This weekend, Insomniac takes its fourth journey down the Alice & Wonderland-themed rabbit hole to Beyond Wonderland Music Festival, held at the San Manuel Amphitheater after the city of San Bernardino complained from previous wonderland events at the NOS Events Center. Don't be fooled by the new location however. If anything, it means a new venue for Insomniac's CEO Pasquale Rotella to curate into a magical world filled with art installations, performers, rides and some of electronic dance music's biggest stars including David Guetta, Steve Angello and Afrojack. For fans excited to roam the hills of the San Manuel Amphitheater and discover its new found home, we have put together a list of five must-see acts amidst all of the heavy dose of spine-rattling basslines.
5. Alex Sibley & Crunch Theory
We first discovered Sibley at Escape From Wonderland at the Wide Awake Cart as he gave the crowds lounging on the grass a "get-off your ass and dance" dose of the Ibiza like tech house. The San Francisco native lived in Mykonos which is where he fell in love with the infections European islands sounds. Hustling hard and making a name for himself back in SF, the young lad has an EP in the works on tech king Carl Cox's Intec Digital label this summer. This weekend, he is teaming up with LA native Crunch Theory to bring us "crunchy, bouncy, slapping" electro tech house beats on the Discovery Stage which if you didn't know is the Wide Awake Cart straight from the Burning Man playa boasting a Funktion One sound system. These kids are the future of EDM combining classic tech house with the progressive sounds of today.
The Slovenian techno and tech house veteran has everything to bring to the table. From a history lesson with the arsenal of his own originals and re-works, exclusive tracks from the promising artists on his 1605 label and a bit of prophecy as he plays what knows will be tomorrows heavy hitters. UMEK is just the dose of danceable fresh beats the Queens Domain stage needs at Beyond Wonderland. Take a break from the predictable bangers and get lost to one of dance music's biggest legends. Born Uroš Umek, his moves behind the decks are just as impressive as his 20 years in the business and it's no wonder we made him our number one act we wish would come to Coachella this year. Looks like Pasquale was reading and UMEK is making it happen this Sunday even after he has to fly straight to Miami after for Winter Music Conference and Ultra Music Festival!
3. Markus Schulz
Even though one hour is not enough for the global DJ Markus Schulz, there's a reason why he has one or two gigs almost everyday from now until May. He plays today at Ultra Music Festival and then flies all the way to LA from Miami just to give all of the wide awake Insomniac fans a small dose of his unicorn slaying trance which he is most know for – so you know it's gotta be good. (He plays at Space back in Miami the following day). Schulz who was named America's favorite DJ by DJ Times Magazine in 2012 and continues to set the standard for world renowned DJs when it comes to fusing traditional trance with the harder progressive sounds of today. With a slew of original hits like "Nothing Without Me" and his recent collaborations with trance God Armin Van Buuren and the legendary Ferry Corsten Schulz is sure to blow your mind in the short hour he takes the main stage.
2. Maceo Plex
Take a break from the main stage to check out the Cheshire Woods which hosts the Crosstown Rebels stage – specifically down tempo deep house DJ and producer Maceo Plex. Hailing from Miami, Maceo's honed his sound in his cherry sunny days in Valencia, Spain where he now resides. Here he created his infections soul grooves. Now under his own imprint Elleum he experiments with all facets of techno, house and sexy deep futuristic electro under his newest alias Jupiter Jazz with Danny Daze. Beyond Wonderland attendees are sure getting lucky this year as Maceo is also making his Ultra Music Festival debut the following day so he will be packed with enthusiasm ready to show off his skills with a sound so unique it's the newest thing in Europe. Lucky for you you don't have to travel all the way to Miami to hear it at WMC and get a sneak peak right here in San Bernardino.
1. Delta Heavy
In order to have a true Wonderland experience, you have to get a taste of some real European bass music from the Chess Village stage. Close your night out with UK's Delta Heavy who is straight off Datsik's Firepower Tour. The duo is the next Skrillex, but even better minus laptops and thumb drives. Fusing a medley of dubstep, house and classic drum & bass which is home to their Ram Records label – Delta Heavy are taking the whole bass-in-your-face style to the next level blending everything that's good about it's genre. Only Ben Hall will be at the San Manuel Amphitheater, while Simon James is busy on their UK tour with the one and only Andy C. But don't fret! It will be more than enough as we are thinking the new venue comes with less sound restrictions for your listening pleasures. Expect the unexpected as they mix it up and play from all sorts of bass-infused genres for a truly unique show.