[FESTIVAL REVIEW] Nocturnal Wonderland 2023 Electrifies Southern California for its 28th Year
As America's longest-standing rave came to a close for the 28th time last weekend, many attendees have had time to reflect on all aspects of the experience with respect to the quality of sets, logistics, amenities, and environment surrounding Nocturnal Wonderland 2023. As per usual, thousands of fans entrust Insomniac Events to organize a top-tier event with the capacity to host a plethora of artists alongside thousands of on-site campers within the harsh topography of Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, California. Insomniac prides itself as a well-oiled machine that flawlessly delivers life-long experiences and memories without a hitch– Nocturnal Wonderland 2023 being no different.
Glen Helen Regional Park was adorned in eccentric decor, art installations, and three stunning stages beside one of the most well-loved campgrounds in the Western United States. Glen Helen is a notorious venue for California festival-goers, offering lakeside camping, free parking, and sprawling hills. This year's Nocturnal Wonderland proceeded smoothly, replicating the layout that has provided success many years in a row.
As arguably the most important aspect of the festival, the lineup showcased a magnificent collection of talent from all corners of the dance music industry. Headliners such as Subtronics, Ghostrydr, Seven Lions, Alison Wonderland, Benny Benassi, and Gryffin boasted their prestige as industry leaders with unforgettably electrifying sets. Subtronics, Alison Wonderland, and Seven Lions in particular spun multiple genres into their performances, keeping the audience on their toes for the entire hour.
Many sets were backed by a full range of production featuring visuals, lasers, pyrotechnics, and fireworks. Standout supporting sets included Dimension, Getter B2B Space Laces, AC Slater, PhaseOne, and Pendulum, who delivered a hard-hitting presence on par with the headliners to follow. The inclusion of drum 'n' bass artists into a primarily house and dubstep-focused festival was a thoughtful adjustment, adding even more variety to the schedule. Overall, the quality of music and performances were fantastic, accurately displaying the immeasurable talent this group of artists has to offer.
Logistically, Nocturnal Wonderland is an impressive feat, managing to host thousands of guests and overnight campers for a full weekend. There was adequate space, bathrooms, and free filtered water stations to set the foundation for accommodating large crowds. There were minor issues with bottlenecking in the parking lot and near the festival exit, which is a frequent occurrence at this venue. The staff was as effective as possible in mitigating the traffic and quickly resolved the problem as soon as the rush passed.
As a result of the gorgeous weather, diligent staff, and talented lineup, Nocturnal Wonderland enjoyed its 28th successful year, only indicating increased momentum for many memorable years to come.
Photos courtesy of Insomniac Events/ Nocturnal Wonderland [Jake West, Keiki-Lani Knudsen, Ivan Meneses, Jamal Eid]
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