Beyond Wonderland 2012
By Benjamin Guest
I've said it before, I'll say it again, Insomniac knows how to put on a show. Nothing is taken for granted, weather its providing free water stations or making sure there are plenty of paramedics on hand, Insomniac keeps it on lock-down. Despite the rain, this years installment of Beyond Wonderland was no different.
The event had sold out weeks in advance and despite the onslaught of rain that weekend, fans showed up in a force equivalent to several army divisions. Dressed army attire of rainboots and raincoats they hit the ground ready party it up and listen to their favorite DJs. While the grounds may have been soggy the finely tooned sound systems were anything but. Every stage seemed more impressive than the last. When fans entered the NOS event center they were greeted with the second largest concert tent available in southern California. It housed epic house and electro sets ranging from Dirty South to Hardwell. Past that tent... The biggest concert tent in southern california which housed massive trance sets from Armin Van Buuren and Garth Emery and Shogun. And that was hardly the entire venue. In total Insomniac set up 6 stages including the art car that they built for Burning Man.
Sound however, was only one part of the show. Insomniac also also sets up many massive art projects to there shows. Like Insomniac's Art Car, Most of these projects made their first apperacne at Burning Man. So it came as a surprise to learn that Insomniac's car along with several of the art crews would not be making the trip to the Playa this summer due to the ticket fiasco.
I tried to make it to as many acts as possible, but with 6 stages it's nearly impossible to catch everyone. Some people who stood out,
- Green Velvet: With green velvet hair played a heavy heavy early set before breaking into his typical "La La land" Routine
- Base Rush & Optical: Old school Drum & Base that can still kill it.
- Sydney Sampson: Dirty, Dirty, Dirty, but kind of all over the place, mixing in bites from "One More Time" and Dr. Dre
- Steve Aoki: Absolutely nuts. His new light stage experience puts him right up there with DeadMau5 and anyone else with a budget to blow on ridiciouls stage props. Wins most photographed Artist of the night.
- Avicii: Wasn't on the line up, but you wouldn't have known that from the number of times that Levels played, I guess that song's not dead after all.
Anyone who has yet to be to one of Insomniac's festivals, take solace in the fact that it's never too late, and you're never too old or to young at heart. Gone are the days of yesteryear where massives were synonymous with drug abuse and almost no one was sober. Although a part of me is sad to see them go, the cuddle puddles have dried up and the personal lightshow has become a thing of legend. All and all I think it's safer in the main stream and Insomniac's controlled festivals are a great place to meet people, listen to the best DJ's on the Planet and take in some truly amazing art.