photo via Insomniac YouTube
At this point in March, we would normally be celebrating the start to festival season, our favorite time of year. Unfortunately, as we all know, festival season has been postponed until fall due to the novel virus COVID-19. While the best thing that all of us can do is stay inside, life for lovers of raves and music festivals has become restless. The same can be said for all the artist and performers we would enjoy seeing in ordinary times. This has caused a surge in live streaming, for which we can all be grateful. Another huge thanks goes out to Insomniac and founder Pasquale Rotella for working so hard to keep everyone in a positive headspace during these uncertain times.
This past weekend we would have celebrated Beyond Wonderland SoCal’s 10 year anniversary, and the kick off of festival season for many. Knowing the effect the postponement has had on so many, Pasquale and his crew were able to find a way around it. To the delight of thousands, Virtual Beyond was announced. This would be the first two-day live stream rave-a-thon event of 2020, with a lineup that was actually stacked. With amazing performances from 4B, Jack Beats, SAYMYNAME, Dr. Fresch, Elephante, JOYRYDE and more, the response and success of the event was astounding. And did I mention it’s free?!
Virtual Beyond started out on Friday, March 21st with a bang. Wax Motif brought uplifting house beats to the Insomniac HQ lobby, which had been turned into a micro Beyond. Sending out the message “Stay inside; Keep raving”, and uniting ravers across the world, Wax Motif definitely set the right tone for the rest of the night, and fantastic performances from Mija, Jack Beats, and 4B followed. As midnight approached, viewers of the live stream traded virtual candy, shared virtual water, and showed the world how strong the positivity of the EDM and rave community can be, even if we can’t be together. The night ended with SAYMYNAME serving us wubs, dubs, and epic drops. In true raver fashion, no one wanted the party to end, and truly a man of the people, Pasquale asked SAYMYNAME to extend his set for an extra 15 minutes before expressing his gratitude to everyone tuning in for day 1.
Day 2 of Virtual Beyond was an amazing continuation of Friday, starting with an outstanding set from Dr. Fresch that got everyone on their feet. Saturday was definitely a more bass heavy night, and after killer sets from MONXX, SVDDEN DEATH, and JOYRYDE, my neck was left broken in several different places. During his epic set, SVDDEN DEATH treated us to new tracks in collaboration with Sullivan Kings and Fizo. To close out the night, Pasquale and JOYRYDE rewarded everyone watching with a full hour-long set and preview of his new album! Paying homage to just about every genre of EDM, it was a great way to wrap up the first ever virtual rave-a-thon.
The good things keep coming, and you can watch each of these amazing performances on Insomniac’s YouTube channel. It’s truly amazing to see the way that this live streaming event was able to bring thousands of people around the globe, from seasoned ravers to those just hearing their first mix. Friday, March 27th marks the second edition of Insomniac’s virtual raves, with Count Down coming to the forefront. Head over to their Instagram to check out tonight’s lineup and tune in to YouTube at 8pm! With the love and support of everyone working together to stop this pandemic, we will all be raving together again soon!