The 7th annual Beyond Wonderland SoCal debuted a new theme this year and after two majestical nights of over 70 exciting performances, six under-the-sea themed stages and a large variety of artworks for festival attenders to explore. For the first time since 2012, the Beyond returned to it’s original location at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino on Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25. Approximately 78,000 attended the Endless Sea of Beyond to explore the newly themed festival.
The six mystical stages included the Queen’s Domain, the Outer Realm, The Aquarium, the Cheshire Cove and the Beyond Wench. Each stage possessed it’s own unique style, from the Outer Realm’s enhancing visuals with over 1,200 towering video tiles and heart pumping bass, to the Queen’s Domain with the water-like visuals projected along the tented ceiling as mermaids performed suspended above the stage.
During my seafaring journey, I found myself diving into incredible sets on each day, craving my need for bass. Grooving through day one, I enjoyed sets from Two Fresh, Liquid Soul, Eptic B2B Must Die!, Audien, Illenium and many more, quenching my curiosity for new and exciting sets. Day two, the Outer Realm stole my soul with incredible sets from 12th Planet, Herobust, Bro Safrai, and of course Snails, yet I didn’t stop there. I caught parts of Party Favor, Ookay and AC Slater’s set as well, in addition to exploring the vast realm of Beyond.
Overall, the set up of the festival was excellent, from spacing to the actual stages themselves. All but one stage was outdoor with open flow, allowing for people to move in and out of stages as they pleased. The Queen’s Domain stood 200-feet tall by 400-feet long and held legendary artists, with sufficient room for festival attendees to enjoy their experience, regardless of their location. The Beyond Wench, a small ship stage, exhibited the underwater theme with braided ropes, sand bags, propellers and glimmering sea accessories, and plenty of room around the ship to grove and dance.
The Aquarium was the singular indoor stage, with a capacity of 3500, making crowd flow difficult especially with heavy hitters such as REZZ, Shiba San, and AC Slater encouraging large crowds. Entering the stage was rough or near impossible for later sets with fans and security riled up. However, once we entered to catch what was left of AC Slater, there was optimal room to dance and truly enjoy the experience of the underwater haven.
All in all, Beyond Wonderland was magical, with amazing sets from some of the best artists around. The food vendors were scrumptious along with the comfortable resting tent with a cocktail bar, which still allowed you to listen to the music from the main stage. The venue and new theme were incorporated well with excellent props and stages for a truly mystical experience!