It was a long week for the promoters, but after a long week of controversy and a big fight from the city of Huntington Beach, the 2013 Wet Electric went off with very few problems. Earlier in the week, the city of Huntington Beach tried to take the promoters to court in an attempt to shut down the event. This came in the wake of riots occurring after the US Open of Surfing in July which damaged several buildings in the downtown area. The judged denied the city because the promoters were doing everything legally. The judge did however not give the promoters a liquor license due to political pressure from the city effectively turning Wet Electric into a dry event. Considering it was a 21+ event, this looked to be a potential problem. The show must still go on though.
Coining the nick name “Dry Electric,” thousands of music loving fans flocked to the beaches regardless of the fact that there was no alcohol. Keeping the theme of “we do it for the love of music” the absence of alcohol did not seem to be any sort of problem for festival attendees. People still danced and had fun and according to reports, there were very little incidents and reports of problems.
One thing that promoters did to combat the dry rules was that they allowed “ins and outs.” If you are not familiar with that term it basically means that at 99% of music festivals, they do not allow people to go in and out of the venue to go back to their cars (for obvious reasons). At Wet Electric however, this was allowed, so for those who felt the need to drink did so in the parking lots pre-gaming and tailgating. Though the police presence was heavy, the use of police was very minimal. I asked one officer towards the end of the night how the event had gone and he said that people were very friendly and there were very few minor incidents.
The DJs did an excellent job with the situation of the day. In almost every set, each performing artists proclaimed to their adoring fans how much they love the fans and do it for the music. The fans raged to DJ sets from legendary house DJs Paul Oakenfold & Robbie Rivera. As the night went on, the music got heavier, though for the most part it was pretty much all house music (a theme in which i noticed to be pretty prevalent in the OC). Other DJ sets that stood out to me were MAKJ, Audrey Napolean and Minaya & Vikus.
The best part of the event was the location. Surfers were out in force as usual and probably had the best view of the festival. Being a surfer myself, I couldnt help but think how awesome it was for them to have these amazing DJs to surf into the sunset. There were tons of inflatable slides and zip lines that kept people entertained.
Overall, for the controversy that surrounded the event the week of, Id say it was a great success. Everyone there was in positive spirits and the vibe was awesome. Kudos to the promoters and performers for making the event as successful as it was and even more kudos to the attendees who proved the entire city wrong that this could happen. So here’s to next year in the hopes that this event will continue to be on the beach.