Tomorrowland, the best-known EDM festival in the world, I actually got tickets this year, and it was the BEST party of my LIFE. All the friends, all the music, and the wide variety of DJs they had, I wish I could relieve it again. (And, that’s probably the reason why I’ll try to get tickets next year). 

People from almost 200 nationalities congregate at Tomorrowland to celebrate their love for EDM, apparently it’s more than the number of countries who participate in the Olympics!

Honestly, I really got into EDM last year, so Tomorrowland’s actually the 3rd festival of my life (so far). It has really raised the bar for festivals (for me) 🙂

This guide is specially for the festival Tomorrowland, do check out my guide to Dreamville if you are interested about camping / luxury camping and other information about the grounds near the festival! 

Important Information

Where

Boom (De Schorre), Belgium. More details on transportation below. 

When

When it takes place on 2 weekends (as is usually the case now?) from a Friday to Sunday, its  usually the 3th and 4th weeks of July , last year it was 20-22 (Weekend 1) and 27-29 (Weekend 2) of July. This excludes the Gathering, a pre-party that happens in Dreamville on Thursday.

It usually starts from 12pm and lasts till 1am. But most people enter late in the afternoon. There is a strict curfew about the festival going past 1am. Apparently DJ Snake was banned from the event because he went past the noise curfew. 

Weekend 1 (W1) or Weekend 2 (W2)?

Each has its perks, and downfalls. If you’re W1, you enjoy the stages first, but you’ll suffer later when you relieve Tomorrowland at home during W2. If you’re W2, you have to prevent any spoilers from reaching you, but you get the chance to actually end with the festival (better in my opinion). But, a big factor would be your preference of the stage hosts during the 2 weekends themselves. 

For example: Armin’s stage host would be A State of Trance, and YellowClaw’s stage host would be Barong Family. Some will play W1 and some will play W2. I will delve into this later. 

Getting to Tomorrowland 

Train
Shuttle Bus

Basically, to enter the festival, eventually you want to be getting to the nearest train station from the festival / camping area which is Boom station. There are free shuttle buses from Boom train station to bring you to the festival.  If you come from Brussels, you will have to change at Antwerp to get on the train line towards Boom. Some people book accommodation at Antwerp so they don’t have to do the change. 

Most people do camping at Dreamville (the camping area), which I have a guide for here. (includes prices, tips and many more 🙂 do check it out if you’re considering camping near the festival)

Parking vouchers are available for sale 1-2 months before the festival if you are coming via your own car / transport. 

Where to Stay 

If you’re planning on camping, you should definitely check out my guide to Dreamville Camping. It goes into detail about the camping experience and the various types of accommodation. 

If not, there are many areas around Boom you can stay in. You can book hostels on Hostelworld if you’re a backpacker like me (high chances of people going to Tomorrowland as well 🙂 new friends!) , or you can opt for hotels / Airbnb apartments (Last I checked some Airbnb are actually located 5 minutes away from the festival grounds!) There are areas like Antwerp (pretty popular), Mechelen (less popular but you can apparently ride a bicycle to the festival from there…), some will stay in Brussels as there are Tomorrowland shuttles to and from Brussels, but most of those are under travel packages (Global Journey etc.)

Please don’t leave your accommodation to the last minute! Book early! 

Payment

Bracelet Top-Up Points
Treasure Box
Bracelet

Payment is via your Bracelet that you should have received shipped to you in the form of a box / treasure case. The currency of choice in Dreamville & Tomorrowland is via Pearls. Each Pearl is approximately 1.60 Euros.  You do a little wave with your Bracelet when purchasing something and it auto-deducts. 

You can top up your Bracelet with Pearls either at home before entering Dreamville, in which you receive an extra bonus 2 Pearls for every 100 pearls you top up at a go. Or, you could do it via cash / card in Dreamville / Tomorrowland, they have top-up kiosks located conveniently. 

How do you get tickets?

 

Personally, I think this is the trickiest part. Tickets for Tomorrowland are notoriously hard to obtain. 

I will probably have to a write a whole different section on it later. I want this post to be about enjoying Tomorrowland (after you’ve gotten tickets!)

