written by Tiffany Moya
Trick-or-Treat! The big kids came out to play Halloween weekend too. It was a festival of indulgence and chaotic splendor as Escape: Psycho Circus attendees descended upon the NOS event center in San Bernardino, CA. However, instead of indulging on buckets of chocolate and candy… our ears and bodies were filled with the supernatural sounds of Rezz, Eric Prydz, Illenium, Don Diablo, Madeon, Nghtmre, and Tiesto (just to name a few).
Despite my anticipated perceptions of Escape, the vibe of this festival felt more like the inside of a PG Halloween movie, rather than the workings of American Horror Story. Lanterns lit the entirety of the grounds creating an ambient “homey” atmosphere. The red hewed haze of the lanterns glittered off the pond centered at the venue, and this tranquil space quickly became the designated chill spot to catch your breathe and relax in-between sets.
A mix of heavy bass and heart quenching feels imploded upon the Slaughter House stage Friday evening. The build up to an event provokes a sense of stress and anticipation. Beginning with outfits, parking, accumulating all members of the squad, etc.; however, once Rezz took over, we all became giddy children eagerly awaiting the next drop … candy to our ears.
We had finally escaped and had begun to sink into the weekends festivities when Illenium followed up Rezz and laid down the ultimate “vibey” set. For an hour we (the crowd) connected and submerged our hearts in a dancing mess of positivity. A series of crowd favorites emerged from the stage followed by a sea of lifted hands in the air. All around we the HEADLINERS sang along, embraced one another, and found a space within the crowd to call our own: a home.
The rest of the night literally flashed by in blur as a series of headbanging acts featuring Nero, Datsik, and Flosstradamus erupted at bass stage, Ghouls’ Graveyard.
Insomniac has a special way of creating an immersive visual and auditory space you can loose yourself in, and Escape is no exception. The rides, characters, and asylum maze function as imagination stimulants all of which arouse your inner child’s ability to come out and be naughty.
Although Saturday was sold out, the venue didn’t feel overcrowded. While walking in between the horrifically haunted stages, you could physically feel the loving energy being emitted from each body around you. It was a magnetic pool, and every individual contributed something special, which is why we all continue to return.
To start off the night, Alan Walker lit up Slaughter House stage with some happy tunes that seriously got me wiggling. Followed up by Don Diablo and Eric Prydz at Ghouls’ Graveyard, my heart was pumping, blood was boiling, and body was grooving, and I loved every hot, sweaty second of it.
Seriously, when your whole body is so tired it just wants to give out, but the music is too good to stop, that is when you know you’re in the zone. So you better hope your squad is prepared to watch you feel yourself and the beat until the very end. The energy of these performances was unparalleled to all others, and I basked gloriously in the magic of the moment.
We became kids again, candy floated via electric sound waves, and although on Monday we put on our adult “costumes.” Escape: Psycho Circus was the perfect Halloween adventure.