Insomniac’s Countdown NYE in Review

On December 31, 2018, Insomniac’s fifth-annual Countdown NYE event took place at the NOS Events Center in San Bernadino, California. As opposed to previous years, Countdown NYE was shortened from a two-day event to one night. The event featured four themed stages in order to maintain the large lineup.

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The abduction-themed festival took place on four stages, titled “Nebula”, “Mothership”, “Area 51”, and “Twilight Zone”. Area 51 was a Bassrush installment, backed by underground vibrations to enhance the set. In addition, Insomniac included several themed features, such as two Gravitron rides, extensive decorations, and a “Solar Flare Garden” to combat the cold weather.

Tïesto, Alison Wonderland, Snails, and Justin Martin rang in the new year with midnight sets. Last but not least, Zedd, RL Grime, Zomboy, and Shiba San closed the night. Some notable sets included Herobust, K?D, Alison Wonderland, and RL Grime.

Festival Favorites

Herobust is a cult-favorite among “bass-heads”, who find themselves craving a heavy-hitting industrial sound. Also, he is growing quickly in the EDM community through his energetic festival appearances: every time he plays his new single, “WTF”, the crowd ignites with energy.

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K?D was another Countdown favorite. His incredible visuals and stage presence made for an unforgettable experience. On the other hand, K?D has recently released a new single, titled “Fourth Impact” in collaboration with Rezz. Both artists’ signature sounds compliment each other and weave together to form an intense, electronic masterpiece.

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Alison Wonderland overflowed the main stage with festival-goers delivering a memorable midnight set. Moreover, her combination of the cello, vocals, visuals, and mixing skills were outstanding. For example, she featured a new unreleased song with Dillon Francis that excited the crowd for their upcoming tour.

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Lastly, RL Grime headlined the Nebula stage, and delivered past audience expectation. He began the set with the intro to his newest album “Nova”, which heavily inspired his performance. RL Grime was at the top of the list for many Countdown attendees, and he did not disappoint.

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The Experience

Insomniac made large efforts to create an outer-space themed environment. Most noteworthy, are some attractions including the “Solar Flare Garden”, a tin-foil-hat-making station, and beautiful art installments.

The Solar Flare Garden was very popular among guests, because it featured large flaming heaters. Therefore, hundreds gathered to enjoy the heat and beautiful environment.

Next, the hat-making station was a humorous and thoughtful touch to enhance the theme because the tent allowed attendees to create their own personal tin-foil hats to increase their chances of communicating with the incoming extraterrestrials–what a spectacle. Furthermore, groups of aliens could be found wandering around the venue and interacting with guests– some even shared “kandi” with festival goers.

Finally, the last highlight of the event was the “abduction” that occurred at midnight. Insomniac created an event in which the aliens abducted Alison Wonderland during her set, spewing confetti when the clock struck 12. Overall, Countdown NYE is a festival worth adding to bucket lists for those who love EDM in a fabulous environment.
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Paije Kantor

I am currently attending San Diego State University, working towards a Bachelor of Science degree in geology. However, EDM music has always been a passion of mine. I spend my free time curating playlists and attending festivals. My favorite EDM sub-genres are Hardstyle, Dubstep, and Future Bass.

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