Beyond Wonderland 2022 Review: A Magical Experience

| April 10, 2022

Insomniac’s Beyond Wonderland returned to NOS Events Center from March 25-26 for two days of magical sights and sounds for the eyes and ears. The Alice In Wonderland themed event has been running for over a decade in Southern California and is further refined each year, notably expanding to the Pacific Northwest as of 2021. The lineup has been consistently diverse in dance music genres, and 2022 was no different. Featured artists included names such as Zeds Dead, Seven Lions, DJ Snake, Zedd, Above & Beyond, Benny Benassi, and many more. Aside from the music, Beyond Wonderland also features dozens of rides, allurements, and vendors who keep the theme alive throughout the weekend. Overall, the thousands of guests who flocked to the NOS Events Center enjoyed another festival well-done.



A Magical Lineup

As per usual, the Insomniac team designed a stacked lineup filled with a variety of artists that were guaranteed to satisfy fans of all genres. The headliners each presented a phenomenal show, proving their abilities to fill the large expectations for the closing slots. Many of these artists are veterans within the scene and have developed impressive levels of production that audience members will remember for a lifetime.

Aside from popular members of the lineup, there were several standouts within the rising artists and those who are widely cherished by the community. Less often seen on Insomniac lineups, Tokyo Machine was arguably the most anticipated set in the earlier hours of Day 1, and rightfully so. He established that his quick rise to notoriety is well-deserved with an exciting set featuring several genres mixed with his signature heavy melodic sound. Similarly, OG Nixin and Jessica Audiffred received the same enthusiasm for their Day 2 sets. OG Nixin destroyed the NOS Raceway with a gritty tearout set that was a fantastic start to the second day. Jessica Audiffred followed up this set with ground-shaking bass and energy. These two explosive hours in the beginning of the day prepared bass music fans for the heavy hitters Bassrush still had to offer.

In the closing set of Day 1, Jauz shared a surprise with Mad Hatter’s Castle. After appropriately playing his remix of “Baby Shark”, he invited his wife on stage to announce that the couple is expecting a baby. The crowd went wild to celebrate the exciting news. This special moment will be beloved in Beyond Wonderland’s history for years to come.


Wonderland’s Atmosphere

With the rising popularity of EDM events and Insomniac’s booming success, festivals have been attracting waves of potential fans. Although all are welcomed to these raves, veterans in the scene have become increasingly frustrated with the lack of festival etiquette. Accordingly, more pushing, shoving, fights, and pick-pocketing has been reported in recent years. However, the people who bring a positive attitude and spread kindness still outnumber the few individuals who do not. Overall, there were thousands of incredible people at Beyond Wonderland, and their fantastic energy did not go unnoticed. Trends come and go in waves, but those who intend to keep the culture alive will remain constant.


Refined Stages and Whimsical Attractions

Although Beyond Wonderland is a long-standing event, Insomniac makes refinements to the stages and attractions each year. Most notably, the organizers decided to incorporate the raceway within the NOS Center as a massive stage hosted by Audiotistic and Bassrush. This is a less frequent inclusion available at this venue, but has been opened for its largest events in the past. The raceway offers the potential for an extremely wide stage design, which is ideal for large crowds and provides a great view of the show regardless of location. However, some complained that Mad Hatter’s Castle was overpacked during many sets, despite the extra space. Additionally, the bleachers along the edges produce copious amounts of seating for those in need of some relaxation. Since this location rarely has any form of seating besides a few grass patches, the stadium benches make a significant difference. Furthermore, the stage design of Caterpillar’s Garden was also altered. Rather than the typical tunnel-shaped covered stages, Caterpillar’s Garden was opened to a wider, shorter layout. Many found this preferable to the previous design because it allowed the audience to spread out more freely, while still enjoying a fantastic view and sound quality. Moreover, the ability to spread out created more freedom to dance and increased airflow throughout the crowd during the hot weekend. 

Aside from the stages, Insomniac consistently includes attractions that go above and beyond expectations. All attractions contributed to different aspects of the Alice in Wonderland theme, complete with eccentric decor and captivating cast members. These curiosities included bazaars, caterers, lounges, rides, and much more. Some of the standouts were the Ferris Wheel, Mad Bazaar, and the famous Chessboard Walk. For those who wanted a handful of fantastic festival photos, the attractions were a great opportunity. For even more fun pictures, the VIP upgrade offered private areas designed to best capture the Beyond Wonderland experience.


Overall, Beyond Wonderland put forth another successful year in Southern California. The festival organizers, artists, and crew members went above and beyond to make the weekend memorable for everyone who attended. As a staple festival held at the NOS Events Center, Beyond Wonderland never fails to meet the exceedingly high expectations of its fans. By preemptively releasing tickets for the next Beyond Wonderland in March 2023, Insomniac displays confidence in its high quality events and ability to satisfy its returning festival goers. Tickets for Beyond Wonderland 2023 are on sale now.




Photos Courtesy of Beyond Wonderland


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