The Magic of TomorrowWorld 2014
The sophomore year of the most followed festival in the country, TomorrowWorld came into its final day Monday. Tens of thousands of people packed up and dragged their belongings out into the real world. After being immersed in the land of Dreamville and TomorrowWorld, it was a difficult trek out for most. Coming back from an absolutely magical weekend, it became disheartening to hear so many people ask, “What’s so special about TomorrowWorld?”. Never thinking about it previously, it was an easy list of things to come up with that truly made TomorrowWorld a festival that stood out this festival season.
Most of what makes a festival is who is going to be playing there. TomorrowWorld, even in its second year, brought the biggest and best electronic acts from all over the globe. It seemed as though the entirety of the lineup could easily (or already have) headline any show as individuals. Huge names like Steve Aoki, Tiesto, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Bassnectar, Kaskade, and David Guetta all came to one spot for the weekend. It makes one wonder who was playing all the clubs in the world, all the big names were in the woods in Georgia, USA. Each act gave it their all, playing originals as well as festival favorites, and no one walked away disappointed.
For those who were able to rub shoulders with the artists, the “Artist Mansion” was something to be noted. Located off in the distance, on a hill behind the Dreamville grounds, the mansion was actually a million dollar horse stable turned lounge. With lockers for belongings, an open bar, food, lounge-style seating, Candy-land style lawn ornaments, and a small soccer net for kicking a ball around, the mansion was truly luxurious. All artists attending that day were in one place, allowing everyone to meet and chat. It was the ultimate place for networking, and hopefully some artists got to meet and talk about future collaborations (since we know how awesome those can be)!
A festival doesn’t feel complete unless it has camping. Dreamville was the ultimate form of festival camping. While there were numerous and expensive options for camping, each one brought the feeling of TomorrowWorld. The Dreamville Easy Tent package seemed expensive until seeing it came with a take-home tent, carrying case, and mattress for future adventures. For anyone without a tent before the festival, the package was extremely convenient.
Dreamville felt like a community more than most camp sites. Each were sectioned by type (DreamLodge, Easy Tent, standard), color, and row. Knowing only a couple things about a friend’s campsite could easily help you find them. With no cars allowed in Dreamville, the community atmosphere flourished with each tent in a tight knit space. One wide, wooden, and fully lit pathway ran the entire length of the campgrounds, with color-coded Info stations spread out along side, also allowing for easy meeting places. These info booths also gave out free TomorrowWorld newspapers each morning, to let everyone know what to expect for that day. The overall feel of togetherness was unavoidable. It was impossible not to interact with the surrounding campsites. The people in attendance were from all over the world. Multiple languages could be heard from every angle. Even though the festival was held in Georgia, it seemed as though the whole world had come together for this moment. At one point, a makeshift mariachi band of around 15 people flooded the walkway with handmade instruments and joyous song. With the festival being only 21+, everyone could drink and everyone knew how to drink. Rarely were passed out or overly intoxicated people at the festival, it was assumed that those in attendance could handle themselves, which was refreshing. Dreamvlle truly felt like a dream.
At first glance, the stages of TomorrowWorld are really what make the festival stand out. The iconic volcano Main stage is a massive spectacle that goes far above and beyond what is normally seen at any show or festival. It had multiple LED screens, multiple places where fire would spit, a couple water fountains, and the look of a full mountain. The DJs inside of the stage looked extremely tiny in comparison to the massive structure.
Each stage held a storybook type theme. One was made of multiple elaborate picture frames, with LED walls inside of them for visuals. Another stage resembled a storybook castle, with twisted pillars and a balcony. The small stage next to the Main stage had multiple moats surrounding it, like a fortress. There was a high and bright pink big top stage that looked like a circus could be held inside of it. The stage behind the big top was like a symphony music hall, resembling a blooming flower and having circular lounge seats for relaxing.
These stages had to be specially built. The team who builds TomorrowLand actually came from across the pond to help the American team learn how to build the festival. Soon, they’ll have to build it on their own without the experts’ help.
Besides the Main stage, a new music label took over each stage by day. Dim Mak & Smash the House took over the stage with the picture frames one day, while the Anjuna Deep people took over the stage in the forest. The rotating titles to the stages became a little confusing, but once the locations of the stages were understood, it became easier.
The forested area where TomorrowWorld was held seemed perfect. Dreamville as well as parts of the festival ran right along side the Chattahoochee River, with pools and off shoots of the river seen everywhere. If one were to wander too far into the woods, they’d fall right into the flowing waters. Two bridges spanned across the festival from the forested area to Dreamville, and from the forest to the Main stage. Fountains and fish that would spit fire on occasion were in the water along each walkway. The use of the land was impeccable, and there was something awe inspiring at every turn. The details in every area of the festival could only been seen at TomorrowWorld.
Specially sponsored tents, stages, and areas also covered the festival grounds. Bud Light had an Up for Whatever room where people could come in, have a seat, or make a scene in the center of the room for all to see. The music was loud and everyone was up for anything. On the way to the forest stages and on the water, there held a tiki shack. Equipped with sand, bean bags, a DJ booth, and drinking games, it was a party within a party. These special spots allowed for people to escape the hustle, but still have a unique time. In one VIP area they had a free photo booth for anyone who stopped in. Next to the photo booth was a 50 yard zip line to ride along the river. There was something for everyone at the festival; the music was just the start. For T-mobile customers and other VIP, the main stage had its own personal pool party. Those allowed in got a beautiful high top view of the volcano, and could hop into a pool if they so pleased. TomorrowWorld truly pulled out all the stops for this festival.
Anyone can throw up a stage and a speaker and call it a festival. But it takes a true master of sound to fully compliment each artist. The sound quality at TomorrowWorld was there with the best. While ears might still have been ringing following a show, it never seemed too loud, too quiet, or had too much feedback. The volcano at the Main stage often spit flames higher than anyone could imagine, with the heat easily felt from any distance. Fireworks behind the main stage were spectacular and abundant, and closed out each night at the festival. Those putting on the festival truly thought about who would be attending when building it, everything flowed smoothly and each person could feel at ease among nature.
One thing that really sets apart a large festival from a huge festival, is a live stream. TomorrowWorld is admittedly expensive, and not everyone can attend. A live stream of the festival from various stages allowed those who lived too far, or couldn’t afford to go, a chance to see what makes TomorrowWorld so special. Everyone could still see the best and most talented DJs and groups coming together for the best sets of their lives. While live streams may be gaining in popularity, they are still rare and a great way to make a festival fully inclusive.
Another thing to be noted about the festival was the security. For once, this festival didn’t feel like a police state. Perhaps because the festival is strictly 21+, those throwing the event could assume that the attendees didn’t need to be babysit by security and police officers. It felt like a party where everyone could let loose without someone in a uniform looming over the entire fiasco. The necessary medical carts and volunteers were of course there to help out if necessary.
There’s a reason why TomorrowLand brought the best of Belgium to the United States. The festival culture here is growing, and TomorrowLand is one of the best festivals in the world. People wanted to get to experience the magic, and TomorrowWorld brought that magic. From the lights, to the campground, to the stages, every detail of the festival felt whimsical. Entering the storybook was an experience that is highly recommended for those who love music, people, art, and magic. “Yesterday is History, Today is a gift, Tomorrow is Mystery.”