What to Expect: Caked by Steve Aoki

Have you ever felt so sure of wanting something for the longest time?

And when that moment finally arrives… the doubt rises up and overwhelms you. Am I doing the right thing? Is this what I want? 

That’s how I felt about being caked by Steve Aoki.

When you’re on some random guy’s shoulders at an Aoki show and Steve is pointing at you with a cake in his hand, motioning for you to scoot a little closer… it’s too late. 

You’ve committed. To

  • strangers eating off of you
  • messy hugs
  • high-fives
  • several photo requests from strangers
  • stares and jaw drops
  • commentary and questioning by drunken passerby
  • a long shower
  • serious deep cleaning
  • dirty looks from the bathroom attendant, and
  • possibly trashing your shoes.
Can you spot me in these photos?

Most people will be very confused when they see you. They will say comments like, “I would be so mad” or “You still look beautiful tho!” (I was actually surprised by how many people tried to tell us we still looked good, as if we were actually concerned about that.)

What many don’t understand is that you have the opportunity to escape the fate (by fate I mean cake) if you want to. Steve has stopped throwing cakes at most festivals (probably because he was sued by someone with an allergy), and is now reserving his cakes for shows he is headlining – for his “die hard fans.”

And he won’t randomly throw cake at you unexpectedly. He will start playing the song “Cakeface” and announce that he is playing the song “Cakeface.” He will say that if you want to get caked, you have to get on someone’s shoulders.

If you don’t want cake on your face or clothes… this is when you move to the back of the dance floor. If you’re worried about losing your spot – don’t worry, a bunch of people will be leaving soon enough.

Even if you’re on someone’s shoulders, there’s no guarantee that you will be caked. The first time I saw Aoki was for his birthday celebration at Hakkasan Las Vegas. People made “Cake Me” and “I ❤ Cake” signs for this one. I was on some guy’s shoulders and out of the 15 cakes he threw for his birthday, my face got not a one. It was my second time seeing him, at Omnia Las Vegas, that I got one of the first cakes he threw. I think he had about 7 that night.

Your gender doesn’t matter when he chooses – he just wants energy and enthusiasm; to see that you want it (or at least, that you thought you did).

His aim is pretty amazing, but you are definitely in the splash zone if you’re in the middle-front. After I wiped my eyes and got down, I was shocked to see Victoria was just as bad as I was — she got half of my sheet of cake, including the blue DIM MAK frosting stained on her face (thankfully, she was ok with that).

Also, the floor will get very slippery. There will be cake, frosting, cardboard, and a bunch of previously strewn confetti all over the floor – and your shoes. Don’t wear your nice expensive shoes if you want to get in on the action.

You also risk getting cake rubbed on you from people surrounding you, and they don’t always hand out towels.Imagine the usual crowded dance floor where you’re bumping up against strangers, and maybe you’re trying to avoid skin contact with this guy because he’s really sweaty and you can see the different shades of his shirt due to excess perspiration… Now, add cake frosting to the mixture. So, really: if you don’t want cake, move.

I believe Aoki has experimented with different cake flavors and frosting colors before settling on the white vanilla cake with blue frosting for lettering – it doesn’t look as gross when plastered on your face (like chocolate), and the bright fun colors are meant to match the mood. I only bring this up because his cake tastes and smells amazing. I would know – the vanilla scent in my hair and clothes was so unexpectedly pleasant, it made the couple hours pre-shower much more bearable.

The reality of all the consequences really sinks in when you start getting cleaned up before getting into the cab… this is gonna take a while. Once you get to your hotel room: where to begin? I started cleaning my phone, shoes, and purse (oh yeah, that got cake on it too) while Victoria took a shower, then we switched. There was cake,frosting, confetti, and hair stuck to the bottom/sides/inside of my shoes. To this day, they aren’t fully cleaned. I haven’t decided whether or not I want to throw them out.

The shower was like a never-ending blue waterfall. At the end of the night, we had to clean all the cake chunks from the bathroom floor, wash and hang our clothes, and put aside our dirty shoes.

Ridiculous story: Victoria and I spent a sizable amount of time handwashing our dresses and undergarments in the sink before realizing the next day… there was a washer and dryer in our hotel room.

Despite all the post-party clean-up, I’d say it was still worth it.


In addition to the cake-throwing, he has been criticized and praised for any other actions that take him away from DJing (ie. raft surfing).

My take? Just enjoy the music, the experience, and have a good time.

More on my opinions about party life and perceptions: On Male Privilege. (It’s possible to let loose, have fun — be caked– and still be a competent, intelligent employee.)


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UC San Diego grad with a double major in Economics and International Business. I was born and raised in sunny San Diego, but I love to travel (and eat) around the world.

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