“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cheshire Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
White rabbits, purple grinning cats, red queens, mad hatters, and Alices of all different shapes and sizes descended upon the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, to create a special kind of madness at the third annual Beyond Wonderland Bay Area. The weekend was a journey through a vibrantly colored rabbit hole into a world of pulsating bass; it is a world that came to life by the movement of all those searching to go beyond wonderland. Although this was my first “Wonderland” experience, I already had expectations walking in because of my previous experience with Insomniac’s more global festival brand, Electric Daisy Carnival. I knew the production, music, and overall experience would be on point and was worth traveling to the other side of the country for a mid-size music festival. What I received in return was way more than I had ever expected.
“There is a place, like no place on earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger. Some say, to survive it, you need to be as mad as a hatter. Which, luckily, I am.”
Initial entry was a pleasant, expedient process even with the thorough searches. Upon entering, I noticed the plethora of available concessions and the presence of knowledgeable staff answering questions and directing attendees to the right places. What immediately won me over with this venue was the fact that they allowed us to use the onsite restroom facilities and maintained the cleanliness during the whole weekend. The natural setting and perfect Bay weather topped off the “why this venue is the ideal location” list.
“I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers.
“But, let me tell you something, the best people usually are.”
The music. The lights. The art. The experience always comes full circle with all the bright, interesting characters that bring the weekend to life. It’s been a few years since I’ve attended a California massive, and Beyond Wonderland reminded me why I missed it so much. There is a manic energy that I haven’t quite experienced anywhere else and an unparalleled vibe in the scene. The random, ridiculous conversations, passing smiles, twerk lessons from strangers, and impromptu dance offs put the “wonder” in wonderland.
Although the media sensationalized the issues associated with the event, Beyond Wonderland Bay Area was certainly a success in its third year, and second time at the Shoreline Amphitheatre. The number of arrests was similar as the year prior and noise complaints reduced by over half from the number of complaints from the previous year. Insomniac also donated $20,000 to a local creative program called the Oakland Youth Radio/Youth Media International which helps train young people interested in video, music production and graphic design.
We’d like to thank Insomniac for putting on yet another quality event, the DJs for making the weekend’s soundtrack, Shoreline for a great venue, and the Bay Area and its people for the hospitality and smiles. Until our next adventure, stay curiouser and curiouser.
Photography by Andrew Dang
Quotes from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll