Nocturnal Wonderland is a unique beast in the Southern California Insomniac festival collection. As one of the brand’s only camping festivals and one not held at the NOS Events Center, even seasoned veterans can find it a daunting event.
It was my first-ever festival a few years ago, and I was unprepared for the camping aspect and the huge difference between shows and concerts.
This year, Nocturnal will be held at Glen Helen Regional Park from September 17-18 and the event is quickly approaching. But worry not as we have six tips to help you have the smoothest experience at Nocturnal Wonderland in 2022. Read below:
1. The Dust Is Fierce
In typical camping festival fashion, the dust at Glen Helen is aggressive. As you drive into the parking lot you will see a haze of dust and your car will be covered. You really do not want to breathe this in, so bring a mask or gaiter and be careful not to get it in your eyes.
Also, make sure you have a way to clean off your car windshields without scratching them as it can be dangerous to drive with impaired vision.
2. Be Mindful Of Traffic
Since Glen Helen is a campground, the road to the venue is full of ravers trying to see their favorite artists, which means traffic. In 2019, I was stuck for two hours on the main highway, meaning I missed almost all of the artists on day one.
While this may have improved since, always leave earlier than you think you need to, especially if you have a specific artist you want to see early. Also, be nice to others on the road and never drive under any substance.
3. Don’t Miss The Silent Disco
Just because the music ends at midnight, doesn’t mean the fun has to. If you are camping, check out the Silent Disco to keep the party going until the sun goes up.
This year, the Nocturnal Wonderland Campground offers two Silent Discos: the return of the Silent Disco on the lake, as well as another one nearby. There will be two different styles of music so there is something for everyone.
4. Spend Time Viewing The Art
As the oldest Insomniac rave, Nocturnal Wonderland takes great care to craft art pieces that feel both historic and larger-than-life. They feature LED woodland creatures and unique glow-in-the-dark environments that bring home the true feel of the magical, forest ambiance. Don’t miss this experience as Insomniac Art is unlike any other.
5. Don’t Forget You Are Still Camping
As one of the only Insomniac camping festivals in SoCal, it’s hard to imagine that the climate would make for anything other than a perfect camping experience.
But it does get cold at night, so don’t forget a jacket, pashmina, and warm blanket. The venue is also by a natural lake and waterpark, so mosquitoes will be in abundance and bug spray is recommended.
6. Be Mindful Of The Hilly Terrain
The hills can be dangerous in the dark, so remember to bring a flashlight and a good pair of shoes. There could be natural holes and uneven ground, so watch where you step and save the platforms for a city festival.
In 2019 I gave myself shin splints from standing on a steep hill while waiting to exit. I will absolutely be wearing broken-in shoes this time and taking note of where the med-tent is.
All images from Nocturnal Wonderland