Last weekend, Insomniac presented their annual Halloween festival, Escape: All Hallows’ Eve at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino on 10/31 & 11/1. For the first time ever, the festival previously known as Escape From Wonderland expanded to two consecutive days. Over the course of both days, over 90,000 fans attended dressed in their best costumes to catch over 80 world famous artists including Tiesto, Dash Berlin, Oliver Heldens, Richie Hawtin, Armin van Buuren, and Steve Angello.
Escape perfectly fit the Halloween theme with two haunted mazes, Alice’s House of Horror and The Looking Glass 3D Maze. Rides included Insomniac’s fan favorite Ferris wheel and swings, which circled right behind the main stage. This year’s art installations included a 28-foot light up Cactaferrum, which shot flames out its tips and a One-Eyed-Monster cart. Costumed performers also wandered the festival on stilts and performed tricks on stage.
The festival featured five different stages including their massive Slaughterhouse main stage. It featured a carnival theme with a giant demon-clown like face that watched over the crowd. Each stage was loaded with its own special production with shooting lasers and LED screens that were totally mind blowing.
The first night was all about the return of trance at the Ghoul’s Graveyard stage. Aly & Fila went b2b John O’Callaghan to close out night one with Paul Van Dyk, Astrix, Andrew Rayel, Bryan Kearney, and Simon Patterson playing right before. Bass music fans were treated to a stage of their own as Bassrush commanded The Chopping Block with Datsik, Zomboy, Yellow Claw and more. Richie Hawtin presented the highly anticipated ENTER LA Experience at the Cannibals’ Tea Party both days of the festival with Hot Since 82, Luciano, Gaiser, The Martinez Brothers, and Loco Dice. On the second night, Audiotistic hosted The Chopping Block for a diverse day of music from deep house, hip-hop, and future bass with artists including Duke Dumont, The Magician, Adventure Club, and Oliver Heldens. Closing out the final night of the festival at the Slaughterhouse was the almighty Armin van Buuren. This was absolutely the best way to close out the festival with an audio and insane visual set that will go down in the books.
For many fans, returning to the NOS Center felt like returning back home. This venue was where Escape all began several years ago. The festival gave out a family like vibe with fans surrounding a large pond at the entrance meeting one another throughout each night. The entire festival was a fantastic experience despite rain coming down on Friday and the expected traffic situation. Overall, Insomniac created amazing Halloween memories that everyone will remember.
Cover image by Alex Perex for Insomniac