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15 Years of EDC History with DJ Dan

Get learned on the rise of one of the greatest parties in the world

THUMP Staff

THUMP Staff

DJ Dan has been part of the Insomniac family since before a lot of you were born. Think about it. He's been around for so long that the name DJ Dan was available when he picked his handle. Dan's seen EDC grow from some kid named Pasquale's big dream into the most rip-roaringly revel-ready party the world has ever seen. He first showed up on the lineup in 1999 and, like the perennial he is, he'll be bringing those uptempo funk-house vibes again this year. When we went looking for a sage to impart some historical wisdom, Dan was the first guy we thought of, so sit round the campfire and listen to a story that starts a long time ago...

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Baby DJ Dan with Josh Wink in 1995, and then with Donald Glaude in 1992, and a friend in 1991

"I've known Pasquale since 1992 and have been playing for him since 1993 when he started doing small events called "Insomniac". He started doing them at a time when the LA rave scene had peaked out and gotten really ugly and dark. Some of his parties were break-ins and some were legitimate. Those events just always focused on bringing good vibes and all the rave kids knew that. Paquale was always very approachable. I always remember him as the hardest working promoter in the business. Sometimes I would play 2-3 gigs in one night and he'd be outside every one of them passing out flyers in his big baggy rave jeans and baseball cap. People really got to know him and learned that they could trust him because he always delivered the best environment possible. Great ighting, theatrics, venues, solid dj's, cool staff, he just knew how to make people feel at home."

"As part of my InStereo label tour in 2009, I played EDC Los Angeles with Donald Glaude on 4 turntables. It was absolute madness to see that many people listening. I knew then that EDC had crossed over into a new realm of success. Things just took off from there. EDC was on the road in every major city. I played the Dallas showa couple years later and it was so huge I literally got lost on the grounds for 2 hours. It was insane!"

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Donald Glaude (L) and DJ Dan (R) on the big stage in 2009

"Last year Pasquale called me in to work on The Night Owl Project with him, Jason Bentley, Bunny from Rabbit In The Moon and Ken from Crystal Method. We did the soundtrack for this 1 hour set that coordinated the sound, lighting, visuals, dancers, pyro technics, it was an entire show encompassing everything. We threw in bits of classic rave tunes and acapella's along with newer more popular tracks that everyone knew. It was Pasquale's opportunity to represent the past, present and future along with a show that I could only compare to Cirqu Du Soliel. To see over 100,000 people with all smiles dancing to a show like that was life
changing...and game changing."

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The Night Owl Project at EDC 2013

"The one thing that has definitely changed is the rave gear. In the early years you would see girls wearing huge overalls with tons of beaded necklaces and glowsticks or baggy flared out jeans 10 sizes too big and a simple tank top or oversized shirt. Now the girls are wearing just a bra and panties and fluffies so that has been quite the transformation."

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Early 90's vs today. Way to go, guys.

"The crowd now comes for the entire experience. It used to be all about the dj's, but now it's about the overall experience which is an amazing thing. Last year at EDC in Vegas I looked all around and there was ear and eye candy everywhere. Art cars, ferris wheels, dance troops in amazing costumes and all that stuff. I don't think that it takes away from the music at all, I know some people feel like all this can almost be distractions; but I think it enhances it. My favorite part of EDC is the art cars and the other elements they bring in from Burning Man. I have ran into Pasquale many times at Burning Man and he loves it so much he wanted to bring that vibe to the masses who may not be open minded enough to go roughing it for a week in the desert."

Check this out:
MIXED BY DJ Dan
Pete Tong's 5 EDC Artists to Watch
Dash Berlin's 5 EDC Artists to Warch

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