SuperCity: Snapchat eases EDC angst

Jun. 25, 2014 | 0 Comments

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COURTESY JORDAN SHIRAKIHUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC FANS — INCLUDING SOME FROM HAWAII — WERE IN LAS VEGAS LAST WEEKEND FOR THE 2014 ELECTRONIC DAISY CARNIVAL.

COURTESY JORDAN SHIRAKI

HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC FANS, INCLUDING SOME FROM HAWAII, WERE IN LAS VEGAS LAST WEEKEND FOR THE 2014 ELECTRONIC DAISY CARNIVAL.

BY CHRISTA WITTMIER / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Honolulu’s nightlife may or may not have been affected by the Electric Daisy Carnival last weekend in Las Vegas, but the fact that some of the busiest spots always have one of their slowest weekends year after year at this time, you can’t help but blame the popular music festival.

COURTESY RICK SHIBASAKIELEMENT GROUP'S "PRETTY" RICKY SHIBASAKI WITH PARIS HILTON AT EDC VEGAS LAST WEEKEND. SHIBASAKI IS AN AVID USER OF SMARTPHONE MESSAGING APP SNAPCHAT.

COURTESY RICK SHIBASAKI

ELEMENT GROUP’S “PRETTY” RICKY SHIBASAKI WITH PARIS HILTON AT EDC VEGAS LAST WEEKEND. SHIBASAKI IS AN AVID USER OF SOCIAL MEDIA TO SHARE HIS PARTY ADVENTURES.

With so many local people constantly posting and updating from the full sensory overload of 400,000 people from 40 countries all partying together, I’m surprised the Internet wasn’t completely shut down. There was music in all electronic forms, from the deepest to the brightest and everything in between, with lights, pyrotechnics, costumes and art installations.

For the rest of us stuck thumbing through social media coverage on our smartphones, the whole fear of missing out (FOMO) concept was taken to a whole new level.

Enter Snapchat. This is a bit of a quirky app I have fallen in love with this past year, mainly after following the news about how they are shaking up Silicon Valley with their almost-impossible-for-the-old-school-to-understand technology and turned down a $3 billion cash offer from Facebook.

“Not everyone can create an app that perfectly captures the ephemeral and fluid nature of human communication” a spoof letter from 24 year old CEO Evan Spiegel to Mark “Zuckerbro” read that circulated the tech blogs like wildfire.

According to this post, Snapchat is the application where young people (70% female, the hardest to engage but most influential) are spending all their time.

As a marketing professional, I was determined to understand it. Now I am addicted. I am one of those people publishing to My Story incessantly. Strings of videos and photo snaps can now all be tied together into a never-ending narrative.

COURTESY KIANI YAMAMOTONEON INDIAN: MODEL KIANI YAMAMOTO AT EDC VEGAS LAST WEEKEND VIA SNAPCHAT.

COURTESY KIANI YAMAMOTO

NEON INDIAN: MODEL KIANI YAMAMOTO AT EDC VEGAS LAST WEEKEND VIA SNAPCHAT.

Our Story is the latest from Snapchat, allowing users in the same geographical area to post their snaps to a shared story, giving the viewers an amazing multi-faceted perspective of the event from all angles.

Coming from the era of lengthy 100-photo blog posts each week, I’m feeling right at home. It’s my evolution.

While still relatively new to Hawaii, a place where images are already so beautiful and should last longer than 24 hours, there are some who are still catching on. I was able to enjoy EDC from my couch via streaming video for the high definition artist performances and in the trenches via their community story called Our EDC Story.

I was watching the music festival from the Ferris wheel, backstage, right in the front, all the way in the back, smack-dab in the middle, on the way there, in line, at the pre-parties, at the post-parties. It was the best way to experience EDC without having to actually go. Bravo, Snapchat!

“We wanted to build something that offered a community perspective,” they wrote on their blog last week. “If you can’t make it to an event, watching Our Story makes you feel like you’re right there.”

There’s no question, technology is changing us. I’m just as irritated as the next person when I walk into a room where everyone’s faces are buried in their phones. Yet I’m also the person who has this burning desire to share experiences with as many people as possible.

After using the software for a while, it definitely feels more natural. So many people have fallaciously tried to turn their lives into a personal brand, which can often lead to a diluted sense of self.

This is the app that feels more genuine. This is what’s happening. Not what you want to have happen. Not what you want others to believe. Thanks for making the road a bit straighter for us, guys.
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Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young’s Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for POW! WOW! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular “Bacardi Pool Party” on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

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