[FESTIVAL REVIEW] Insomniac Events Forges 13th Successful Iteration Of Beyond Wonderland SoCal

| March 29, 2024

This past weekend (March 22-23, 2024), Beyond Wonderland SoCal returned to its home at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, California for its sold-out 13th year. With stages hosted by Insomniac Records, Night Trip, Bassrush, Basscon, Factory93, RNBW, Dreamstate, and Lost in Dreams,

Beyond Wonderland covered all varieties of the wide spectrum dance music offers its fans. In summary, the music and art showcased over the weekend was nothing short of impressive, albeit a few minor complications occurred amidst the jubilee.

Beyond Wonderland

Incredulous amounts of DJ talent were unleashed throughout the dozens of sets scheduled over the two-day event, standouts appearing from all genres. Some of iEDM’s favorites included Andy C, Will Sparks, Vini Vici, and Eli Brown b2b Lilly Palmer. Artists hailing from the spheres of techno, trance, and DnB brought the heat with earth-shattering energy that kept crowds dancing for hours on end.

Beyond Wonderland

Subtronics packed the two largest stages as a closing act on both nights after filling Zeds Dead’s slot following last-minute travel complications. Although fans were disappointed by the unfortunate cancellation, they were quickly elated by Subtronics’ ability to make a clutch appearance. 

Beyond Wonderland

Insomniac’s festival organizers tend to make minor adjustments to stages and the venue’s layout each year in order to facilitate movement of crowds and keep up with the increasing attendance.

This year, the Beyond Wonderland team decided to renovate the Cheshire Woods stage, utilize the NOS indoor facility, and decrease the amount of water stations. The new Cheshire Woods stage was nearly cube-shaped, adorned by hundreds of artful triangular tapestries.

The overhead coverage conveniently blocked some of the incremental showers, which turned out to be pertinent in attendees’ efforts to stay warm through the chilly nights. Although there was never a true downpour, all but two of the stages offered protection from the rain which became an important factor in everyone’s comfort.

Beyond Wonderland

Additionally, the decision to place the new Sea of Wonder stage within the National Orange Show building created a special space with its own unique atmosphere separated from the surrounding chaos. By the end of the weekend, hundreds of fans congregated inside to relax comfortably and enjoy the final sets of the festival.

Beyond Wonderland

Lastly, the previous 2-3 free refill stations were consolidated into one massive refill area at the entrance of the venue. Fans were initially skeptical of the decision, but seemed to retrieve water effectively, since most festival goers tend to stop by the water station nearest to the entrance upon arrival.

Filling water containers after visiting the stages was less convenient, but those with high-capacity hydration bags seldom ran into this issue. The new arrangement also made the water station by the entrance more efficient, as there were decreased traffic jams during the arriving rush. 

Beyond Wonderland

Southern California has become notorious for discourteous crowds in recent years, and Beyond Wonderland 2024 was not an exception to this unfortunate reputation. Although there were thousands of incredible fans in attendance, many couldn’t help but notice the incessant pushing, shoving, and generally unkind behavior. As raves become a trending topic on social media, this effect inevitably becomes more prominent, not at the fault of event organizers.

Beyond Wonderland

A glaring example of this reality occurred at Factory93’s Looking Glass stage during the Sara Landry’s set. Due to the recent virality of Landry’s posts and Boiler Room set, thousands have recognized her unstoppable talent and energy, therefore attracting a crowd that outgrew the stage. At least two violent altercations broke out within the heavily-packed set, causing much of the overflowing crowd to become uncomfortable and attempt to exit.

As masses of people began to move, a bottleneck formed along Wonder Lane, causing a nearly-crushing force to take effect, and many individuals began to panic thereafter. Although no one appeared to be hurt during the incident, many people involved were affected by its unpleasant nature.

Beyond Wonderland

As incremental overcrowding has become an issue for general admission fans, the VIP sections and Passport Lounge were free to experience all the festival had to offer, including exclusive food and water options, improved viewing, respectful crowds, and more. The price of VIP tickets can be steep, but will greatly improve the experience if comfort is a priority.

Beyond Wonderland

Overall, Beyond Wonderland is one of Southern California’s premier dance music events, showcasing top-tier talent and art from around the globe. Although there were a couple of complications for some attendees, Insomniac’s ability to reliably organize several events of this caliber annually is an impressive feat.

Draws thousands of returning fans worldwide, Beyond Wonderland continues to improve its lineup, venue, and logistics with each passing year. 

Check out tickets to Beyond Wonderland SoCal 2025 HERE!

 

Photos courtesy of Beyond Wonderland/ Insomniac Events (Tyler Hill, Nicholas Kess, Orhun Uygur, Jamal Eid, Tyler Church)

 

Stay up to date on the latest festival announcements and music news HERE!

 

Gear up for festival season with iEDM apparel and accessories. Check out the latest rave wear arrivals HERE!

Paije Kantor

PAIJE KANTOR

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Native to Long Beach, California, Paije has been in love with dance music since childhood, which blossomed into a love for its community and events later on. Over time, she has become a dedicated fan of all EDM subgenres, with a special affinity for industrial and melodic techno, dubstep and riddim, electro house and trance, and DnB.

Paije recently graduated with a B.S. in geology and paleontology and spends her free time searching for new additions to her collection of playlists, watching history documentaries, researching obscure topics, and attempting to keep up with her husky’s energy.

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