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Event Review: Escape Halloween 2022

Article By: Chris Savoie


Credit: Kristina Bakrevski for Insomniac Events

Escape Halloween has been Insomniac’s Halloween festival since 2011 and has never disappointed since its inception. This year Insomniac once again upped the ante to celebrate Halloween 2022. With a stacked lineup featuring names like Black Tiger Sex Machine, Martin Garrix, Tiesto and Subtronics, there was something for everyone’s music taste. With two days of music, four main stages, two hidden stages, Crazy Town and amazingly spooky vibes, it was another wildly successful festival for ravers. Based on my personal experience, I’ve explained my scores for the production, music and venue, and provided an overall grade for the event.


The Production: 9 / 10


With every Insomniac event, the production is going to be next level. Each stage — The Grimm, Feeding Grounds, Sanitarium and Sewer District — all had great visuals, lasers, ambiance, sound and pyrotechnics.

The main stage, The Grimm, was closed out by two massive names: Marshmello on Day 1 and Tiesto on Day 2. The production at this stage was amazing as always. Featuring its signature grim reaper behind the DJ booth, accompanied by lasers, dancers and pyrotechnics, this stage got people hyped the second they entered. The grim reaper moving its arms around the artist throughout the sets got the crowd cheering every time. While hosting some of the biggest names of the weekend, like Alesso, Eric Prydz, and Oliver Heldens, the stage did not feel or look like it was too crowded. Everything from the main stage was amazing.


Feeding Grounds was home to the bass heads for the festival, hosted by Bassrush on Day 1 and Audiotistic on Day 2. With acts from Black Tiger Sex Machine, Subtronics, Getter and the debut of SAYMYNITTI, a collab of SAYMYNAME and Nitti Gritti, this stage had you headbanging, dancing and singing all night long. It featured production that made us feel like we were in a cave in hell with a giant hanging spider above us — and of course more lasers and pyrotechnics. If you like bass in your face, it was hard to leave this stage.


Credit: Shea Flynn for Insomniac Events

Sanitarium had a different vibe each day. Day 1 was hosted by Basscon for hardstyle fans, and Day 2 was hosted by Night Trip for the house heads. It featured sets from Radical Redemption, Da Tweekaz, Bob Moses, and the one and only Diplo. The crowd was dancing and shuffling like crazy both nights. Spookier than the other stages, this stage was darker and had lights and lasers to enhance the vibes.


Sewer District was hosted both nights by Factory93 and the techno was bumping. Blessing the stage were sets from Marco Carola, Meduza, Nina Kraviz and Deborah De Luca. This stage was unique in that it was open air while the others were under a tent. It was packed from open to close with techno fans vibing all night.


Each stage stood out with amazing Halloween vibes. There was no sound bleeding and everything was incredible. I am giving the production a 9 out of 10 this year.


Music: 9.5 / 10


This year’s Escape featured one of the most talented lineups that I can remember. There was something for the bass heads, house heads, techno fans and hardstyle kids. Both days had a slew of must-see acts, and from 4 pm to 2 am it was hard to find time to sit down and eat without missing an amazing artist. It is hard for me to give a perfect score, but Escape’s amazing music this year earns a 9.5 out of 10 for being loaded with talent from multiple different genres.


Credit: Ivan Meneses for Insomniac Events

Venue: 9 / 10


NOS Event Center is the go-to venue for almost every California-based Insomniac event, and many ravers are quite familiar with it already, but it’s what Insomniac does with the space that makes it amazing. As always, they went all out for Halloween, starting with Crazy Town, a little pocket of the festival that has fortune tellers, a lion tamer, acrobats, magicians and singers — it really evoked the psycho circus theme.

On the walk into the festival, there was a cathedral with dancers and shows where one could sit and watch. Next to that was a silent disco dressed up as a graveyard called the Damsel Macabre.


Then there were two secret stages that looked like walking into a haunted maze. The first was called the Poison Ivy Club. People handed out 3D glasses as you entered this club and there was a giant poison ivy plant in the middle with 3D paint everywhere. Music was bumping and drinks were flowing.


The second was called The Butcher, which had a much darker vibe. When you walked in there were dead bodies in bags hanging from the ceiling and body parts hanging all around with a butcher cutting people. Listening to techno in a black-and-red-themed room, it was surely a Halloween vibe.


Insomniac went all out with its psycho circus theme this year. It was so impressive, I can't even touch on all of it — an easy 9 out of 10 this year.


Overall Grade: 9.5 / 10


Halloween and Escape go hand in hand for SoCal ravers and Insomniac fans around the world, and this year was no different. From incredible stages, top-of-the-line music acts, and a spooky ambiance throughout the venue, there was something to see, do and listen to everywhere you went. The overall grade for this year's Escape is a huge 9.5 out of 10, because it is hard to find something wrong with this year’s festival. It makes me want to count down the days until next year’s event. I know I will be there, and hopefully, I’ll see you there too!