I woke up from a much needed ten-hour sleep to find myself feeling surprisingly well. Today was the third and final day of the festival, and I was ready to get going. We decided to leave a little later today and took the 2 PM. The train wasn’t nearly as crowded as Saturday, but I wasn’t worried; I knew it would still be busy. We strolled right through check-in this time around, with no wait. It looked like we were the early arrivers but I was wrong. The place was packed already, possibly even more so than Saturday.
We immediately danced on over to the cicruitGROUNDS tent, which today was hosted by JACKED. Bobby Burns had already begun spinnin’ his tracks, and the tent was packed. I had never seen him before but you could instantly tell that his style and mannerisms were similar to Afrojack’s, since they’ve spent a lot of time together producing their signature track “Ghettoblaster”. His 90-minute set started off the day with a bang, and it was only about to get better.
Hit the break for the rest of Day 3!
This trio of characters definitely knows how to get the crowd engaged. Shermanology also played under the massive circuitGROUNDS tent, so luckily we didn’t have far to go. By this time in the day, the tent was becoming difficult to maneuver through, so we decided to head up to the VIP area for a better view of the three DJ’s running all over the stage, hyping up the crowd. The family group that was formed in 2008 continued to thrill the crowd with their upbeat vibe and dropped tracks from their collaborations with Afrojack, Chuckie, and John Dahlback. I didn’t end up staying for their entire hour and a half set because I needed to make it back to the main stage to see the man, the myth, the legend, DJ CHUCKIE.
The dirty dirty dutch master was up next on the main stage. DJ Chuckie was one of the first DJs I’ve seen perform, back in the summer of 2011 at Identity Festival at the Jones Beach amphitheater in Long Island, NY. He has exploded since then which was why he was playing on the main stage, and the crowd that showed up wouldn’t prove otherwise. The daylight was coming to an end, but the night was just beginning. He murdered it with tracks from Bingo Players, Dada Life, Tommy Trash, Laidback Luke, and even mixed up a sick version of “We Will Rock You” by the one and only Queen; the crowd went crazy when he played it. I’ll even go as far as saying his set would end up being one of my favorites of the weekend.
I originally thought I would at the main stage for the rest of the night; that would soon change, but not before I raged to some Dirty South. Performing on the main stage, dubbed kineticFIELD by Insomniac, this would mark the third time seeing Dragan Roganović, once at Electric Zoo the previous summer and once again at Pacha NYC. Dirty South absolutely kills it during his sets, playing only the nastiest tracks from start to finish.
As night fell upon us, I managed to pry myself away from the dirty Dirty South beats at the main stage to slip into Borgore inside the stadium, or cosmicMEADOW in Insomniac verbiage. I’ve never seen Borgore but as a dubstep enthusiast I heard he was a must-see. We knew Borgore would have some surprises for us and as we arrived, we quickly noticed two large stripper poles, one placed on each end of the DJ booth. With a beautiful girl on each pole dancing to the sounds of Borgore was a sight to see. Both production and his performance exceeded our expectations and got us ready for a full hour of Bassnectar.
The time had finally come. For me, this was the most anticipated performance of the weekend. I had just recently become a bass head fanatic (not the track, although it is one of my favorites), but a fanatic of the deep, heavy, nasty bass hits that Bassnectar is known for. My excitement also lingered from the interview I had with him earlier that afternoon, but nonetheless I knew he would throw down a ridiculous set. It started at 8:15 PM, just as the sky was getting dark, the absolutely perfect setting for his show, in my opinion. The bass hits he has during his set are ridiculous. You could literally feel the pressure slam into you while standing in front of the speakers; it feels like an elephant standing on your chest, and it is awesome. The crowd loved every second of it too, and drew as big, if not bigger crowds than the ones from the Saturday headliners.
Since Afrojack had two sets today (each on a different stage), I figured I’d catch him close out on the main stage from 9:15-11:00 PM. I decided to head into the stadium, which I’ll see one more time before leaving, to catch Sub-Focus Live, who I’ve never had the chance to see. I’m glad I didn’t miss it because 1. He played some sick tracks with hard hitting drum and bass, but also because he was the only DJ I saw who had his own custom DJ booth. It’s basically these two massive metal rings which surround him like a bubble. The light show and hard hitting tracks were amazing under the night sky.
The last two sets were Afrojack and Nero. The problem was deciding who to see first, and then last. I ended up starting off with Afrojack on the main stage, since he had a longer set. Obviously he knows how to put on an insane show, so it was no surprise the crowd here was bigger than any other set on the day before. Afrojack definitely saved up his better set for this performance, as he should have. Everything he played people went crazy for, dropping beats from Hard Rock Sofa, Avicii, Shermanology, Tommy Trash, Ansol & Dyro, David Guetta, and Nicky Romero, just to name a couple. I had the opportunity to ride the Ferris Wheel during his set (something that everyone should have done), and was able to see the entire festival from 60 feet above the ground, a pretty unforgettable sight. After raging to most of his set, I went back into the stadium to close out the night with Nero.
Nero was another one of my most anticipated sets of the weekend. Having never seen them either, I was fortunate enough to enjoy listening to some of my favorite Nero tracks. As a headliner, the stadium was also the most packed I’d had seen it. Nero had been played ALL day by other DJs, but it was really awesome hearing it from the original. It’s cool to see a DJ that get mixed with by almost everyone else, and then listen to their original tracks first hand. They played some really dirty drum and bass, and the crowd was absolutely wild during the entire hour long set. It was a great way to finish up the weekend.
Now having been to quite a few festivals, I can honestly say that this has been my favorite, for a bunch of different reasons. First off, and quite possibly the most important, Insomniac offers one of the best festival experiences overall, something that they really pride themselves on doing. It truly does engage the festival-goer on all different levels, to make it not only a place to listen to music, but a place to interact and take part in. The combination of the carnival, theatrics, décor, and art installations at a music festival is quite simply an amazing and highly profitable concept, which explains why it’s been so impactful throughout its existence. If every festival was able to combine the music with an interactive environment, I think they would greatly benefit. I can only imagine the insanity that is about to ensue in Las Vegas in a week and a half, and I’m already counting down the days until the next Electric Daisy Carnival New York.
Written By: Jason Moss