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Recalling Countdown 2019: My Incredible End of the Year Experience
Photo Credit: Countdown/Insomniac Events

Recalling Countdown 2019: My Incredible End of the Year Experience

We’re all waking up from our two-week haze of marathoning to countless shows and festivals. As we crawl back to reality, prepare for work, and finally remember what day of the week it is, my mind keeps drifting back to the incredible night spent at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino on New Year's Eve. 


This was the second Countdown I have attended, but it was the first that was held on a single night. Even though this festival lacked multiple days like other NYE celebrations across the country, it surely didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. From the stacked lineup, the unmatched vibes, and extravagant art installations, my EDM loving soul felt as nourished as it needed to be to end the decade. 


The night began wandering around the festival to take in everything Insomniac had to offer. I always like to make it a point to experience the performers and art pieces outside of the main stages at a festival, and given how much my group and I planned on hopping from stage to stage early on in the night, we arrived at the front gates early with our excitement levels spiked high. 

Performer at Countdown NYE

Photo Credit: Insomniac/Countdown 

 

I’m a regular attendee of Insomniac events at the NOS Events Center, but I’ve never seen the grounds transformed quite as… other-worldly… as they were for the alien invasions at Countdown. Every corner was donned in extraterrestrial decor or inhabited by real life aliens. We stood in awe of the alien babes spotlighted in the makeshift red light district and my nostalgia was brought on full force by the Mars Attacks! aliens threatening to zap any passerbyers. Once the sun fully set the lasers that constantly shot across the venue were much more impressive, and I had to physically refrain myself from shouting, “Beam me up Scotty!” every time I saw one shoot overhead. Oh, did I mention that jaw dropping luminescent forest? If the sound of the stages didn’t pull me out of my wide-eyed daze, I could’ve spent hours wandering around in those beams of ever-changing colors. 

 

Lazers at Coutndown NYE

Photo Credit: Insomniac/Countdown 

The first set we started the jam-packed night with was throwing down with ATLiens at the Nebula stage. Once the sun went down the venue got COLD and only continued to gain a stronger chill once the night progressed. Luckily, there were plenty of heaters to huddle by around each stage so I stayed towards the back and danced during Gryffin and then headed over to finish out Elephante’s set at the Mothership stage. 


Passing by each stage gave me insight into how unique each one was set up and how it represented the name assigned to it. There were four stages set up at Countdown: Mothership, Nebula, Area 51, and Twilight Zone -- with the addition of two smaller stages/silent discos: Biosphere and Area 151. While my personal lineup didn’t allow me to fully explore each stage, they all had incredible production and did a great job of dispersing the attendees in an already crowded fest. 

Countdown NYE

Photo Credit: Insomniac/Countdown 

 

My night continued with rushing back to Nebula to catch Nitti Gritti and then back to Mothership to groove to Oliver Heldens. The excitement only grew with the booms of the bass as the clock ticked closer to midnight. 


Jai Wolf was my next stop. I’ve never seen a full Jai Wolf set before and now I’m slightly kicking my past self because I had no idea what I was missing. This was easily tied for my favorite set of the night. Jai Wolf’s set was the perfect mix of feel good tunes, familiar tracks, and absolute incredible beats that got me completely lost in the music and had my body groovin’ to each song. Which is exactly what I look for in a perfect set. 


Ok, now Porter Robinson. As soon as the set times dropped I was completely over the moon that I was going to be closing out the decade with a Porter set. He is my all time favorite artist and even though I’ve already seen him play 3 times this year, my stomach still filled with butterflies as soon as he took the stage. I heard a lot of talk on social media that his set was the most anticipated of the evening and I was fully expecting to be sandwiched in between ravers the entire time, but I was surprised that where my group was there was still quite a bit of room to dance around. Porter gave us quite possibly the best gift I could’ve ever asked for at midnight, ending and starting two decades with Language. My cheeks have never hurt so much during one set (from both smiling and the cold air). 


The remainder of my night and beginning of 2020 was closed out with SVDDEN DEATH’s VOYD set and 12th Planet. The entire evening was a flurry of extraordinary beats and joyful people. I did get a boost in my mood every time someone complimented my outfit, too! 

Raver Wearing Reflective Chaps at Countdown 2019

This year, I dove headfirst into the cyber vibes with the Reflective Wave Mesh Bodysuit and Down 4 The Ride Reflective Chain Chaps


Countdown 2019 was the best way I could’ve imagined ending both the year and the decade. Not only was the music incredible, but being able to groove, explore, and countdown to midnight with my favorite people was the cherry on top of a perfect event. 


While there are many NYE fests that call for your attention every year, I highly recommend spending your next new year’s celebration in Southern California. 



TAGS: Kristen Keks, festival-news,



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