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Last weekend, Southern California ravers entered a magical world of Cheshire Cats, Mad Hatters, White Rabbits and Caterpillars for Insomniac’s Alice in Wonderland-themed festival, Beyond Wonderland.

After three years, the beloved electronic music fest returned to its spring time slot with five stages, tons of carnival rides, dazzling lights, and plentiful art installations. San Bernardino temperatures reached a high of 90°, providing much needed sunshine and summery weather. With a beautiful climate, incredible lineup and a decked-out venue, everything was in place for a fun-filled weekend.

The World Beyond

Since its inception in 2010, Beyond Wonderland has done a magnificent job of bringing the adventures of Alice and her psychedelic storybook to life.

The characters of the classic tale roam freely about the festival, immersing attendees in the fantastical world. A glowing, neon caterpillar can be seen traversing the grounds, along with personified clocks with suitcases that read, “Time waits for no one” and “Lost time is never found again.” Flamingos, butterflies, playing cards, mice, and rabbit-like creatures wander throughout the event, while iconic characters like the Mad Hatter and the Queen can be seen at main stages.

The wondrous fest features copious art installations that showcase different scenes from the time-honored story. An entire walkway, Chessboard Walk, is carpeted with black and white checkered flooring, along with beautiful life sized chess pieces. Colorful mushroom sculptures furnish the landscaping, and a giant wooden statue of a rabbit perches on the grass.

Rabbit Head, Beyond Wonderland at the Gorge

Beyond Wonderland's Giant Rabbit statue.

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Another fun nod to the 1865 book was the Doorway and Mad Bazaar. Lined with doors on either side of the walkway, attendees could open any one and walk into a colorful room filled with streamers and fuzzy walls. To enter the Mad Bazaar area, festival-goers must open one of these doors, revealing a somewhat secret venue with a smaller DJ booth, a tea party, and craft vendors.

Beyond Wonderland 2022 Stages

The festival’s five stages provided stunning scenes with pyrotechnics, lights, kaleidoscopic visuals and even more Alice characters. The Queen’s Domain was the main stage, featuring Zedd, DJ Snake, Above & Beyond and Seven Lions, among others. Serving the bass music crowd, the Mad Hatter’s Castle featured Zeds Dead, DJ Diesel, Zomboy and more. 

The Caterpillar's Garden was hosted by Dreamstate on the festival's first night and Insomniac Records on the second, with Paul van Dyk, Blastoys, Shiba San and Biscits gracing the stage.

Hosted by Lost in Dreams night one and Insomniac's hardstyle brand Basson night two, the Cheshire Woods welcomed Jason Ross, k?d, Lady Faith, and Noize Suppressor. Last but not least, The Looking Glass was hosted by Anjunadeep and Factory93, and showcased Alan Fitzpatrick, Len Faki, Reinier Zonneveld and more.

Not included in the official set times, the Mad Bazaar was a delightful surprise with its speakeasy vibes and artsy feel. Presented by Grand Artique, a company that creates fully immersive performance theatrics, the Mad Bazaar showcased a diverse lineup of artists from techno to hip-hop.

Beyond Wonderland 2022 Recap

All said and done, the event was a massive success, giving ravers the chance to let loose and dive into Insomniac’s topsy-turvy world. The festival was alive with art, fashion, music, and euphoria—and isn't that what festival season is all about?




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