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As a way to find friends, make a statement, or just let one’s freak flag fly, totems have become increasingly popular and necessary at large music festivals. We at Insomniac love to see the crowds lit up with festive, fun flags; it adds to the visual effect, the fun, and even the humor of every party, while evoking a real sense of community.

As totems have become more popular in the dance community, the amount of time and level of skill put into these tribal crafts has become more complex and interesting. At this year’s two-day Countdown festival, our Headliners really pulled out all the stops with the creativity and technical skill involved in their totems, and we have the pictures to prove it. Here are some of our favorites.

Cool as…

We’re not sure what this 3D papier mâché replica of everyone’s favorite iced movie treat was supposed to connote, but it sure was cool. Let’s hope the group of Headliners who made it didn’t get newspaper stuck all over themselves. We sure enjoyed seeing their floating Icee bobbing through the crowd!

Not One, But Two Fully Articulated Countdown Clocks

This has to be one of the most surprising phenomena at Countdown this year. Two Headliners, or groups of Headliners, took it upon themselves to not only make elaborate totems, but totems that actually served a function. They had to be a bear to make. One cool clock had roman numerals and LED lights on the inside and looked, somehow, like the EDM version of Big Ben. The second had a glowing face that appeared to be lit from within and looked like some sort of otherworldly pocket watch made out of lava. If you couldn’t get your phone out quickly to see how much time there was until the big moment, these totems had your back—not to mention, they were visually stunning.

The Most Beautiful Dreamcatcher of All

Lighting up the night sky, and visible from almost anywhere, this dreamcatcher was hard at work both nights making sure dancers had wonderful visions (or dreams, in case they got sleepy). Quietly watching over the festivities with what looked like a disco ball in the center, this true piece of art helped instill a sense of peace and community.

A Trippier Clock

Though not telling the time per se, we think this flying clock, with its swirling nebula of lights, was super cool in its own right—and it was being carried by a chipmunk, as well! How many dancers followed this furry friend down the rabbit hole to 2017?

When the Bass Drops

Lit up by dozens of twinkles, this totem was simple in execution, but it spoke volumes. We all know and wait for that feeling. There was no shortage of bass drop moments at Countdown 2017, so we know you Headliners were making this face all night!

Now You’re Just Getting Vulgar

One of the more amusing totems, this holy (ahem) one used one of 2016’s most popular emojis to—we don’t know—incite a little humor? Maybe the bass drop totem and this little guy were in cahoots, and every time a beat dropped, they jumped up and down with their totem masters together. Sure, that’s a reasonable explanation.

Of Course, We Love Our Insomniac Totems

It’s always a great honor to see the big “I” in the sky, and we are truly humbled to see how many Headliners rocked the Insomniac logo on their totems. This shows that no matter what smaller group you belong to, you all feel part of the Insomniac tribe, which is so moving on this most transformative of holidays. Thank you so much, Headliners.



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