NOCTURNAL WONDERLAND
review

I slumped back in my seat and shook my head in frustration as I chewed down with a vengeance on my bubble gum. "This is the last time I'm going to an Insomniac event!" I echoed what everyone else was saying in the car. We'd been sitting in a dead stop, five mile long traffic jam off the 79 exit on highway 15. 20,000 ravers were directed to a single exit ramp. It took us about an hour to get off the highway and then, we were in a caravan of cars seventeen miles long in single file at 15-20 miles per hour, all the way to the new venue... that was the easy part.

After driving another hour on dusty roads, again, in single files, we finally got to the parking area and walked up to the gate. The gate was basically a zigzag maze of chicken wire fence that funneled all of us toward a single door were two security guards meticulously patted us down one by one. It took us two hours to get near the entrance, when a security guard came up and said we have to go back. "WHAT THE FUCK?" everyone shouted. "There's another gate back by your cars, where you can get in faster." "YEAH, RIGHT!" No one moved back. Everyone was getting frustrated, including me. Some started shouting "Rush the fences!" And I must admit, I joined in a couple of times myself. Everyone pushed forward... until... the fence broke down and a hoard of kids swarmed the land inside. Then, I heard some people shout repeatedly "STOP! STOP!" I was amazed to find out that plea was not coming from the security guards. It was the ravers themselves, discouraging others from acting like a mob and risking the chance of the party getting shut down.

I couldn't believe it. Except for the few who rushed in, all the rest held back. We could have all just run in, right passed the security. After hours of waiting, rotting in traffic and standing in cold desert night, thirsty, dirty, tired and with our bladders pressed up against our pants... and the stages in sight... and the music bumping loud... with only a handful of security guards in the way... against 20,000 of us... we kept our cool. Not a single punch was thrown. No rubber bullets had to be fired. No one had to shoot tear gas in our faces. I was shaking my head again. This time, in admiration. I don't know. Maybe it was for the fact that there were no cops there to agrevate us. Whatever the reason, our none violent nature remained fully intact. We had to prove to the world and ourselves that we are decent human beings and that we do not require prodding about like a mindless drunken mob. We are the ravers... AND RAVERS RULE!!!

I was now ALL smiles. Soon, someone came over and oraganized the security to speed up the entry process and ten-fifteen minutes later, we were at the entrance. Once inside, we rushed for the bathrooms (AHHHHH) and then, the party officially began. There were four stages set up on top of a giant hill. In the middle were all the vendors, selling anything from glass pipes to dust masks and all the food and drinks you could consume. Next to them were a circle of giant inflatable castles, crowned with WB cartoon characters. We walked around the hill and came up to the main two stages. And there they were! A sea of dancing bodies. 20,000+ ravers dressed up in all their glorious colors, stomping the grounds like wild horses. I wonder if Custer heard that same rumble from over the hills before Indians turned him into an oil stain on the ground. My guess is what he heard was more impressive. But, we were on foot and we were doing it in rhythm;)

We skipped the drum and base and happy hardcore area and went straight for the trance and techno stages. Taylor was spinning a bad ass set. Behind him, two giant screens were lit up with Allice in Wonderland videos. Christopher Lawrence came up next and rocked the stage, followed by John Kelly from Moontribe. They each worked the crowd into a frenzy of trance-lovin' dancers. The sound system was incredible. Crisp and clear with just the right amount of base. I guess it could have been a little louder for some. But for me, it was perfect. There were only a handful of people chilling on blankets. Almost 99% of them were dancing all over those hills.

I walked around for a while and ran into a bunch of people from Phoenix, rolling their asses off in a van. As I came around the big stage again, I turned and saw Bunny on the stage. Oh, shit! I almost missed Rabbit in the Moon. I struggled my way passed the crowd and got behind the railing in front of the stage. Security helped me over and I got myself situated in just the perfect spot. David performed one of the best live sets I've ever heard. Everyone was standing still and soaking up every single suspenseful note. He perched majestically behind rows of black and white keys and washed over the crowd with a flood of divine dark and uplifting melodies. Bunny got into a new costume every few minutes and performed every character you can imagine. I was in heaven!

