A festival like no other: Tomorrowland turns 10

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This July, the Tomorrowland festival celebrates its 10th anniversary of bringing international electronic dance music to Boom, a small town in Antwerp. To mark the occasion, the event will take place over not just one, but two weekends – a far cry from its first edition in 2005, which lasted one day and attracted a mere 10,000 attendees. The 360,000 tickets to this year’s festival sold out in under an hour, so if this is the first you’ve heard of Tomorrowland, you might be wondering just what makes it so special. Here’s a quick look at what to expect from this EDM dreamworld.
Magical music
Although the festival offers a lot more than just music, this is the main reason why so many make the annual pilgrimage to Boom. This year’s festival will have 15 stages, each with a different theme and hosted by some of the best talent in electronic dance music. With confirmed acts including Hardwell, David Guetta and Skrillex, it’ll take some serious planning to fit everything in.
Weird and wonderful
It’s hard to know where to look first at Tomorrowland. Every year, festivalgoers are immersed in a fantasy world of mystical creatures, giant flowers and candycane archways. One year, the main stage featured an enchanted book that opened and closed while talking to the revellers below, while another memorable festival had helicopters pouring flowers over the crowd. Although this year’s spectacle will be kept mysteriously under wraps until the last minute, the theme of ‘The Key to Happiness’ sounds pretty captivating.
Location, location, location
Luckily, there are ways to get away from the huge crowds that will descend on Tomorrowland for both weekends, with the lakes around the site giving visitors the chance to relax in the sun or rent paddle boats. To stay firmly in the festival’s fantasyland, head for the skies with a ride on the giant ferris wheel that has now become an iconic symbol of the event.
Food, glorious food
Tomorrowland’s world of pure imagination even extends to the food, with the 100% beef burger at Star Meat by De Pastorale a definite highlight. Chef Bart De Pooter is credited with ‘reinventing the festival burger’, so they’re sure to sell out fast. Belgian chef Pepe Giacomazza will be on site producing Italian pizzas and handmade pasta dishes, while vegetarians and coeliacs are catered for by Lombardo, who’ll be creating custom dishes for guests who submit their dietary requirements in advance.
The aftervideo
Unlike other music festivals, Tomorrowland doesn’t end when you leave the campsite. The festival produces an aftervideo, which in recent years has grown into a full-blown professionally produced mini movie. The 20-minute aftervideo from 2012 notched up an impressive 14 million views in just three weeks.
The recreation area of De Schorre in Boom where the festival is held can be easily reached by car or shuttle bus. After you’ve exhausted yourself at Tomorrowland’s first weekend, retreat back to the stylish Art Deco Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Brussels just a 30-minute drive away to get your strength back for the next unforgettable session.

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