I just recently went to my first massive and it was FUCKING AMAZING. Beyond Wonderland was definitely beyond my imagination. It was a spur of the moment thing when I got invited by a few of my cousins to take a road trip down to LA and go. At 5 in the morning the day before, we left the bay and booked it down to LA. Every hotel was packed tight with hardcore ravers, first timers, and others who just enjoy the awesome intensity that only a massive like Beyond Wonderland could bring.
Beyond Wonderland was held at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino this year. Just walking up to the security line and seeing thousands of people already waiting there was absolutely incredible. This event sold out with 75,000 people. After a quick ID scan and a pat down, we finally entered what I can only describe as a giant rave playground or maybe every dubstep/techno/trance/house music lovers dream. The event center was set up with five stages with huge set lists for each. A few of the stages were in huge warehouse-looking buildings, one was outside, but the main stage couldn’t be beat. The main stage was basically the size of a fucking airplane hangar. At the beginning when it was empty, it was crazy to be at the end of such an enormous space, but it was even more ridiculous when tens of thousands of people were squeezed tight in there to see Kaskade at the end the night.
From what I’ve heard and learned, usually characteristic of a massive are other attractions besides the ridiculous lineups. Outdoors between the stages there were light installations playing into the Wonderland theme. The installations ranged from a huge sculpture that shot out fire, a weird fixture of stacked cubes that lit up where you were able to control the light effects from a side console, a giant tunnel of lights and much more. When it came to the stages themselves, fog machines were a common theme as were huge lasers that shot out into the crowd and humongous I-MAX worthy screens behind the set ups. These screens were especially mind numbing when what ever was showing synchronized perfectly with the music.
While I would have loved to see everyone performing that night, that just didn’t work. I made sure to remember to see some artists, but mostly I wandered from stage to stage depending on the vibe. First up for our group at the main stage was Peace Treaty who killed it with a solid remix of Above & Beyond’s “Sun and Moon.” Then when they threw down their dubstep version of “Wonderland” by Natalia Kills, I fell in love. It also helped that my friend had me on top of his shoulders to really soak it all in. Next up for us were Adrian Lux, Space Rockerz, Andy Moor, and Zedd (who dropped one of many repeats of Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites”). Everything up to this point smacked hella hard, but one of the highlights was for sure Porter Robinson. He delivered. Period. It was kind of sad that they put him on the small outdoor stage, but regardless the area was packed tight when he came on. He not only brought a few of his classics like “Say My Name” and “I’m on Fire,” but also awed us with a remix of Daft Punk’s “One More Time.” When he came out with a Skrillex song and the beat dropped everyone went absolutely nuts. I know I felt like I just couldn’t RAGE hard enough. The bonus was that he also came out with two new songs from working with the Skrillex label. So, make sure to keep an eye out for “The State” and “Spitfire” by Porter. Another awesome performance came through in Manufactured Superstars who played their rendition of “Home” by Above & Beyond. Now this bass just absolutely blew your mind. At one point I was almost positive the windows were about to give and blow out. These guys also made sure to put a little bit of Dead Prez’s “Hip Hop,” “Fuck You” by Cee Lo, Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” and finally the oh so catchy song by Duck Sauce “Barbara Streisand.” Not to mention, Paris Hilton decided to make an appearance mid-set and dance on stage in an Alice costume, plus I got a picture with one of them! I can’t forget how everyone went absolutely ape shit when Calvin Harris played a favorite. He definitely had us at “Hello.” Dirty south was yet another success with their remix of “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap. Cosmic Gate was also one of many to include Above & Beyond’s original “Sun and Moon” and they blew it up. Finally the last thing I remember was Kaskade, an incredible experience in all. The crowd was still hyped after nearly 11 hours of bass-blasting-mind-altering music to enjoy another round of a skillfully remixed version of “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites.” Kaskade topped off the night with his song “Dynasty” and “I remember” done with Deadmau5 while confetti dropped from the ceiling and we left covered in 75,000 other people’s sweat. It was surreal and definitely Beyond Wonderland.
All in all it was a crazy, awesome, and impressive experience. EDC here I come!!