They entertained the crowd until sunrise. At the end of the set, I looked over the next stage and saw people dancing furiously. This must be good. I snuck out from behind the stage and went over. DAMN! Frankie Bones! ALL RIGHT! I went over by the stage and proclaimed a little piece of land in the name of Living Art. Frankies set was tight and full of energy. Everyone got up and began dancing with a renewed inspiration. After that, the last group (Milktoast - I think) came on to wrap it up. They were a cross between The Stomp and Grand Master Flash, with hip hop beats and theatrical dance sequences. They were entertaining but, we were tired, dusty and hungry. So, we started to head out.

We couldn't see our car... or the parking area... or the farms. There was a huge dust cloud that rose from the massive exodus and cloaked the entire land. So, we took our time and hung out with the security for a while. They told us there was an angry Indian there the night before with an AK-47, trying to get 20,000 invaders off the sacred land. Since the cops had no jurisdiction there, they had to call the FBI to come in and take him away. I guess he didn't care if the whole counsel gave permission for the event. The endless line of cars had imprisoned him and his family and they couldn't even get their car out of their drive way. So, he was naturally very pissed off. But, the whole thing ended without any regrettable mishaps.

Later on, at our first stop in Anza, we were also told that we had made the news. The choppers got the 17 mile long line of cars and the mass of people on tape. I didn't see Freak City cameras there. I guess I should have taken my own camcorder with me. But after Golden, I vowed never to take it near dust again.

We took the I-15 south to San Diego and chilled off on the beach for a while. After that, we had some delicious and filling Italian food and then, took the scenic 8 back to Arizona.

Like I said earlier, I was really pissed off at Insomniac for all the discomfort we had to face getting there. But later, I realized it was our own fault. We should have left earlier to avoid the heavy traffic. Besides, I have to give them props for moving such a huge event into a new location on such a short notice. They had their permits revoked. I never found out why. There is always someone to blame. But, they made the most of it and at least made the party happen. It was far from perfect. I missed hearing a lot of the performers and that huge crowd is just not my speed. But in the end, it was well worth going. For me though, I still wouldn't trade a DTS party for anything! Great to be back home :):):)

Ramy




Nocturanl Wonerland was mah first cali part*E* and i must say that i was kinda disapointed.. Me and mah friend took the bus to the part*E* (thank you mike for the rainbow connection.. you kick ass.. =) and after a long long drive in a bus packed with about 50 other ravers we got to the part*E* around 4:30pm only to wait in the line for about 2 and a half hours where were all getting nothing but frustrated.. once inside the part*E* we felt totally isolated due to the fact us arizonians pretty much the only people at the part*E* for about the first hour and a half.. we found out later that the indians who owned the land around the part*E* were blocking off the enterences so people where having a hard time getting in.. i dunno... but once people did start showing up things were starting to look up a little... then the sun went down and mah happy ass started freezing to death.. i ended up having to buy a sweatshit (which sumone stole from me on the bus ride home.. thanks a lot).. and me and mah group of friends spent the majority of the rest of the night huddled together trying to keep each other warm.. between the long wait to get in, us freezing are butts off, and the mass amounts of dust we inhaled with each breath i wasnt having a ver*E* good time.. dispite this i managed to check out a sum of the djs and that was definatly the high light of mah night.. i couldnt stop smiling as i danced mah ass of to uber zone .. and let me tell you it was a pretty fat set. =)to make a long story short.. it wasnt the greatest part*E* in the entire world though i wished it would have been, but i had sum fun and i would like to give insomniac props for throwing it together so fast.... because besides the dust the location was a definate plus.. =0) at the end of the part*E* we went to the bus to wait for the bus driver and discovered sum artistic taggers decided that our bus was the perfect spot for sum "art".. neddless to say.. the bus driver wasnt happ*E*.. on the bus ride home i just thanked gawd the night was oveand when i got home i could just crawl into bed and look forword to the next tucson part*E* where there would be much less choas and hopefully more smiling on mah face.. =)

