Do you ever get that tingly butterfly sensation on festival day, right before the doors open, because the excitement of seeing all the stages and art and DJs and roaming performers is too much to handle? Well, we do—only, the culprit in our case is the thought of seeing so many Headliners hopping on the self-expression train. Props for participating. On the first day of EDC Orlando, elaborate costumes and totems were visible in all directions, which was obviously our cue to break out the camera and microphone so we could document all that awesomeness.

Name: Daylan
Age: 22
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Occupation: Bartender
Number of EDC Orlandos: First one
Tell us what “All Are Welcome Here” means to you.
No matter where you come from, who you are, what you look like, what you do… we can all come here and enjoy the same things together, and I feel like that atmosphere is so welcoming and everyone is loved here.
What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself from being a part of the dance music community?
Me being gay, I feel like I can dress a certain way and let loose without worrying about people judging me or looking at me or talking bad about me just because of who I am. I really love that and learned that about myself through this.

 

Name: Genevieve
Age: 21
Hometown: Montreal, Canada
Occupation: Graphic design student
Number of EDC Orlandos: First one
Tell us what “All Are Welcome” means to you.
It doesn’t matter what your style is or your favorite type of music—there are no limits. Everyone is welcome to enjoy what they want.
What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself from being a part of the dance music community?
We have so many people across the world that are all united.

 

Name: Janie, David, Meghan, Gus
Age: 22 (Janie)
Hometown: Naples, Florida (Janie)
Occupation: Journalist for a magazine (Janie)
Number of EDC Orlandos: Five
Tell us what “All Are Welcome” means to you.
Janie: It means you can dress however you want, act however you want, and just be yourself, no matter what.
What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself from being a part of the dance music community?
Janie: I learned that I love people. I love to meet new people. I also picked up hooping because of raving, so I’ve learned a lot about myself.

 

Name: Sheila
Age: 41
Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico
Occupation: Promoter for dance music events
Number of EDC Orlandos: First one
Tell us what “All Are Welcome” means to you.
People come from all over the world. It’s the fucking best. I feel free here.
What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself from being a part of the dance music community?
All I can say is, my life has been so fucking awesome.

 

Name: Mike
Age: 25
Hometown: New York
Occupation: Photographer
Number of EDC Orlandos: First one
Tell us what “All Are Welcome” means to you.
People from all walks of life can come here and be themselves and just party together. Even if everyone is different, this is a good place for everyone to come and have a good time.
What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself from being a part of the dance music community?
To love yourself and love who you are—it’s all about love.

 

Name: Ariel
Age: 30
Hometown: Orlando, FL
Occupation: I have three jobs: I work for Universal, Expedia, and I’m a professional mermaid.
Number of EDC Orlandos: First one
Tell us what “All Are Welcome” means to you.
Being able to fit in, no matter where you go—feeling that love, that community, that real PLUR life. Everyone loving everybody.
What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself from being a part of the dance music community?
This all started because I had a fascination with DDR [Dance Dance Revolution], and I discovered that I really like the music. I discovered flow arts, so now I do poi, levitation wand, staff, and all that. I didn’t know I had all this potential.

 

Name: Leighton, Aly, Madison
Age: 19 (Leighton), 21 (Aly), 20 (Madison)
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL (Leighton), Atlanta, GA (Aly), Duval, FL (Madison)
Occupation: Student (Leighton), gymnastics coach (Aly), just got EMT license (Madison)
Number of EDCs Orlandos: Two (Leighton), first one (Aly and Madison)
Tell us what “All Are Welcome” means to you.
Aly: There is no judgment—you just fucking rage.
Madison: Come as you are.
What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself from being a part of the dance music community?
Aly: You find yourself!
Madison: You’re free to do whatever.

 

Name: Dylan
Age: 26
Hometown: Miami
Occupation: Flight attendant
Number of EDCs: Two
Tell us what “All Are Welcome” mean to you.
I love the overall acceptance and just the vibe from everybody. Nobody judges anybody here, and everyone is accepting and loving and just warm. I love that. Nobody cares what you look like or what you’re doing. It just matters who you are at this moment, and everybody wants to be accepted and loved. I think it’s such a beautiful thing about this event. Last year was a mind-blowing experience; everybody was on the same page.
What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself from being a part of the dance music community?
Honestly, I’ve learned how to appreciate myself, my friends, and all the people that I’m around. Just appreciate life in general. Life is short, so why not live it to the max. Every single moment that passes can be either a moment of happiness or a wasted moment, and you’d want to choose happiness, of course. This event speaks to me on that level.

 

Name: Isabelle
Age: 19
Hometown: Miami, FL
Occupation: Medical front desk
Number of EDC Orlandos: Two
Tell us what “All Are Welcome” means to you.
No matter who you are or what you’re going through, you’re going to be accepted here. You can wear whatever you feel like, act however you feel like, and be whomever you feel like. We’re going to love you no matter what.
What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself from being a part of the dance music community?
I learned that I wanted to make other people happy, and I’m dedicated to helping others as much as possible.

 

Name: Tommy, Sara
Age: 42 (Tommy), 40 (Sara)
Hometown: Saint Petersburg, FL (Both)
Occupation: Master electrician (Tommy), MRI technologist (Sara)
Number of EDC Orlandos: Four (Both)
Tell us what “All Are Welcome” means to you.
Sara
: We’ve brought somebody that’s a first-timer, and we’re blowing her mind right now. But it’s the fact that we can just be in a place where everybody shows a lot of love and equality, and sharing that with everybody. Free love, baby.
What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself from being a part of the dance music community?
Tommy
: I’ve been in it for over 25 years. I actually started back when Pasquale started. I love how the rave community has grown to love each other more. Back in the day, it was not as positive as it is now. I can say it’s a lot happier, more upbeat, and loving than it used to be.
Sara: I think my outside matches my inside the most when I’m here.

EDC Orlando 2018 takes place Friday, November 9, and Saturday, November 10, at Tinker Field in Orlando, FL. Tickets are on sale now.

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EDC Orlando
music cover
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  • 1 Corporate Slackrs x Emma Zander Electric Sky
  • 2 Dr. Fresch & BIJOU Revelation ft. Denzel Curry
  • 3 SWAGE Shut Down
  • 4 Des McMahon Black Widow
  • 5 SLANDER & SAYMYNAME - I Can't Escape ft. Feli Ferraro
  • 6 YOOKiE Project 9
  • 7 Jack Beats Keep On
  • 8 Chris Lake & Chris Lorenzo Nothing Better
  • 9 Born Dirty Crazy
  • 10 Sam F Run Away
  • 11 Left/Right Burn
  • 12 Redlight ft. Sweetie Irie Zum Zum
  • 13 Yultron ft. Leah Culver Ride With You
  • 14 Billy Kenny & Maximono Das Ist Sick
  • 15 YDG Replace You ft. Aviella
  • 16 Will Clarke + Bot Lil' Mami