Since SFX announced they would be bringing Mysteryland to US soil Memorial Day weekend, a debate has raged between EDM fans in the NYC metro area: “Which festival do I go to!?! Electric Daisy Carnival NY or Mysteryland!?!?” Well folks, in case you haven’t already decided, I am here to compare and contrast what should be two amazing displays of Electronic Dance Music. Pinning the two heavyweights of the festival scene against each other (SFX vs. Insomniac) in the same state, over the same weekend, each festival is unique in its own way… I only wish I could attend both (and in full disclosure, you will find me running around the fields at Woodstock, but I will do my best to be unbiased). Keep in mind, Mysteryland has never occurred in the US, while EDC NY is a seasoned vet, so some of the Mysteryland talk is speculation on my part.
Venue and Stages
Mysteryland EDC NY
As much as I love raving on concrete at EDC Vegas, the idea of being packed into a parking lot outside of Metlife Stadium in possible 90-degree weather isn’t nearly as appealing as the beautiful grounds of Woodstock in Bethel Woods, NY. And wait… EDC New York is actually in NEW JERSEY this year??? The rolling hills of upstate New York, along with the apparent forest-type art installations create a unique experience for festival goers. Getting to EDC NY is definitely easier for those in the NYC Metro area with easy train and bus access, and those of us who prefer our cozy beds to sleeping in a tent will prefer EDC. As is standard with all EDCs, New York will obviously have massive stages with incredible production value. However, Mysteryland’s stages include “The Boat”, “The Big Top” and “The Sound of Q Dance” along with others to accompany the Main Stage; and if the main stage is anything like those at Mysterylands-past… prepare to have your MIND BLOWN.
Picking a winner here was tough given the number of heavyweights in each lineup. EDC NY boasts the reigning #1 DJ in the world Hardwell (who never fails to impress especially after his epic Ultra set) along with names like Afrojack, Carl Cox, Calvin Harris and Tiesto. Mysteryland’s top two on the main stage are Steve Aoki and Kaskade, with support from some Bad Kids’ friends Showtek, The Chainsmokers and Nicky Romero as well as names like Dillon Francis, and Flosstradamus. As much as I personally can’t wait to see Dillon Francis and Flosstradamus play together on The Boat as “Dillstradamus” (after seeing their sets individually at Coachella, I literally may shit my pants seeing them together), if you are looking for the “BIG NAME” lineup, you have to choose EDC NY.
Winner: EDC NY
While I get the sense that EDC NY will be more Kandi Kids and Mysteryland will be more Flower Children (see our blog post about the types of people you will meet at a rave here), there is one determining factor here in my mind—age. If you are under 21, have fun at EDC NY, if you are 21 or over, Mysteryland is the place for you.
Winner: Depends on your age, no winner.
EDC’s focus at all of their events is to create an adult festival atmosphere. From performers walking around the grounds in costume, to incredible firework displays, to traditional festival rides and of course The Daisy, EDC has a ton of active entertainment for its guests. Mysteryland however, is branded as “THE Electronic Music Culture and Arts Festival.” While Mysteryland hasn’t yet occurred in the states, it is the world’s oldest EDM festival. I speculate that the vibe will be “an EDM Coachella.” Open spaces, art installations, places where you don’t have to be “raving” and even an apparent hookah and relaxation bar. That said, the mainstage at Mysteryland still looks fucking intense (video of 2013 mainstage here). Personally, I don’t want to sit on a line for a merry-go-round, so I prefer the art installations and incredible mainstage at Mysteryland
Other things to consider when looking at the two festivals include:
· Time: Mysteryland is 1pm to 2am, EDC is 12pm to 11pm
· Food: Mysteryland has a food fest by Smorgasburg… enough said
· Stages: We believe EDC has 5, Mysteryland has 6
· Water: All Insomniac events have a GREAT free water system, the system at Mysteryland is unknown.
· Cashless: Mysteryland will be the first cashless festival. Attendees will have load up their wristband with cash, and can simply scan to purchase inside the venue. Unused money will be refunded!
My decision as to which festival is superior (in my mind) is not purely based on the artists, or the venue itself, or the lights and fireworks. As the first EDM event to be held on the site of the original Woodstock in 1969, Mysteryland has a deeper importance. Kaskade wrote in a recent blog post “Our Time is Now.” In the late ‘60s, many viewed Rock & Roll as “garbage” and didn’t view it as “music.” Those who listened to it were just on a fuck-ton of drugs and were degenerates. More than 40 years later, Rock & Roll is as popular as ever and that stigma towards the genre has vanished. Today, EDM is viewed by many in the same light that Rock & Roll was then. Those of us who appreciate the music for what it is, don’t need the drugs, and listen to it all day every day (as I am now), know that this stigma is untrue and unfortunate.
I truly hope that much like Woodstock did for Rock & Roll, Mysteryland can begin to dismantle the stigma that plagues our choice in music. That, along with the reasons above, is why I believe that Mysteryland is a more important (if not “better”) festival in 2014… that and I just want to dance my face off to Dillstradamus performing on The Boat ;)
What do you guys think!? I’ll be there and will hopefully be photographing (fingers crossed) so tweet me your location or follow mine and hopefully we can meet up!
Stay Bad Folks