There are way more than 8 reasons to love Tomorrowland Festival. Tomorrowland is truly unlike any other festival I have EVER been to and is the best festival I’ve ever done! From start to finish it’s absolutely incredible, no amount of photos, blog posts or YouTube after movies can do it justice. It’s SPECTACULAR! Here are just a handful, my top 8 reasons why I love Tomorrowland Festival.
#1 The Ticket Chests & Wristbands
Even before the festival begins, Tomorrowland pulls out all the stops with its ticket chests and wristbands. They truly sets the tone for what is to come! Ticket chests & wristbands get sent out to all attendees a couple of months before the festival in the mail. FYI > they go to whatever address you put on your ticket pre-registration application. Each year the chests change completely to match and introduce the theme for that ‘chapter’ of the Tomorrowland journey. Having been to Tomorrowland 4x, I’ve been able to experience a variety of ticket chests. Every year they were totally different and seemed to get more and more elaborate .
2014 – Theme = The Key to Happiness. The 10th Anniversary of Tomorrowland and so was bound to be a biggy! Boxes opened with an intricate metal key to reveal ornate colourful wristbands. The wristbands had lights built in to illuminate during certain performances on stage!
2015 – Theme = The Secret Kingdom of Melodia. The ticket chest contained a music box which could be wound up with a special key hidden in the box and played a melodic tune as you opened it!
2016 – Theme = Elixir of Life. The chests were a cylinder containing a small pocket watch of lip/body balm along with an amazing embossed leather festival wristband.
2017 – Theme = Amicorum Spectaculum. The chests looked like an old school circus or theatre stage. Not only that, they had clockwork acrobats which moved when you spun a dial on the back of the box!
#2 The Campsite – Dreamville, Magnificent Greens
I’ve camped in Dreamville (also known as Magnificent Greens) every time I’ve been to Tomorrowland. It’s the best festival campsite I have ever stayed in. There’s plenty of space between tents, so you don’t feel you are sat ontop of your neighbours. Throughout the campsite, main designated paths are wide and covered/boarded to avoid the dreaded soggy, mud baths of over-trodden ground!
Dreamville has what they call ‘The Village’. This central zone contains shops, bars, a bakery, a butcher, a hair salon, the festival radio station, a supermarket, a camping shop and various food vendors. They also have heaps of tables and places to sit as well as FREE WIFI! They even have pre-erected BBQs for you to use throughout the festival. These are perfect for after a trip to the campsite butcher having bought a tray of pre-marinated meat! If that wasn’t enough, there’s even a ‘Chill Zone’. It has hammocks, beanbags, beach volleyball, games and lots of other things too!
It’s not just facilities that are next level. The campsite has manned, easy to find information towers in case you ever needed help from festival staff. Staff members also walk around the campsite during the day and in the evenings. They do general tasks like help collecting rubbish and recycling, handing out sun cream and bin bags. They do more pastoral roles like chatting to people camping alone and checking on those that have drunk too much. Not only that, they go around with a mallet securing loose tent pegs so they don’t fly away!
#3 The Music
I don’t claim to be a huge EDM or Dance Music fan, but there is something about the music at Tomorrowland which will convert anyone. There are some pretty hardcore trance, EDM, dance or house stages that play music which isn’t really my cup of tea. However many of the artists at Tomorrowland play mainstream pop or rock music and give it a special Tomorrowland twist. Steve Aoki did a remix of the Titanic movie theme tune one year which made the whole crowd go from… ‘what the hell’ to ‘hell yeh’!
In amongst the incredible atmosphere with hundreds of thousands of people, those drops just seem to shake the earth. You honestly suddenly find your are totally loving a track, artist or music genre you never thought you would!
Someone who I discovered at Tomorrowland on a smaller stage is Australian DJ, Timmy Trumpet. He has since gone on to perform on the main stage with bigger/later sets but is equally as amazing. He plays a trumpet live on stage and uses brass and other jazz elements in his incredible EDM mixes!
