Festival Wishlist: 5 Dance Music Festivals Awaiting Our Return

1. Nocturnal Wonderland

Not only does Nocturnal Wonderland claim to be the longest-running electronic festival in America, but it's also home to an ingenious venue and camping section. Each year, Nocturnal Wonderland is known for its intimacy and huge headliners. The grounds are filled with blacklight art, neon signs, and dancers galore.

The campgrounds, situated within San Bernardino's Glen Helen Regional Park, are picturesque, and campers can visit a water park during their free time. An RV is the perfect way to camp here—it’s close to what Insomniac calls “Camp OG.” This is a section of the campground filled with old-school ravers who have been devoted fans since the festival's inception in 1995.

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2. Escape: Psycho Circus

Insomniac's Escape is a Halloween-themed rave held every October at San Bernardino's NOS Events Center. Running since 2011, this festival continues to outdo itself each and every year. It offers Halloween mazes, themed stages, spooky performers, and the most creative costumes you'll ever lay eyes on. The stages are prefect for Halloween, as they are named Ghouls’ Graveyard, the Slaughterhouse, The Chopping Block, and Cannibal’s Tea Party.

A crowd and stage photo of Escape: Psycho Circus taken by Alex G PErez for Insomniac.

3. HARD Summer

If you’re from California, HARD Summer is a festival you’ve likely heard of and may have even attended. Founded in 2007 by Gary Richards, otherwise known as Destructo, this event has reinforced itself time and again as the quintessential summer event.

Held in August each year, the fest conjures memories attendees can always remember of the excruciating heat at the Auto Club Speedway, which we've learned to love and crave. Ravers are able to see artists collaborate on stage more at HARD Summer than any other festival. Some iconic B2B sets include ZHU and Tchami, Diplo and Dillon Francis, and Zeds Dead and Jauz, among many others.

A stage and crowd shot from HARD Summer.

4. Countdown: NYE

Serving as the de facto final festival of the year, Insomniac's Countdown is the perfect place to spend your New Years Eve. Typically galaxy-themed, this rave offers an extra-terrestrial feel along with all the classic confetti, beads, and kazoos necessary to ring in the new year. Countdown is known to flaunt some of the biggest lineups of the year, as artists to hit the stage in years past include deadmau5, REZZ, Zeds Dead, and Porter Robinson. New Years is a day meant to be spent with the ones you love, and this festival is hands down the best way to do it.

An Insomniac Events press photo from Countdown NYE.

5. Electric Forest

For the final festival in this list, it was important to include a “dream” festival. Electric Forest is truly like no other. For two days, attendees are immersed in all that nature has to offer, with sky-scraping trees and vivid flowers splayed throughout the glittering grounds.

Sore feet are typical for a rave, of course, but Electric Forest has you covered. Simply bring a hammock from home and tie it to a tree and relax the night away. Bringing together the great outdoors and some great music is all anyone could ever ask for. Hop on a plane and let mother nature do its thing. 

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