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Beyond Wonderland Draws 45,000 People

Michela Fossati-Bellani |
March 23, 2011 | 5:11 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Beyond Wonderland via Insomniac
Beyond Wonderland via Insomniac
One of Los Angeles' most prominent electronic dance music promoters, Insomniac, produced another incredible event last Saturday at The NOS Events Center in San Bernardino. Comparable to an adult Disneyland, Insomniac's second annual Beyond Wonderland event provided a successful blend of talent and properly planned production elements.

In the past, promoters of large dance events have underestimated staff and planning for the smooth filteration of huge crowds through event gate entrances. However, insomniac promoters evaded this issue by clearly marking ticket booths and staffing the gates with many security check lines that made for efficient ingress to the event grounds.

Once attendees passed the gates, they were handed maps of the events lay out including the whereabouts of creative art installations, vendors, and performers that were sprinkled throughout the grounds. 

One of the art installations, the “Syzygryd,” a metal sculpture that measures 60 feet in diameter and 13 feet tall, was an interactive sculpture that consists of three metal arms of color changing cubes.  Attendees could use a touch screen grid and visually compose music together, which simultaneously sequenced the cubes LED lights and sometimes shot up a 20-foot fire tornado in the center.

In addition to the cool visual and art installations, Insomniac offered new vendor options and made some smart moves regarding water distribution. The “recharge station,” a large fresh fruit stand, and water refill stations with multiple hoses and staff working surely scored Insomniac some points with fans.  

Aside from the production, this year Beyond Wonderland boasted a lineup of some of electronic dance music’s most popular artists including Kaskade, Calvin Harris, Cosmic Gate, Dirty South, Richie Hawtin, Noisia, Funkagenda and Judge Jules.

UK Trance DJ, Judge Jules, played one of the more uplifting sets of the night at the Madhatter’s Castle stage. In an interview with Jules he explained to Neon Tommy that, “When you play an event like this, it’s not where you’re testing tracks, you're taking the months of spadework and making the tracks work,” said Jules, “I particularly enjoy playing at festivals in Los Angeles because it is the epicenter of electronic music in the US, and it’s a nice destination to travel to.” Jules dropped Above and Beyond’s great track “Sun and Moon.”

The Queens Domain stage (the main stage) was packed with fans as you might expect for a sold out show; however, the sea of people was to be expected and was not overwhelming considering the size of the event.

Although Calvin Harris may not have played many of his own tracks during his set, he was keen on reading his audience and catered to their dancing needs. In his intro he played “Les Petits Pilous,” mixed with his popular track “I'm Not Alone,”  followed by Martin Solveig and Dragonette’s track, “Hello (Club Edit).”  He also dropped in plenty of electro tunes throughout his set, including his new release “Awooga.”  

Also on the Queens Domain stage, Dirty South kept the crowd in a constant flux of awe and excitement. He played bangers like his remix of "Sweet Disposition" by The Temper Trap and a great mashup of Daft Punk and Muzzaik called, “Let the Aerodynamic Kontrast Go.”

Finally, Kaskade’s set varied significantly from his usual festival sets. Considering he was the headlining act, he sometimes had trouble maintaining the crowds’ energy. However, fans did enjoy some of his classic tracks like “I Remember.” He also ended the night on a satisfactory note by dropping his big room arena mix, "All That You Give.” 

After the event, Insomniac’s promoter, Pasquale Rotella, released this statement: “Beyond Wonderland’s success once again proves that all these elements can successfully be united to create an unforgettable show in a safe and secure environment.”  Overall, Insomniacs’ choice of artists as well as their much improved production elements demonstrated their focus on an exciting, safe and positive fan experience.  


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