Over last weekend, the 19th edition of Nocturnal Wonderland took place at San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, California for the second time. Over two days, festival attendees were immersed in an audio-visual world with performances by over 40 different music acts including Martin Garrix, Bingo Players, Mat Zo, Excision, The Glitch Mob, Moon Boots, and DJ Dan.
This year, Insomniac totally upgraded for Nocturnal. The main stage, otherwise known as the Labyrinth, brought back the zen owl from last year with massive LED screens and intense laser shows. From fireworks to insane visuals, it was truly an amazing site to see. Three other stages known as the Queen’s Grounds, Sunken Garden, and Upside Down Room received their upgrades as well, but the one that topped them all would have to be the latter.
Entering the Upside Down Room was like walking into a world of its own. It was completely decorated with Lewis Caroll’s Alice In Wonderland in mind. The stage was surrounded with walls and it felt like you were really going down the rabbit hole. The stage was decorated with red drapes and featured several rooms with upside down furniture and chandeliers hanging down from the ceiling. Fans were able to chill inside the rooms and relax while watching the musical acts. Festival performers dressed in white face paint and fancy Victorian outfits hung out throughout the stage creating a really fun ambiance. At one point they grabbed a group of fans including myself to dance on the stage for a few minutes. It was pretty awesome to see from the perspective of a performer.
The musical acts for the Upside Down Room were a complete throwback to Insomniac’s early days, which included DJ Dan, Bad Boy Bill, and Charles Feelgood. Throughout the festival, the musical sets were filled with groovy and funky beats. It created an environment that made everyone there happy. You could turn and look in every direction to see everyone smiling and grooving. This stage was filled with nothing but good vibes and it definitely created its own trippy little wonderland. If you attended the festival, I hope you checked out the Upside Down Room, because you'll know exactly what I mean.
Insomniac CEO Pasqualle Rotella and his team definitely stepped up their game this year to create a festival to remember. We can’t wait to see what he has in store next year for the 20th anniversary of Nocturnal Wonderland.
Photo credit: Insomniac