As tens of thousands of ravers count down the final days and hours before they get to parade their totems and outfits around the 24th annual Nocturnal Wonderland, many of them are likely feeling bittersweet about this year. No, the festival is not ending, but according to a June statement by festival founder Pasquale Rotella, this is the final year that the event will take place at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino.
For this seventh and final instance of Nocturnal Wonderland at Glen Helen, before it finds a new home in 2020, Rotella’s promotional company, Insomniac, has prepared three brand new designs for its trademark stages Wolves Den, Labyrinth and Sunken Garden. Also, of course, the smaller Parliament Art Car stage will return, as well as the festival’s usual spectacular art installations, carnival rides, bevy of colorful characters and miscellaneous surprises.
All of the luminescent design schemes and colorful atmospheric elements will complement the musical sets of Nocturnal Wonderland’s typical roster consisting of dozens of DJs. While there will always be dedicated fan bases for each of the artists, some of the more anticipated sets throughout the festival’s two day lifespan, from Saturday to Sunday, Sept. 14 -15, will be performed by: DJ Snake, Alan Walker, Deorro, Eprom, Hydrah, HVDES, Zeds Dead and Zomboy.
Naturally, every attendee (or “headliner” as the company refers to its patrons) has their own preferences within the various sub-genres of electronic dance music, which will dictate their game plans as the DJs perform concurrently on the various stages throughout the nights. Additionally complicating the choices: There is always the chance of a surprise set by a world class DJ. For instance, Skrillex made a surprise appearance at Insomniac’s flagship festival, EDC Las Vegas, a few months back. (A complete list of the official Nocturnal Wonderland lineup as well as the schedule of performances can be seen here.)
Headliners hoping to crash locally on Saturday and/or Sunday night, but who didn’t make arrangements in advance, are out of luck. The festival’s campsite sold out a while back. Those who did plan ahead will have the luxury to return to their base camp at their convenience. The campground, of course, has its own extensive map, consisting of various colorfully named camping neighborhoods, vendors, amenities, a water park, a yoga area and two silent disco areas—each with two radio channels. Those radio channels, dubbed Sleepless Safari and Racoon Lagoon, will feature additional DJ sets for folks who just can’t seem to get to sleep for some reason or another.
Headliners that did not snag a camping spot are advised to save some energy, as newcomers might not be aware that there’s a decent length hike to get back to the parking lot before they can drive back to their nearby hotels or make the somewhat lengthy journey back to LA or OC. For those readers who plan on attending: be safe, and remember to drink plenty of water!