SoCal – Escape – Psycho Circus

by | Nov 15, 2016 | EVENTS, REVIEWS

A weekend filled with Hooligans


The much-anticipated Escape Psycho Circus, over the Halloween weekend, October 28th and 29th, held at the NOS (National Orange Show) Events Center in San Bernardino Ca, brought creativity, imagination, frights and scares. Nocturnal Wonderland 2010 was the last time I set foot at the NOS and I was excited to walk the grounds again. We arrived as a big group geared up with our many totems ready to enjoy the festival.

Upon Day-1 entrance through the VIP, we were handed various goodies, flyers, and a lanyard attached artists set time. We proceeded to walk through and to the right of us were mini set ups of tents, lights, games, and rides. The scenery was quaint and had a 1920’s circus vibe.

My agenda for was to simply explore, talk to a few performer friends and check out the maze. A feeling as if I was frolicking the whole time and that’s how good the vibe felt.  While the sun was still out, we ventured and hung out dancing in the main stage, Slaughterhouse tent, to some Rell The Soundbender, then to the Ghouls Graveyard and off to the merry-go-round ride at Psycho Circus.

As the sun was setting, performers dressed as vintage clowns gave an array of life to the ambience making you feel more part of your surrounding.  Giddy and immersed, my jaw hurt from smiling from so much awe.  As I turned to look at my best friend Karttie, she had a smile just as big, capturing that very moment to ourselves and saying “I’m high on life right now”, which pretty much set the tone for that weekend.

Back at the Slaughterhouse, I made sure to take many pictures of spooky performers and of many amazing costumes while I went as Bulma from the Dragonball-Z anime.  Snapping and catching moments, the thumping sound of the bassbin suddenly pulled me in, and just like that, I was taken away as Benny Benassi amazed us all, but once he played ‘Satisfaction’, everyone lost it and danced as hard as they could.

We needed a break and met with our friend Kanya who was working at the maze.  Located at the Escape Asylum, we approached what looked like a prison with guard towers; screaming obscenities was a man leading us to a gated nurse station. One by one, you were strapped into a straight jacket and black hockey mask with ‘Escape’ written placed on us to wear. From there, you were sent on your own to see what mischief awaits.  We ran the maze laughing, screaming and dodging anything that might scare us.  One of the rooms was a grim tea party scene and sitting on a swing was my friend Kanya dressed as a battered ‘Alice’.  She had to stay in character but I was so happy just to see her.  We left feeling very entertained and wanted to walk the maze again.

I did not get to hang out with Kanya but chatted a bit.  This was her first time working for Insomniacs, as well as her first rave. Kanya has been performing as an actress/model for about a year now.  You can already catch her on various shows, music videos, modeling or skating in Venice.  She is one of my biggest motivators and how could you not be inspired with a motto like “no legs no limits”.

It was just about time to meet up with other friends and rave fams for a photo op.  We had the pleasure of meeting Leiel Hazut and his girlfriend Caitlin.  They were both super humble down to earth people.  Leiel was performing the next day in a group called Sweet & Low which comprised of himself and Shahar Aframian; opening at the Ghoul’s Graveyard.  There is nothing that boost my gratitude more for an artist than the one’s as genuine as Leiel and I was not going to miss his set.

The night dwindled with more dancing and an epic close out set by Eric Prydz with some amazing views from the VIP section while enjoying Prydz’s best—‘Generate’, ‘Opus’ and a remix of ‘Personal Jesus’ (always a favorite of mine).  The night could not have ended on a better note.

Onto Day-2, we made sure to catch Sweet & Low. Early on, people usually just stand around but not this time as they delivered with a handful of nostalgia and funky beats; to which by the end of their set, I was pumped and ready for the night. Meeting up with friends for more photo ops, we proceeded to check out Cannibal’s Tea Party hosted by Factory 93.  I was happy to see Doc Martin playing which brought back the days when I first started raving in the 90’s.

We decided to make our way to the Slaughterhouse to catch Duke Dumont prior to Tiesto.  We planned out our positons so we can be in eye’s sight for Tiesto who was about to come out as we were ready to display my best friend Karttie’s funniest totems which reads,

“Back in my day Tiesto made Trance”

Everyone seemed to love it and the wait finally came to an end as the intro started.  Out came the man of the hour, Tiesto, as he saw the totem and smiled.  Acknowledging and pointing at us, he thanked everyone.  During his set, he dropped some trance on us; we all looked at each other in amazement.  Did we just make him play Trance? As we tried to leave, he kept drawing us back like a ‘cat and mouse’ game of ‘…here’s some trance oh no it’s not…’, it was pretty funny.  Our friend Ashley brought the totem to the front and as Tiesto’s set was closing, he threw his headphones out particularly for her to catch but sadly bounced out her hand.  It was ‘ok’ though we knew he wanted her to have them from the appreciation of the totem.

We took a break before Kaskade, the man I have been waiting to see! However though, as we started to walk towards the body of water near the entrance to rest our feet, we made our way past Cannibal’s Tea Party and spotted the godfather himself, Pasquale Rotella and his beautiful wife Holly Madison right before our eyes!  We were all excited and honestly, I was a little shy.  We all took pictures though mine was a little blurry but I didn’t mind.  He was actually very sweet and Holly was so cute making kissy faces in the photos.  That was definitely one for the books!

The night couldn’t have ended any better as we headed toward the main stage for Kaskade!  We traveled with our group hand-in-hand, reaching our way closer and closer to the stage.  I knew I would be dancing a lot and probably cry too.  As beautiful luster of lights shined, I was ready. Something about this mans music drew me in as he opened up with “Beneath With Me”.  I felt each song as a story that hits home, especially with my favorite “Last Chance”.  At that moment this was my church.  Looking over to my best friend, I gave her a hug, sung along as he kept dropping all our favorites ones after another.  Closing with “Something Something” I did not want to leave but WOW what a perfect way to end the night.

Till next time Escape! Now the road to Dreamstate SoCal awaits.

-Renee Morales

CLICK HERE for more pics of the event courtesy of Escape Psycho Circus