Beyond Wonderland Gives a Less Crowded Experience
Beyond Wonderland, an electronic music festival held last Saturday, March 20, in San Bernardino, was one of the best events I have ever been to, and I am willing to bet the majority of people who attended the event feel the same way. The vibe at the event was great, with everyone helping each other out and enjoying the music.
The location of the event, the NOS Events Center, was fantastic. Parking was plentiful and made it very easy and convenient to get to the actual event. The festival area included five stages, which were mostly old airport hangar buildings and one large tent for the main stage. The area was completely decorated, with light balls in all the trees and various artwork around the grounds. Each stage had performers and an dancers with amazing lighting and “Alice in Wonderland” theme. One of the best aspects of the event was that it was not overcrowded. Although there were a lot of people and the event sold out by the day of the show, there was plenty of room to walk around between the stages and plenty of room for dancing. Lines to get into the event were also not as long as other events I have attended.
Insomniac, the same company that runs Electronic Daisy Carnival (EDC) and Nocturnal, put on the event. After attending EDC last summer and seeing how well Insomniac runs events, I was very excited for Beyond Wonderland. Beyond Wonderland is a new event started this year. Insomniac used to produce Nocturnal Wonderland, which later turned into Nocturnal Festival.
Nocturnal Festival is still running and will occur on Sept. 25. Viewed now as “sister” festivals, Nocturnal has moved to be a “darker” festival, and with the creation of the new Beyond Wonderland theme, Insomniac hoped to bring back the vibes of the original Nocturnal Festival. They hoped to create “an exciting new environment that is sure to enliven, stimulate the senses and delight all of those who have been seeking a return to the amazing hues and vibrancy of our original Wonderland event.” Insomniac accomplished this, and more.
The musical talent at Beyond Wonderland was unprecedented, with some of the biggest DJs in the world present. Big headliners included Paul Van Dyk, Sander Van Doorn, Christopher Lawrence, Bart B More, Wippenberg, Groove Armada, Sander Kleinenberg and Robbie Rivera. Each of the five stages had a different type of electronic music: trance, house, jungle and dub-step, giving everyone different options to enjoy.
When I first arrived at the festival I watched part of Wippenberg’s set. He played an amazing set, and a lot of songs the crowd knew to get them involved. Next, I watched some of Donald Glaude’s set. I saw him play at Street Scene last year in San Diego and really enjoyed his set, but I wasn’t particularly impressed with his set at Beyond Wonderland, although he does have one of the best stage presences I have ever seen, using the microphone to pump up the crowd.
After that I went to watch Christopher Lawrence. He played a hard trance set which I really enjoyed. Then I went and watched some of Bart B More’s set. He was playing funky house, which isn’t what I usually listen to but the crowd was loving it. Finally, I made my way back to watch both Sander Van Doorn and Paul Van Dyk play at the main tent. Both of them played amazing sets. Van Dyk has been one of my favorite DJs since I started listening to electronic music and I was very excited to see him again. He never fails to put on a great show and was a great way to end the night.
Overall, Beyond Wonderland was a great new event and will definitely be worth checking out next year. If you missed it, make sure to check out Insomniac’s next major festival, Electronic Daisy Carnival on June 25 and 26 at the Los Angeles Coliseum.