Nocturnal Wonderland: Past, Present and Future

Photo credit: Amanda Cosenza

The 24th edition of Nocturnal Wonderland is almost upon us, the very last Nocturnal Wonderland to be held on the hallowed grounds of the Glen Helen Amphitheater due to new noise ordinances being enforced at the venue. Sure, there’s the infamous hill and some decent plumes of dust, but over the years Glen Helen has provided a lush, colorful backdrop for breathtaking stages, out of this world DJ sets and enchanting campsites. Taking place September 14 & 15, this year’s event is a bit bittersweet but the anticipation is still thick in the air.

The Past

The very first Nocturnal Wonderland held at Glen Helen took place in 2013 and was just one singular day of pure bliss. There was lots of big room, lots of fluffies, and approximately zero totems. The lineup featured both certified legends and burgeoning talent with names like Fatboy Slim, Dash Berlin, Green Velvet, and a freshly turned 21-year-old Porter Robinson just to name a few. To put things in perspective, Excision held the 7 PM time slot – an artist now, for the most part, considered headliner time slot territory. Many 2013 attendees caught the festival bug at EDC Las Vegas a few months earlier and simply could not resist the siren song of another dance under the stars.

The Present

This year’s Nocturnal promises some new experiences as well as reliable nostalgia. Doors are opening 2 hours earlier as an attempt to offset the earlier than usual end time of midnight and the camping experience allows for a Friday pre-party as well as silent discos that will be going till the wee hours. The festival also unleashes 3 new stages, mesmerizing new art installations and the west coast debut of the Parliament Art Car. What Nocturnal has always offered is hard to beat vibes. This tried and true event attracts everyone from old school ravers to newbies just entering the scene and the combination of the two creates an energy that is both electric and endearing. This year’s lineup is a journey through genres hosting some of the hottest artists from experimental bass, house, future bass, and what would an old school rave be without some DNB mixed in?

The Future

It’s anyone’s guess where next year’s Nocturnal Wonderland will land and what new additions it will feature. It’s no secret Insomniac is always scouting new venues for its fans to explore but Nocturnal’s camping option and usual breathtaking natural scenery most likely poses an interesting challenge for the event company. The event has a lifelong connection with Southern California so it’s likely it stays in the area, but stay tuned for exactly where the rabbit hole will lead in 2020! 

Tickets are still available for the last hurrah at Glen Helen, click here for details! 

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