Published: October 9, 2013
Story by: Becca Bradshaw
Photos by: Ryan Patrick
TomorrowWorld made its debut Sept. 27th-29th on the 500 acre Bouckaert Farm in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia. This Belgian import was truly an indescribable experience—one that must be encountered firsthand to accurately understand the magic that transpired there in the outskirts of Atlanta.
Estimated to have had more than 150,000 in attendance, and more than 300 artists, the unveiling of TomorrowWorld (the stateside iteration of ID&T’s TomorrowLand) made an impact on America to be remembered for decades to come. TomorrowWorld consisted of eight majestic stages (each uniquely original and distinct in detail), food vendors from BBQ to crepes, onsite camping, a boisterous international crowd, and vastly diverse line-up. Magical scenes of randomly strewn mushrooms, biotic fire spewing fish across a shimmering lake, floating laser engulfed bridges, giant butterflies hanging from tent ceilings, twinkling mulch laden forest paths and two story towering Shiva statues. No indication of the real world touched the fields; even phone reception was sparse, once you stepped into the phantasm a new chapter begun.
Chattahoochee Hills, GA
Previously home to Counterpoint Music Festival; the location in Chattahoochee Hills, GA was elected due to a resemblance to its original home in Boom, Belgium. Wanting to recreate the mystical panorama and vibes which have defined TomorrowLand since 2005, the planning team went as extreme as shipping the Main Stage (The Book of Wisdom; Chapter 2) overseas to its new sister home to preserve the production value and experience. The industry had its reservations about the festival’s first year success, speculating it would be a flop due to culture shock and age requirement set at 21+. In comparison to familiar American music festival theatrics the intensity of the European production level at times proved to be a bit overwhelming. However, the mind-blowing clout of the unaccustomed spectacles and experiences shaped the legend and success story of year one. While the festival would have had more probability of selling-out with the more standardized 18+ age allowances, TomorrowWorld indeed delivered a strong rapport attracting roughly 50,000 a day and creating innovative and immersive experiences to enchant the minds of those whom attended as well as produce a larger return in years to come.
TomorrowWorld offered onsite camping in a wide variety. The most common, budget friendly form of accommodation was Dreamville, the next-door neighbor to TomorrowWorld. Dreamville presented large, clearly distinguishable, color-coded onsite camping, sectioned off with spray painted pathways allowing DreamVilliagers to set up their own tents and relaxing area. The biggest perk about Dreamville was the ability of Thursday early arrival as well as attendance to the pre-party “The Gathering” (some of the artists included GRIZ, Minnesota, HeRobust, and Mayhem vs. Antiserum) from 2pm-1am! Other camping options included “Easy Tents” (pre-set up TomorrowWorld designed and supplied camping), Container Homes and Mansions (which came equipped with mattresses, electricity, showers, restrooms, and even refrigerators!) Both options, being outrageous in price, took away from the “roughing it” feel of camping while still staying onsite.
Eight stages were spread across the Georgia farmland, each exquisitely designed with mass amounts of artistic detail creating a dream-like aura, laced with waterfalls, LED screens, powerful sound systems, and cannons that shot out confetti, smoke, and even fire! Main Stage (The Book of Wisdom Chapter 2) vast in its creation and command set the vibe of the festival bellowing out in the most hypnotizing voice, “The Second Chapter in the Book of Wisdom will now be written! This is YOUR life, make every second legendary.” Aside from the Main and Kitsune Stage, the remainder changed in theme each day; usually revolving around a genre or record label like “It’s a TRAP!”, “DIM MAK”, FOOL’S GOLD” and “MAD DECENT” all taking over different stages throughout the festival. This allowed for festi-goers whom preferred certain genres to have their favorite artist grouped together and diminish the need to stage-hop. However, for those who have a wide listening variety, stage hopping was practically impossible. Reason being, from Main to the furthermost stage was a 30min trek due to distance and high traffic, so with the average artist set time only being an hour long precise schedule planning was to be organized in order to catch overlapping sets.
TomorrowWorld, though competing with Beyond Wonderland the same weekend, managed to present an impressive line-up featuring artist like Armin Van Buuren, Benny Benassi, Brillz, Tiesto, Diplo, A-trak, Flosstradamus, RL Grime, Hardwell, Kill The Noise, and Sander Van Doorn to name a few. Set performances took place mostly during the day from 1pm-1am allowing plenty of time to rest up for the next day or, the more common occurrence, mingle with your neighbors and party throughout the night. Hundreds of flags from all over the world were worn proud or flown in the air representing and reminding the unity throughout the three days, internationally celebrating as one. Fireworks lit up the Chattahoochee sky, marvelously in sync with the music, dazing all present, closing out the night with one last bang.
We all go to music festivals not only for the music, but to relieve ourselves from the everyday routine. For a weekend to escape to another world and forget the troubles and responsibilities we carry upon us. Allowing us to be young and wild and free again. TomorrowWorld 2013 not only accommodated our need to flee, it invited us into a mad hatter’s fairytale full of beauty, friendship, compassion, and understanding. Reminding us all our hearts all beat to the same drum, unifying nations and bringing peace upon 500 acres in a small town in Georgia. My adventure to TomorrowWorld began alone, however, my spirit did not depart alone and a piece of myself will always be in the grass knolls with the sun shining down upon me.
For those who missed out on TomorrowWorld 2013 do not distress, you will have your chance again for TomorrowWorld has locked down this destination for the next ten years! History has been made and I foresee each year reaching out for wider opportunities and immense greatness, which has to be seen to conceivably comprehend!
TomorrowWorld 2014 the World is OURS, lets make every second LEGENDARY!