By Jackie Kuczynski (@happy___jacks)
Where do I even begin?!
This year was Tomorrowland’s 15th anniversary, covering two weekends: July 19-21 and July 26-28. Tomorrowland boasts 17 beautiful and unique stages, all with incredible sounds and energy booming from noon until 1 in the morning. It has been a dream of mine to make it there one day, so when my boyfriend said that we had to make it work for 2019, I couldn’t have been more excited.
Tomorrowland brought back their Book of Wisdom theme for 2019, which included a mind-blowing stage, complete with a book at the top right to honor Tim Bergling (Avicii).
Tickets to Tomorrowland are nearly impossible to get. Global Journey packages are easier to get than regular festival passes, but even with two computers, multiple Internet browser tabs, and logging on the second packages went on, we still cut it close.
But we got it! Our Global Journey package included a train to and from Paris, camping in a Spectacular Relax Room, and a 3-day festival pass. We couldn’t believe we pulled it off.
Day 0/Our Campsite
Upon arriving at the train station, we were greeted by extremely friendly Tomorrowland staff that gave us our train tickets and shuttle wristband, which got us to the festival from the train station and back. We also got a little drawstring bag with a dice game and a travel journal! On the train, we were seated with other people from all over the world who were also staying in Spectacular Relax Rooms.
Some of them even ended up being our neighbors in Dreamville (the campgrounds). When we arrived at the festival, there were crewmembers everywhere to direct us where to check-in for our campsite.
We were welcomed at the Montagoe chill-out area, where we had a 24-hour concierge, catering (including an AMAZING breakfast buffet), a bar, a beauty salon, a pool, and hot tubs. Not to mention an after-hours DJ who kept the party going until 3 am every night.
Our Relax Room was essentially a shipping container with a lockable door, two windows, two fully equipped beds, outlets, and a light. As an added bonus, we had a little table with a plant and toiletries for showers, which were no more than 30 feet from us.
After getting settled in, we headed to the Gathering, where a giant pre-party was being held. We walked into a couple of shops (and I couldn’t help but buy myself a pair of snakeskin pants from the Boho boutique) and then got some food. Later in the night, we partied on the VIP deck watching Lost Frequencies and Afrojack with thousands of other festivalgoers. The pre-party was big enough and crazy enough to be a festival on its own, but the festival didn’t even start yet!
After having breakfast at the Montagoe, we headed to the grocery store to get some water and snacks for the room. As we left, we were handed a glass of champagne to celebrate the start of the 15th anniversary of Tomorrowland. Everyone was in extremely high spirits, full of energy and smiles.
It was time to head into the festival and let’s just say; I was very over (under) dressed. If you didn’t know, European festivals don’t have the same style norms that US festivals do. Festivalgoers dress more conservatively, and much less flashy than we do (think of a t-shirt and shorts). So I definitely stuck out in my Freedom Rave Wear Geo Mami set and purple fishnets.
As you can probably imagine, this festival is enormous. We started off at the main stage for a few minutes, and then went to the Rose Garden (the dragon), Kara Savi, the Cage, Core, Lotus, L’Orangerie and Freedom. We decided to keep a somewhat open schedule so we had some time to explore around, which turned out to be an amazing decision throughout the whole weekend. We also saw some of our favorites on day one, who all put on incredible sets, including Vintage Culture, Seven Lions b2b Kill the Noise, and Eric Prydz Holosphere 6.0 (a must-see).
(Seven Lions b2b Kill the Noise)
Day 2 was our favorite day. After we were able to find our way around the festival the first day, it made finding stages easier on the second day. We discovered that the bathroom behind the main stage has a DJ playing at all hours of the festival and that was both hilarious and awesome. We started off at the main stage again and then explored the Youphoria stage, the Leaf, Lotus, Core, and Garden of Madness.
Every set we saw this day was amazing: ARTBAT, Nora en Pure, Lost Frequencies (Live), Tchami x Malaa (No Redemption), and Alison Wonderland. The energy from the crowd was truly unmatched at every stage and there were so many moments during the sets where I had to step back and think about how lucky I was to experience something like this.
(Tchami x Malaa No Redemption)
We made friends with people from the Netherlands, the UK, Sweden, Germany, Ireland and more places all over the world. We met someone who took an awesome Polaroid picture of my boyfriend and I. The people of Tomorrowland are very social and love to talk to strangers about where they’re from and their stories. People truly dance like no one is watching and absolutely no one judges them for it.
It’s safe to say that we were pretty beat by the third day, which was actually our fourth day of partying. We were determined to see the rest of the stages, so we arrived a couple of hours earlier than our first set and spent a little time at The Rave Cave, Moose Bar, Casa Corona, Harbour House, and Q-Dance. Our third-day sets included Sofi Tukker at Youphoria, Fisher at Garden of Madness, Europa (Martin Solveig & Jax Jones) at Freedom, and Charlotte de Witte at Atmosphere. We closed out our Tomorrowland weekend with Barely Alive b2b PhaseOne b2b Virtual Riot, which took the last bit of energy we had.
We made it back to Mainstage for the closing fireworks, which were such a beautiful spectacle! Tomorrowland is the most magical festival I have ever experienced, and I’m already saving up to return next year!
Tips & Takeaways:
- European festivals have a more casual dress attire, but (as always) dress however you want!
- Tomorrowland does not have any payment plans, so you must have a payment method that the full amount can go on at the time of purchasing your tickets
- Camping at Tomorrowland is your best option, and Global Journey packages are easier to purchase (and totally worth it!)
- The food at the festival is delicious! And you can even buy vouchers for the actual restaurants in the festival as well, like their steakhouse
- Give yourself time to explore each stage! We discovered a bunch of new, awesome artists that don’t usually play in the United States
- The weather can be in the 90s and then dip to 50 degrees at night, so be prepared!
- Be open to meeting new people! Everyone was much more social than we are in the United States, but everyone was super friendly.
- Pickpockets are everywhere in Tomorrowland. We didn’t have anything taken from us, but we were even advised to tape our wristbands! Be extra aware of your surroundings.
- I felt very safe at Tomorrowland. All of the security and officers present were there to make sure we were having fun and out of harm’s way. They even had a weather emergency team walking around at all times.
- It is worth the money and worth the journey over there. Tomorrowland definitely exceeded my (very high) expectations, and I’m pretty sure my friends are sick of me talking about it every day!