  1. Global Journey & Discover Europe (Packages) – opened 20 Jan 2018
  2. Top 20 sale (First 20 people from each country to pre-register for Tomorrowland gets 4 guaranteed tickets each)
  3. Belgian-only sale (For Belgians, and majority of tickets are sold through this)
  4. WorldWide Pre-sale (Global sale but really hard to get tickets, but they’ll be cheaper) – opened 27 Jan 2018
  5. Friendship Garden (Tickets in groups of 10 for friendship garden owners)
  6. WorldWide Regular Sale (where the rest of the tickets go to) – opened 3 Feb 2018
  7. If you have not been able to purchase them through the above means, try the various travel partners of Tomorrowland, and sign up for the Waiting List. Examples include Busabout & Festicket. 
  8. Try to contact people via Facebook / WhatsApp groups. There are always last-minute transactions going on due to unforeseen events. 
  9. The last option would be is Viagogo, I have heard many different stories about it, but mostly good ones. They basically act as a resale site.

Prices of Tickets (including Camping Packages)

 

For more information about Camping, please view my Dreamville guide here!

Stages

The view from the Ferris wheel (that's free) sorry for the blur picture!

There are a total of 16 (excluding the Moose bar) different stages at Tomorrowland. It was a pity that I did not manage to view all the stages (partly, because I was lazy, and partly due to the fact that I kept arriving at 4-5pm in the evening…. a mistake I will not make next year)

Keep in mind it takes around 20-30 minutes to walk from one end of Tomorrowland to the other! You might want to factor this time into your DJ timetable.

Mainstage

Basically, the MainStage has the most number of people usually. It is the grandest, and the first time I saw it made me pretty emotional, I had come a long way –  from watching those YouTube sets in February, to passing my exams, and finally getting to Tomorrowland. It was like a dream come true.

I only stayed at MainStage the most on Sunday because I was too tired at the end. I found that the smaller stages appealed more to me, people were just more into the music than in MainStage. I came to take the iconic photo on the first day and left soon after, and only spent time on Saturday watching Don Diablo & Nervo.

Garden of Madness 

I actually liked the Garden of Madness for this reason – there was always space to move around and dance. I watched Fedde Le Grand there and he played so well. I loved the decor at the top of the “Garden”. 

Freedom

Freedom , the stage I actually liked the most when it wasn’t a sweatbox. I was there actually most of the time, Vini Vici (SWEATBOX) , Virtual Self (so impressive) , Fat Boy Slim (what a DJ!), Ben Nicky (playing all dem trance classics), I tried to stay for Armin (but there were literally too many people inside)… Freedom is an indoors stage with air-conditioning (though it didn’t seem so when it had so many people inside), with brilliant lights and awesome visuals everytime. I loved it. A good tip would be to stand at the side near the bar when its packed (there is always incoming cold air somehow so it makes it really refreshing.)

Youphoria

YouPhoria – instead of closing at Eric Prydz on the first day at Atmosphere, I chose to wander around and found myself at this stage. Sometimes, the vibes of the crowd are just what makes or breaks a stage. This stage is apparently new this year.

Rose Garden

I watched San Holo at the Rose Garden (above) . I liked the design of the stage (the Dragon!!) but the vibe was what blew me away. Trap / Dubstep only had a small part in Tomorrowland, but it was amazing what this small group of people can put out. Everyone knew the lyrics to his songs and they were dancing like crazy!

Somehow, in my personal opinion, I find that DJs tend to play better in their smaller stages because the crowd was probably there because of the type of EDM he played. Meanwhile, some people hang at MainStage because it was generic, and thus the DJs are more inclined to play mainstream music. Just my 2 cents.

I passed by Arch, and it looked good. I just did not enter. 

The Organ of Harmony was great as well. I went beforehand because of KSHMR, but it got too crowded at the end. 

Rest of the Stages I didn’t visit :((((

I didn’t go to Atmosphere (the stage I regret not going the most, everyone said Prydz’s set pulled a punch!) , House of Masks, Amicorum Spectaculum, Leaf (also another major regret), the Rave Cave, Tulip and Cage. Now that I write it down, I feel even worse that I did not go to half the stages haha well its an incentive to go next year for sure! 

Sanitation

The toilets were, similarly to Dreamville, really clean and this had to be, in my opinion, one of the selling points of this festival as well. 

Well-stocked, well-cleaned, what else could you ask for?

They were unbelievably crowded at the MainStage ones though, if you are there, head to the toilets at the back end (closer to the top of the hill), not the ones at the side of the hill at the bottom. 

What to Bring

Tomorrowland is such a massive festival. You’d want to be prepared for it. Here we go. 

For a more extensive guide to camping and the complete packing lists, do check out my Dreamville guide here!

