I fought my way to the front. I clawed, fought, slide, and wiggled my way to the “third row” of a standing room only event. As me and my friend sat in the front we quickly realized, this was a terrible place to be. We were all uncomfortably close together, and the banana suit wasn’t keeping me cool (still worth it).
Thankfully by the grace of God our other friends finally had parked and were inside waiting in line so we got the hell out of there.
So we decided to head off and go back into the crowd because the next artist was Diplo. Now let me pause the story here and give you guys a quick head count. When we all went to Mad Decent there was five of us including myself. Two were still in line at that point and me and my other two friends were in the crowd. As we kept pressing forward so did everyone else. As soon as the MC announced that Diplo was next everyone got up and started heading to the stage.
I was leading the pack of my friends through the crowd. I kept looking back to make sure they were with me I swear. Then I look ahead for one second, I turn back around, and they’re all gone. I am by myself in this sea.
Once I realized there was no turning back, I did what any good friend would do in that situation. Keep fighting to the front. As I kept moving forward I lucky ran into a different group of friends and joined them, and this was the start of my experience at Mad Decent.
What a freakin blast. All the artists were amazing to say the least but what I noticed was the culture of the event. Most of the people I had spoken of earlier I later found out had gotten kicked out by security which made a huge difference. I felt the culture change almost immediately. The pushing was still there obviously but it was diminishing. Everyone almost stopped fighting to see the artist. You could sense that everyone wanted to be there for the music. The energy was more alive and welcoming. When the bass dropped I was grabbed by people who I still don’t know and we started dancing to the music. Everyone was so much happier. For the next three hours I, the first time raver, was welcomed open arms into a community I knew nothing about.
Then when the last artist finished his set and it was time to go home the greatest thing you could think of happened. I ran into another Banana. If you follow my twitter @OGBobbyGabriel I made a promise to my followers to take a photo with any other Banana’s I ran into. This was the only one I saw that night and I wasn’t missing this opportunity.
On the drive back home, I reflected on what just happened. From the parking issue, to the guys pushing everyone, to the people I was dancing with. I came to the conclusion that raves are freaking awesome.
Go to an EDC festival, go with friends, get there early, have fun, and don’t let some jackass ruin it for you.