Nocturnal Wonderland -- San Manuel Amphitheater -- 9/21/13
Karie Cakes Photography Nocturnal Wonderland 2013 Main Stage
San Manuel Amphitheater
This past Saturday, mega-rave Nocturnal Wonderland hosted roughly 43,000 revelers from all over the U.S. and beyond at its new home at the San Manuel Amphitheater. The longest running event by L.A.-based production company Insomniac, Nocturnal 2013 offered camping for the first time this year. Many festival goers stayed overnight on the grounds, participating in outdoor activities like arts & crafts, water slides and a silent disco that began at 3pm on Friday and went until 3pm on Sunday.
We made the trek out to San Bernardino for the party that felt like EDC all over again. Here's what caught our attention as we explored an event packed with world renowned talent, carnival rides and interactive art installations.
Fabian Ortiz / OC Weekly Fireworks at Nocturnal Wonderland 2013
Fireworks That Can Rival the Olympics
The San Manuel Amphitheater was transformed into an "adult" playground for the weekend, and one thing everyone indulged in was a fireworks display so grandiose that it rivaled those at the freaking Olympics. The hour long display began around 10pm and illuminated the dark sky of the Glen Helen Regional Park with an illustrious array of neon colors above the main stage. The fireworks could be seen everywhere -- from the top of the Ferris Wheel to the booming bass of the Wide Awake cart. No matter what you were doing, you couldn't help but stop and watch.
The Traffic and Parking Fiasco
Feeling like Coachella, EDC and Burning Man all over again, the traffic to the San Manuel Amphitheater was pretty congested. The real nightmare, however, came after the party as the thousands of people who paid $20 to park at the venue were stuck in a stand still traffic jams until past 4am. Yes, it's hard to get crowds of this size in and out of venues, but damn something must done about situations like this. Perhaps next year we'll consider camping overnight, taking advantage of the "Kumbaya"-style rave antics and leaving with no delays the next morning.
Courtesy of Missy Beltran Adam Auburn at the Labyrinth Stage
Adam Auburn Opening the Main Stage
Making his debut at a festival of this size, L.A.-based DJ Adam Auburn set the mood for the entire party as he opened the main stage on Saturday afternoon. Normally a resident DJ at the Mad T Party at Disney's California Adventure, Auburn took the Wonderland ravers on a journey of deep house, tech house and the newly catching sound of Melbourne Bounce. While we're not usually a fan of the latter sound, his song selection and transitions actually converted us! Congrats to Auburn for opening the event with style and grace.