Review: Insomniac’s White Wonderland NYE

Since a new year is one of the best excuses for celebration, many tend to make their plans far in advance. However, my optimism and a little procrastination got the best of me, and before I knew it, I was scrambling to solidify my plans in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve. Luckily, everything fell into place and I was ecstatic to begin 2013 at Insomniac‘s White Wonderland at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Last minute plans certainly don’t always work out as great as they did for my New Year’s Eve. Read how it all went down after the jump…


After passing through the sea of dance music fans dressed in white at the security checks, we walked by the beautifully decorated trance stage, “The Crystal Temple,” and headed to the equally attractive and majestic house stage, “The Hallowed Cathedral,” to catch the last minutes of Hardwell’s set. The immense energy was felt immediately upon entering “The Hallowed Cathedral.” With the dozens of glowing balls overhead and the thousands of dancing people being overwhelmed by breathtaking music and lights, it was a celebration that was nothing short of an full sensory experience. We made it just in time to hear the epic closing of Hardwell’s set, including his enormously successful single, “Spaceman.” The famed Avicii manned the decks shortly after to deliver a straight-forward, crowd pleasing set that certainly continued the rising anticipation of that glorious time, midnight.

Following Avicii, we continued our hedonistic foray in “The Hallowed Cathedral” with the French phenomenon, Madeon. It was my third time seeing the talented teenager, so I naturally had high expectations, but to no surprise, those expectations were exceeded seemingly with ease. By dropping numerous floor fillers from the likes of Nero, Zedd, A-Trak, Porter Robinson, and of course Madeon himself, he was able to take the crowd on a ride of dance music perfection. With his awe-inspiring performance and consistency in mind, Madeon gets my pick for set of the night.

The Bingo Players were scheduled to go on right after Madeon, but for some reason there was a short delay in their appearance on stage. Sure enough, the Dutch duo made their way to the booth and didn’t waste any time in creating a frenzy for the last moments of 2012. The high-energy countdown ensued complete with pyrotechnics for the last seconds, and once the clock struck midnight, a monstrous roar from the crowd was met with more pyrotechnics, confetti, lasers, and towering bursts of nitrogen gas on stage. It was definitely a moment to remember, and I’m sure many will keep a photograph of it in their memory for years to come.

For the remainder of the night, we held our ground at “The Crystal Temple” for the end of Darin Epsilon’s second set and Above & Beyond’s full performance. Regardless of the smaller crowd compared to “The Hallowed Cathedral,” the trance stage held its own and proved to be a great place to end the night. Above & Beyond played an enjoyable set that maintained the trance euphoria as well as a hefty serving of impactful, rolling basslines.

If you couldn’t tell already, our White Wonderland New Year’s Eve was an incredible experience. With world-class event production and music, Insomniac consistently raises the standard for events all for our enjoyment. Big thank you to Insomniac Events. 2013 is looking as bright as ever!