Being able to go to Tomorrowland has been a huge dream of ours, one which we didn’t entirely expect to achieve. Being one of the largest and most popular festivals in the world, Tomorrowland often sells out in only seconds. Luckily for us, we were living in Vietnam and I was able to be one of the first five people to pre-register for tickets in the country, guaranteeing us four tickets. We got super lucky!
After Amsterdam, we headed for Belgium! We were lucky enough to be able to stay with a couple we met off of Couchsurfing just outside of Brussels for two days for some serious R&R. They were so friendly and had two super cute dogs. We had arrived just in time for National Belgium Day, so we all went to a beer festival, saw some fireworks, and ate some amazing European food (and cheese!). It was a great chance to experience some local life before we headed to Brussels to meet our friends Sam and Chris from back home.
The four of us took a train from Brussles to Boom. The train was packed exclusively with festival attendees, who were conspicuous in their neon tanktops, facepaint, and national flag capes. The ride was so exciting, as everyone was proudly wearing their flags from all over the world and were super friendly and chatty. We were so happy to see friends from home after being away for so long, the four of us couldn’t stop talking!
Upon getting to the festival, we checked in and pushed through the crowd to try and score a good camping spot in Dreamville. This process was pretty stressful, as they just move a barrier rope bit by bit, forcing people to push and try and claim a spot to put down their tents. Lucky for us, we waited patiently and got a pretty good spot by an area where there were washrooms and showers.
Dreamville has absolutely anything you could imagine! Free outdoor showers, FLUSHABLE washrooms (mixed with normal ones(porta-potties? optional)), charcoal BBQ areas, a butcher, a bakery, a grocery store, as well as tons of amazing food and drink options. They even had a hair salon for girls wanting to get up-dos each day. We felt like we were camping in luxury!
The festival itself was obviously a dream come true. The production and the stages were something we’ve all never seen before and we got to hear a lot of our favorite DJs. We spent so much time walking around, eating, relaxing, and dancing that the time absolutely flew. We had a lot of fun, despite the fact that it rained a majority of our time there.
Some quick tips if you’re heading to Tomorrowland:
- It’s not always as hot as you think, and it rains! Despite the sunny after-movies, Belgium is quite cold at night and feels a lot like Canadian summers. Bring warmer, dry clothes that you’ll actually want to wear. Sam and I were stuck with baggy sweaters and no rain gear, and we were not pleased when it rained. I think I only managed to wear shorts one day out of three. Bring proper shoes for this as well, such as sandals that strap on.
- Bring warm sleeping clothes. Again, it gets cold at night!
- Bring a flag! You’ll feel left out without one, trust me.
- Bring lots of things to share with those around you. This is such a great way to make friends from all over the world! Sam and I had glitter, stickers, face gems, and all sorts of fun stuff to share so we could make some lasting girl friends from different countries.
- Bring earplugs to sleep at night – nothing ruins a festival mood quicker than being kept up until the sun rises by chanting drunk people 😉
- Bring a bathing suit so you can shower in the FREE outdoor showers.
- Take advantage of the grocery store and save on food costs.
- Don’t plan your DJ schedule! The stages are far apart and running from one stage to another is just going to drive you crazy. Just pick one or two ‘must-see’ shows, and leave the rest up to chance.
- Go to the festival early each day and make the most of it. One day we waited until about 5pm to go from Dreamville to Tomorrowland and by the time we walked there, stood in all the lines, and ate dinner, it was pretty late. As the festival ends at midnight, it felt like we really hadn’t gotten a proper day of fun in.
- Go to Mainstage for the final set, even if it’s not your favorite type of music. We were told this and followed the advice (reluctantly), despite it not being our preferred genre of music. Tomorrowland puts ALL of their production value into Mainstage at the end of the night and the show cannot be beat. When everyone is singing, chanting, and putting up their lights, it really gives you an amazing perspective of how massive the crowd is. Plus, the fireworks at the end are incredible!
All in all, Tomorrowland was a ton of fun but I wish we had prepared for the weather. It’s an expensive festival, packed with big name DJs — making it super busy and a bit too corporate. While it wasn’t my favorite festival we had been to, it was still exciting being part of such a global community of electronic music lovers from all over the world.