As we drove down the road towards the San Manuel Amphitheater, the excitement inside of me grew. I found myself having butterflies in my stomach and I don’t know if it was because this was the first event I was covering for EDM Sauce or, like the tens of thousands of other people attending, I knew I coming home. As we parked our car and began the walk to the entrance, we saw everyone in their rave outfits. Whether it was just a tank top and shorts or pasties and a bikini bottom, all you saw were people ready to have a wonderful time, and that’s exactly what Insomniac Events delivered as we traveled down the rabbit hole for Nocturnal Wonderland 2014.
Photo by Jacob Lifschultz
As we made our way towards the entrance, we saw police and ground control, all keeping an eye on things and making sure everything was running smoothly. We passed a guy with sleeves of kandi, teaching an officer how to trade kandi, and as I saw this, I remembered why there’s always this sense of love and community. We didn't have a hard time getting through and security was quick to let us in. All we were told is to have a great time, stay hydrated, and be safe.
Photo by Alex Perez
There were so many great DJs on Friday and Saturday. One of the DJs in my “Top 10 Acts To See At Nocturnal Wonderland 2014” article was BARE and his set at the Queen’s Grounds stage was one to remember. Mat Zo’s “Special Throwback Trance Set” and The Glitch Mob closed out The Queen’s Grounds stage and the Sunken Garden stage respectively on Saturday, which made it hard choosing between the two, so I found myself running from stage to stage. Bingo Players closed out the Labyrinth stage on Saturday as well, and when Maarten played Cry (Just A Little), that’s exactly what I did. I cried, but just a little. Hook N Sling played Axwell’s remix of “Tokyo By Night,” which I had the honor of writing the article on when I first began at EDM Sauce, and I lost my mind and danced the night away! There were so many more great performances. Everyone from Flux Pavilion, Deniz Koyu, and Delta Heavy, to Moon Boots, tyDi, and DJ Dan played something that struck a chord with me and they were all unforgettable sets.
One of my favorite sets of Nocturnal Wonderland was Cash Cash’s at the Labyrinth stage. As we made our way towards the front of the stage, they were just starting their set and they killed it! They played “Bullet,” their collaboration with Adrian Lux, and of course, they played their hit song “Take Me Home” ft Bebe Rexha. They had the crowd singing together in unison and it’s beautiful moments like that, where you're singing with everyone around you, that you truly feel the love and remember how accepting the EDM community is.
Photo by Jacob Lifschultz
The EDM community doesn’t turn people away. We welcome everyone and even if you’re at a rave by yourself, spark a conversation with someone and join their “rave family.” I found myself making friends with people, trading kandi, and taking pictures with random people and their totems throughout the night. By far, one of the best totems I saw was the “Heavy Breathing” Cat. I still laugh when I see this picture.
Photo by Joel Santillan
Insomniac Events and Pasquale Rotella have always been about us, the most important headliners. Whether it’s the amazing choice in music, the incredible art installations, or rides that they have at events such as Nocturnal Wonderland and the Electric Daisy Carnival, at the end of the day, it’s about our experience and that’s what they have always given us. It’s not just a concert, it’s not just a show, but an experience we can lose ourselves in and escape to. Escape All Hallows’ Eve is their next big event and it’s coming home to the NOS Event Center on October 31st and November 1st. I’m sure it’ll be just as great as Nocturnal Wonderland 2014, if not better! I hope to see you all there as we come together and lose ourselves once again!