I have officially made it out of my first rabbit hole experience in Mexico. Though I have been to numerous Beyond Wonderland California events, this Mexico edition has won my heart. From the moment I passed through the gates, the experience was magical. I even had the opportunity to hang out with a prominent figure in the festival scene, Shanti from Festival Passport.
The Perfect Venue
The “Parque Fundidora” used to be a steel mill from 1900-1986. Many of these massive structures that make up the steel mill are prominent around the park. One of the structures was rigged with lights to play along with the design of The Mad Hatters Castle. One area that caught my attention was the “Nave Lewis” which I could best describe it as a Zen-like zone. It was a place away from the crowd and music, where you can peacefully stroll around a massive pond surrounded by pixel shaped cement sculptures. Overall, the venue was the right fit for this festival. If you wanted to go from the Mad Hatters Castle to the Queens Domain stage, it would take no more than 5 minutes.
As for the city Monterrey, Mexico, I felt very safe and there was no pollution in the air like in Mexico City. The mountains surrounding the city made for a cool backdrop as the sun went down. Overall a very cool place to visit.
Even with over 53,000 attendees, Insomniac was able to create a space where you didn’t have to be shoulder-to-shoulder with others at a stage. Also walking through the venue felt like it was free-flowing as maneuvering through crowds was easy.
Now let’s compare this to Beyond Wonderland Socal’s Nos Center in San Bernardino California. If you know this venue the first thing that usually comes to mind to people is how packed it is. I have been to over 10 Insomniac events there and most of the time there are always stages that you cant get into because they shut them down because of to many people. When you go to festivals that is the last thing that you should have to worry about, and is something you would never have to worry about for Beyond Wonderland Mexico.
Everyone was super friendly and respectful. PLUR culture was very prevalent at Beyond Wonderland Mexico as I felt the love and energy from everyone. This was the first festival thus far where I saw the majority of the attendees wearing kandi. There were so many beautiful totems being carried around the festival. I really enjoyed this event and felt like it was on point with the PLUR vibes you would get at EDC Las Vegas or Dreamstate Socal.
The staff did an amazing job keeping the bathrooms clean and fresh. More importantly, the wait time for the bathrooms was non-existent.
I highly recommend purchasing VIP as it is worth every penny. The VIP area included a private bar, private food, private bathrooms, swings, and a bunch of hammocks. I spent the second half of Tiesto’s set chilling in a hammock looking at the stage.
The Silent Party?
You can’t fully experience this festival without checking out the silent disco. The silent disco area was very well designed and the energy among everyone there was infectious.
When I spend too much time searching for what to eat I always resort back to my go-to food, Pizza. And boy was it delicious! Pictured below, is an oven that weighs so much, that they can’t drive more than 20 MPH when driving.
The main stage was called, “Queen’s Garden” which was the same stage they used at Circuit grounds for EDC. The sound quality and visual production were amazing as always. There were also 3 other stages the Mad Hatters Castle, Caterpillar Garden, and the BoomBox Art Car. Each night I had expectations of fireworks lighting up the night sky and each night I was left with disappointment. When I reached out on Facebook asking about the lack of fireworks and their response was. “No comment.”
Performances That Stood Out
Mariana Bo comes up on top. How is she an opening act?! Someone clearly made a mistake organizing the lineup. Mariana brought so much energy on stage and killed it with her violin play. Imagine Lindsey sterling mixed with Timmy Trumpet. I am in love and NEED to see another performance from Mariana Bo again.
Lost Frequencies blew the crowd away as always. I am a big fan of Lost Frequencies and got the chance to hang out with him and his team at the festival before his set. I asked him about his new dance and I got an exclusive dance lesson.
Robin Shultz is on fire this year. There are so many hits coming from him I can’t keep up. Super impressed with the overall set and how he blends the songs together. Looking forward to what he will continue to bring in 2018!
The Mission of the Festival
As promised my mission was to find the craziest outfits of the festival. So here are the top 3 costumes I found this year at Beyond Mexico.
Meet Olaf: Olaf is 22 years young and from Tamaulipas Mexico. In my eyes, he has got to be one of the best costume designers for festivals I have ever seen. I actually bumped into Olaf at EDC Mexico and asked him for a photo because his costume was amazing. He has been going to festivals for about 4 years now but, just started making costumes 2 years ago. He also caught the eye of Insomniac as they posted photos of Olaf multiple times. Olaf’s inspiration for his costume design comes from an expression of who he is and hopes to one day leave a mark on Mexico. Olaf is now on my radar and I am looking forward to seeing all of the amazing outfits he creates in the future. If you would like to follow his journey you can check out his Instagram here.
The Mighty Dinosaur Crew Has Arrived: To be honest, I am not sure who these guys were. The only thing I knew was they were wild. There were actually 4 of them, but this photo only captured 3. Looking closely at the photo, one of the dinosaurs was holding up a sign saying, “Inspector de ChiChis.” I would love to see this pack grow and hopefully, there will be 10+ of them next year.
I Think I Met Merlin? Not entirely sure if it was, but that is my best guess.
Festival Passport: So one particular moment that truly stood out to me at Beyond Wonderland Mexico was meeting an attendee named Shanti. Shanti, who is the owner of Festival Passport, created a Youtube channel showcasing festivals from all around the world. I original met Shanti walking around EDC Mexico, I noticed she was taking videos and introduced myself and we sparked up a conversation. As we were getting our press pass for Beyond Wonderland, she happened to be right in front of me inline. How is that for coincidence? We decided to stick with each other for most of the festival from that point. At one point I threw her on my shoulders and what happened next will forever be the highlight of my festival experience. After just a couple seconds, everyone around us realized who she was and started swarming us for photos. It was unbelievable with what just had happened. There must have been at least 30 people asking her for photos and I actually had to pull her out of the crowd.
About an hour later, I watched her film and we randomly started talking about Tomorrowland. What happened next really shocked me. Our conversation then turned into our stories about how we both snuck our cameras into Tomorrowland. As we were talking, I had a moment where you just pause and drop your jaw. I then said, “Wait, I remember you at Tomorrowland right in front of me in the crowd video recording on someone’s shoulders.” She then confirmed that it was her, which was so crazy to think about. I remember it as clear as ever because she does not have a normal camera. It is a bigger size video recording camera and I remember saying to myself, who is this girl and why is she recording her self with such a big camera on someone’s shoulders? It stood out to me to the point where it was a clear memory till to this day.
I loved watching her connect with so many people and be so genuine and kind to every single person that came in contact with her. The number of people that came up to her for photos would be overwhelming to many people. but she handled it like a champ. She captures the true essence of the festival experience and I was able to see that first hand. I have so much respect for Shanti and what she does. You can check out her Facebook or Youtube channel here if you want to know more about her.