Beyond Wonderland 2017: Festival Recap

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During this past weekend, Insomniac kickstarted the festival season by bringing us its 7th edition of one of their most esteemed festivals, Beyond Wonderland. This year, the festival returned to its original home at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, CA. Over the course of two magic-filled nights, fans were able to witness performances by some of their favorite artists including Diplo, Alison Wonderland, Yellow Claw, NGHTMARE and many more. Attendees were immersed within the Endless Sea of Beyond as they navigated through the fantasy world. Interactive art installations, like the mechanical squid, and performers dressed as mermaids, sailors and flamingos were amongst some of the aspects that brought the theme to life. Other key elements that helped to enliven the oceanic theme of the festival were the seahorse, starfish, and coral reef lanterns that were dispersed throughout the pond.

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Six new aquatic stage designs were introduced to fans this year, and each one had their own very special features. Most notably, the Queen’s Domain stage, which left many fans in awe with the unveiling of a cloud-like visual projection that was placed directly between the crowd and the DJ booth. The production team at Insomniac had really outdone themselves with this feature, and fans commented on how they hope to see it implemented again at stages in future events.
For those who wanted to head-bang, the Bassrush-hosted Outer Realm stage was just the place for that. Bassheads were stoked to catch performances from acts like Alison Wonderland, Snails, 12th Planet, Ekali, Illenium, and Bro Safari. On the contrary, house fans were able to dance and groove inside of the air-conditioned room that was the home of The Aquarium stage. REZZ, Kry Wolf and Will Clarke all played some of the most unforgettable sets of the weekend. Cutsnake, Shiba San, MK, Chris Lake, Sage Armstrong, Jax Jones, and AC Slater kept the vibes strong all weekend long.
To the right of The Aquarium was the Cheshire Cove stage that was hosted by Dreamstate, and to the left was the Upside-Down Stage put on by Insomniac Records. Finally, Cats and Boots Records had their very own stage, Beyond Wench, that was a giant wooden boat placed on the only grass area in the entire festival. The small size of the stage kept things very intimate and helped to create the best vibe out of any of the stages.

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Overall, Beyond Wonderland was an amazing time. The Insomniac staff was one of the most positive aspects I experienced at the festival. Everyone from the security guards to ground control, and all the way to the PR team was an absolute delight to interact with. I’ve never encountered festival staff that was so genuine, caring, hospitable, and friendly before. Additionally, the energy and the vibe that carried on throughout the festival was incredible. There were so many infectious smiles and cheers, love and happiness that filled the air.

Beyond is the perfect festival for anybody looking for that sense of togetherness and community that comes with a group of people who genuinely look to improve themselves, and improve the lives of those around them. I’m very excited to return, and perhaps next year, I’ll get to experience the magic of Beyond Wonderland with you!