Nocturnal Wonderland is Insomniac’s longest-running festival. Sustaining from its origin days in the L.A. underground through the modern rise of EDM, Nocturnal has provided thousands of people with countless special moments and just as many stories.
To commemorate the 20th anniversary and capture the event’s incredible history and cultural impact, Insomniac has produced Dancing in the Dark: 20 Years of Nocturnal Wonderland. We interviewed members of the dance music community who were there at the inception of Nocturnal and who have witnessed the growth of the festival and the dance music scene at large throughout the past two decades. The documentary also features artists including Moby, 12th Planet, DJ Tatiana, Jason Bentley, Kennedy Jones, Bunny from Rabbit in the Moon, and many other seminal figures from the SoCal rave world.
“What we tried to show is that the scene has been around for a long time,” says one of the film’s producers, “and that it’s changed dramatically in some ways, and in some ways it’s still the same.”
To accurately capture the mood of the event, Dancing in the Dark was shot exclusively at night, between the hours of 9pm and 2am. The documentary took a month to produce and includes extensive archival footage from some of the first Nocturnals.
Dancing in the Dark features appearances by Moby, 12th Planet, Bunny, Rabbit in the Moon, Jason Bentley, Kennedy Jones, Christopher Lawrence, Ron D Core, The Crystal Method, Donald Glaude, DJ Dan, VJ Tek, DJ Oscure, Simply Jeff, DJ Tatiana, and FreQ Nasty.