Following in the footsteps of the Electric Daisy Carnival, festival founder and Insomniac Events CEO Pasquale Rotella has revealed that his company will launch Las Vegas editions of its popular Southern California festivals Beyond Wonderland and Nocturnal Wonderland.
The announcement came in an open letter posted to Rotella’s Facebook page early this morning addressing concerns over the future of the Wonderland festivals, whose Southern California editions have begun to outgrow the 65,000-person capacity San Manuel Amphitheater in Bakersfield, Calif., where the events have been held in recent years.
Unlike EDC, which relocated from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in 2011 amid safety concerns, Rotella stressed that the new Las Vegas festivals will not replace their current versions but rather serve as expansions to accommodate popular demand while new SoCal venues are being sought.
Dates and locations for the Las Vegas versions of Nocturnal Wonderland, traditionally held in September, and Beyond Wonderland, held in March, were not disclosed, though Rotella confirmed that EDC will remain at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The part-time Las Vegan and husband of Holly Madison also revealed a partnership with a new, to-be-named local venue to host future Insomniac events in Las Vegas.
“We have an amazing new venue to announce in Las Vegas (EDC is staying at Las Vegas Motor Speedway), but anything that takes place in this new venue will be in addition to — not in place of — anything that happens in SoCal,” Rotella wrote. “We are going to launch a Beyond and a Nocturnal Wonderland in Vegas. Of course we hope you can join us at all our shows, and, as always, we’ll continue to bring magical and memorable experiences to each and every venue!”
With its burgeoning nightclub scene and A-list DJs, Las Vegas continues to emerge as new but fertile ground for dance music festivals to thrive. Attendance at EDC Las Vegas has more than doubled since its Los Angeles days, drawing an estimated 345,000 attendees over the course of its three days last June and injecting more than $621 million into the local economy, while the popular European dance music festival Sensation also expanded to Las Vegas last fall with a date at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The single-day Beyond Wonderland and two-day Nocturnal Wonderland, founded in 2010 and 1995, respectively, may be less popular than their massive sister festival at LVMS, but they’re not far behind, with each drawing about 50,000 attendees.
Still, response from fans about the move to Las Vegas has been mixed, with some commenters on the Facebook post incredulous of Insomniac’s expansion.
“I appreciate everything you're doing, Pasquale, but adding Beyond and Nocturnal, in my opinion, is just easy money for you. Adding Nevada to Beyond and Nocturnal sites is going to take the unique ‘California’ vibe away,” wrote one fan. “Literally, people from Nevada can easily drive down to SoCal in a few hours to experience Beyond/Nocturnal ... EDC is acceptable to be global, but now Nocturnal and Beyond? That's just going to bring the wrong crowd for the wrong reasons.”
While details on the new fests remain to be seen, the countdown to EDC Las Vegas continues: The dance music bash returns to LVMS for a fourth year from June 20-22, with the industry-oriented EDMbiz conference and a new dance music awards show taking place during the surrounding EDC Week of events.