On June 18th and 19th, we had the immense pleasure of attending the second Beyond Wonderland at the Gorge put on by Insomniac. Between the music, the venue, and the overall experience of Beyond Wonderland, we were pleasantly surprised to find that this was one of the best-executed festivals we have attended at the Gorge.
The lineup for Beyond Wonderland was extremely diverse. Artists from every major genre performed, from tech-house and old-school electronic to dubstep and experimental bass. We were especially pleased to see so much female and LGBTQ representation throughout the weekend.
It was also great to hear such a wide variety of genres throughout artists’ setlists. Dubstep DJs were spinning drum and bass jumpers and house DJs were playing downtempo jams that kept us on our toes. Hearing some of our favorite artists play songs we would never expect them to put us in a state of perpetual surprise and suspense. This was a great festival for discovering new artists and expanding one’s horizons.
The performances of the weekend were mostly composed of entirely new selections with many artists showcasing some amazing new music. Almost every artist had tons of fresh new unreleased music, edits, and works in progress. We could clearly hear and see that through the downtime of quarantine, these producers spent their time honing their craft and making plenty of fresh new sounds.
As soon as we entered the venue, we noticed the huge amount of never-before-seen decorations and displays all across the festival grounds. The Alice in Wonderland-themed installations included towering hedges shaped into chess pieces and a huge wooden Cheshire cat with a mannequin tea party inside.
The stages were decorated to a degree we had really never seen before. The Fractal Valley main stage was draped to accent the video walls and featured a blinking eyeball at its peak. The other two stages were also well equipped with themed decorations, lights, and pyrotechnics. All three stages had amazing sound quality and plenty of room to dance.
Amenities like water stations and bathrooms were easily accessible and we never had to wait in line for more than a few minutes. A wide variety of food, drinks, merchandise, and attractions left endless entertainment apart from the three stages available.
Overall, the experience of Beyond Wonderland at the Gorge was superb. The festival’s presentation was immersive and entertaining from entrance to exit. Festival performers roamed through the crowds and stages with massive floating butterflies and flowers. There were tons of places to take photos with friends and festival actors including a gigantic inflatable teapot and the Queen of Hearts throne. The attention to detail and abundance of activities put into this event was a feast for the senses.
Apart from the encompassing ambiance of Beyond Wonderland, we enjoyed a few things in particular. The free pre-party put on by Insomniac was a great way to start off the weekend and let us get a taste of what was in store for us. There was also a surprise special guest at the festival: Pasquale Rotella, CEO of Insomniac, roamed the Gorge, talking, taking pictures, and reveling with the tens of thousands of people in attendance.
Beyond Wonderland at the Gorge has set a high bar for big events in the Northwest. From beginning to end we were thoroughly entertained in a safe and positive environment enjoying the company of over 20,000 beautiful people. The two days and three nights of performances from artists across the electronic dance music spectrum were truly an amazing experience and we are already excited for next year.
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