Pacific Northwest music festival-goers took a huge blow following the downfall of USC Events. Many wondered if Paradiso was replaceable. Those worries have undoubtedly been wiped away after Insomniac has proven they're capable of putting together something far more than comparable.
Beyond Wonderland at the Gorge was immaculate in all facets. From a one-of-a-kind pre-party to REZZ's mind-melting, festival-ending set at the Fractal Valley, the execution was excellent.
PRE-PARTY DONE RIGHT
Beyond Wonderland at the Gorge kicked off the weekend with a bang, inviting attendees into the festival grounds on Thursday for a phenomenal pre-party with some of the biggest artists performing at the festival. Virtual Riot, Wuki, Drezo, Nostalgix, and more took over the Cheshire Woods, giving everyone a taste of what was to come the rest of the weekend.
The event was free for all campers and it gave everyone a chance to catch some sets early, eliminating set conflict woes that were abundant due to the festival's massive lineup.
A STAGGERING LINEUP
Insomniac delivers some of the best electronic dance music festival lineups in the world (looking at you, EDC Las Vegas 2021) and Beyond Wonderland at the Gorge was no exception. The lineup they booked for their first festival at the idyllic PNW venue was quite the statement, as they tapped a slew of compelling rising stars in the dance music space alongside festival favorites for an unforgettable demonstration of talent.
One of the most notable performances this year came courtesy of Alison Wonderland, who took over the Fractal Valley for an hour of trap-inspired bliss. Moore Kismet similarly had a powerful showing, as they packed out the mainstage early for an unforgettable debut at the Gorge. Finally, we have to mention BIJOU and Dr. Fresch, who brought their signature sounds to the Caterpillar's Garden for two hours of intoxicating G-house.
Listen to RL Grime and Nero's Haunting Collab, "Renegade"
The track was released by Grime's Sable Valley.
Martin Garrix Is Launching a Music Academy to Help New Artists
The program will offer masterclasses from Garrix himself, among other initiatives designed to equip young artists with tools to navigate the music industry.
UNRIVALED EXPERIENTIAL ACTIVATIONS
Among their many other achievements, Insomniac always brings top-of-the-line production to their events. Whether it be flawlessly executed stage setups to intricate art installations throughout a venue, they never disappoint. The dancers and other performers were excellent touches as well, allowing attendees to further immerse themselves in festival wonderland with clock-headed men walking amongst them.
One signature piece that stands out was the wooden rabbit head located near the Cheshire Woods, an unforgettable piece that many gathered around throughout the festival. Near the installation were a handful of carnival rides, creating a unique space to enjoy festivities other than music when festival-goers needed a break.
COLD WEATHER? NO PROBLEM
The Pacific Northwest is known for being a particularly cold climate during the fall and many attendees were expecting unforgiving weather. While it wasn't necessarily warm, many were pleased to find decently sunny weather throughout the day. However, nighttime was rather chilly. But Insomniac was more than prepared.
Ground Control was onsite at all times, ensuring those seeking warmth were able to find it. This includes The Oasis, a large tent filled with bean bag chairs and heaters. The area was a lifesaver for some who didn't dress for the weather. Blankets were also offered in some VIP areas, allowing those who didn't want to miss a set to stay put. Insomniac couldn't have been more prepared.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Since first launching in 1993, Insomniac has solidified itself as one of the most prestigious promoters in the world. Their strengths were on display all weekend long. Whether it be the perfect lineup or the incredible production, they didn't miss a beat. While the loss of Paradiso felt tragic to many who call the Gorge home, Insomniac has shown that they can bring more than enough to replace the long-running festival.
In usual Insomniac fashion, their success in the Pacific Northwest won't stop here. Those looking to get another taste should set their sights on Boo! Seattle this upcoming Halloween weekend.