For the EDM fans lacking the funds or the time to attend the Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, a new documentary “Under the Electric Sky,” produced by the event’s organizers, might suffice.
More of a precious souvenir for the previously converted than a persuasive recruitment tool for those not already in love with EDM (electronic dance music), “Under the Electric Sky” records 2013’s Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, currently the largest annual music fest in North America. Non-fans will find this documentary only confirms their suspicion that EDM is possibly the most vapid form of “alternative” music, and its ecstatic fans constitute one of the most vacuous fanbases, ever.
While there have been numerous documentaries on the history of music festivals, “Under The Electric Sky” is quite a valentine to the music and the people who love it – the true “headliners,” as Pasquale Rotella, founder of event producer Insomniac Events, calls the crowd.
From the outset, the movie introduces us to a selection people that we’ll follow over the course of the film. Sadie is a small-town Texas girl who is able to lose her anxieties through music. There’s a bunch of close friends making the RV pilgrimage from Massachusetts with the jersey of a friend who recently overdosed on drugs. Long-distance lovers Jim and Jenna who are reunited. There’s also a couple of old-timers who met at the festival 15 years ago and now, two kids later, decide to make it official and get Married at EDC, as well as wheelchair-bound Jose, who finds love and acceptance and an awesome means of crowd-surfing.
To present each story with sincerely and with feeling, the filmmakers blend them with interviews and footage and of the biggest EDM acts on the planet, including Armin Van Buuren, Avicii, Calvin Harris, Tiesto and Above & Beyond. The music pulsates throughout the movie, though the focus in not on the DJs but on the effect electronic dance music has on the huge crowd.
The film’s determination to present a PG-13 version of a pasties-optional, three-day party somehow works and there are plenty of blissful moments that are captured. When Above & Beyond brings a nervous Sadie on stage and lets her ‘press the button’ (drop the beat), it’s magical and empowering. For a weekend, this outcast found a home, one she can carry with her the rest of her life.
The stories documented in “Under The Electric Sky” are nothing short of amazing, the ravers, the culture and the production are perfectly captured and the film truly showcases the meaning behind what the electronic community is really about.
If you have ever experienced the wonder that is EDC, then this film is something that we would personally recommend. Beware, if you have not attended the Electric Daisy Carnival before, you will be searching for tickets by the end of the film.
To put it simply, go watch it headliners!
Running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes