“Under the Electric Sky”: Electric Daisy Carnival 3-D Movie Reviewed

“Old kandi” for life! My initial concern that the Electric Daisy Carnival movie would cater mostly to n00b EDM fans—or even worse, be a giant piece of crap like the Ultra movie—were dashed mere moments into the 3-D film that screened in Las Vegas on May 29.

Backing up a bit, the “headliners” (a moniker Insomniac and Pasquale Rotella prefers to call the fans) attending the movie were decked out in kandi and fluffies, as well as plenty of blinky, flashy lights. Fortunately the latter were turned off along with cell phones when the movie began.

Filmed during EDC 2013, Under the Electric Sky follows the journey of assorted headliners to the festival. From a Texas kandi kid stuck in a land of country music, a transcontinental straight-laced looking couple meeting up for the festival, the aforementioned “old kandi” ravers who started going to EDC in the ‘90s and have been together ever since, to a polyamorous pansexual “raver family,” a fan constricted in a wheel chair and, much to my dismay (and my only real “oh hell no” of the film), a band of bros who call themselves “The Wolfpack” and drink in an RV on the way across country. I could have done without them; the rest of the “characters” were endearing or entertaining.

While DJs do play a part in the film, splicing in segments of sets and jumping around, the film doesn’t pander to a full-on commercial marketing assault (though the moments in the film where characters mention the phrase “under the electric sky” in their conversations is pretty obviously planned). You find yourself bonding with them as if they were dancing next to you at a festival. Heck, even the old kandi ravers who planned an EDC wedding were in attendance at this screening and the younger kandi kids were vying to trade and take pictures with them.

But like anything related to Insomniac, it’s all about the experience; fans stopped to take snapshots standing in a display with the movie’s owl, as well as cheering for the DJs in the film (seems like the Trance Family was out in full force with the loudest applause going to Armin van Buuren and Above & Beyond, including a singalong. They were noticeably silent when Afrojack was on the screen and only one person cheered for him, the rest snickered).

The phrase “something for everyone” is thrown around too often in this industry, but Under the Electric Sky successfully finds a way to touch each demographic of EDC attendees and provides a story you’ll connect with no matter how long you’ve been in the scene. There’s even a mini history lesson of the evolution of the culture, so hopefully kids are taking notes. All in all, Under the Electric Sky perfectly captures the essence and experience of EDC for the modern EDM fan, as well as remembering the roots of how we got to this point. ★★★★✩

Under the Electric Sky opens in theaters on June 27.

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