After spending the last four years at the San Manuel Amphitheater Beyond Wonderland finally made its return to the NOS Event Center in San Bernardino. Each year Insomniacs spring festival marks the beginning of the festival season with tons of DJs showing off what they have in store for the rest of the year. The lineup catered to all types of electronic music fans featuring stages hosted by Bassrush and Dreamstate.
My day began at the Outer Realm with a heavy dose of bass music from Bleep Bloop as the sun began to set. His particular style took the crowd of people who showed up on a sonic journey and proved to be one of the most unique sets I caught over the weekend. Friday night also provided the So Cal stop for Eptic and Must Die!’s hyper future tour when they and Gentlemen’s Club delivered two hours of face melting dubstep.
Every stage had a solid lineup creating some dreadful conflicts. The Cheshire Cove stage hosted by dreamstate gave us a psytrance lover’s paradise with killer sets from Vini Vici, Simon Patterson, and Astrix. The Aquarium hosted most of the house music with Dirtybird artists Sage Armstrong, and Shiba San keeping the crowd dancing. Over towards the entrance the Beyond Wench stage closed out with some Night Bass vibes from Stranger and Dillon Nathaniel.
I began the second day at the Outer Realm once again to catch a b2b set with Phiso, Definitive, and Aweminus. The wonky riddim sounds attracted a big audience for such an early set who all lost their minds when they got to hear Phiso himself drop the dubstep national anthem Jotaro. The rest of the day I bounced between this stage and the Aquarium to keep just the right balance of house to wubs. The largest crowd I saw all weekend was to see Herobust and it was well deserved as he dropped some of his own classics as well as some of the newest dubstep bangers that had the entire crowd headbanging absurdly hard.
After the madness that was Herobust we made our way into the Aquarium stage to get groovy to some house music. We caught Will Clarke close his set with a bang featuring tracks from Cirez D and Ardalan. After his set it was time for the Night Bass head honcho AC Slater to take the stage. Being a So Cal resident I’ve seen AC Slater countless times at his shows at Sound but seeing him at a festival was a completely different experience. His set was essentially Night Bass greatest hits as well as some unreleased stuff that will be coming out on the label soon. The set was relentless heat from start to finish. That set was going to be hard to top but then the words “operator we have a problem” came booming out of the speakers and I knew Chris Lake had something special in store for us. Fresh off the release of his new single on HOWSLA he took the decks and delivered funky bass line after funky bass line. Going through some older tracks in his catalogue as well as newer ones it was impossible to stop dancing to his set. After a good couple hours of house music we made our way over to hear some vomit step and finish out the festival with Snails.
Insomniac outdid themselves once again and provided an amazing festival experience. Their attention to detail is unmatched by any other companies throwing events of this scale. My third Beyond Wonderland was definitely the best one and I’m excited to see what else they have in store for the rest of 2017!