Countdown NYE 2019 in San Bernardino, California blew us away. Featuring four main stages and 40 artists, the most difficult part of the event was choosing where to spend time. Equally impressive, aside from the lineup, was the dedication to the “alien invasion” theme which landed right on point. Even if you weren’t able to attend, check out our review below if you’re considering going next year.
Held at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, the location felt like the perfect destination distance from the chaos of Los Angeles. While it took about two hours to get there, the shuttle service that Insomniac arranged from multiple destinations around the area made for an easy commute. With at least 15 ticketing and security checkpoints, we made it inside the festival after virtually no wait.
With countless outer space decorations around the entire venue, it was clear Insomniac put a ton of effort into this event. Including a projector playing sci-fi films, “alien” dancers in plastic cages, and a forest of massive LED lights, we had a hard time picking our favorite decorations.
Aside from the aesthetics of the event, attendees kept warm with heat lamps throughout the venue and a warming center. Food and beverage stands popped up everywhere, and free water stations helped keep everyone hydrated.
Even if it was a touch cold to the California crowd, spirits were high through the whole night. Groups in themed costumes wielding “come dance with us!” totems lent a sense of community to the evening. Moreover, the light shows and unending kandi trading made us happy to ring in the year with our new friends.
Finally, the part we all look forward to–the sets! First we watched FOMO, an up and coming duo from San Diego playing primarily trap and future bass. Their sound felt like a great introduction to the festival, especially as the precedent for Tisoki. Although he was feeling ill, he put on an amazing set that got everyone in the crowd headbanging before ATLiens (who recently stopped in Portland) came on.
CID also threw an incredible set around the same time, mixing bass and progressive house crowd favorites with popular songs. While we left hoping he’d play his track Us with Kaskade, his Lizzo’s Truth Hurts remix and Sweet Memories tracks stood out.
While at times difficult to see Blunts & Blondes through the crowd-turned-haze, his set was one of our favorites. As he mixed hip-hop and reggae into his music, the whole crowd moved through the nastier drops together.
Finally, we caught Said the Sky, Gryffin, and Porter Robinson as we got ready to count down the new year. Provided that each of the sets left us speechless, we can’t say much about it other than it was an excellent way to start 2020. After Porter dropped Language in a sea of blue lasers, he took us all for a ride with his harder remixes through the rest of the set.
Overall, Countdown 2019 threw the party of the decade
After an impeccable location, an incredible lineup, and an ideal crowd, Countdown 2019 NYE was something to remember. While we’re now back into our post-festival depression, if this was any indication of what Insomniac has planned this year, we can’t wait to find out.
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