It seems like every month there is a production crew debuting a new festival. Pouring their blood, sweat, tears, and every little bit of emotion they have just to put on an event with the hopes of being able to do it again the next year is one of the most challenging and gratifying feelings in the world. So, we can only imagine how Pasquale felt that first time 23 years ago, when the first ever Nocturnal Wonderland opened its wide spread arms to welcome in the ravers of generations ago. Nocturnal has been held in many places and has served as a constant source of inspiration and jubilation to thousands of ravers, producers, djs, and creative minds that have danced until they could no longer move.
I attended Nocturnal for the first time in 2014. I was a little baby raver and every Dj’s set I caught was without a doubt the first time I had ever seen them. Back then all bright eyed and bushy tailed I was so stoked to the likes of Will Sparks, 3lau, Cash Cash, Mat Zo, and Excision. I think it goes without saying that my musical choices have changed since then. However, at that moment that was hands down the perfect two-day lineup of music. Since then it’s safe to say that not only has my taste in music changed, but also my taste in festivals has changed as well.
I found myself being drawn to festivals that were set in the counter culture, basically if it had any sort of Burning Man vibe to it I was already planning my trip. From Desert Hearts, to Lightning in a Bottle, to Symbiosis, and beyond these festivals became a way of life for me. I found so much more than just music, I found pieces of myself. As I’ve evolved from a Candy Raver into a Dusty Burner, Nocturnal has evolved with me. In 2014 you would have never found the type of art installations you find there now, and the overall aesthetic and vibe has gone from bright and vibrant to mysterious and dark.
The biggest change in the past 4 years has been without a doubt the musical curation. With a forward thinking underground driven lineup this year’s Nocturnal takes a strong step towards bridging the underground with the main stream. Here are 6 acts to get you ready for Nocturnal Wonderland 2018
I don’t know what it is about Techno, but once it takes ahold of you, it really is a challenge not to build your own time machine and travel straight back to Detroit in the late 80’s. The repetitive rhythms grab hold while the 808’s and 909’s leave your brain in a state of pure euphoria. And in my opinion the darker the Techno the better. Luckily for us Mau5trap artist, BlackGummy will be bringing us his brand of industrial techno to San Bernardino. His track Lullaby which released on Mau5trap’s “We Are Friends Vol. 04” is an absolute masterpiece and shows a playful balance between the harsh and melodic sides of Techno.
I know house and techno isn’t everyone’s flavor, and I do enjoy myself some bass music from time to time. So when I caught a glimpse that Eprom was on this line up, I about lost my shit. It’s been two years since I first saw him at Lightning in a Bottle. Eprom is on another level, and the sounds that come out of those speakers when he is behind the decks is life altering. You might as well start prepping that stank face now because it will come in handy and drop after drop hit you right in the soul.
Sticking with the bass theme we have none other than Dela Moontribe. I won’t say exactly where this queen of bass is from, but if you know, you definitely know. This is by far my favorite booking on lineup because it really fits into the whole musical curation and vibe Insomniac is trying to set with mixing the main stage with the underground. The freaks will definitely be out for this one.
If house music could transport you to a different dimension of colored refracted dreams, it would probably be because you were in the middle of an Oona Dahl set. I’ve never had the chance to catch this Burning Man vet live yet, however I’ve listened to countless hours of her mixes, and each and every time her blend of deep and smooth soulful house is enough to transport you out of the stresses of life and into a euphoric bliss.
I like Dirtybird, you like Dirtybird, hell even your grandma likes Dirtybird…she told me so herself. So you can better believe I’m super stoked to see just about any artist who has released on the massive tech house label. Even more so when it is a Dirtybird artist I’ve never seen before, Dateless. Many of you probably have never heard of him, and well now is the time to start listening. Blending sexy Latin beats with crushing tech house bangers is an absolutely winning combination.
Techno, house, funk, and a little bit of flat earth conspiracies highlights the act I can never get enough of. This year Nocturnal will be blessed by an epic b2b from one half of the Desert Hearts Crew, Mikey Lion and Papa Lee Reynolds. Honestly, no party on earth can touch a Desert Hearts party, and this one will be no different, as one of the most off the grid festivals in North America comes crashing into the main stream with no remorse. 100% if you miss this set, you messed up.
The 23rd Nocturnal Wonderland will be held at the Glen Helen Amphitheater on September 14th & 15th. Tickets are available HERE