For decades, Euro-ravers have worshipped the DJ gods dropping the beats on the festival circuit. And in recent years, electronic music has exploded worldwide with the launch of US-based EDM events such as Miami’s Ultra Music Festival and the multi-city Electric Daisy Carnival. But Tomorrowland is arguably the best of the bunch.
What sets Tomorrowland apart from the rest is its storybook setting and immersive nature. Described as trippy Technicolor fantasies, stages undergo seamless transformations with a well-executed attention to detail. In this case, seeing is believing. In 2011, the “Alice in Wonderland” theme translated into a real-life journey down the rabbit hole with live characters, real waterfalls, next-level pyrotechnics, and life-size mushrooms that catapulted stage design to new heights. The extravaganza’s location in De Schorre National Park’s rolling, country landscape even played a part, including a floating platform on a lake. The Kingdom of Melodia served as 2015’s theme, with a super detailed fairytale castle known as the Castle of Melodia, that formed the main stage.
At Tomorrowland, there is an entire world to explore and two consecutive weekends to do it in, but don’t expect to see it all. Adopt a relaxed pace, and aim to visit just a handful of the 20-plus stages. While world-renowned DJs are what draw the crowds, underground music heroes often steal the show. Stages change into whimsical castles, bookcases, and cobras. Just walking the grounds is an adventure, especially at night when lights, lasers, and fire animate the grounds. But Tomorrowland isn’t just a sight for the eyes, it’s a feast for the ears: A world-class sound system delivers heart-stopping bass to refined highs. Keep some earplugs in your pocket.
Tomorrowland’s vision is set to spread worldwide. The debut of Tomorrow World in Atlanta in September 2013 was hopefully the first of many welcome international expansions. It’s a mad blowout with great music, and something to experience if you are lucky enough to score that golden ticket.