9 Beyond Wonderland DJ sets to see at the San Bernardino music festival – San Bernardino County Sun

Insomniac’s two-day dance music festival Beyond Wonderland will bring Lewis Carroll vibes to San Bernardino when it transforms NOS Events Center into a series of stages with names like Queen’s Domain, Mad Hatter’s Castle, Caterpillar’s Garden and Cheshire Woods.

Musically, Beyond Wonderland, which returns March 22-23, draws from an eclectic array of dance music styles including trance, dubstep and house. The lineup includes a mix of big-name draws like Armin Van Buuren and Deadmau5 alongside up-and-coming artists. It’s a packed bill that will certainly keep festival-goers hopping between stages.

So who should you see? We’ve highlighted a few of this year’s can’t-miss artists:


1. Armin Van Buuren

Over the course of his more than 20-year career, Armin Van Burren has become one of the best-known DJs in the world. The Dutch DJ’s closely associated with trance – a genre of dance music that came to prominence in the ’90s and is experiencing a bit of a resurgence – and he’s hosted the syndicated radio show “A State of Trance” for the past 18 years. As a producer, he’s released a number of clubs hits. Most recently, Van Buuren teamed up with fellow trance stalwarts Above & Beyond for the track “Show Me Love,” which was released on March 1.

2. Rezz

Over the past few years, Canadian producer Rezz has won legions of fans for her dark beats that incorporate elements of techno and dubstep. Her 2017 debut album, “Mass Manipulation,” won Canada’s Juno Award for Electronic Album of the Year and she followed it up last August with the equally impressive “Certain Kind of Magic.” Rezz’s sound is as atmospheric as it is dance floor friendly; she can make you feel like you’re living out action flick adventures and video game boss battles in a single song.

3. Rusko

British producer Rusko rose to acclaim alongside the popularity of dubstep in the latter half of the ’00s, becoming influential on the sound of clubs and festivals in the years that followed. Rusko’s most recent EP, “Megarad,” is, in a way, a return to his roots. Tracks like “Squirrel Beta” and “Spatula” make use of quirky samples and bass-heavy sounds that recall his early hit “Cockney Thug.” Elsewhere, he incorporates styles like house and drum & bass into his productions, all of which comes together in clever, sometimes cheeky, ways.

4. Kristina Sky

Over the years, Angelenos may have caught Kristina Sky playing at venues like Avalon in Hollywood. The popular trance DJ and producer is an L.A.-native who came up in the local scene and has gone on to release her own music through influential labels like Ultra and Pure Trance. The latter is the home of her recent single, a collaboration with German producer Roger Shah called “Ocean Flame.” Sky also had the recent honor of contributing one of three DJ mixes for Pure Trance 7.

5. Jay Robinson

Based in North Wales, producer Jay Robinson has been crafting some of the stickiest jams to hit the dance floor for labels such as the influential Night Bass. Robinson, whose sound is primarily bass-heavy house, recently made his debut for Deadmau5’s label mau5trap. “Nineteen81” ties together a good chunk of dance music history into a track that sounds fresh and modern. Robinson’s star is certainly on the rise, so catch him now.


1. Deadmau5

There are few dance music artists who have attained celebrity status, but Deadmau5 is definitely one. The Canadian producer ushered in the EDM era while wearing a mouse mask and unleashing dance floor hits like “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” and “Sofi Needs a Ladder.” More recently, he has taken a turn towards film, having worked on the score for Jonas Åkerlund’s film “Polar.” He hasn’t left dance music, though. Deadmau5 also recently released “Mau5ville: Level 3,” the third installment in a series of EPs.

2. Cray

Local up-and-comer Cray brings an introspective pop sensibility to bass-influenced dance music with tracks like “Love Cemetery” and “Fractions.” She can turn out a stellar remix, too; check out her take on Billy Idol’s classic “White Wedding.” Fun fact: Cray is also a gamer who broadcasts frequently via Twitch.

3. Lady Faith

Few genres of dance music trigger as much of a workout as hardstyle. It’s fast and heavy, designed to make you jump rather than groove. Lady Faith is a master of hardstyle. Her sets are nearly-punishing cardio sessions and her tracks are filled with intense, pounding rhythms. Lady Faith’s most recent release, “Electric,” is a collaboration with Stephanie, who is also set to play Beyond Wonderland.

4. Sage Armstrong & J. Worra

House fans will want to dash over to the festival’s Cheshire Woods stage when DJs Sage Armstrong and J. Worra share the stage. Armstrong is something of a festival regular, having recently played events like Holy Ship! and Insomniac’s Countdown NYE. His appearance at Beyond Wonderland comes in the midst of a U.S. tour and just after the launch of Dumb Fat Records, his new label created in collaboration with Steady Rock and Franklyn Watts.

Meanwhile, J. Worra got her start in the house music capital of Chicago before settling in Los Angeles. Her profile has been steadily increasing with recent remixes for superstar producers like Kaskade and Deadmau5.

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