As you may already be aware, it takes a modest army to realize this staggeringly outlandish party known as EDC Las Vegas. From the warriors schlepping Coronas behind the bar to the superstar DJs melting your brain at neonGARDEN, we’re one big kinetic machine working together to make this the best weekend of your life. But while some of our family is out roaming the grounds and stirring the vibes, there are countless legends behind the scenes who help keep the party pumping.
Two rock stars you’ve probably never met before are Jim and Pat. Confined to the media center behind cosmicMEADOW on security detail, this dare-we-say elderly couple has been tirelessly holding down the fort all weekend long, with Pat cracking the whip and Jim cracking jokes and both calling us out for yawning at 8pm. At 67 (Pat) and 80 (Jim) years old, they are the unofficial grandparents of EDC and seem to have more energy than much of our now-zombified media staff.
As you were dancing around and teeming with excitement for the final night Under the Electric Sky, we caught a sincere moment with this inspiring couple, and they bestowed upon us the secret to staying young and having fun right into your finest years.
It’s wonderful to sit down here at EDC with you. Would you mind introducing yourselves to us?
Jim: I’m James Mehan and this is Pat Mehan, and we are security guards here at EDC.
Pat: Our job as a whole is to keep everyone safe and make sure everyone has a great time. And we enjoy watching everyone enjoying themselves.
And you mentioned you have some history with the festival.
Jim: This is our sixth year here, and every year we wind up doing something different.
Pat: The thing we really love about EDC is that we get to see a lot of young people having a great time. Everyone here is extremely polite, and we rarely have any trouble.
Jim: The thing about the kids today is that they are nowhere near as rough as they are portrayed. They’re usually very accommodating; they follow the rules. Yeah, there are a few who misbehave, but it’s been that way forever. We had 136,000 people here last night and there was a very small amount of problems.
I can see how much you enjoy being around young people. Is that the secret?
Pat: I think it has helped keep us young. We’re an older couple. I’m 67, Jim’s 80. It really keeps us in the know. If I see something here that I don’t understand, I’ll ask about it. And then when I go to my regular job, my coworkers are like, “How the hell do you know about that?!” And I say, “Well, I’m hangin’ with young people!”
Jim: There’s like 600 guards here at the festival, and we’ve built a reputation. We’ve been doing it so long that people know us by name.
Pat: You know, something I like to do is find the wildest-looking raver and make friends with them! If I’m at a gate, I always tell them to come and see me again in the morning when they’re leaving. And almost every time they come up and give me a big hug, like I’m their mom.
Jim: They call me grandpa!
Pat: I will say one thing. The very first time I came here, I was a little shocked by the outfits. I thought, “Wow, you don’t have to do a lot of packing. Three bras and underwear from Victoria’s Secret and you’re ready to go!”
Jim: But people said similar things to us when we were young. Our parents were shocked by Elvis Presley shaking his hips. This is the same thing, just a little different.
You also go to festivals for fun, right?
Pat: Well, we’ve gone to Burning Man.
Jim: Three times. Not working though.
Pat: No, we were headliners.
Jim: And we’ve been to raves with our boys.
Pat: We went to an underground warehouse rave in San Francisco 20 years ago! We had a blast. We had to follow these instructions to figure out how to get there. It was great!
And your sons worked as part of the build team here at EDC Las Vegas, too. Which stage did they put together?
Pat: They helped build kineticFIELD.
Jim: One of them is a rigger—he’s like a monkey climbing around—and the other one is a carpenter, and he did all the flooring and electrical work. They come up and live here for four or five weeks, build the stages and then come back and tear them down.
Did they send you a message for Father’s Day?
Jim: Oh yes, all five of them called me today.
Well, on behalf of all the Headliners and the staff, I’d like to say Happy Father’s Day to you, because you’re the father and grandfather of EDC! [Hugs] Thank you both so much for the work you do!
Come and find Jim and Pat at EDC Las Vegas next year and give them a huge hug.