The throngs clad in hot pants and beads crowding the gates of the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino for Insomniac’s Audiotistic Festival belied the controversy surrounding raves after the Electric Daisy Carnival death a month earlier. The only indication of the post-EDC fallout was the line marked “Refunds” for under-18 ticket holders. But with the baking desert sun setting and a major lineup on four stages to come, the excitement of the young crowd swelled in the long lines brought about by ID checks.
Mixing with big electronic acts like A-Trak, Craze, and N.A.S.A. were top underground hip hop artists including Kid Cudi, Talib Kweli, and The Cool Kids. Bassnectar was a hit on The Boombox main stage, starting his set just before midnight. On side stages, DJs took advantage of the more intimate tents to mix booming beats for the sweat-swapping ravers. Insomniac added to the atmosphere with costumed characters and dancers writhing in front of the stages including a troupe of silver-painted girls wearing nothing but pasties.
With no major incidents and 25,000 festival-goers happily driving home through the IE’s predawn light, Insomniac and raves won’t be going away any time soon.
photos by Brett Padelford