Each year, people from all over the world look forward to this magical time, where they prepare by painting their cars or flying to their destination of happiness.  Over the weekend of September 20 to 21st, thousands of people gathered together to join under the electric sky for BEYOND WONDERLAND in Mountain View, California.

Many people arrived this last weekend for this beautiful gathering down the rabbit hole.  It is always so hard to find the exact words to full sum up what goes on at this festival, as it is something that truly has to be experienced.  Shoreline Amphitheater turned into Wonderland as its attendees had the opportunity to experience multiple stages; each holding many different genres to enjoy.  With headliners such as Above & Beyond, Kaskade, R3hab and Cedric Gervais, the great sets and warm sunshine created an absolutely beautiful weekend.

For those who have yet to attend an Insomniac massive (which we highly recommend you do) Beyond takes place in the Bay Area and brings people together from all over the map.  When entering into the venue, the music slowly gets louder and louder; you look around and see people wearing costumes, extravagant outfits, and smiles to top it all off.  As well as all the diverse crowd of people, there are many multi-genre stages to be enjoyed.  For those who like their bass heavy, happy and uplifting, or even just enjoying more underground names, Beyond has stages of all these sorts.

The Queens Domain was the main stage at this years event, holding most of the “big name” artists.  This stage is always the most extravagant.  Similar to last year’s, the stage presented a giant caterpillar in the centre holding a hookah, much like the one in the movie “Alice in Wonderland.”  The caterpillar would blink and smoke, adding a whole new twist for festival-goers to enjoy.  While enjoying this beautiful set-up, we enjoyed sets from big name producers such as Dada life, Mat Zo, Oliver Heldens, and Krewella.  Each artist brought their own style and sound, making for quite the experience for those who checked this stage out.

While enjoying the tunes, sometimes it may slip peoples minds that it is very important to stay hydrated.  It was beautiful and sunny all day, but also very hot.  One thing that is always appreciated during these events is the free water station, located to the left of the main stage this year.  It may not seem like a big deal when you’re so happy in the moment, but the heat can get to you very quick, and this event does not have cool off stations that bigger events (such as Electric Daisy Carnival) do.  When you get to that point of dehydration, it is very important to get water into the system, because passing out from the heat can be very dangerous.  So rage safe friends and make sure yours do as well!

As the sun began to set each night, you could feel the energy increase.  Dancing under the stars, surrounded by beautiful strangers is a whole different experience.  The stages seemed to come alive at night, with the sounds as well as production that was put into them.  The LEDs and visuals seem to become bigger and better every year, and more unique with each producer that played. Being at Beyond is truly like entering Wonderland; everyone who attends for those two days enjoys the moments for what they are.  When crossing paths with strangers, some choose to exchange color beaded bracelets known as “kandi.”  During this trade, the two come into a moment many know as “PLUR,” Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect.  This is not only known as a raver’s handshake, but something very close to heart.  As a raver, individuals have come to love and respect reach other, regardless of how they look or where they come from; it truly is a beautiful thing.

Down the rabbit hole we went, for an incredible experience.  It is an absolutely breathtaking moment when you are dancing at a set and look at the person next to you – who you may or may not know, and sing your hearts out together.  Beyond Wonderland brings friends, strangers, families and loved ones closely together, all for the a very common bond:  the love of the music.  Though we are sad it is over, we should all smile that it happened, and keep the good memories alive in our hearts, knowing we will come together again under the Electric Sky.


Photos by Insomniac