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.
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.
With the theme The Reflection of Love, this 16th edition of Tomorrowland will host a staggering 600,000 people over its three weekends, with this crowd representing countries from around the globe. Playing for them will be more than 800 artists spread across 15 stages on a site that’s the size of 63 football fields.
Even if you can’t be there for the party, you can get in on Tomorrowland via a livestream as supersized as the event itself. Tomorrowland’s One World TV is broadcasting and livestreaming audio and video from the festival for 21 days, starting Thursday (July 14) and extending until Wednesday, Aug. 3. You can watch the action now on tomorrowland.com, the Tomorrowland App, and the festival’s digital radio station, One World Radio.
During the festivals, these three platforms will feature a livestream from Tomorrowland Mainstage and a mix of DJ sets from various Tomorrowland stages, while One World Radio will broadcast live radio and artist interviews from the festival grounds.
Tomorrowland will be one of the first events to broadcast via Dolby Atmos, a surround-sound technology that expands on existing surround-sound systems by adding height channels, allowing sounds to be interpreted as three-dimensional objects.