Though the dominant visual theme of this year’s Electric Daisy Carnival Parking Lot Paradise New Jersey was probably the visible ass cheek—so many thong bathing suits, so few non-asphalt places to park that bare butt!—your humble rave correspondents applauded the low-key universal bravado that marked everyone’s festival style. The more distant you get from Coachella (both in actual location and in party theory), the more festival dressing becomes beautifully untethered from the ultra-bland model-dressed-by-personal-shopper exemplar: regardless of age, size, ability (one thing about a parking lot festival is the serious ADA compliance!), these ravers looked fucking good.
First, though this doesn’t quite count because they were pro partiers, these military girls up top were a squad to remember, walking around the festival in lockstep character:
Next, shoutout to these guys: first, a man decidedly NOT at his first rave event, wearing a Twister-esque nod to the classic JNCO; in the middle, a milk carton who absolutely loves to party (shoutout to his friend’s whole-fruit necklace); on the right, a dude who looked hella good, accessorizing his blue-and-white color scheme perfectly.
We asked this next guy what his favorite face on his T-shirt was; simultaneously, we both said “Freddie Prinze.”
Now, two absolute beauties, who managed to sneak some delicacy and softness into the standard ultra-loud rave silhouettes: on the left, we loved her hair with her tutu, the white of the stockings matching her forehead jewels; the girl on the right basically looked like an Edward Hopper painting, and had the sweetest vibe in town.
It’s important to be able to find your people: there were flags aplenty, but this girl with her dressed-up-to-match Louise Belcher had all the right moves.
We loved this power posse, who were clearly having a great time: kandi to spare, that monster hat, that tie-dye skirt (?) matching his hair.
Helmet bro’s celebration of the unicorn made it down to the pasties on his nipples; his dedication to propriety and covering up in this land of body shots was rare and oh my god wait is this guy a Brony? Cool! The spirit of America wafted throughout New Jersey, both on these super-cute besties’ matching leggings and in the Memphian spirit of raver Elvis, who we found doing pelvic thrusts to Rae Sremmurd tracks during a DJ Snake set.
The most serious ravers are at times the most subdued, ensemble-wise: at left, Star Eyes prepares her set in her new homage-to-anime DJ look. At right, as indicated by the t-shirts: Flux Pavilion’s Nan, and Flux Pavilion’s Mum, while Flux Pavilion DJ’d a stage flanked by 10-story owls, pyrotechnics, and dancing water fountains. The waviest woman at the fest, Flux Pavilion Mum flossed her pitch-perfect rave pogo/fist-pump. She said she was very proud of her son, the dance music producer/DJ/superstar!
There is nothing ravier than fireworks.
Images by Jia Tolentino & Julianne Escobedo Shepherd