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Escape: Psycho Circus vs. Hard DOTD | Studio 240 Blog | iHeartRaves
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Escape: Psycho Circus vs. Hard DOTD

This seems to be the question of debate every year around Halloween time. Are you and your crew going to Insomniac’s Escape or HARD Day of the Dead? The two very different events have their draws and their set backs and it’s always a tough decision. Don’t sweat it, we’ve made the pros and cons list for you!

The Music

This is an easy one and can probably sway you pretty quickly. Do you even like the line up for either festival? If you need some trance in your life, your decision’s already made – get prepped for Psycho Circus! This year’s line up features everyone from Ilan Bluestone and Above and Beyond to Hot Since 82 and Flux Pavilion. If you’re not into the feels, HARD’s line up features a variety of awesome artists that’ll keep you grooving all night. Deadmau5 and Skrillex will be headlining DOTD this year along with popular acts like Wax Motif, Alison Wonderland, Nero, Glass Animals, Flying Lotus, Gessaffelstein and more. The thing about Escape is you can start your night with some feel good trance melodies then head on over to another stage for your fix of bass, house, or whatever your heart desires. Oh, and more artists should be announced later so you might be surprised with your favorite DJ added to Insomniac’s line up. I’ll just leave the two line ups below for you to decide.

escape-lineup DOTD



Photo by Insomniac

Are you about all the art installations and exploring festival grounds? Looking to find something new around every corner? Escape is your festival! The production is massively different from DOTD and features mazes, charismatic performers, art installations, and themed stages in true Insomniac style. If you’re more more about classic LED stages, DOTD is your perfect match. The HARD festival doesn’t focus on art installations or have performers so if you want a purely musical experience and don’t care for all the thematic extras, grab your tickets for DOTD!

Turn It Up

The most common complaint of this past HARD Summer was the sound quality. Many said it was too soft to get lost in the music and quite frankly, hard to hear unless you got up close to the front of the stage…which might be a turn off for many. I haven’t heard of any sound complaints from recent Insomniac events so if you like to bump your music, take this into consideration. Who knows though, HARD could be working on improving for sound quality at DOTD.


If you’re 5 minutes away from the Fairplex, maybe you’ll like the convenience more than trekking it out to the NOS Center for Escape. However, I know the NOS Center is a beloved venue by many so if you love the NOS Center taking the trek out could be well worth it. I’ve heard mixed reviews about the Fairplex as a venue, but personally think it’s been one of the best venues for HARD. It’s a chill venue that’s pretty easy to navigate with both indoor and outdoor stages, which the NOS Center also offers. 

Don’t Kill My Vibe

It’s clear that the vibes of each festival are wildly different. Insomniac events encourage kandi and DOTD doesn’t meaning the people who attend these events have different personalities and agendas. If you’re looking for more PLUR vibes and kandi trading fun, Escape is where you should be. Escape attendees are also known for dressing up for the occassion in elaborate costumes while DOTD attendees, while still dressed to the nines are a bit more subtle in their costume choices. While both festivals have great party vibes if you’re looking to kick it with just your crew, maybe meet a few chill people and don’t care to trade kandi, DOTD is your pick.

Age Limits

Are you under 21? If you’re in the 21 and under club you will, unfortunately, not be allowed into DOTD this year. In light of the recent passing of two young ladies ages 18 and 19 at HARD Summer, the festival has upped the age limit to 21 and over only. If you’re 21+ you might be enticed by the age restriction DOTD provides. 

Late Nights Out

Do you live for those late nights out with the rave family? Escape will finish at your typical rave end time around 2 AM. DOTD, however, is scheduled to end even earlier than before. That’s not a complete damper on your night though, you can always after party it up somewhere or if you’ve got the energy…head to Escape!

Whichever festival you decide to hit up this Halloween, stay safe and have fun!

Grab your tix here:

Escape Psycho Circus

HARD Day of the Dead

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