Tomorrowland 2018: A Review Of The World’s Most Famous EDM Festival

Tomorrowland was, once again, one of the most anticipated festivals of the year, and it certainly did not disappoint those who had the fortune of obtaining a ticket for the 2018 edition. Spread over two weekends in late July, the world-famous event welcomed around 400,000 attendees from all over the globe in the otherwise sleepy little town of Boom, Belgium.

This year’s theme was “The Story of Planaxis”. Normally, “Planaxis” is the word for a genus of small sea snails, but in this case it represents the mystical, mysterious underwater wonderland that the Tomorrowland venue was transformed into.

The festival wristband came in an elegant blue box that also included a small seahorse-shaped necklace and some coordinates. The coordinates are actually those of the location of the new, elaborate Tomorrowland main stage, which featured a massive seahorse in the center, conch-shaped structures, a huge seashell on the side, waterfalls, mist cannons to cool off the crowd, floating dancers dressed up as mermaids, and screens showing an Atlantis-inspired underwater world. This stage is set up at the bottom of a hill, so attendees could see it even better if they were in the back of the crowd. Numerous artists of different genres headlined here over the two weekends, including Above&Beyond, Carl Cox, Netsky, Timmy Trumpet, Alesso, Armin van Buuren, and Martin Garrix (the latter actually played the closing set at main stage during both weekends).

One of the best parts of Tomorrowland is its unique and incredibly detailed stages; one of my personal favorites was the Rose Garden, situated on an “island” on the water of the many small lakes inside the venue, and featuring a massive dragon that looms over the DJ booth while spouting out mist and staring at the crowd with bright, neon-lit eyes. Just like last year, during Weekend 1 the Rose Garden featured Canadian record label Monstercat on Friday, Belgium-based Bonzai Records on Saturday, and Robin Schulz & Friends on Sunday.

While most of the stages looked almost the same as last year, one of them, the Theatre Formidable, was completely reinvented to maintain the 2017 edition’s circus/freak-show theme. This time it looked exactly like the tall merry-go-round that was a part of main stage last year, complete with carousel horses and all. I enjoyed a few sets there, mostly on Friday while the hard dance event brand Pussy Lounge was hosting it, and I have to say that it looked absolutely brilliant with the fog machines going off in a frenzy every time the beat dropped.

Plenty of music festivals include a variety of food stalls… But how many can claim to have not one, but FIVE actual restaurants inside the event? Let me correct myself, actually: one of them, B-Eat, is more like a fine dining experience inside of a club. But the others are full-on, sit-down restaurants that you can buy vouchers for in advance, usually for around 32€. I haven’t had the chance to dine in any of them yet, but I’ve passed by the outdoor steakhouse restaurant and it smelled heavenly (too bad it sold out!).

That being said, I still got to enjoy so many different dishes from all over the world. My favorite was probably a curry tofu bahn mi from a Vietnamese food booth, but the falafel stall and the chicken sandwich spot were also wonderful. The food variety is definitely a key part of the Tomorrowland experience.

Another innovative and unique presence at Tomorrowland is that of a full-blown tattoo shop. You read that right. If you end up loving the festival enough, you can actually get a tattoo to commemorate your experience. All the artists have their own designs, and prices vary depending on the size and amount of detail. I’ve been considering it since I went to my first Tomorrowland one year ago, and I ended up getting a small tattoo of the logo on my upper arm. It’s a bit more long term than buying a t-shirt or any other merch, but I believe that it is a pretty neat way to remember an amazing weekend.

Tomorrowland might be the most international festival I have ever attended. Just take a look at any of the aftermovies, and you will see a massive variety of flags from every continent. Just by walking around the festival grounds, you can hear plenty of languages that you might have never heard before. That’s part of the charm of this event: it brings together individuals from all over the globe to share a weekend of love, friendship, and amazing electronic music.

The aftermovie for this year is already out, check it out here to get a taste of Tomorrowland!
Registration for the first ever edition of Tomorrowland Winter is going on right now, and tickets will be going on sale starting September 8th. You can register here.

Photo Credits:
Minnie Ardalan for The Festival Voice