Walking up to the Nocturnal Fest compound in Apache Pass from the parking lot gives a glimpse of the weekend that is about to unfold. Glow sticks abound; wide-legs jeans, the likes of which have been in hibernation since the early 2000s, are once again in fashion and LED light-powered pacifier necklaces once again find their purpose. It’s as if a time machine has enveloped the entire area, dumping its visitors into the once-vibrant and very popular rave scene.
Starting in California in 1995, Nocturnal Wonderland was a travelling festival, securing a new venue for each year. In 2010, Insomniac (the production crew responsible for Nocturnal Wonderland) announced that the festival would be travelling to Rockdale, Texas, at the Apache Pass Fairgrounds about an hour outside of Austin. This marked both the first time the festival would be held outside of California, as well as the first time it would be a multi-day event.
Marking its third year in Texas, Insomniac promises more of the theatrical, mind-blowing same, bringing all of the art, lights and bass to Wonderland that fans have come to expect. With tickets starting at $90 for one night and $160 for the full two days, Nocturnal Wonderland rates among one of the more affordable of the big festivals to hit the Austin area, and certainly the most unique. Artists include CSS, ACL favorites AWOLNATION, Chromeo, The Soldier Thread, and Austin’s own hip-hop darling, Zeale. With the many cookie-cutter music events Austin has to offer, treat yourself to a truly unique experience this weekend at Nocturnal Wonderland. Barring the possibility of a really bad trip, you’re guaranteed to enjoy yourself.