NYE EDM Festivals in 2012: Which One Was the Best?

Shannon Nehls / OC Weekly
EDM fans ready for NYE

Who would have thought five years ago that super star DJ's like Above & Beyond, Ferry Corsten, Andy Moor, Sebastian Ingrosso, Laidback Luke, Calvin Harris, Avicii and Nero would be headlining separate major EDM festivals right here in California on New Years Eve? Since Insomniac Events and Go Ventures ended their partnership, the infamous Together As One NYE massive which was held in LA for 13 years has ceased to exist and major EDM events and festivals have been popping up in the surrounding cities for the past couple of years. This weekend we took a stab at attending OMFG! NYE at the San Diego Sports Arena on Sunday December 30th and then rushing back to OC for White Wonderland at the Anaheim Convention Center Monday December 31st in an attempt to compare which party was the best! Take a look at our notes and decide for yourself.

See Also:
The Top Five EDM Parties on New Year's Eve
White Wonderland 2013 @ Anaheim Convention Center (Semi-NSFW)
Go Ventures Officially Cancels Together As One, Draws Heat From Falsely Advertised Performer

Shannon Nehls / OC Weekly
The crowd trying to get into White Wonderland

5. The Security

OMFG! NYE in San Diego ran very smoothly. This could be because we attended the first day and obviously crowds on actual New Years Eve would be much larger, but from what we heard, Monday went pretty well too. Staff Pro has been running security at major events like Coachella, Stagecoach, the Staples Center and EDC for years now and they made sure everyone got in timely, safely and without any hassles. Popular to contrary belief, the floor/pit section stayed open for the entire evening on both days and everyone was free to rage in the stands just as easily with ample dancing room.

White Wonderland was a complete shit show getting in as they sold out the night of the event. Everyone was entering through one tiny door into the lobby of the Convention Center before being pushed through the main doors and several ridiculous lines inside. We're not sure if it's because the Convention Center security isn't used to events of this size or nature, but we heard people waited almost two hours to get in. A pretty big disappointment for those who got there early to see acts like Dannic and Dash Berlin. Not to mention the actual pat downs and security checks were so lax that we even saw someone sneak in a poor puppy! Once inside they had to barricade the "Hallowed Cathedral" house music stage right before the midnight countdown. This meant hundreds of people couldn't get in and those inside the barricade couldn't come out for water refills or food until after 12:30 a.m.

Shannon Nehls / OC Weekly
White Wonderland giving Sensation a run for their money

4. The Production

Compared to past LED events we have attended they really stepped up their game with the production level at OMFG! NYE and brought out all of their show stopping tricks. From the giant LED walls, lasers, confetti, fog and even LED projections on the ceiling we thought they really outdid themselves on the production value. It felt like one of their crazy parties at the Wavehouse as giant zebras and glow sticks were unleashed into the sea of EDM fans. It also helped that there was only one stage in the arena and the more compact area was easy to fill with stimulating visuals all around you.

White Wonderland made their event one day instead of two days like last year, but this year they made it bigger and better when it came to production. There were two separate stages so strategically placed that the sound never bleed through. There were aerialist dressed as toxic bunnies coming down into the crowd and futuristic angels with pasties as go-go dancers. Giant balloons adorned the ceilings and made it seem like we were at the world famous Sensation White in Belgium -- the mecca of dance music festivals. The "Crystal Temple" stage had giant glowing LED pyramids to match the lasers and visual effects going on behind the trance legends. Glow sticks with Avicii logos and other super star DJ's names were fist pumping through the night as we all added to the production value with our white attire and costumes. This event was a ferris wheel and ride short of being as magical as EDC with its art installations and special effects.

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