Nocturnal Wonderland 2022 Highlights: Festival Recap
Nocturnal WonderlandNorth America’s longest running festival, has welcomed the creatures of the night home Glen Helen Regional Park for an intimate weekend filled with stellar performances and an immersive atmosphere.
In 1995, Insomniac events began a tradition of bringing people together for a weekend full of magical experiences featuring dance music and immersive art production. Fast forward 27 years and the same holds true to this day. For two epic nights, Insomniac transformed Glen Helen in San Bernardino, California into a complete festival experience known as Nocturnal Wonderland. Whichever artists you decided to catch, or whether you decided to go with the flow and enjoy Wonderland as a whole, there was definitely something for everyone and plenty of worthy positives. underlined. Read on as we dive into highlights of our favorite sets and scenes at Nocturnal Wonderland 2022!
The decorations that caught our attention
As night began to set in on the first day, the house/tech-house/DJ producer West end brought the groovy vibes to the Sunken garden stage led by Repopulate Mars, where he debuted his new single ‘Moderation (at night)’ with Role models and will elect. As his set progressed into the night, the New York native began incorporating melodic tunes into the mix, such as anymait is ‘Functioning’ feat. Meg Myerswhich sparked a positive reaction from the dancing crowd.
Next, the bass music duo adventure clubwho brought the heavy beats of dubstep to The Wolf’s Lair, the main stage of the festival. Their performance was one for the books and worthy of a late-night slot as they mixed nostalgic tunes such as ‘Gold‘ with Yuna and their remix of Flight facilities‘ ‘I want you‘ in their new tracks such as ‘LEVIATHAN’ with grumpy and their unreleased remix of ‘Fuck Your Sunshine’ by Laszewo.
The second day, R3HAB lit up the wolves’ den as he pumped out big hall, future rave and big hall techno vibes to the masses who were craving his energy. Being the only one that day with this type of set, it was quite refreshing to hear dynamic and energetic music like R3HAB’s future VIP rave remix of ‘My pony,’ his ‘Flash light’ collaboration with Deorro and Hardwellis the new mashup of afrojack and Martin Garrixit is “Turn the Speakers Up” with Umekit is “Black market”.
Next to The Wolves’ Den was the American producer Francois Dillonwho picked up the four-on-the-floor vibes of R3HAB early in their set with tracks such as their collab ‘When we were young’ feat. The Chain Gang of 1974 and Porter Robinsonlooking nostalgic ‘Language.’ As he worked his way through his set, Dillon Francis showed his versatility by switching to moombahton and then to his more aggressive style of bass music. The crowd felt his energy as she headbanged to every song he was on. With energy peaking and little time left for his set, Dillon Francis decided to end on a more peaceful and joyful note by playing his new song “Don’t Let Me Go” with Illenium and Evan Giia.
Production on all three stages makes for an immersive experience
Although previous versions of Nocturnal Wonderland such as 2013-2017 were massive with four to five stages spread further out on the grounds, the three-stage layout better suits the festival logistically, providing a more intimate and less crowded. One thing is certain though, the immersive realization of the three scenes has not been completely compromised.
The Wolves’ Den was main stage quality with its huge semicircular LED screen in the middle and multiple rectangular LED screens surrounding it. Artists such as Illenium, Yellow Claw, Boombox Cartel, Ground and Moksi used these displays to their full potential as they showcased their incredible visuals during their sets. There was also no shortage of spotlights and strobes as they danced to the rhythm of the night alongside lasers, pyrotechnics and fireworks.
Sunken Garden, the smallest of the three stages, got an upgrade this year from its layout last year. The new version featured two larger LED screens and an LED screen in front of the DJ booth that displayed the names/logos of the DJ who was playing. It also seemed to have gotten stronger this year as more and more festival-goers flocked to watch the performances of DJ Hanzel, Matroda, Armand Van Helden and many other house artists. Although the visual experience of the stage was considerably lower than that of the other two, it did not change the energy that the DJs and their fans brought.
At the top of the hill was the Labyrinth Stage, presented by bass music brand Insomniac Bassrush. bass players like Hello, King Sullivan, Eliminateand wavedash thrived here as their thick beats created the beat every headbanger dreamed of. Much like Wolves’ Den, Labyrinth was filled with multiple LED displays, lights, lasers, pyrotechnics, and fireworks that occasionally exploded into the sky.
The three stages are the signature definition of what to expect from an Insomniac event, and it’s a seamless blend of art and technology. While the visual experience was amazing, the audio experience left a little more to be desired. Sound bleeding was definitely an issue and sometimes a little disappointing with Sunken Garden competing with Wolves’ Den and Labyrinth. Things seemed to improve a bit on the second day, but this issue was quite surprising considering it wasn’t an issue last year. Although there have been some hiccups this year, no doubt Insomniac will take care of these production issues for future editions.
Nocturnal Wonderland overall was a positive experience
This year’s edition of Nocturnal Wonderland was one for the books. The quality of the lineup was top notch as always, with some of the hottest artists in the dance music industry attracting thousands of fans. The sunset leading into the night at Glen Helen offered stunning views of the regional park and also hinted that things were about to get wild for all the creatures of the night. In addition, this outdoor atmosphere allowed Insomniac to put everything into production in relation to their other shows on the freeway at the NOS Events Center. Honestly, there’s nothing quite like this festival in the Southern California area, and it should be a top priority for every raver to attend and experience it at least once in their lifetime. life.
Main image credits: Shea Flynn for Insomniac Events