On Saturday, September 21, 43,000 EDM fans trekked to the mountainous grounds of SoCal's San Manuel Amphitheater for Insomniac Events' Nocturnal Wonderland. The annual electronic dance music festival featured DJ sets by ahealthy amount of favorites. That, plus its impeccable physical production and overall "wow factor" made it comparable to Insomniac's famed flagship fest, Electric Daisy Carnival.
The eventmay be barely over, but many Nocturnal Wonderland attendees are already on theedge of their seats waiting for Fall's fest season to begin.Insomniac's next high-profile party, Escape From Wonderland, isapproximately a month away - so here are five major ways to look back fondly onlast weekend's plunge into the rabbit hole.
1. Krewella at the Labyrinth stage: There's a reason why this co-ed DJ trio's won the heart of the top-40 all while remaining a go-to favorite for EDM enthusiasts. Twin sisters Jahan Yousaf, Yasmine Yousaf and Kris "Rain Man" Trindl slung infectiously powerful pop vocals over a medley of wompy dubstep and pounding hardstyle drops that kept the mood at the Labyrinth stage spontaneous. This group's got mad skills as both mixing board masters and performers - setting the bar high as a whole new brand of EDM rock stars.
2. Fatboy Slim at the Labyrinth stage: The magic of Fatboy Slim's set was its sense of mystery. The veteran DJ/producer's been around the block, so it's no surprise that when it came to curating a collection of diverse tracks for his set he had plenty of genre-bending tricks up his sleeve. After kicking his set off with the beckoning anthem "Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat," fans were called to go nuts to the rest of a live experience that included snippets of the classic, the groovy and the popular. An especially memorable series of moments? When somehow, he was able to breathe new life into the viral track "Harlem Shake" by layering samples of it over a thumping house groove.
3. Camp Nocturnal: Adding to the appeal of this man-made wilderness was an interactive on-site camping experience for festival attendees. Camp Nocturnal kids were invited to pitch their tents a day prior to engage in hands-on activities. Outdoor itineraries included costume-crafting workshops as well as a silent disco that provided campers plenty of opportunity to get good vibes flowing before their favorite artists arrived the next afternoon.
4. Andy C at the Queen's Ground stage: Drum and bass old-pro Andy C never fails to deliver a dynamic set full of forward-moving energy. This time around, the Queen's Ground stage was his fitting backdrop. As he performed, a live graffiti artist spray painted a mural behind him - adding an additional element of mayhem to his rough-and-tough set. An especially amazing moment of the chaotic fun was his drop of an frenetic drum and bass remix of Knife Party's "LRAD."
5. Labyrinth Stage: At the Labyrinth, a huge animatronic tree was the whimsically perfect centerpiece for the Nocturnal Wonderland's main stage.Colorful dangling lanterns added a cartoon-like surreal feel to the stage's overall vibe. Production quality within this environment - home to acts includingPorter Robinson, Benny Benassi, and Bingo Players - raised the bar high for future fests.