shauna




The 2 hour traffic from the exit to the site was horrible. We had to go all the way up the hill odwn these crazy back roads through the mountain. Some dude was collecting money or anything else you could give him to park which sucked. We only gave him a dollar. Finally parked at about 12:30 and rolled my ass to the long ass line. Some kid was really sick and kept passing out so we had to carry him to the front.... Only to watch the crowd tear down the fence. We finally got in and it was sweet as Brown Sugar. Wait a mintue... Sorry, we ate some brown sugar and gasped in awe at the site of all the people. I had no idea what was going on as my rolling ass got stuck underneath the green lazer for what seemed like hours. OH MY GOD!!! Hung out in the jungle room for the first time and thought it was pretty cool. Met a lot of cool people and started to freeze my ass off. Looking up in the sky I saw the sun making it's way over the mountains and then Superman played in the background. I thought for a second I would take off and fly around but then I realized what I had eaten earlier and decided against it. DJ Duran was my favorite of the night and when he played Launch in the early morning and the crowd went nuts was amazing. That was my favorite part of the rave. Walking out our car was covered with like three inches of dust. (Dirt dust from the ground mind you) and traffic was bad so we hung out and set our watches for 420 with some LA Gang members we met. YIKES!!! We saw a very funny scene where a car stopped short and 8 crazy ravin fools hopped out, circled the car, and tore it up. Three more car loads of kids joined in and busted out in the parking lot. I had a great time but it was a little hardcore. Great expierence but nothing beats an Arizona desert rave. Shout out to Leggo Mike, the mad scientist, and whoever else I rolled up on in the party. Nocturnal Wonderland should have really been called DUSTBOWL 2000. Set your watches to 420 Phoenix. I'll be back soon.

CPT. CHRONIC




Me, my girl Wendy, Rae, DJ Rex, DJ Matt Matrix , Josh & Nugget car pooled to Hollywood to meet up with my brother Shay Money and his lady Melissa to get ready for the Nocturnal Wonderland. We picked up our homie Zack from San Clemente and headed to the party about 8:30 p.m. After driving through these ridiculously winding roads through a pitch black mountainous terrain, we finally reached 15 South When we saw the sign for the exit to the rave about 1 mile away, we were relieved until we saw the line waiting to exit. It took us an hour just to travel 1 mile and that's after Zack convinced a car load of females to let us cut in front of them (about 10 cars ahead of us). Then we had to drive like 20 mph for another 45 minutes to an hour to get to the parking. We parked our car immediately and headed to the party on foot (approximately 3 miles away). When we got to the line it was a mob of 3 to 4 thousand people and it was moving slower than the traffic on the 15 South. Finally some ravers got frustrated and impatient and rushed the fences and tore them down. A majority of us stayed back and waited for the commotion to cease.

Our whole crew was regretting going to the party at this point. FINALLY, we made it inside and it was already 1:30 a.m. Simply Jeff was playing and we started having fun already. We ran into our friends Frankie II Times, Matt Dedict, & Edmon and we partied our asses off. DJ Monk played one of the fattest sets we've ever heard, especially when he dropped "I got 5 on it " by the Luniz in the middle of his sets. Then we saw Rabbit in the Moon and that show was PHAT. Everyone loved it. At the end of the night we were all glad we had come and couldn't wait to hit the showers, get some rest, and then hit the beaches. Much Props to Insomniac for throwing this thing together, and Big Ups to all the Phoenicians who represented AZ. Much props to everyone in AZ because we could all dance and the ravers from Cali acted like they never seen real rave dancers. Its great to be home & we can't wait for the upcoming AZ parties

Ru




Whats up Ramy, I love the whole living Art thing ya got goin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! First of all I am an Insomniac Promoter out of TUCSON and for you to even be pissed off at Insomniac that is Ridiculous!!!The Reason the permits were revoked is because 5 kids DIED after driving back from JuJu Beats!They didnt want to have a party in between Las Vegas and LA. Because of previous deaths[R.I.P Ernie].Insomniac lost close to 17,000$ because we had to pay to fence the whole area!That was 100,000$ alone!!!!!!!The only reason Pasqale and us threw the party was to not dissapoint the Peole,and thats what it is all about!Guess how long it took for us to set up that whole venue?? 2 1/2 days!!!! That was excellent for the amount of time we had.They revoked the permits earlier that week on Tuesday.But any way RABBIT IN THE MOON! is all I am goin to say yall!That shit was so damn tight!Totally worth it!I had a Great time!!I met all kinds of cool ass Cali kids!!!!!But you are right the lines getting into the party was Fucking insane!Yes it is tru that there were a bunch of pissed of Indians!!They shot at Mello and Pasquales feet!!!!!They wre not in the mood for any P.L.U.R I guess!But all in all I had a good time.Nice Speakers!!!!Watch out for Insomniacs next event Willy Wonka commin out soon!!!And we promise ya it will be Phat!!!!Thanx for comin and I wish you guys had a betta time.

