In life, superlatives are often-over used. “The best ever…” or “Nothing else like it..” or FOMO. Yet in the context of electronic dance music, ‘Tomorrowland’ is the superlative – and once you’ve experienced it, there’s no comparison. You’ll come back a tad poorer in the wallet, but a ton richer in the soul, mind, beer gut and Facebook friends list.
Quick Fact: 180,000 visitors will immerse themselves in a magical world.
Quick Fact: Tomorrowland offers rentable mansions
2016 sees the twelfth edition of Tomorrowland arrive in Boom, Belgium – a quiet town nestled between Antwerp and Brussels, and arguably one of my favorite words in the English language. Google “Boom Belgium” and Tomorrowland’s link resides atop the results. BOOM! This global music festival has put Boom on the map and for four days a year turns it into one of the most magical places on Earth; celebrating Belgians’ long history and affection for electronic dance music (EDM) while welcoming revelers from around the world.
WHERE: BOOM, BELGIUM | WHEN: JULY 22-JULY 24, 2016
TICKETS: €272,50 | CAMPING: YES
WEBSITE: OFFICIAL WEBSITE
Tomorrowland tickets are, for a better word, fucking difficult to obtain. Demand outstrips supply by words normally used to describe distances between planets. Only the lucky few obtain tickets at face value and, given those odds, should also try their hand in playing the LOTTO too! Luck aside, and money upfront, tickets can still be bought through sites like Viagogo for a premium. Yet YOLO – and if EDM is your thing, trust me on this -> you won’t regret it.
“Tomorrowland’s incomparability lies in its ability to bring different cultures, ages, sexes and beliefs into a common place, physically and spiritually, through one true love: electronic dance music” said Scotty Moore Founder of FestPop
Its sheer size with a dozen plus stages gives up-and-coming artists the chance of some face time, not the Facebook varietal, with the global EDM community, whilst the larger stages allows established global DJs the ultimate platform to ply their trade and truly lose themselves in their passion with their fans, new and veteran alike. And stars you’ll see. This year’s headliners include Kaskade, Armin van Buuren, Alesso, Eric Prydz, Tiesto, David Guetta – maybe it’s easier to write who is not playing!
Quick fact: Tomorrowland 2010’s anthem hit #5 on the Belgian charts
Quick fact: You could have gone to Tomorrowland for free at one pointIn 2005, Tomorrowland took place for the first time. Like most first-time events, the festival struggled to sell tickets. Consequently, ID&T gave away many free tickets to bring in a bigger audience. Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, and Chuckie all played at the inaugural Tomorrrowland.
Your supplied bracelet will contribute to the aura of the moment, where colors and pulsation are the name of the game. Tomorrowland is a cashless festival where you pre-load money on that bracelet – like Disneyland. So one less thing you’ll lose is your wallet. Your mobile? Well, odds aren’t in your favor as you try and possibly capture the moment, the essence, the vibe or periscope to your friends to invoke instant inevitable envy. Goddamnit why isn’t there an app to capture smell you might ask? You might very lose it. The phone I mean. Or go old school. Stop by the post office. Yes, the post office! And take advantage of the free postcards to mail to friends and family. Ok, friends. Interactivity is a given as your bracelet tunes into the music and creates an orchestrated cacophony with all attendees that reinforces your energy and dance. You think it’s cool when Christmas lights blink in unison? How can you not dance when your bracelet is? There’s even a touch of the future in that bracelet. See a gal or lad you fancy from afar, previous festivals have allowed a mere pass of the wand, err bracelet, against one another for instant companionship. Well, a new Facebook friend at least.
Quick fact: This year’s bracelets let you add Facebook friends
But if you and your new friend really want a provocative status update, if you want a calmer, more “private” residence-like experience with a manageable 35,000 others or so; where you will obtain the true, full ‘Tomorrowland experience’, is Dreamville. While the skies truly illuminate from the almost 200,000 attendance of revelers and their bracelets at the festival, Dreamville is a mythical town custom-built by the Mad Hatter’s disciples himself every year and plays home to this “exclusive” group of party-goers, located about a 10 minute walk from the festival (or a 30 minutes crawl return). Everything you need is available at Dreamville: mobile chargers, hairdressers, international cuisine specializing in lobster and caviar, mixologist drinks, clean toilets and hot showers… oh and not to mention their exclusive invite to the pre-party…Dreamville invented glamping for camping. Sit back, stand up, fall asleep, twerk away, status update – do what you want in this fantasy land as you paid a premium for it. While there, don’t forget to pick up your daily newspaper, hand delivered as your morning wake-up call at 9 am from a 5 musician brass-band on a QUINT – you really can’t make this up! No, I didn’t know what a Quint was either. Bing it. And if you haven’t seen a walk of shame in a fantasy land, well no imagination is necessary.
And then there’s night. When the sun goes down, to quote Robin Schulz if you don’t actually see him on stage, a new universe appears. With the dark moon hidden in the black, the true magic of LED appears. And what magic it is. Euphoria is elusive for many but guaranteed by being center-stage of Tomorrowland with 35,000 people looking at a ten story custom-built stage light-up the night sky with synchronized to EDM fireworks as the bass genuinely resonates your soul – that moment needs to be felt live to have lived. Energy defined. Red bull unnecessary. You’ll be asking yourself soon who turned on the lights, only to realize you’re experience dawn. And it’s time to rest rinse and repeat.
If this piece of analog description isn’t sufficient, rest assured as far as festivals go the organization is second to none, as is their marketing. A quick look on YouTube at Tomorrowland after-movie’s from the last several years illustrate all you need to know about just how magical this is. Hollywood and Milan alike should set-up on site just to import the imagination which will be on exhibit from the elaborate and captivating costumes and outfits donned by the most exhibitionist of guests. Voyeurs welcomed with enthusiasm at Tomorrowland.
Music unites people. Tomorrowland unites music. If you choose any festival this year there’s one clear choice. Tomorrowland 2016 will be shit-hot. Be part of the history. Be part of Tomorrowland. But don’t be apart.
ARMIN VAN BUUREN
AXWELL Λ INGROSSO
BONZAI ALL STARSBOUNTYHUNTER
FEDDE LE GRAND
FERRY CORSTEN PRES GOURYELLA
JOHANNES BRECHT (LIVE)
KARMON B2B NTFO
KOLLEKTIV TURMSTRASSE (LIVE)
M.E.G. & N.E.R.A.K.
Written by FestPop Sr. Editor Michael Bayle