No matter where you ended up, or who you ended up as this Halloween, there’s no denying the various tricks and treats that lurked around every corner (maybe some more than others). Instead of walking from door to door in some goofy costume asking for candy this year, I decided to venture into something a little more sinister.

Having just moved to Los Angeles over a year ago, I’ve been eager to experience southern California’s music scene to its fullest extent. Back in Seattle, a “holiday” like Halloween would have one major music event, however considering Los Angeles is almost double the size, it has room for two major festivals on the same weekend. Last year I attended the Hard Day of the Dead festival, but this year I decided to experience its competitor: Escape Psycho Circus ran by none other than Insomniac events.

For those who haven’t been to either event, you’re probably wondering “What’s the difference between the two besides the lineups? Aren’t they just raves?” Well my naive friend, this past weekend, Insomniac gave us the opportunity to not only cover the event, but be what they like to call, “Historians”. Now I’m not going to focus this article on the differences between Hard and Escape, but there are definitely some points I’d like to address for the audience. Although these two events are electronically based, they attract two completely different crowds. Insomniac advertises the “Psycho Circus Experience” whereas Hard leaves out all of the art, games, and Halloween festivities to put more focus into the music. Needless to say both festivals deliver an amazing experience and one is no better than the other, these are just things to consider when you find yourself reaching for your wallet.

Now enough about Hard, let’s ESCAPE back to the PSYCHO CIRCUS

Psycho Circus 2015 2

Over two nights, almost 90,000 costumed festival-goers explored the devilishly decorated NOS Events Center while sounds from dance music’s most legendary DJs filled the air. The Psycho Circus didn’t only consist of musical monsters such as Excision, Richie Hawtin, Eric Prydz, and Paul Van Dyk across four blood-sucking stages, but also an actual circus complete with tight-rope walkers, fortunetellers, and nightly burlesque shows all to the backdrop of American Horror Story set pieces. Attendees were treated to terrifying haunted mazes and the eccentric antics of Insomniac’s creepy costumed performers around every corner. Tucked away between spinning Ferris Wheels, Richie Hawtin brought his mesmerizing ENTER. experience to the Cannibal’s Tea Party, fulfilling every techno lover’s dream.

Psycho Circus Tightrope Walkers

Making its terrifying return to Escape, the Slaughterhouse mega-structure towered 190 feet tall by 400 feet wide with 10 impressive lasers, 14 hanging video panels, mind-blowing special effects and a giant wide-mouthed clown centerpiece. This structure was host to the unforgettable act of Porter Robinson.

Psycho Circus Main Stage

As an unexpected Halloween treat, Escape added a major act to Saturday’s lineup: the legendary Porter Robinson, although he attended as a replacement for DJ Snake, who’s unfortunate involvement in a car accident rendered him unable to perform Halloween weekend. Porter spun an unbelievably impressive DJ set, opposed to his live Worlds performance I had the pleasure of witnessing earlier this year. What was unique about this mix compared to his Worlds set, is that we were able to see the music Porter likes to party to. He played everything from trap to dubstep, big-room house to drum & bass. I kid you not when I say every genre of music was represented and each BPM was matched perfectly. I’ve never seen that style come out of any DJ, and if you don’t believe me, go see his DJ set yourself.

Now let’s just clarify one thing: Insomniac is not only about EDC. Every event they hold gets increasingly better, with so much more to do and see than the music. They bring the best artists in every genre from across the globe to shatter the minds of festival-goers each year. Escape is just a preview to what EDC has to offer, and boy-oh-boy are we excited to see the tricks and treats Insomniac has to offer for us in Las Vegas.

Be sure to check out So Cal’s NYE festival Countdown!

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