MANSCORE GUIDE: TOMORROWLAND 2018 Start Making Your Plans Now
Longtime festi-besties, Christina Callesis and Chelsea Dexter of Miami agree that Tomorrowland is more than a music festival; they call it an “experience.” When describing their three days in Boom, Belgium, they use words such as “beautiful, magical, chilling, family and love.” The international rave duo has checked off EDC Las Vegas and Ultra Music Festival Miami, but share common reverence for Tomorrowland.
“I always viewed Tomorrowland as the festival of all festivals and if I could make the journey, I would never need another music festival. After attending, that 100-percent rings true. It is more than just a festival, it truly is an experience and one I will never forget. The international vibe and hype behind the whole thing truly make it one-of-a-kind,” says Callesis.
Tomorrowland tickets are hard to get—no problem. Callesis and Dexter sidestepped the chase by purchasing tickets from Viagogo, the StubHub of Europe. They paid approximately $550 USD each for three-day passes. With tickets, airfare, drinks, food and souvenirs, they paid around $1,500 each. Accommodations would have added more to the tab, but they stayed with friends.
Dexter says Tomorrowland is worth every penny, “Being at the rails for main stage for the closing sets was a surreal feeling. There were countless moments when Christina and I would turn and look at each other and just say oh my god! We are here! We made it!”
Armin van Buuren is broadcasting live on Saturday from his Tomorrowland A State of Trance studio. In 2017, Van Buuren clipped 800 episodes for his A State of Trance weekly radio show—it’s the standard for dance music podcasts. Van Buuren takes a break to do interviews with NBC and other media outlets. Fans peak in to catch a look at the trance DJ, producer and label owner, “Armin! I love you!” a guy yells. Armin laughs and says, “I love me too! Thank you!” Fellow trance mates MaRLo, David Gravell and Andrew Rayel are hanging out.
“Tomorrowland became so much more than a festival,” says van Buuren. “It’s an amazing feeling to know that while you’re getting goosebumps at the main stage in Belgium, literally millions of people around the world are watching my performance, even organizing home parties and having an amazing time as well.”
Home parties are a last resort, the full Tomorrowland experience includes onsite camping and happens from Thursday to Monday morning. “But I don’t like to camp!” They have Ritz-Carlton-like accommodations—worth every penny. Whether you rough it in a tent with buddies or go for a five-star cabana, Tomorrowland will be one of the best experiences of your life. And yes, tickets are expensive, but here’s the good news: beer is economical, only costs about three Euros. We recommend the camping experience, but even if you stay offsite like Callesis and Dexter—good times are guaranteed.
Here are five tips to amplify your time in Belgium:
Tomorrowland is a place of imagination and freedom for the soul. Put down your guard, wear wacky costumes, be loud, make funny signs, bring gimmicks and get weird. Like a swell in the ocean, Tomorrowland’s energy increases from its start on Friday and peaks on Sunday evening—don’t waste time getting acclimated. Dive in head first from the moment the gates are opened. Respect to the guy that made the “Private Daft Punk Show Here in Five Minutes” and shout out to the group of guys that dressed as the A-Team and also to the two guys that dressed as Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World.
Stay in Dreamville, it’s a Must
Approximately 200,000 people come to Tomorrowland on back-to-back weekends; it is one of the biggest festivals in the world. Its location, Boom, Belgium, sits between Belgium’s two largest cities: Brussels and Antwerp—it’s not easy getting in and out and there are not a lot of nearby hotel options. If you’re early, there are some Air BNB options within a short walk, but not the best option. All that said, here is the biggest reason to stay onsite: Dreamville is the heartbeat of the festival. This is where people make friends, and this is where people hang out late at night and early in the morning.
Make a Plan, but Go with the Flow
From the little Rave Cave to the massive main stage, there are 20 stages at Tomorrowland with more than 1,000 performing DJs. It’s a good idea to scan the lineup and find your favorites, but also just go with the flow. Try to visit all 20 stages, check out DJs you’ve never seen before and do not make the mistake of spending all three days at the main stage. The most popular DJs in the world will be there: Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Carl Cox, Deadmau5 and more—see the ones you know and love (and see some you know nothing about).
This might seem like an absurd recommendation, but it’s easy to get lost at Tomorrowland and forget to consume food. Do not forget to get some calories. Even if it’s just one large meal a day, that’s better than a strictly liquid diet. The food at Tomorrowland is arguably the best festival food in the world. And of course, they have plenty of Belgian fries; when you’re asked which sauces you want, feel free to say all of them. Go for the aioli, mayo and of course the roasted garlic chipotle mayo—not sure why we limit ourselves to ketchup with French fries in the U.S., good on you Belgium. And for a special dining experience, they offer the Tastes of the World Restaurant for a flat fee of 29.50 Euros. The meal includes a welcome drink, appetizers to share and a Tastes of the World meal.
Work Hard for Tickets and Pony Up the Cash; it’s Worth It
Getting in the door is the first priority—tickets go fast and can be difficult to get. The first step is to register on the Tomorrowland website, and be sure to get all your friends to register as well, which increases your chances. To ensure your chances, bite the bullet and go for a package such as the Flight Package or Friendship Package. The Friendship Package includes accommodation in Dreamville Friendship Garden, daily newspaper, Tomorrowland goodie bag, daily transfers to Tomorrowland and back and transfer to and from accommodation (max 200 km). And when you get the Friendship Package with Dreamville accommodations, you check in on Thursday and you’re invited to an exclusive party that happens on Thursday night…a head start is always a good thing. You have approximately one year to make this happen. Start planning now, thank us later.