Nearly old enough to drink, Nocturnal Wonderland is celebrating its 20th festival with 125 electronic artists and thousands of fans for a party unlike any other in Southern California.
“It’s super important these festivals have longevity,” said Ryan Marks, who makes up half of the duo LOUDPVCK along with Kenny Beats.
The two are slated to spin their DJ set during the Insomniac-produced event on Sept. 6, the last day of the three-night event at the San Manuel Amphitheater in Devore.
“Big Insomniac festivals are always special,” Marks said. “Every time I go on one of these stages I remember being one of those kids in the audience.”
That’s why LOUDPVCK and some of the biggest electronic dance music superstars like Kaskade, Alesso, Bassnectar, Afrojack, David Guetta, Flosstradamus, Bingo Players, Knife Party and more signed up for the event. It’s a celebration of EDM at its roots.
“Nocturnal was my first big event and it’s my longest-running show,” said Insomniac founder Pasquale Rotella. “That history means a lot, especially when you consider what we were up against back in the late ’90s and early 2000s. Even though the show has gotten bigger, I still want to stay true to those original roots and the themes of the earlier shows. Nocturnal has always celebrated the night and all genres of dance music.”
Unfortunately, big raves like Nocturnal Wonderland aren’t all just fun and music.
Just this month, two women were killed in suspected drug overdoses while at the HARD Summer music festival hosted at the Fairplex in Pomona on Aug. 1-2. While the event was not hosted by Insomniac, Rotella recently posted an Instagram photo with a caption that addressed the deaths and the proposed bans on the raves that local officials are currently mulling.
“My heart goes out to the friends and family of those two young women,” his post read. “We don’t condone or tolerate drug use, but the problem here isn’t raves or dance music, or even festivals in general. The health impact of drug abuse in our country extends far beyond what happens at our events. Banning these events at facilities where we are able to provide first-rate medical care and emergency services is not the answer. If we’re trying to create a safe and secure environment for these passionate fans, sending them back into the unregulated underground isn’t a step in the right direction.”
Beats, the member of LOUDPVCK, said he thinks attendees need to stay around their friends and make sure they have a charged phone, water and “stay smart.”
“We might get on the mic and say something about partying to getting (expletive) up or having a good time, but we’re certainly not condoning anything illegal,” Marks said. “We’ll talk about weed, which is perfectly legal. We’re talking about getting (expletive) up as in drinking with friends, not kids killing themselves with drugs. I don’t think any serious electronic artists are condoning that.”
As the festival expands to three days for the first time, with an expanded camping area, Rotella said safety is Insomniac’s biggest priority.
“What happened at HARD Summer affects everyone in this business as well as the fans of the culture. We are going to continue what we’ve been doing for many years: create an amazing experience that’s safe, secure,and let’s our supporters know that we’re there to help them in any way we can,” Rotella said. “The safety of our attendees is the most important thing, hands down.”
©2015 the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, Calif.)
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