Halloween’s coolest maze was found at Escape: Psycho Circus this year

Credit: aLIVE Coverage for Insomniac

For several years now, the creatures of the light and night descend upon San Bernardino’s NOS Event Center for Escape: Psycho Circus. The two-day music festival offers performances from some of the best DJs in the world, including Tiësto, Zedd, Afrojack, and so much more. In addition, the festival features some interactive 3D art installations, amusement rides, and ghoulish performers roaming the grounds. In other words, it’s a devilish mix of Halloween Horror Nights and Electric Daisy Carnival.

Although this year’s lineup of DJs is the festival’s best yet, The Asylum is by far the festival’s biggest surprise. Considering this is my first year at Escape: Psycho Circus, I didn’t know what to expect when I first heard about The Asylum. After all, a haunted maze at an EDM festival? How good could it really be?

The answer is really good.

If you had the opportunity to squeeze in The Asylum in your busy schedule then you’re one of the lucky ones. The 32,000 square-foot maze features 120 actors, 30 distinct rooms, and 25 sound systems. It’s easily one of the most immersive mazes you’ll experience this year. Seriously, the production value of The Asylum is insane.

Credit: Jake West for Insomniac

When you first enter the ward, you’re led to an area where you begin to dress with a straight-jacket. Afterwards, you walk towards the medication window where you’re given a pill (Sweet Tarts) and are given a mask that you’ll wear throughout the experience. Finally, a guard escorts you to a dark padded cell where a fellow inmate begins your journey.

What happens next is a mixture of movie-quality sets with 360° special effects. Each of the 30 environments revolves around a certain theme within Escape. There’s the Tea Party Room where the Mad Hatter and his cohorts are eating Alice. Then there’s also another room where evil clowns roam the circus grounds. In other words, it’s Alice in Wonderland and a circus from hell.

The best thing about the experience is how it really feels as if you’re a patient that’s going insane. Especially when you’re going through the entire maze with a straight jacket and mask on. It’s widely known how much Insomniac’s Pasquale Rotella is a fan of Disney. It’s awesome to see Rotella emulate Disney’s theatrics onto this maze.

Even though only a number of people were brave enough to sacrifice their schedule for The Asylum, the experience is worth it. Who knew that you could find an awesome Halloween maze at an EDM festival. Then again, that’s just how Insomniac rolls.

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