It seems like Tomorrowland is on everyone’s bucket list these days.
But not many can people actually go. It’s a big commitment to get tickets (that sell out, literally, within seconds) months in advance and to trek all the way to Belgium.
Thanks to my favorite Canadian boys who planned ahead and scored four tickets, I got to go to Tomorrowland 2012. I flew from my study abroad location in Scotland to meet the boys in Brussels, and we all bussed to Antwerp for the world’s greatest electronic music festival.
I still can’t believe I actually went to Tomorrowland. I was there! I basked in the ecstatic aura of this massive event. When I got home at the end of the summer, people asked and I told them that Tomorrowland was the best three days of my life. It’s a bold claim, I know. So I’ll try to explain…
Why was it so good?
For one, the atmosphere that’s built in this small Belgian city outside of Antwerp is unreal.
You walk through those front festival gates and enter a land of bubbles and fountains, pinwheels and archways, forests, fire, and water… The details must take years to plan and months to set up, and it’s incredible to explore.
From the entrance to the sunburst stage and ferris wheel, to the main stage nestled in the back of this large parcel of transformed land, you can discover small stages amid the large ones. Take a path into an enchanted forest and you’ll find a DJ performing among the trees, veer from a bridge down below into a brick tunnel for another show. Walk into one of the brightly colored tents and find a glowing stage and a dancing crowd.
And, of course, the music is phenomenal. It’s what we all came for.
This whole place is built around stages, and all the elements they add like fire, fountains, and light shows just enhance the experience that the DJs create with their sets.
Tomorrowland is host to all the most epic artists of the year. Some are festival regulars (like David Guetta who’s been around for every year of Tomorrowland) while others are newcomers, and some are playing their final shows (we saw Swedish House Mafia perform for one of their last times before parting ways). But no matter who they are, they are all stoked to be in this place with this crowd.
Really, the people are what make this festival what it is. In 2012 we came from over 70 countries to meet in Boom, Belgium to live this dream together. Differences mean nothing at Tomorrowland – language, flags, politics, religion – nope, we’re here to share the world’s best festival. We’re all bound by the luck and drive that got us to this place to share the universal experience of music.
As the sun sets on the festival each day, stage lights illuminate everything. Confetti rains onto the crowd from a circling helicopter. Fireworks explode over main stage, and lasers pulse the rhythm into the sky. The music saturates everything, and the whole crowd moves in unison to the harmony.
Glow sticks are passed through the crowd, and the show is all around you, not just on a distant stage. It’s in the sky, it’s in the crowd, it’s in the hairs sticking up on the back of your neck, it’s happening within you and all around.
Even now a year and a half later, listening to songs from Tomorrowland triggers an overwhelming memory that transports me right back to the center of the dancing crowd, with hundreds of flags waving overhead from so many different countries, watching the DJs who are unbelievably pumped to be at what they know too is the best festival on earth.
If you can get tickets, go. It’s hard to describe the feeling of it all, you just have to live it.
I wish I could live it again, and again.
If you’re not convinced that Tomorrowland is the best ever, just watch this:
If you’ve been or are planning on going, I would love to hear your thoughts below!