#4 The People
The people that go to Tomorrowland are also in a league of their own. Not just for their crazy festival fashion, all-night raving abilities, or incredible festival hair and makeup. But also for their warmth, friendliness, positivity and inclusive attitude! Some of the nicest, most genuine people I have met at festivals have been at Tomorrowland. I think that because it’s so bloody hard to get tickets for Tomorrowland, once you are there, you embrace and enjoy it that little bit more! There are more cultures, ethnicities and creeds at Tomorrowland than I have seen at any other festival COMBINED! It’s a festival which truly unites people from all the other world, who come together to escape whatever their reality. Even if just for a couple of days!
#5 The Tomorrowland Stages
Three words sum up the Tomorrowland stages… HOLY SHIT INCREDIBLE!
The stages are something out of a fantasy it’s honestly mind-blowing. Forget main stage Glastonbury, Boomtown, Sziget or any other festival for that matter, the Tomorrowland main stage blows every other stage out the park. Combine animatronics, moving parts, lights, lasers, live theatre, fireworks, and dancers – not to mention just how bloody huge the stage actually is, it still doesn’t do it justice!
The main stage at Tomorrowland is ENORMOUS, about the length of a football pitch (if not more), and sits at the bottom of a bowl-shaped field so that whether you are front left, in the middle, or towards the back of the crowd, you still have an epic view of the stage. These incredible stages change every year due to a different theme! So all the work, craftsmanship and imagination that goes into them only lasts for the duration of the festival, then it’s all re-thought and re-designed for the ‘next chapter the following year! HOW EPIC IS THAT?
It’s not just the main stage that is visually spectacular. Tomorrowland has incredible smaller stages – and there are LOTS of them! There is the ‘Opera Stage’, an epic stage which has a balcony level to make you feel like you are at the theatre. Then there are stages that are on a pontoon in the water, tucked away in the woods, shaped like a Greek temple, even a ‘Garden Stage’ where the ceiling is covered in vines, flowers, and plants. Not to mention the ‘Dragon Stage’ which involves a moving, fire-breathing dragon that towers over the crowd. If all those weren’t enough, there is even a ‘Rave Cave’ a TINY stage in a cave on a walkway which you could easily miss if you couldn’t hear it! – THE LIST COULD GO ON….
#6 The Organisation
Tomorrowland is one of the most well organised festivals I’ve ever experienced. Given it’s scale, I would have expected a bit of a free for all, but I couldn’t have been more wrong and from arrival to departure they thought of everything.
They have clearly marked signs for the car parks and campsite entrances to make finding your way around really easy. They also make sure to have multiple staff members and marshals stationed along the way to direct you.
The campsite (Dreamville) is really well laid out with amazing amenities. Arriving to the festival campsite a day late? Don’t worry – they section off a big section of the campsite for latecomers so that you aren’t stuck hunting for a space for your tent amongst the sea of people already cracking open the beers and heading into the festival.
Camping alone? Never fear – Plenty of people camp on their own and just tag along with others in the general campsite. However, if you like camping with a group, Tomorrowland has a vast number of pre-erected and pre-allocated camping options. There is a special campsite for solo festival-goers where on arrival you are allocated to a specific camping block ( i.e. Row A, Block 3) along with others that are also alone so you can make a new group and camp together! These tickets are available in the ticket options in the general ticket sales so take advantage of this if you can, or are lucky enough during the ticket sale to get one.
Ready Whatever The Weather
If it ever starts to rain, the information stands and bars in the festival arena hand out free ponchos to everyone that asks. Nothing flash or fashionable, but they do the job. In contrast, if it’s hot and super sunny, they hand out mini tubes of sun cream and bottles of water. All totally free which is amazing!
Bars & Food
Bars at Tomorrowland are MASSIVE and there are loads of them so you never have to queue for ages to buy a drink. Plus, if you buy several drinks, they give you a special carry case so that you are not juggling and spilling your pint as you meander your way back to your friends.
It’s not just bars there are plenty of, there are hundreds of food stands throughout the arena which caters for all different diets, tastes and drunken guilty pleasures. All food areas have plenty of seating AND most have covered areas. Tables were shaded by huge fake leaves so that if you wanted to escape the heat of the midday sun or the occasional downpour, you could.
