Let me jump to the conclusion first, so if you are not interested in the details and personal reflections I am going to serve up in one enormous run on sentence to follow, then you’ll still get the info you’re looking for having to read only like 15 seconds beyond this point. EDC Mexico is a world class festival that exceeded my expectation completely, and I am a tough customer. This isn’t one of these poultry regional festivals being shilled online by some blogger as having special lineups or vibes to make up for lack of scope or production, no this thing is a verifiable monster on every level. The sheer scope of it compares only to other giants like EDC Las Vegas and Ultra Music Festival. It’s worth traveling to from anywhere in the world and it presents with a mini world of its own. Insomniac kills it here in Mexico City, and to think it’s still just a baby of 5 tender years! 🤯🤯🤯.
Circuit Grounds – Rezz
Now that that’s over with, I am gonna give you all the deets and the how 2s and the what nots. There is plenty here that I learned the hard way, so hopefully it will help someone next year have an easier time.
Some basic info first. 2018 EDC Mexico sold out. There were no reports about attendance available online and I heard it was touted as a festuval of 100k people but I find it hard to believe because it feels exactly as big as EDC Las Vegas which exceeds 400k in attendance over its three day span. EDC Mexico is only two days though, so maybe that’s why. Suffice it to say it’s huge. The line up is as good as it gets, consisting of big names as well as “now” names in equal measure. My favorite sets were brought by Rezz, Illenium and Marshmello, I heard that Above & Beyond, Deadmau5 and Virtual Riot really brought the house down as well, amongst countless others. Unlike EDC Las Vegas it runs till 2 am, but in every other respect it’s just like EDC Las Vegas. Stages are huge, grounds are expansive, build outs are impressive and the whole thing is utterly lit. The attendees are mostly young Latin Americans, I did meet some people from all over, but don’t expect that international vibe you get from Tomorrowland or the likes, this thing is growing but it’s still servicing primarily its geographic region.
What’s unique about EDC Mexico is the $$$ value. Conversely to its Las Vegas & Miami counterparts, tickets are cheap. VIP ticket to EDC Las Vegas is 800$ after fees, VIP ticket to UlTRA is 1600$ (I kid you not), add to that surging hotel rates (at least 200$ a night) plus VIP shuttles – 200$, plus flights and you are out thousands of dollars for that one, admittedly epic, weekend. VIP tickets to EDC Mexico are about 200 usd after fees. You can’t beat that. Flights can be very inexpensive too and it’s a mere 3–4 hr duration from California, which is comparable to flying to Vegas from many areas in the u.s.. Hotels can be cheap in Mexico City as well, we booked rooms in Polonco area for under 100$ a night all fees included. Polanco is one of the few areas in Mexico City that’s considered upscale and “safe” for tourists. Food in Mexico can be very cheap as well. And transportation to venue offered by the festival is cheap too. Shuttles will pick up from designated hotels and the passes are about 22$ for both days. Uber in Mexico City is very very cheap, most rides are 2–3$ and the ride to the venue from just about anywhere is about 15$. Now traffic is a different story, it’s intense, so prepare yourself, you’ll spend 30 minutes going two miles during busy times. One night we decided to forgo shuttles because we were essentially taking too long to get ready, and we got an Uber to the venue, no problem. We had a very hard time finding 1 of the two entrances, but eventually after driving around the venue we located it. It’s definitively not anything with proper signage which is unfortunate, and asking the literally hundreds of federales stationed around the perimeter of venue is a fruitless endeavor, they are clearly only responsible for the 10 square feet they occupy and have little idea as to anything else.
On the subject of federales. The presence of police at the event is pretty insane, besides being scattered everywhere they also huddle in small armies all around the grounds. There are a lot of police corruption stories you hear about in that area of the world, and out in the streets you do want to be careful and hyper vigilant, however at the event their armed and menacing presence feels very good. If a cartel takeover was to occur I think the gun fight would be formidable, and if you survive, you’ll be interviewed on big talk shows and the likes for sure. Just kidding. Not really though. There are lots of cops in Polonco as well, but just remember, cops are often bought off by criminal organizations & complicit in local kidnappings, so don’t be flashy, don’t be alone, use common sense, avoid trouble and discord. Also, it has to be mentioned that Uber has encountered a lot of problems in Mexico City as well, having been involved in some kidnappings and rapes. It was almost shut down by the government. So once again, just be aware, check that your driver has done many rides, send a snapshot of every driver’s profile to your friends and pay attention that he follows the designated ride route. I’ll say that all of them take terrible profile pictures and, if looks were any indication, they would appear to be hardened criminals. However, every single driver I had was very lovely, with thousands of rides under his belt. So just, ya know, keep your peepers open and get ready to jump out, tuck & roll lol.
As for costumes and booty. Yes people do dress up, but not as enthusiastically as they do in Vegas. The rave culture is young here and the general climate of the region is conservative, so you’ll see a lot of black shorts and tanks, flowery headbands and bootleg edc hats. Don’t get me wrong though, there will be costumes too and a little booty here & there, just not that much. And no, no one will think you are weird if you dress up, but the joy of it for me just wasn’t really there. I wore animal ears and glitter with my blue hair and that was enough to make people want to take pictures with me like I was a rave mascot. So you get the picture.
DRUGS & ALCOHOL
The other thing that’s different is you’ll find that a lot more people are drinking as apposed to hanging with Molly. So there is a palpable difference to the vibes. There’s plenty happiness and joy sure, but for me, & I hate to admit it, some of the magic was kinda missing because the crowds, large as they were, didn’t really feel very interconnected for whatever reason. This is not a constructive observation, just a personal one. I think I did lack that chemically induced love vibe that fills edm festivals in the States, those infectious and connective vibrations. There is something in the way people receive the music when in that condition too, that is decidedly more unified.
Kinetic field – Marshmello #mellogang
As I wrote these last two paragraphs I realized that something was missing for me at EDC Mexico, it’s that renegade spirit of weirdness that EDM festivals in the States are all about, the counter culture, the rebellion. People don’t get weird in Mexico like they do at say EDC LV, they don’t dress up as much, they don’t let their butts irreverently hang out, they don’t partake in illicit hallucinogenic or love inducing drugs, they just don’t get as weird you know. I think this festival is probably best attended with a trusty gang of weirdos, so you can generate all the weirdness you need amongst your own selves.
Kinetic Field – Boombox Cartel
In conclusion, and to reiterate my earlier recommendation. EDC Mexico is a world class festival, the line ups, the stages, the build outs are dazzling. The general quality of the event is as good as you can hope for, and better, the $$$ value is a real draw as well. The vibes and the culture do have a ways to go & grow, but this can be expected since EDC Mexico is the only event of its kind in the region and it’s a mere infant of 5 tender years. This event won’t likely be an annual devotion for me like EDC Las Vegas is, but I’ll come back and visit it from time to time and on big anniversaries, it’s going down in my book as a winner! Thank you, Insomniac!