Basic Essentials 

  1. Sunglasses (Get those funky rave ones! Make sure they have UV protection!)
  2. Sunblock (Definitely going to help you in the long run. Fun Fact: Most skin cancers are caused by an accumulation of sun damage to your skin.)
  3. Medication (those for diarrhoea, fevers, sore throats and common colds will be of more importance because of the weather)
  4. Small day pack / Fanny pack for the festival (don’t wanna be lugging your big backpack are you?)
  5. Rain Coat (besides protecting you from the rain, (well for me) it protects you from the cold. Also usable as a groundsheet during the festival)

Festival Essentials

  1. Your Bracelet
  2. Passport / ID
  3. Vouchers that you bought for Dreamville
  4. CamelBak (SO useful for drinking water, its basically a bag of water with a tube that can be positioned conveniently near your shoulder you just take a sip whenever you want without opening anything! Also better than a normal water bottle as you can fill up more water at a go from the refill stations, time is so important during Tomorrowland.)
  5. Water bottle caps (if you decide to go with the plastic water bottle option, they might throw away the caps, so you’ll need a couple of these to re-cap your bottle.)
  6. Mask
  7. Country Flag (it is so fun to bring, as a Singaporean I felt really proud wearing it as Tomorrowland coincides with our National Day Festivities Period (July-Aug) , and it also helped more people know about my country!)
  8. LED outfit
  9. Bandana (it can get hot in the day. Looking cool is just a bonus.)
  10. Ear Plugs (really useful for your eardrums, I immediately noticed the difference when I put them on during the second day of the festival)
  11. GoPro (to capture those precious moments 🙂 though I personally would rather be grooving to the music than focusing on keeping my GoPro stick upright)

Facilities

  1. Portable Charger Shop (for 16 pearls, you got a portable charger, return it at the end, and you get 10 pearls back.)
  2. Lockers Lockers are essential in every camping festival. They help prevent theft, and provide security to many items that we bring along (Eg: cameras, wallets (since Tomorrowland is cashless), credit cards and the ilk) 
    • Vouchers for the lockers will also go on sale 1-2 months before the festival. The 4 sizes range from small, medium, large to extra-large lockers. 
    • The lockers utilise codes, so no worries about losing keys / access cards. Locker prices and dimensions are below! 
  3. Official Boutique Shop (get all your merchandise here! The shipping costs are exorbitant if purchased from their website. They don’t even ship to Singapore, what a shame!)

Food & Drinks in Tomorrowland

There are many food stalls around that you can grab food from. There are also a few different dining experiences that you can purchase vouchers for beforehand. If these restaurants are reasonably empty on the day itself, it is possible to purchase tickets at the site itself. 

For more food prices, do check out my guide to Dreamville. 

Prices of Drinks (pictures)

B-Eat 

This was a really fun experience, its basically an indoors club (but with surprise DJs that you won’t know until the day itself, with some food given at random times. You also get drink vouchers, that most people would not finish in time, so you could ask the people from the previous time-slot if they have any unusued vouchers. (One kind lady gave me 3 extra drink vouchers! 🙂 that I eventually passed on, I could not finish them…)

Tomorrowland Restaurant (Menu included)

This was a really interesting experience for a first-timer. You see the view of the entire MainStage from a prime position. The 3-course meal was delicious as well, served with a choice of white / red wine. However, I think once is enough 🙂 time is precious in Tomorrowland.

Brasa
This restaurant has a great view over the water, and was recently added this year to the list of restaurants Tomorrowland boasts of. It features a grill concept, an appetiser and a drink. 

I found a good review (with the menu included) of Brasa by a fellow blogger here

Aperto

This long-standing restaurant has always served delicious food, claiming to give you the “Tastes of the World!” 

Hidden Restaurant

This restaurant is in the MainStage itself (apparently, there is one, and according to the guide in Reddit, costs, and you’re not allowed to bring phones inside.)

Tips

  1. Go early and try to explore all the stages on the first day (if possible) , decide on what you like, and narrow down to a few for the next 2 days. This is assuming that you do not have a DJ timetable planned. 
  2.  Fret not if you have lost your newspaper for the day, all info points will have available pocket maps and timetables for your reference. 
  3.  Download the Tomorrowland App for quick online reference to timetables and changes in DJs (they do happen, sometimes.)
  4.  Just go for the DJs you want to see, even if you are in a group. Its a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and you worked so hard to attend Tomorrowland. Do not mess up your DJ timetables because of a dispute, it’s really not worth it. 
  5. Set up a meeting point if you’re in a group. It’s real easy to get lost especially at night. 

Overall

Tomorrowland has been such an exciting experience. It has given me so many memories that I will cherish. Will definitely try for tickets next year 🙂 I encourage all of you (you evidently have given some thought to it, since you’re on this page), to go at least once in your life!

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