The start of summer brings relaxed sunny days, long party nights, the feeling of absolute freedom but most importantly, the beginning of music festival season! While Coachella and EDC are two of the most popular music festivals they are babies in comparison to the mother of all music festivals, Tomorrowland.
Enter the world of Tomorrowland: an entire weekend filled with thousands of people from around the world getting to enjoy and dance to some of the best-known DJ’s, while simultaneously being a part of the most anticipated event of music festival season. Now that’s what I call a summer memory.
Beginning in 2005, Tomorrowland is held in the small city of Boom, Belgium every year. This small Belgium city, 16 kilometers south of Antwerp and 32 kilometers north of Brussels, makes for the perfect venue.
The festival is held in a massive open field along the Rupel River, though you wouldn’t know it with the elaborate stages and decorations made for the festival. Tomorrowland 2013 decorations varied from the regular lampposts were replaced with ones covered in golden flowers, the lakes were filled with fake fish that look as if they’re breathing fire, water jets and fog machines were installed, even live flowers were used to fill the stage area.
Tomorrowland first breathed life due to ID&T, the producer of Tomorrowland, and a conflict between offices. The ID&T Holland office have a more hardcore EDM festival, Mysteryland, would not allow Belgium a Mysteryland festival of its own because of the proximity to Amsterdam. In response, the Belgian ID&T office created Tomorrowland, which is known for its distinct, softer EDM reputation.
Since its start in 2005. Tomorrowland has grown exponentially in attendance.
Rising from 10,000 revelers in 2005 to 180,000 in 2010. Then during 2014, Tomorrowland had its largest amount of visitors reaching up to 400,000 when the festival was extended another weekend.
Due to its rise in popularity Tomorrowland was sold to SFX, an American EDM promoter that owns hundreds of popular EDM festivals.
At the International Dance Music Awards in 2012 Tomorrowland was named the best festival of its kind in the world. The 185,000 people who traveled to experience the festival represented more than 75 countries. That year there were 400 DJs scheduled to perform on 15 stages a day.
Due to the success of Tomorrowland, especially after Tomorrowland 2012, ID&T Belgium and SFX Entertainment decided to extend a broader reach and announced the coming of the American version of Tomorrowland, TomorrowWorld.
September 27-29, 2013 marked opening weekend for the highly anticipated event. Rooted in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia over 140,000 people attended the festival’s premier. This spot, located 48 kilometers southwest of Atlanta, was specifically selected due to its similarity of the original Tomorrowland in Boom.
Tomorrowland has become one of the world’s largest, if not the biggest EDM music festival. Belgium ID&T and SFX Entertainment have expanded even further by debuting a Tomorrowland in Brazil.
Its opening weekend was May 1-3, 2015 in Sao Paulo.
Bringing in thousands of people from around the world gives Tomorrowland a cultural diversity not usually seen in any other festival. According to Steve Aoki, a DJ who performed during Tomorrowland 2013, “Tomorrowland is my favorite festival. People hold up their flags 12 hours a day, making sure everyone sees. When I look out there and see that, it’s a really amazing feeling.”