Insomniac Events kicked off the summer festival season yesterday, with the 4th installment of Beyond Wonderland. Festival-goers who traveled down the rabbit hole, found themselves in a new Wonderland at San Manuel Amphitheater, the nations largest outdoor amphitheater, which boasts a massive capacity of 60,000. Although the venue was new, all the familiar features of an Insomniac Events production were still on hand. The world's biggest DJ's like David Guetta, Steve Angello, Afrojack, and Dash Berlin filled four massive stages, art installations and carnival rides covered the grounds, and performs, theatrics and decorations were sprinkled in to make Wonderland complete.
What's not to love about the San Manuel Amphitheater? The new venue created such an amazing, picturesque backdrop for Wonderland. There was plenty of room, nice plush grass and rolling hills to dance, cartwheel, or take a breather on. I heard complaints that people thought it was difficult to get around, which I also thought during my first pass of the ground, but as I became familiar with where things were and how to get around, I found it to be a very simple.
The production was amazing as usual there was lights, lasers, art, something sparkling, shining, bright and fun at every turn. There is no one that can bring Wonderland to life like Insomniac can. Although, I noticed a general unevenness to the production at different parts of the venue. The whole middle section by the Mad Hatters Castle had a very barren feel to it, especially when compared to everything that was going on by the Queens Domain stage area (the ferris wheel, lanterns, massive art installation and two different stages)
There were lots of great artists on hand at this years Beyond Wonderland covering many genres of electronic music. Some of my favorite acts included W&W, Damian Lazarus, Chuckie, and the winner of the night in my book, Markus Schulz.
Why does parking have to be such a disaster? It seems like such a simple thing, yet it's can turn into complete mess. It was clear that this was going to be catastrophic from the start, considering some 50,000 people all had to exit from a maze of a parking lot through a one lane road, until they worked their way to a two lane freeway. Not good. There is really no solution to any of this, so complaining and getting mad at the wrong people won't help. But, yes, it can definitely ruin a great evening. Instead, make the best of it by having a little parking lot fun. What you shouldn't do it cut off all the people in front of you and cause everything to bottleneck, you only make it worse by doing that. Or you can leave a little early, as I did, and have no problems at all.