Beyond Wonderland aims higher
You donât need to be a fan of electronic dance music to have heard of Electric Daisy Carnival, the largest dance music festival in the United States, or the upcoming Beyond Wonderland Festival on March 16 at the San Manuel Ampitheater & Ground.
A name many might not be as familiar with, however, is Insomniac Events. The event-planning production team, founded by Pasquale Rotella in 1993, is the driving force behind the success of Beyond Wonderland, EDC and several other annual music festivals throughout the year.
By creating large-scale, high-attendance dance music festivals (this yearâs Beyond Wonderland is expecting 45,000 festival goers), Rotella has effectively helped expand a previously underground rave culture into the mainstream, supporting a scene that touches millions of people around the world.
âThere was something cool about underground culture, but then separately dance culture … both [are] very exciting to me, [I] love both of those things,â Rotella said. âIt is something special â it changed my life. I committed my entire life to it.â
Insomniac Events has allowed him to link these two cultures together, contributing to a movement some now see as this generationâs rock and roll.
It is not hard to see how Insomniac Events has become so successful. One only needs to look at Beyond Wonderlandâs tagline, which follows its impressive list of performers, to understand.
Following artist names such as Afrojack, R3hab, Steve Angello, Dash Berlin and David Guetta, the tagline reads, â[And] the most important headliner of all â you â and the good vibes and energy that you create.â
Many Insomniac Events feature variations of this tagline. The message is clear and strong: Engaged fans are key to a successful music festival. In Rotellaâs opinion, âthe most important part of an Insomniac Event is the fans [who bring] the energy and excitement.â
The upcoming Beyond Wonderland, celebrating its fourth year, is a tribute to the success of Rotellaâs vision. The festival, which sold out last year, seems poised to have just as much success this year. It boasts a lineup including several talented artists of various EDM subgenres including trance, house, trap and drum and bass.
âWeâve been working on the show all year long,â Rotella said. âWe have to deal with the fire department, the police department, the booking of DJs, the stage production, the lighting, the lasers [and] the theatrical performers.â
Beyond Wonderland is moving to a new venue this year: the San Manuel Ampitheater in San Bernardino, Calif. Previous Beyond Wonderlands have been held at the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino. Rotella said that the San Manuel Amphitheater has a distinct advantage over the NOS Center in that it has fewer sound restrictions because of the location.
â[Now weâll be] able to have sound systems in directions where there arenât any homes,â Rotella said.
He added that the change in venue will also provide a change of atmosphere and environment, creating an entirely fresh feel for this yearâs show.
As Kevin Kerslake, director of the Electric Daisy Carnival Experience film, said, âOne of the things thatâs always impressed [me] about this particular culture is that thereâs a lot of love and warmth and you donât find that in other festivals, or even in other cultures, at large.â
For those new to dance music events, Beyond Wonderland will be an eye-opening experience, with hours of intense music, incredibly inventive light shows and imaginative costumes. But beyond the costumes and even the music, people going to Beyond Wonderland can expect a night full of good vibes, culture and love. As Rotella points out, Wonderland is more than just a music event â itâs about letting it all in and embracing the thousands of people around you.
Who knows? Perhaps the experience will be as life-changing for you as it was for Rotella.