If you were to tell me about Tomorrowland, I would tell you that it’s not my thing.
Tomorrowland is the largest electronic music festival in the world. For over 10 years, people from all over the world have flown, driven, or hitch hiked into the small country of Belgium to visit the town of Boom (pronounced B-OH-M, don’t get excited) for the festival. Tickets are almost impossible to come by, as they sell out almost immediately, or for too steep of a price. But for those elite few who get the tickets, a promise of pounding techno music, endless flowing beer, and… well… weird festival shit is in your future.
Because the festival tickets go so quickly, there is actually a pre-sale for only Belgian residents, to ensure at least a few citizens get to go to Tomorrowland. Since the man friend is Belgian, and also extremely in the know, he managed to secure five tickets to Tomorrowland 2016 – The Elixir of Life.
Now, I know I said it’s not really my thing, but I have heard it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for many. And, well, who am I to say no to an opportunity?!
The festival did not disappoint. We drank Jupiler (a popular Belgian pilsner) all day, while bouncing around from one stage to another. The stages really ran the gamut- there were the super large ones with elaborate set-ups and super small ones in caves that only allowed about 20 people in at a time. People in costumes ran around with glow sticks while others violently dub stepped as I tried to find the rhythm.
My favorite stage was one that’s background was a metal dragon. But, not just a static dragon, which still would have been impressive. This dragon’s eyes were constantly moving and blinking. It would sway its head from side to side and occasionally open its mouth to spit out smoke. The music was also a bit retro and reminded the gang of their time at college, so we stayed there for a majority of our afternoon. It also helped that the stage was right across from one of the food truck areas, making it easy to dodge in and out for various snacks and, of course, more drinks.
The night ended with the main stage as “the best DJ in the world” Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike performed. This is really when you got to see the enormity of the festival, as all 180,000 people gathered together, holding flashlights or lighters in the sky.
In summary, it’s still not really my thing. The music is a bit too repetitive and while the spectacular of it is really something to see, after awhile it gives me sensory overload. And I know like I’m beginning to sound like an old curmudgeon, but I really don’t like being in places with that many people. Getting random liquids spilled on me while deciding if I’d rather get stepped on by the gigantic Dutch person in front of me (who blocks my vision to the stage anyway) or being crushed between the couple who can’t keep their hands off each other is not always my first choice.
But, I can’t deny that we had one hell of a time at this “once in a lifetime opportunity.”
If you’re not willing to make the jaunt over to Belgium, or don’t have any luck getting tickets, here is a short video summary of Tomorrowland in 2016.
THE TRAVELIN’ SONG: Bring that Beat (Bassjackers). This just embodies techno music. The beats make me want to dance. Or at least spaz my body around.. that’s techno dancing, right?
BUDGET: Tomorrowland tickets + Pearls (their form of currency) cost me around $300 for the day.
TIP FOR TRAVELERS: Stay hydrated… it’s hot and there’s waaaaay too many people there to notice if someone’s not feeling well. Plus, you need something else in your system to compensate for how many Belgian beers you’re drinking.
DEFINITELY CHECK OUT: The different stages… I know that’s a cop out, but the theme changes every year, so the stage aesthetics also change. This year alone I was amazed at all the different takes on the theme “The Elixir of Life.”