As we round the corner of mid-August, Labor Day and one of the largest Insomniac festivals of the year sneak into California ravers’ minds more often than not. This year, being Nocturnal Wonderland’s 20th anniversary, is going to be bigger than ever before. The family of Nocturnal Wonderland-goers are a special breed of ravers, and that cultural difference comes from how Nocturnal Wonderland/Festival has changed with time.
Around 20 years ago in a two story mansion, located in downtown Los Angeles, Nocturnal Wonderland was born. Pasquale Rotella had been throwing weekly underground “techno parties,” he had called Insomniac, for about a year when he had decided to create something even bigger. He wanted everyone to get lost in the music and to feel as positive, open, and free as they were when they were kids. He chose Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass as inspiration for the event so that when walking through the entrance doors attendees could find themselves lost in another world; a more positive world.
Nocturnal Wonderland was such a positive place that during the time of segregation all were given entrance, no matter the color of his skin and that openness and positivity has held true through 2014.
Skipping from location to location as years went on Nocturnal did not seem to have a settled home for quite some time. Electronic music slowly found it’s way out from underground and so did Nocturnal Wonderland, even if that meant some years there was no event. As things subgenres began to become more pronounced Nocturnal Wonderland slowly changed and fans called for a louder brighter event to return. Insomniac then created Nocturnal’s sister festival Beyond Wonderland.
In 2010, Beyond Wonderland was born. For those who have attended Nocturnal Wonderland and Beyond Wonderland many can agree that if you picture them both a two little twin toddlers: Beyond is the vocal, active, and emotional sister; while, Nocturnal is the sweet and loving one that goes with the flow. None-the-less, in 2011 Nocturnal Wonderland expanded into the two day festival filled with music, art, and otherworldly interaction that it is presently known for.
This year, on the 20th anniversary, Insomniac plans to impress us all with a three day Nocturnal Wonderland. It has found it’s home, as the event has been held at the San Manuel Amphitheater for three years in a row; though, the 20th anniversary will seem as if it were never truly there before. There has been a fifth stage added to the lineup and a second stage has increased in size to match that of the main stage. The camp grounds have quadrupled in size so that the weekend will resemble an Alice in Wonderland themed miniature Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC). Yet, the crowd favorite addition to the festival has nothing to do with music nor map size because it makes for the best day to day experience a raver could ever want. Nocturnal Wonderland 2015 will include a waterpark exclusively for campers. What better way to escape the dry heat and the musky smell of dancing the night away than by enjoying an exclusive waterpark the next day?
Labor Day weekend is looking to be the most magical one yet. Will you be a part of the family under the nocturnal sky? We know we will; because the energy awaits…