This July, the Tomorrowland festival celebrates its 14th anniversary of bringing international electronic dance music to Boom, a small town outside of Antwerp. This year the event will take place over two weekends - a far cry from its first edition in 2005, which lasted one day and attracted a mere 10,000 attendees. Last year the event attracted over 400 000 people from around the world! If this is the first you've heard of Tomorrowland (although not likely!) you might be wondering just what makes it so special. Here's a quick look at what to expect from this EDM dreamworld.
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 16 stages, each with a different theme and hosted by some of the best talent in electronic dance music. With confirmed acts including KAYZO, Dua Lipa and Robin Schulz, 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, festival-goers 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 revelers 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 Story of Planaxis' 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. The festival area provides multiple food options from food trucks. With juicy burgers, pizzas, handmade pasta dishes, vegetarian options and more, festival guests will be able to satisfy all their cravings after all the festival activities.
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. To get a feeling of the festival, check out previous year aftervideos. If you don't already have your ticket for this year, you'll be sure to want to search the web to see if there are any tickets available to purchase!
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. Or enjoy the stay with Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel, Antwerp to be closer to the location. The hotel is right across from the stunning Antwerp Central Station.