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I Spent EDC Week Not Drinking & It Was the Best Decision I Ever Made

A lot of the time, when you have a friend that has given up alcohol or gone completely sober, they become an insufferable ad wagon telling you about all the great things in their lives. Which is completely justified, because whether you want to admit it or not, they are right. This is going to be an article similar to that. Not for the posterity or justification of this writer, but in the hopes that more people might find it beneficial in some sort of way. If you are completely happy with your habits, then this article may seem a bit useless or boring. Well, this article is not for you. This article is to showcase to people that raving sober can actually be a lot of fun, to show the benefits of going sober, and give the people that are struggling with the thought of raving sober a little motivation to give it a go.

EDC Las Vegas is probably the pinnacle of commercial electronic music festivals in the world (or at least in North America). With over 400,000 people in attendance this year, it’s no wonder that so many flock to sin city for a weekend of pure and utter debauchery. But not this guy. I came for the music. A few weeks ago, I had made the decision to cut alcohol out of my life for a period of time. I am by no way giving alcohol up for the long term, just taking a much-needed break.

Leading up to EDC, the thoughts in my head paraded around the idea that this was going to be the hardest weekend of the year for not drinking. There are clubs to go to, along with meetings and networking events, and all of them feature an exorbitant amount of alcohol (often times for free). Every turn I took, someone was offering me a drink. Surprisingly, it was quite easy to say “No thank you, I’, not drinking right now.” Everyone was actually totally supportive and accommodating. The only downside is that they often associate a break from alcohol with a tragic story. I am lucky in my case that there was not a story like that. I just decided to take a break.

Past that, I saved so much money. ALL THE MONEY. EDC is typically a $1500 adventure more or less. There are the tickets, shuttle passes, hotel rooms, and airfare. And that’s not including food and booze. Had I gone as a normal patron and not in the capacity I was in there as a journalist, I could have easily spent the same amount, if not more, on alcohol alone. A drink at a night club is around $20 in Las Vegas. If you are like how I was, that would have been 7-10 drinks a night. Granted I arrived in Las Vegas 3 days before EDC even began covering the EDM Biz Conference, so that worked out to 3 nights at the local clubs on the strip. So BOOM! there goes $600 more or less.

EDC Las Vegas 2016 - Insomniac

That may not be a picture of me, but not drinking sure as hell made me feel like this.

Then there’s EDC itself. The drinks were cheaper, but there are far more hours of “Fun Time” to have those drinks in. I’ll just go ahead and say I would have spent the same amount in that time at the festival. Now my conservative tally of savings is around $1,200. If we go ahead and factor in all the drinks that I would have had in the “down time” of the entire week I was there, I think it would be safe to say that I saved somewhere close to $1500. That financial benefit alone should be the motivation to either cut out the drinking or cut it down drastically.

Now the obvious part. I felt freaking great!! The sheer enormity that is EDC is daunting in and of itself. Adding a hangover to it just exacerbates the situation. The fact that I was able to go to bed at 6am and wake up at 1pm feeling tip top was a godsend. There was way more time to prepare for the following night, to get food to nourish myself, and to get our crew organized. As many of you may know, rallying a rave crew is akin to herding cats; when you’re not hung over, you become far more effective at it. We didn’t miss our departure times, we didn’t miss any of the sets we wanted to see, and we were a well-oiled raving machine!

Not to mention, I remember everything! There isn’t a single hazy memory in my head. I can remember the feeling I got when I walked into the speedway. I can remember the kiss that my fiancé and I shared when the fireworks were going off during the opening of Markus Schulz’s set. I can remember how many tracks there were that I couldn’t ID during all the sets I saw. The downside is that I also remember the bad parts. I remember walking by so many people and overhearing their conversations about how many hits they took, or how high they were. I remember the 5 people I saw running for trash cans halfway through the nights to vomit. Worst of all, I remember the people I saw being carried, carted, or dragged away because they went too hard. Luckily, those incidents were few and far between, albeit unsettling to see when they did crop up.

Regardless of your thoughts on drinking, there are extreme benefits to cutting out the booze. You are financially, physically, and mentally better off. Maybe I am preaching to the choir, or maybe this is falling on deaf ears. But it does beg the question: If you’re going to a festival just to get fucked up, then why are you really doing this in the first place? We’ll let you be the guide of your own life, because we fully believe in personal responsibility. What are your thoughts? Would you be willing to give it a go? Tell us in the comments below.