Believe it or not, there was a time when dance festivals weren’t part of the quintessential millennial experience, when they didn’t rack in major cash (or make any profit at all) and used to be seen as a subculture of music that was rather undesirable. Dance music in Los Angeles in the early ‘90s basically consisted of a bunch of underground, usually illegal, raves that is very far from what the mainstream culture knows of it today. Don’t believe me? Read this.
Insomniac’s Nocturnal Wonderland festival was one of the first massive, inclusive dance festivals to incapsulate the misunderstood genre in 1995. Now 20 years later, SoCal DJs and producers like Moby and The Crystal Method have come together to tell the unique story of the festival in the documentary “Dancing in the Dark.” It was also only filmed between the hours of 9 P.M. and 2 A.M., which if you think about it, that’s kind of amazing.
“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.”
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