By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
By Rachel Mattice
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Daniel Kohn
By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
Glowstick manufacturers must be having a banner era. Those little luminous rods have been a source of rapture for thousands of wide-eyed party people at massive events like Audiotistic, Jujubeats, Nocturnal Wonderland and scores of other raves this year. But the production lines will have to work double time to get ready for this weekend, when not one but two huge parties will take place (as usual, neither is in OC, but the drives out to both shouldn't be terribly traumatic).
The larger of the two is Narnia, a three-day, 30,000-capacity rave-cum-carnival-cum-camp-out located at the mysterious Green Valley Ranch, halfway between San Diego and LA (rumor is that it's somewhere near Temecula, but the oh-so-secretive promoters won't reveal the exact locale until the first day of the event, so you'll just have to call one of the hot lines or log on to their website). Narnia opens for campers Friday at 7 p.m., but the main event begins the next evening when, in addition to the more than 40 trance, house, drum & bass and hip-hop acts (including Del the Funky Homosapien, Phife from A Tribe Called Quest, local legend Ron D Core, Frankie Bones, Rob Gee, Deiselboy, Jason Blakemore, Doran, the Jungle Brothers, the Beastie Boys' Mix Master Mike and, for some reason, DJ Sid from Slipknot), there'll be such extracurricular activities as bungee jumping, hot air balloon rides, skate demos, a percussion parade, a breakdancing throw-down, fireworks (starting at, um, 4:20 a.m.), slides and moonbounces. Plus, a skateboarder named Josh Kasper will attempt a jump over five flaming barrels. Seems just like a county fair—only fun. Step right up, folks!
(In a serious vein, it should be noted that the 1995 version of Narnia was also promoted in advance as having a secret, to-be-announced-the-day-of-the-show location, and it never happened. Thousands of ticket holders were screwed, though their tickets were allowed to be redeemed at future Narnias. We're not saying this will happen again, but if the Green Valley Ranch site is indeed a "permitted and secured virgin location" as the Narnia fliers proclaim, why can't people know where it is ahead of time? The promoters, Global Underground Network, could not be reached for comment.)
The other big party, Oracle 3, happens at the National Orange Show Fairgrounds in San Bernardino and will be fronting more of a hip-hop vibe, headlined by the Wu-Tang Clan (with many rumors buzzing about a special Ol' Dirty Bastard return, but don't hold your breath—the Big Baby Jesus himself has been known to be a no-show even when he's officially confirmed). The Visionaries and the prophetic flow of Mos Def will certainly put a bug in any b-boy's bonnet, while acts with a higher BPM count include the classic jungle of Grooverider, Aphrodite's jump-up drum & bass, and Roger Sanchez' house plus, of course, many, many, many more. Unfortunately, those used to dancing till dawn will have to finish elsewhere, as Oracle 3 is the first rave to fall victim to the new San Bernardino city curfew law that forces all events to end by 2 a.m.
NARNIA AT THE GREEN VALLEY RANCH (WHEREVER THE HELL THAT IS), (714) 780-8772 OR (714) 780-9019; WWW.NARNIAFESTIVAL.COM. FRI., 7 P.M.-SUN., 3 P.M.; ORACLE 3 AT THE NATIONAL ORANGE SHOW FAIRGROUNDS, 689 E ST., SAN BERNARDINO, (714) 647-1977; WWW.DELPHIPROD.COM. SAT., NOON- SUN., 2 A.M.