No Cash Needed
The whole festival is cashless. You pre-load your wristband with money ‘Pearls’ (the Tomorrowland currency) which can then be used for everything from drinks and food to merchandise. Because all festival transactions happen on your wristband, it speeds up the whole payment process even more, so no waiting in lines or having cash or tokens stolen from your bag! Any money left of the wristbands at the end of the festival is refunded to you (minus a small fee – Є2 or so)
The Main Arena
The festival arena has really well thought out one-way systems which make life so so much easier. Certain paths or walkways are one-way only to avoid a huge mass of people walking against a tide of people coming the other way.
They even have free WIFI stations dotted about the festival so that you upload that Instagram pic, Google a song you heard from the night before, or Facetime/Message friends and family back home!
On the Flip Side – Tickets = CHAOS
The only thing which is chaotic is buying tickets for Tomorrowland which feels like an episode of The Hunger Games. It’s total madness. There are so many different ticket options to scroll through, from camping to non-camping, day tickets to weekend tickets, Dreamville camping, glamping or regular camping, even what days you want – the list continues! Not to mention, after their 10th Anniversary bonanza, they now spread the festival across two consecutive weekends which means you’re now required to select which weekend you want to go to. That being said, with all those options, tickets still sell out in a matter of minutes!
FUN FACT : IN 2020, 400,000 TOMORROWLAND TICKETS SOLD OUT IN AROUND 5 MINUTES!
#7 The Fireworks
One of my favourite things, and possibly one of my biggest reasons for loving Tomorrowland Festival, is their fireworks. They are spectacular! Every night they do a huge array of fireworks across a variety of stages. But, the main stage fireworks at the end of the night, after/during the headline acts, are next level. I would go so far to say that Tomorrowland puts on a display that would rival Sydney or London’s New Year’s display!
Top Tip: To get the best view of the fireworks at the main stage, stand on the top or higher up the bowl/hill so you can take them all in!
#8 The Attention To Detail
The attention to detail which Tomorrowland executes is unbelievable!
Tomorrowland has its own newspaper which it prints and hands out daily at the festival to campers. It shows photos and highlights from the day before, the stage and set times for that day, as well as any news which campers and festival-goers would find interesting or helpful.
They Have An Airline
Tomorrowland takes over Brussels Airlines airplanes during the festival! One ticket option in the general sale is the ‘Global Journey Package’ which can include return flights to selected destinations! The Tomorrowland planes are covered in graphics, the crew wear fancy dress, there is an onboard DJ who plays music, and there are themed snacks and drinks.
Staff Get Into Character
It’s not just on the planes where staff are in fancy dress and get into character. During the festival all staff wear some form of costume – whether it’s actors on stages in elaborate theatrical costumes, dancers and stilt walkers wearing all sorts of fancy dress, even litter pickers and campsite information staff wear overalls and onesies so you can easily spot them amongst other campers!
The walk from the campsite to the festival arena is pretty long (about 20 mins) and so to keep the magic going, walkways are decorated with lights, fire cannons and play music to keep the festival spirit alive!
They Have A Radio Station
Tomorrowland has it’s own radio station which broadcasts live all festival long! You can hear interviews with artists before or after their sets, they play a variety of music from all sorts of headliners and smaller stage acts, and even have festival-goers on-air talking about their festival experience, tips and highlights! Not to mention at night when the music ends in the arena they play absolute bangers which draws in a crowd that party together into the early hours of the morning.
Everywhere you look there are amazing little details and decorations. Old, painted records hanging from trees, bins covered in artwork or stickers, lamp posts or showers shaped like flowers, multi-coloured water fountains, bubble cannons and mist machines, as well as tables which are covered by huge fake leaves to shelter you from the elements as you eat.
All these little details are just some of the things they put on to make you forget it’s ‘just a festival’, and give you the illusion that you are in a separate little magical world for a few days!
There are wayyyy more than just 8 reasons why I love this festival, but these are just a little taste into what makes this magical festival absolutely spectacular!
Anyone thinking of going to Tomorrowland, I can assure you – it will be a weekend that you will treasure forever and one you will never forget!
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Sophie – TFB