Under an Electric Sky

A glimpse into rave culture at Escape: Psycho Circus Word Count: 447

Monica Tamayo, PR


Thousands of EDM lovers flooded in line to enter one of Insomniac’s most anticipated events of the year: Escape: Psycho Circus.


The sold out event took place Oct., 26 and 27 at The National Orange Show (NOS) Center located in San Bernardino. Upon entering, one could already hear the deep bass and see the laser light shows from the outside the NOS center. 4 stages, 1 maze and a large flaming art piece of Medusa’s head made up the psycho circus.


Large groups traveled around the festival grounds dressed as fruits, superheroes and The Purge characters. The 2-day festival featured performances from world-renowned DJs such as Diplo, Kaskade, Martin Garrix, Excision and Zeds Dead.


Headliners danced from stage to stage while others sat in grassy areas trading bracelets, otherwise known as, “kandi” in the rave culture. The crowds attempted to reach the stage to get as personal to the headliners as possible, while others remained in the back to showcase their talents as shufflers, hula hoops or displaying light shows with whips and light up gloves.


However, not everything at a rave is filled with good vibes and nirvana. There is also a much darker side that coexists within the community. It is quite common for headliners to consume numerous amounts of drugs throughout the festival. Often times, people who consume drugs such as LSD, cocaine and ecstasy, are often sent to emergency tents on site to seek medical attention or worse yet, others are transported immediately to the nearest hospital for heavy drug doses and dehydration.


Hundreds of people huddled under a large tent with no air circulation. First time ravers and party-goers underestimate the importance of staying hydrated at these events and often do not realize their bodies are in a dehydrated state because of the enclosed space they find themselves in. The festival grounds are filled with trained volunteers known as Ground Control, who patrol the area in search of ravers in need of any medical assistance.


Raver, Kim Castillo, who has attended Insomniac events for the past 5 years, explained her love for Insomniac festivals:


“I love being here with the music and trading ‘kandi’. It’s how we connect with people. This is something that has become a part of my life; it’s my break from reality.”


Insomniac’s founder, Pasquale Rotella, has been organizing EDM festivals since 1993, each year presenting a more extravagant festival than the previous year. The next major Insomniac event will be Countdown NYE, which is set to take place on Dec., 31 at the NOS Center. This is Insomniac’s last EDM festival until EDC, which will take place May 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.