Amplif[ie]d | Insomniac Countdown NYE 2015

By: Katrina Honer

Every year, the inevitable question is always asked, “What are you doing for New Year’s?”

And for me, every year I have always said “watch the ball drop,” (on TV of course), or “I’m not sure.” So far, my New Year’s Eve celebrations have always ended up with me knocking out cold the second the clock struck 12:01a.m.


This year I was one of the 30,000 festival goers who decided to end 2015 with a real bang at Insomniac’s Countdown NYE music festival at the National Orange Show in San Bernardino.

Ten hours, 30 artists and three massive stages spanned over 60 acres of land made this one of the largest attended New Year’s Eve parties in the Inland Empire. With a party that began at 4:30p.m. and didn’t end into the New Year at 2a.m., believe me when I say you will find plenty to do.

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Since my friends and I have a tendency to be fashionably late, we arrived at the festival, courtesy of a $10 shuttle service from an Insomniac sponsored hotel, at 8p.m. Thousands of festival goers dressed in the most unique rave gear including LED clothing, costumes of all kinds, fuzzy leg warmers and even Onesie pajamas adorned the entrance gates. Even more so were attendees who made their unique totem poles to capture the attention of their favorite DJs. I was dressed as Minnie Mouse, and my two other friends happened to be Wonder Woman and cozy bear for the evening.

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We were ushered through a series checkpoints where security first checked our bags and then scanned our registered wristbands upon entry to the venue.

As we finally made it past the last round of security checks, it was if we were transported to an illuminated night circus. Stilt walkers and oversized puppets magically weaved in and out of the crowd stopping for anyone who wanted a selfie. Tea lights adorned every tree in sight, illuminating the walkway toward endless tents of merchandise, food and open bars.


As we our way to the biggest stage at the venue, the Resolution Stage, to watch Yellow Claw perform his set, we couldn’t help but smile at the indoor ice skating rink in the Citrus Building where attendees skated along to the beats of Cats n’ Boots. Considering I was not dressed or prepared to fall on ice, my friends and I kept walking.


For there being well over 1000s of music lovers at each stage, making our way to the very front of each stage was no issue at all. A simple “excuse me” had my friends and I dancing inches from DJs including Alison Wonderland and Trippy Turtle.


Those who purchased VIP tickets were given the red carpet treatment. In a heated tent off to the side of the Resolution Stage, VIP attendees had their own New Year’s Eve themed photo booths, endless complimentary grilled cheese sandwiches and tater tots from The Grilled Cheese Truck, a chocolate and s’mores bar, glow-in-the-dark swag and ample bottles of bubbly to prepare for the New Year countdown.


A kandi bracelet making station allowed attendees to decorate their selves in creative bracelets to swap throughout the night with others using the well-known handshake “PLUR” (Peace, Love, Unity and Respect). I made new friends and received cool bracelets of my own. Should attendees get tired of dancing, plush couches allowed party goers to rest in comfort and style. A raised platform also allowed VIPs a crystal clear view of the stage above everyone else.

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With only 15 minutes left until the New Year, my friends and I rushed to the Infinity stage to see TJR ring it in. Digitals clocks counting down the seconds appeared on the jumbo screens. As soon as the clock hit zero, screams drowned out the music, strangers and friends shared kisses and hugs as confetti cannons went off and rained down on every inch of the dance floor.


The grand finale of the evening was Kaskade’s performance where it seemed every attendee stormed the tent to dance the last hours of the rave away. Once again my friends and I made it to the very front of the stage where we couldn’t believe that just as quickly as 2015 came to end, 2016 was just beginning.

After an evening of celebration, countless plastic cups of vodka and champagne and ground shaking beats, the music finally faded, the lights turned on and as my friends and I walked our aching feet back to the shuttles with other attendees to call it a night (or better yet a morning), I couldn’t help but smile and think what 2016 has in store for me.


Want to attend the next upcoming Insomniac music festival? Stay up to date with upcoming festivals by checking their website here.

Free downloads of each artists’ set from Countdown NYE can be accessed on SoundCloud here.


Full Disclosure: Festival tickets were provided complimentary by Insomniac, however all opinions are 100% our own.