Wow. Escape. I seriously was blown away this weekend with how much fun this event was... I mean, I’d heard all good things, but really it was so much better than I ever thought....
This year I stayed local for Halloween (and deeply missed Voodoo Fest & New Orleans). But I more than made up for it with a really awesome experience at Insomniac Event’s Halloween rendition of a rave. I really shouldn’t have been shocked. I love Insomniac Events because of the production value of every event they do, it should be no surprise that they go all out for Halloween.
Friday night I took my roommate, who had never been to a rave before. Parking by the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino can be kind of hard if you’re trying to park close, but we found awesome free street parking a few blocks away easily.
Once inside I was totally blown away by the lake as you enter the festival. The lights and circus tents reflection was beautiful and creepy. Looking around, there was already so much to see and we were ready to explore. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and I loved all the creepy themed performers walking around the event as well as the lengths to which attendees were dressed up too. Slaughterhouse had my favorite staged design with the creepy eyes looking out at you from the DJ booth the whole time. It was also fun to see a lot of DJs dress up in costumes too. I really felt like I was at a personal party vs a huge event.
At one point, I lost my phone dancing and believe it or not it found its way back to me. This is the kind of stuff I love about Insomniac Events. The people there are so amazing. This isn’t Coachella where someone is stealing a bunch of people’s stuff (though it does still happen). For the most part, I feel like people want to help other people out and are here to just have a good time.
While we got there pretty late Friday night because of both of us having to work before heading out, we were at Escape until close. DJ Snake was our final set and he totally killed it. We made up for lost time by staying a little in the venue as the crowds wandered out too. I think I finally made it to bed at 4:30am. Roomie’s first rave was a success.
Day two I took a different friend, and our goal was to get there as early as we could. Doors opened at 4pm and we made it by 5:30. Being there just as the sun was setting was pretty perfect. It definitely helped make for some awesome photos for my blog! I have so many awesome photos of headliners that I can’t wait to share. I’m so impressed by the creativity I always see, but especially at Halloween events!
The highlight though for me Saturday night was The Asylum. The Asylum is Insomniac’s haunted house at Escape. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I would want to do it. I’m a little bit of a chicken at times, but after talking to the people at the gate, and confirming no one can touch me, I was in. We signed a waiver and then got in line. The queue was a bit of a wait, but after going through, it was MORE than worth it.
You have to check your bags before going in, and then once inside the Wonderland Asylum, you get checked in. Turn in your papers and in your group of ten head to the first room with the ‘doctors’. Here you’re put into a straight jacket -- yes I’m serious and yes it was OK. They weren’t rough with you nor was it super tight once on. They try to scare you with the actors around but nothing was too much for me ever.
You continue your way through the ‘asylum’ and then you have to get your ‘meds’ from the nurse before another one puts a Hannibal mask on you. Now everyone looks the same and you need to keep tabs on your friends in your group of ten. Then pretty much you’re off. You and your group get to wander through the asylum. There are multiple stories and scenarios and one after another I was totally blown away by the production quality.
I shouldn’t be that shocked though because of the production quality of everything Insomniac does, but this was on another level. One of my favorite rooms, you walked through a hedge maze out into a foggy open area where you were greeted by a ticket booth. There the carnival owner gave you a ticket, and you turned to see a full carousel eerily looping around. I couldn’t believe the stuff I was seeing in there.
I wish I had done the asylum Friday night as well because it was epic and I would have loved to see it all over again. There’s always next year! Because honestly, I’m already ready go back.