After spending two days down the rabbit hole, I can proudly say that Beyond Wonderland has become one of my all-time favorite fests. This was my second time attending Beyond and this year truly blew my expectations out of the water! This festival really stepped up their game this year, making everything bigger, better, and trippier! Between the fire lineup, fierce performers, and interactive decor, this event was definitely one for the books.
Rocking iHeartRaves from head-to-toe! Get this ‘fit: Life of the Party Mini Sheer Mesh Dress, Mind Tricks Thong Bottoms, Nights in Neon Chain Harness, Sinful Harness, Pastease Acid Rose Pasties, Fence Net Thigh Highs, and Rainbow Kitty Seamless Mask Bandana.
Insomniac absolutely nailed the theme this year! As usual, the performers were totally in character and really helped us headliners to feel like we were actually interacting with the creatures of Wonderland. The scene was also set by the insane art installations and decor. No matter where I was, I was constantly surrounded by giant photo opps, psychedelic lights, and trippy mushroom statues. Stage production also hit the mark on this one; the Queen’s Domain stage had me feeling like I was actually in a castle. The creativity was off the charts - walking into Wonderland was such a magical feeling, and I truly channeled my inner Alice all weekend!
In addition to the infamous life-size chess pieces and bumpin’ art car, some new attractions have been introduced to Beyond and have easily become my favorite. First off, the Flight of the Elephants ride was such a fun little addition! Although the line was long, this ride was well worth the wait; when our elephant began to “fly,” we went so high that I could literally see the entire NOS Event Center all lit up. It was such a beautiful and rare sight to see, it was so magical! Then after the initial shock of how beautiful it was all wore off, I looked around at the other riders and noticed that we were all headbanging so intensely to Eprom (who performed at Mad Hatter’s Castle, the closest stage to the Elephants). My friend and I were both laughing so hard at how FRICKIN DOPE it was that we were all in our own little world up in the sky, headbanging to the same beats. It was definitely one of those happy tear moments. :’)
Photo courtesy of Insomniac
Another new feature this year was the Rabbit Hole. Beyond really brought the Rabbit hole to life-- walking inside was like falling down a hole through an alternate time dimension… and once I reached inside, I knew I was about to be here for a while. The shipwrecked-esque stage was massive and playing some of the hottest EDM hits. “Drink Me” read the sign above the bar, where people were grabbing drinks left and right. I also got to watch a ton of flow artists doing there thing while I sat under a giant mushroom and traded lots of kandi with cool strangers (rave goals, right?). The Rabbit Hole was such an intimate location for social gathering, meeting new people, and gettin’ down to the groove in a low-key setting.
In terms of the music, let me tell you, there was not a single moment that I was not dancing my a$$ off. This year’s lineup was straight perfection, and not a single artist let us down. Every DJ threw down hard AF, but some of my favorite sets were Cray, Eprom, Don Diablo, and Zhu.
Not only were the stages poppin’, but the Looking Glass Stage was LIT from start to finish. From chillin’ between sets to dancing like nobody’s watching, the Looking Glass was the spot for it all. Beyond’s home for househeads and techno brats, the Looking Glass Stage had an intimate DJ set up with its own full lineup, as well as lots of space to rest, hang out, trade kandi, find lost squad members, and of course, dance!
Overall, Beyond Wonderland was an experience full of fantastic tunes!
Shoutout to the Queen of Hearts for inspiring this iHeartRaves look: Cosmic Heroine Mesh Skirt, Cross Faded Strappy Mesh Crop Top, Pastease Black Lace Red Glitter Heart Pasties, and Her Majesty Crystal Crown.
My time at Beyond Wonderland this year went beyond all expectations! There is no place like Beyond Wonderland, and I plan to attend again and again. Going back to reality from this mystifying, whimsical world is going to be a tough transition. Thank you, Beyond, for bringing me new friends, music, and memories!