- By Adam Holden -
- Aug 03, 2012
After another chapter of TomorrowLand, the festival has surely now cemented its place as the world’s most sought after and premier electronic festival.
Sandwiched in between Brussels and Antwerp in a picturesque town called Boom, TomorrowLand firmly puts Belgium on the festival map and stands head and shoulders above everyone else.
There probably aren’t enough superlatives and positive adjectives defined in Oxford’s dictionary to describe this festival – but here we go.
Every square foot of the festival shows thought, creativity, innovation and audacity. Not all festivals think about more than the music, however, here in an awe-inspiring national park; the organisers of TomorrowLand have considered every aspect with meticulous detail and inspiration.
Cautiously worried about the unpredictable weather, every stage has floor coverings protecting the ground and providing a dry and solid base to its revellers through wind and rain – although the rain never materialised all weekend. LED screens are also placed all around the festival indicating how to avoid congestion and find free walkways.
Conventionally in England, open air stages painstakingly terminate at approximately 11:00pm, something that caused much distress recently in Hyde Park when Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen were cut short during a rare duet. However, TomorrowLand’s main stage stays open till gone 1am, with a superior sound quality that embarrasses the likes of Reading and Leeds festivals.
And we still haven’t even discussed the artistic wizardry that blesses all the stages and festival.
With the theme for the main stage being kept close to the hearts of the organisers, fans were truly mesmerised by the sheer imagination of the ‘book’ themed main stage. Nearly a year in the making, the 138 tonne stage is the heaviest ever created. With special walkways, lighting, lasers, pyrotechnics, confetti, fireworks and one of the world’s largest LED screens, encompassed by a natural bowl and multi-layered platforms for the ravers; it’s safe to say the stage was equipped to showcase one of the best parties ever witnessed.
Each stage is artistically designed individually to suit its needs while the festival still boasts swimming pools, the world’s largest temporary Ferris wheel and Michelin chefs.
Literally no expense has been spared and it is comprehendible to see why two million people applied for tickets.
However, obviously there is more to TomorrowLand than the incredible setup; it is the aura the festival gives off, an atmosphere that oozes out of the 60,000 fans that are present each day from over 70 different countries.
From all corners of the world, flags litter every stage in such a manner even Glastonbury would seem inferior. Random acts of spontaneity occur frequently throughout the day at all stages that highlight the togetherness and shared ethos of the festival-goers.
And if that wasn’t enough, TomorrowLand is littered with A-Class disc jockeys from all genres of electronic music - everything from house, trance, Dutch Gabba, techno, electro, DnB and dub step.
Each day is seen as a new chapter at TomorrowLand, and as each day begins on the main stage, a ridiculously large book opens above the DJ booth to show the large LED screen which can stream live shots of the audience and artist, produce special effects and amaze the crowd.
Above and Beyond delivered another master class in the most empathetic Group Therapy session ever, whilst Brighton legend FatBoy Slim began his set with his trademark ‘Praise You’ before delving into his love of electro.
As day two dawned upon the town of Boom, the festival itself was set to go boom, as Swedish House Mafia were due in town to headline the stage they destroyed only a year ago.
With SHM t-shirts ubiquitously evident all over the festival, it was safe to say the set was going to memorable, especially with their recent announcement of their forthcoming break up.
With Skrillex warming the crowd for the Mafia, the main stage bowl was heaving, with a party –like atmosphere already in full swing before leaving to a stunning array of fireworks and pyrotechnics. Then came the SHM, announcing themselves on stage to their Radio 1 hit ‘Greyhound’. The guys swiftly ran through their hits in a two hour set that saw the crowd indulge in random acts of spontaneity, as they would burst into chants and encourage each other to get low to the ground whilst waiting for the drop and launching into the sky. An amazing scene to witness.
As the SHM finished and the party ended, the LED book slowly closed on the main stage to end the second chapter of TomorrowLand.
The final day saw the introduction of the Trance Addict stage, with Gareth Emery and John O’Callaghan topping the bill. Pete Tong, Sander van Doorn and Roger Sanchez were spinning their decks elsewhere whilst the world’s number one DJ David Guetta headlined the main stage.
Opting for the penultimate slot, Guetta whisked through his hits that have made him one of the most recognisable DJ’s on the planet – although he does seem to like the sound of his own voice for a DJ, and was eclipsed by the hard sound of Steve Aoki who followed after.
As the book closed for the last time and the fireworks had finished, another chapter had been wrote in the story of TomorrowLand.
What is in store for next year is a mystery, and how they will top it is something only the organisers will know, but the only thing that is for sure, is that more than two million people will be applying next year for what is truly the benchmark for all music festivals.
By Adam Holden.
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