This year Insomniac took Beyond Wonderland to the picturesque San Manuel Amphitheater. It was a welcome change from the usual NOS event center. The vast space at San Manuel Amphitheater grounds provided great breathing room for fans and good separation between stages. There was no shortage of star power with a lineup that featured Steve Angello, David Guetta, Chuckie, Afrojack, Rehab, Arty. And from a trance heads perceptive the heavy hitters were Markus Schulz, Dash Berlin, W&W, and Blake Jarrell.
The Madhatter’s Castle was the most interesting stage in terms of the set up. It was in front of the amphitheater, and provided a great vantage point for everyone in the crowd on the grass slopes. Queen’s domain had a massive stage and was the most popular stage with the likes of Steve Angello, David Guetta, Chuckie, and Markus Schulz handling the business. The other stages were Chess Village, Cheshire woods, and the Discovery Project to add to the variety at this year’s Beyond Wonderland.
From a personal point of view my highlights of the night were W&W at Madhatter’s and Markus Schulz at Queen’s Domain. W&W growing very fast in popularity in the festival scene did what they are best at; drop festival anthems one after the other. They launched their set with “Lift off” and never came down. The fireworks in the background went perfectly with their set. One of the awesome moments was when they played their remix of “Zedd – Clarity”. The entire crowd joined in for a sing-along session. Festivals are made for moments like these
Markus Schulz went hard from the word go. He dropped some of his signature “unicorn slaying” tunes and some melodic vocals from his new scream album to mix it around. One of the highlights of his set was when he dropped “Tiesto, BT & Hardwell vs. Jaz Von D – Love Can’t Be Without Introfuse (Markus Schulz Mashup)” Like a true master he had the crowd immersed into his set and made the wonderland come alive to its fullest.
Overall Beyond Wonderland this year was very refreshing with a new venue and Insomniac continually raising the bar on the overall experience. They did an amazing job for hosting the event for the first time at this venue which makes me excited for the next year. The possibilities are endless at this vast venue in terms of production. Let’s hope for an even richer experience next time. With Insomniac we can always count on an elevated experience.
-Sony Jacob (TranceFamily SF)
Photo Credits: Life After Dusk, @dannichavez, @watchmerave
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