Mad Decent Block Party 2014: A Field Guide to Friday's Event

Your dance music pals are most definitely going. Ditto for some of the hip-hop heads you see hanging out at an average Blunt Club, those indie kids who are always gushing over STRFKR or Phantogram outside of Jobot, and probably a good portion of Scottsdale's club crowd, all of whom will be bound for Rawhide Western Town this weekend to check out the Mad Decent Block Party's inaugural visit to Metro Phoenix.

Members of the local rave scene, however, may or may not be there.

As we're sure you've heard by now, the famous summertime touring festival associated -- which expanded to 22 cities this year, including Phoenix -- has mandated that both "kandi" and most things associated with the rave subculture cannot be brought into the event.

Its caused more than a few ravers, kandi kids, or anyone else who's gone hard at an underground dance event a bit of vexation, including those on the local level.

And if they do decide to avoid the event, however, they're gonna miss what's expected to be a memorable time. Or, at the very least, a very colorful experience.

See also: EDM's Reigning Clown Prince Dillon Francis Hits Phoenix with the Mad Decent Block Party

Besides the array of indie dance music and alternative hip-hop that will be offered by those scheduled to perform -- including Big Gigantic, Cashmere Cat, Dillon Francis, Diplo, Flosstradamus, STRFKER, Thurz, and Zeds Dead -- there's the crazy-ass party element and people watching that's inherent to any festival. Oh, and it will also offer a petting zoo.

As a writer at our sister publication, the Dallas Observer, noted, some of the attention-grabbing elements of an average block party include: "Confetti cannons, crowd participation and Diplo walking over the crowd in a giant plastic bubble brought an element of showmanship usually lost in live EDM."

So it's safe to say that the Mad Decent Block Party will be one the biggest parties in the Valley this weekend. And if you're planning to go, it might help to be a little bit prepared. Therefore, we've handicapped the event and pulled together some tips and suggestions on how to get the most out of the experience.

Time/Place: 5 p.m. to midnight at Rawhide Western Park, 5700 West North Loop Road in Chandler. Gates open at 5 p.m. and the performances start 25 minutes later. (See the full schedule on the next page for more details.)

Price: General admission tickets are currently $50 each and are available online via Relentless Beats, the local co-promoter of the block party, or at in-person at local Zia stores.

Age Limits: The event is open to anyone 18 years or older.

Getting There: Rawhide is located in the southern portion of the Valley near the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, just off Interstate 10. If coming by car from any part of the Metro Phoenix, you'll eventually get onto the eastbound I-10 and get off at Exit 162. Take a right turn onto Sundust Road and follow the signs from there.

Shuttle service will be offered to and from Arizona State University for an additional $20 fee. More info can be found via the Mad Decent Block Party event page on the Relentless Beats website. UPDATE: As of Thursday afternoon, shuttle service from ASU is now sold out.

Weather: According to the current forecast, things will be mostly sunny and temperatures will be in the 101-degree range by the time that gates open at 5 p.m. It will start to cool off as the evening progresses and the performances start to heat up, however, winding up at around 83 degrees or less by the time that headliners Dillon Francis, Flosstradamus, and Zeds Dead take the stage.

Food and Drink: Rawhide's restaurants will all be open during the block party, including the fast casual Main Street Rodeo Bar & Grill, which will offer burgers, hot dogs, and such. You might want to nosh either before entering, as outside food and drink is not permitted. However, there will reportedly be "a ton" of food trucks at the event.

Water: Given that its still very much the summertime here in the Valley, its of major importance that you stay hydrated. As such, there will be copious amounts of H2O available within the block party grounds, including free water stations like the ones found at most festivals and vendors selling sealed bottles.

According to the official block party website, CamelBak-style water bladder systems are going to be permitted, albeit only if they are empty upon entry and are "capable of being removed from the carrier and transparent enough to allow security to visually inspect the empty bladder."

Bring: First off, grab your sunglasses, since there will be at least a couple of hours of blazing light, as well as a hat. It's also cool to bring along small bags or purses, as long as it measures no bigger than 10 inches by 10 inches (and it will be searched upon entry).

Cell phones, lighters, and earplugs are also permitted too, as are unopened ChapStick, gum, packs of cigarettes, and tampons (which, depending on if Dillon Francis is in the mood to repeat his stunt from the Philly block party, you might already be covered). Also, cash is always a good idea (in case vendors have probs with their Squares).

As for what's not allowed...well, that's a little more involved.

Don't Bring: Buckle yourselves in, because here's where it gets bumpy. As we mentioned, any and every bit of beaded and colorful jewelry or apparel (a.k.a. "kandi") is strictly forbidden from the Mad Decent Block Party. Period. Sorry, kandi kids.

The same goes for any of the following items or devices commonly associated with rave or underground dance party culture: LED gloves, LED microlights, LED necklaces, or anything else used to conduct light shows, as well as pacifiers, stuffed animals, plush or fuzzy backpacks, lasers, or masks.

As is probably obvious, there are also no drugs, drug paraphernalia, or illegal substances permitted in Rawhide or within the block party. Event security will also not permit anything that could possibly be used to conceal drugs, either in solid or liquid form, such as eyedrops, cans, bottles, cups, coolers, candy, opened pack of cigarettes, unsealed feminine hygiene products, and refillable water bladders other than Camelbaks are also 86'd.

Standard concert-going rules apply for the rest of the verboten stuff, such as the following being disallowed: markers, pens, spray paint, tents, chairs, blankets, weapons, fireworks, spiked jewelry, and wallet chains.

With that out of the way, lets get on to the actual focus of the event: the performers.

DJ Lineup and Schedules:

Thurz (5:25-5:45 p.m.)

Cashmere Cat (5:50-6:35 p.m.)

Big Gigantic (6:50-7:30 p.m.)

STRFKR (7:50-8:30 p.m.)

Dillon Francis (8:40-9:30 p.m.)

Diplo (9:30 p.m.-10:20 p.m.)

Flosstradamus (10:20-11:10 p.m.)

Zeds Dead (11:10-midnight)

What to expect:

Have fun, stay hydrated, seek shade and take breaks whenever and wherever you can, and (again) leave the kandi at home.

Find any show in Metro Phoenix via our extensive online concert calendar.

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