Kinetic Field (main stage) during Slushii’s set at the Electric Daisy Carnival on Nov. 10, 2017. (Gunnar Shuler)

When you walk through the gates of Electric Daisy Carnival at Tinker Field in Orlando, it feels like something transcendental. You are instantly greeted by smiling faces, people in colorful costumes, bathed in light and are engulfed in music.

The sound of EDC can literally be heard from miles away and the lights that shoot into the sky are visible from airplanes as passengers fly over Orlando. It is as if the festival is drawing you in, begging you to enter and telling you to leave your worries at the gate as you pass through.

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It no longer feels like Orlando, but rather a place where one can release their inner child by getting on carnival rides, dressing in crazy outfits that don’t fit the social norm, drinking a Red Bull to stay up past their bedtime. And most of all, being able to dance like nobody is watching.

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There is a sense of community inside those gates, because you are there you are a part of something, something bigger than yourself. Last year EDC sold 75,000 tickets to the event, according to EDM Sauce, and this year provided a larger festival grounds than any year prior, by expanding into what had been parking in the past.

For those who have attended EDC in the past it was clear to see that there was a larger crowd than previous years.

“The physical area expanded and it definitely felt like there were more people this year than there were last year,” said a festival goer called Kenny, who did not want to reveal his last name to avoid his employer finding out where he was on Friday.

Kenny, 27, is an experienced EDC attendee, with this being his third year at the festival. It is the lack of judgmental feelings and everyone feeling comfortable in their own skin that brings him back.

“I thought this was the best EDC yet. I was super impressed by the sound by of every stage, especially the main stage. I prefer to stay near the back where there is enough room to groove without running into people, and even in the back the sound was loud and precise,” Kenny said. “Everyone I was around was grooving super hard and just getting lost in the music.”o

This year’s lineup showcased DJs that had played in past EDC Orlandos, including Carnage, Kaskade and Zedd, as well as DJs who were new to the festival, like Marshmello, Slushii and Galantis. This variety made the experience new for veteran EDC goers, while also allowing them to hear some of their favorite acts from the past.

Knight News was able to be on stage during Simon Patterson’s set on the Neon Garden Stage. Even when an arm’s length away from Patterson, it was difficult to tell who was having more fun. The way he jumped around and the smile he had on his face showed his excitement, but at moments he had an intense focus on what he was doing on his turntables.

These moments were followed by quick change ups to songs and heavy bass dropping like bombs, at which time the crowd would jump even higher and explode with cheers. This is when his smile grew larger than ever.

EDC Orlando is one of many EDCs across the world, with the main festival being held in Las Vegas. Other locations include Mexico, the United Kingdom and Texas, just to name a few. Apart from the main festival in Las Vegas, Orlando seems to have the best energy and is the next best EDC festival to attend, according to one EDC employee.

When EDC concludes, the music stops abruptly and bright spot lights illuminate the space with almost blinding light. The massive crowd funnels out through tight quarters and you can hear people singing their favorite songs of the weekend or making plans for after-parties. There is one thing you hear over and over again, “I can’t wait for next year.”