Wes




First I'd like to say I was soooo excited to go to the party .I took the bus which I thought was boring but we did'nt have to stand in that hellish line. Inside the party it actually sounded like you were listening to demons screaming from the gates of hell(not fun on E). That was not the worst part it ended up being really cold and I sat around alot trying to get warm. But that is still not the worst part that would have been the rat poison called a green triangle i took . If you ever come across stay away they are DXM basically freebased robotussin. I was soooo sick and my friend actually thought she was going to die and said her farewells. That sounds pretty fucked up so for all ypui that stood in that hellish line at least you almost didnt die . since i took the bus i got up really early and by the time it was time to party my ass off at the biggest and best party I was tired and felt like I was going to die. But I met up with my friends from phoenix ( very surprising in that crowd) and a sweetheart named billy helped me out and managed to dragg my ass of to see some dj's(thanx so much if you read this email me tinker@aol.com) but even after defating death and the cold and dust I can't wait till next year NO GREEN TRIANGLES THIS TIME THEY ARE PURE EVIL STAY AWAY FAR FAR AWAY.

MELISSA




IT WAS THE BEST RAVE IN THE WORLD I HAVE BEEN TO ME AND MY GIRL FEEL IN LOVE AT THAT MAGICAL RAVE IN THE CAL.E. DEASRT. I LOVED EVEY MINENT OF IT AND WISH I IT WENT ON LONGER. ME AND MY GIRL BRIDGET STADY IN CAL.E. FOR 3 MORE DAY AND HIT THE BEACH AND DIESNYLAND I LOVE IT AND LOVE THE PERSON I TOOK WITH ME. TY (BRIDGET AND TY) AKA THE HUNNYBUNNIES

Ty Wiltbank




Hey, i know it's been a real long time since the party but i just bumped into this site. THE PARTY WAS DOPE!! I have to admit that the few days prior to the party "fuck insomniac" was prob my most frequently used statement, but they ended up doin' a great job. My friends and I (6 of us in a civic, and 5 in a pickup)headed out of phoenix not even knowing where we were headed but after about a million calls we figured out where we wanted to be. Drove, drove, drove and when it looked like we were finally there they said "nope there's some indian with a machine gun you guys got to turn around" So we drove some more. But when we got in it was all worth it. Those little bouncy rooms were a brilliant idea! It was my first time ever seeing Rabbit In The Moon. UNREAL! After the party i found my dust covered car and we all piled back in. Anc in the stop and go traffic i kinda dozed off and slammed my little white civic into a pickup, who in turn hit an M3. Turns out i hit the lazerist, so that gave me a good opportunity to thank him for that unbelievable green lazer that kept so many of us entertained for so many hours. I don't think i;ve ever said this before but law enforcement rocked! they helped us party. so thanks cops, feds, and insomniac.

Notgonna Telya




Hey you guys I know it has been about 1 year since this kick ass party but I want to let you know this was the absolute best rave ever. I live in ANZA where the rave was. I know people think we area out in the boonies but when there is no traffic we are only 30 mintes away from the big city. We arrived at the rave at 8:30 (because we knew the back roads) when we got there the shit was already going off. I stood up on the hill above the green lazer and looked out over our little town and saw car lights for as far as I could see, Our town has never seen so many people, when I saw all those lights I knew that this party was gonna be off the hook. Oh my gosh DEMIGOD is all I can say. If any one heard him go off they know what I mean, he was the shit. ARMY OF HARDCORE. I had a great time and loved that I could rave so close to home. But it was awfully dirty. I am looking forward to the next nocturnal in September.

Cali


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