It was July 18th and there was a group of us gearing up to head to Brussels Belgium to a very small town outside called Boom, to attend the biggest EDM concert in the world, TOMORROWLAND 2014. With over 200,000 tickets sold out for 2 consecutive weeks within an hour of release, and celebration for the 10th anniversary, this was a place you wanted to be at! I found out about it from a few of my co workers that were going and I was able to get last minute tickets off of a reliable site called viagogo.
I didn’t have the Global Journey package since I got my tickets last minute so there were a few perks that I didn’t get to enjoy, one of them being having my bracelet waiting for me at the hotel. I had to go to will call to pick up my bracelet. Bad idea on the first day, let me just say. The line was out the wazu, so here’s your first tip.
1. GO THE DAY BEFORE OR EARLY TO PICK UP YOUR BRACELET
This may be hard if you are taking the shuttle from your hotel because it only leaves at noon everyday but if you are going by car or train, bus or plane (some people can be really creative) try to get there as early as possible because it is sweltering outside and you instantly are enveloped in a sweat mob of people pushing and pulling to get to the front of the line for their bracelets.
Now the cool thing about those bracelets is that they have an ID number on the bottom of the bracelet and you can go to the information center inside tomorrowland, type in the number, link it to your facebook account and when you meet someone you can hit the button on your bracelet and if they reciprocate you instantly become friends.
2. MAP OUT WHERE YOU WANT TO BE AND WHEN
In today’s day and age there are plenty of handy dandy apps to download on your smart phone that will tell you all kinds of things. Tomorrowland is no exception. Once you download the app to your smart phone you’ll have a map of the area (which you can get in paper at information) and the schedule. There are 15 stages inside the Tomorrowland gates and at any one point I would say at a minimum there are 6 DJ’s performing.
It’s a pretty far walk from wide side of the park to the other so if you know what you want to see, know where it is and when. I just went with the flow because I am not an expert in EDM and it was all pretty amazing for me so just being a part of Tomorrowland was enough for me.
3. FIND A CENTRAL MEETING PLACE FOR YOUR GROUP
We had a group of about 8 people and before they all arrived one of the guys in our group got pretty intoxicated so we took him over to a beach area and let him pass out under the bridge, then we decided we would come back to find him in a couple of hours. Later when we went to the main stage that night, we had a meeting spot right outside of the entrance so in case people started getting separated we would know where to find each other. Cellphones do work, but they aren’t the best form of communication.
What they do have is for 14 euro you can get a USB charger stick and every time it runs out you can turn it in for a fully charged one. It had enough energy to charge an iphone from nothing to about 100% before dying. You can get charged ones the entire weekend and they give you the chord to charge it yourself if you need to. I think it’s specifically for the people staying at dreamville that don’t have electricity but it’s beneficial to everybody. At the end of the weekend you can turn it back in for 10 euros back, which in the end isn’t too bad. We all kept ours for emergencies later, because you never know.
4. ABSOLUTELY BRING YOUR OWN ALCOHOL
So I pretty much started every morning off with a camelback full of gin and tonic. They sold beer on the shuttle on the way there on the first day and we bought our own at a convenience store and kept it primed in the fridge at our hotel so we would be on our way and drinking in no time. I breezed through security Friday and Saturday with no problems, it was Sunday that they decided to crack down on the whole “you can bring whatever you want into the festival situation”.
I asked a girl I was with to smuggle my beer inside by putting it in the back of her pants. She obliged and breezed right through security but then her boyfriend got stopped for having an unopened 5 hour energy drink. Then our other friend got his camel back tested. Good thing I didn’t have my camel back on the last day.
One of the reasons I wanted to go so badly to Tomorrowland is because of the after movie video I watched on youtube. It just seemed so carefree and free spirited and SO FUN. One of my major goals of the weekend was to make it into the aftermovie and I guess we will have to wait and see what happens. Tomorrowland is held over 2 weeks time and they have video cameras everywhere capturing the moments so it’s highly unlikely I made it, but there’s always a chance.
5. BRING YOUR COUNTRY’S FLAG
One of the coolest things about the atmosphere of Tomorrowland is how many different countries come from around the world to embrace the EDM culture, embrace the laxidasical attitude, and just enjoy life and the people that are surrounding them. One of the ways people interact and meet friends is by bringing their country flag. I brought an American flag and I’m so glad I did because we got some great pictures with it! Then when people walk by and they see which country flag you are holding if they are from the same country they always start screaming. With an American flag, there was surprisingly A LOT of singing.
6. MAKE FRIENDS WITH EVERYBODY
ere are so many fun people at the festival that it’s hard not to talk to everybody and be friendly. Heck I even let one girl I just met give me some bright orange face paint. Almost everybody at our hotel was going to Tomorrowland so we talked to people in the elevators and on the shuttles and saw most of them multiple times. It was awesome.
7. DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE HYDRATION AND SUNSCREEN FACTOR
There are signs all over the place to remind you and the water is pretty clean so you can fill up your bottle or camelback at the fountains but you have to stay conscious of the heat during the day at Tomorrowland. The festival is held pretty much at the peak of the summer and there were plenty of people passed out and being carried away by the medical team. It’s very easy to consume a large amount of alcohol and when you start your day at noon for 4 days straight, you should already know to plan ahead but with the hot sun and a lack of water it is easy to become very dehydrated or even suffer from heat exhaustion.
8. DON’T WORRY, THERE IS PLENTY OF TIME FOR A QUICK NAP
The main stage is very large and all of the area in the back is a huge hill with grass covering it. When we didn’t want to be in the thick of things (which is where we spent almost our whole time at the festival) you can always fall back a little bit and head for the hill where there is plenty of room for everybody not just sweaty body on sweaty body and you can lay down for a nap or just sit in peace for a minute. Exhibit A:
9. BE PREPARED FOR THE RAIN
Over the past few years it has always rained at some point during the festival. This is very good because you spend most of your days as a hot sweaty mess but it’s also bad because most of the area that’s not a path is grass which inevitable turns to mud. We didn’t have rain gear and when the rain started falling people started running like they were about to melt or something. The grass instantly became very slippery and I went down hard in the mud, sorry no pictures of that. I lost everyone in my group but thanks to our previously planned meeting spot, I found them again about 20 minutes later.
10. ALWAYS MAKE AN EFFORT TO MAKE IT IN THE AFTERMOVIE OR THE DAILY PAPER!!
One thing that I loved about Tomorrowland is the newspaper they release every morning. It is chock full of awesome pictures from people from around the world, interesting facts, pictures from Dreamville. Tomorrowland has built a friendship bridge in which you can actually send in a quote about peace or that is uplifting and they will actually stencil into a block that makes up the bridge. They hope to one day have all of the blocks full with quotes from people all around the world. Pretty cool.
This article appeared first on The Cassey Excursion.