Entering the Psycho Circus

Insomniac goes above and beyond at every festival, getting bigger and better every year. Escape: Psycho Circus has been growing to be one of Insomniac’s top festivals and the biggest festival in Southern California. This year they did not disappoint. From the incredible stage production, to the precise and intricate details, Escape outdid every halloween festival out there.

Psycho Circus
The Holy Mountain for Insomniac

The entrance line and parking is the same hassle every year as it is at every festival in the world. Once you enter the festival grounds your jaw drops. From the attractions to the massive stages, you could not know where to start. The festival grounds were decorated beyond what you can imagine. Halloween lights in all of the trees guide your path. Just as the name of the festival, you feel you are inside a Psycho Circus. With over 125,000 attendees this year, you could find people dressed in all different costumes (a lot of Rick & Morty though).

The Main Attraction

In addition to the music, Escape’s main attraction, The Asylum, is something every person needs to experience once in their lifetime. It is Escape’s largest and most intricate haunted maze, and even one of the best haunted mazes in all of the nation. As I entered the asylum you are treated as if you where admitted in to a real psycho asylum. I was put into a straight jacket and that is when I realized I was in deep sh!t. The maze is not just about the jump scares, but what you see visually is what nightmares consist of. This haunted maze created by Insomniac is scarier than most haunted mazes created by companies who dedicate themselves to just that, and not a whole festival.

Psycho Circus
Jake West for Insomniac

The Music

The stages did not disappoint. With a giant clown staring down on you on the main stage (Slaughterhouse), the experience was even more spookier. Music provided by Tiesto, DJ Snake, Marshmello, Madeon, and other big industry names made this the most packed stage.

Psycho Circus
aLIVE Coverage for Insomniac

The Chopping Block, dedicated to the bass-heads, was “lit” all weekend long with music from Coone, Ghastly, a surprise live performance by Boyz Noize, and many others. Not to mention that Rae Sreummund made a guest appearance as well in the chopping block.

Psycho Circus
The Holy Mountain for Insomniac

The Ghouls’ Graveyard dedicated Friday night to hard-hitting sets by Datsik, Flosstradamus and Nero, followed by bigger commercial acts on Saturday like NGHTMRE, Zedd, Don Diablo, and Eric Prydz.

Psycho Circus
Ivan Meneses for Insomniac

The Cannibals’ Tea Party stage was hosted by Factory 93. This stage is for those who love true underground music. Once you entered this stage you felt the minimal vibes, and experienced the best in house music from Green Velvet, Jamie Jones, and Nicole Moudaber.

Psycho Circus
Jake West for Insomniac

Overall Experience

After all, being the third year I assist Escape, I can say it only gets better. The experience gets more immersive, the crowd gets bigger, the music becomes better, and the spookiness grows every year. The only downsides of the festival is the overpacked main stage which is inside a massive tent. During headlining acts, the stage becomes very hard to access. People are packed like sardines inside the tent. This is a problem that Insomniac will look in to due to the growing size of attendees every year. In conclusion, this is a must-go festival for every raver or any person curious about this scene.

Expect the Psycho Circus to come back next Halloween even bigger and better.

Psycho Circus
Bennett Sell-Kline for Insomniac