Tomorrowland 2014: Independent Philly Returns to Belgium
This past weekend, Independent Philly returned to Tomorrowland for the second time in the past three years. The mega festival in Belgium was easily our favorite event in 2012 (catch that review here) and we were anxious to return to see what new adventures were in store for 2014. This year, we sent the Sozanski brothers to recap all of the action for us through Phil’s words and Dan’s photos. Enjoy!
The internationally anticipated 10th anniversary of Tomorrowland was held at De Schorre Park in Boom, Belgium from July 18-20 (the first of two weekends for 2014). The festival originally opened its doors in 2005 with a gathering of just 10,000 people, while over 180,000 attendees filled the grounds this past weekend.
Entering the Brussels Airport the day before the festival began, we immediately experienced a feeling of anticipation and incredible excitement. Coming straight out of Tommorowland’s very own chartered airplanes, eager attendees happily shuffled down the halls, quickly made use of the duty-free cocktails, while playing anthems of their favorite native DJs on their own portable speaker systems. Specially outfitted Tomorrow-ladies directed all Global Journey guests to the bus terminal, where they would be transported to Dreamville, Tomorrowland’s official camping site.
At noon, EDM fanatics from numerous countries around the globe, began to pour into the festival grounds. Battling the heat, many attendees rushed to Main Stage to reserve their spots for the opening night’s headliners which included banana-wielding Swedish duo ‘Dada Life’, dynamic hard dubstep producer ‘Skrillex’, and of course the king of trance himself, Armin Van Buuren (who has headlined Tomorrowland many times). Day one was scorching hot, loud, but most importantly, an incredibly fun-packed experience setting quite the standard for the next two days.
Our favorite sets from Day 1 included: Eric Prydz, Nervo, Oliver Heldens, Martin Solveig, Dillon Francis, Diplo, Zed’s Dead, and Carl Cox.
With perhaps the best lineup of the weekend, day two was sure to impress. Some of the most exciting sets of the night were back-to-back collaborations between some of the worlds most prominent DJs. Our favorite set of the night was the featured collaboration named Superman, Spiderman, and Batman a.k.a. Laidback Luke, Sunnery James, and Ryan Marciano. Together, they captivated and packed the Opera stage. Immediately following that set, fans rushed to Main Stage to witness the highly anticipated set of Hardwell and Tiesto (who closed the night performing together). Seeing Hardwell and Tiesto collaborate was truly a unique experience, and was presented exclusively to all for the first time at Tomorrowland.
Our favorite sets from day two included: Deorro, Dyro, Kaskade, Laidback Luke, Netsky, Nero, Hardwell and Tiesto.
While some fans appeared drained from the madness of the first two days, we witnessed many who seemed recharged for the final day of Tomorrowland. The rain pouring from the sky for a good portion of the day was embraced by all and even brought together some of the largest crowds throughout the weekend.
Dozens of high quality food stands provided the attendees with many tasty options such as premium aged hamburgers, kebabs, Belgian fries and meals from a bevy of international cuisines. The huge selection and sheer amount of food stands minimized long lines that commonly plague large festivals around the world while providing some of the best eating options for each attendee.
Our favorite sets from day three included: Tujamo, Alvaro, Moguai, Krewella, Nicky Romero, David Guetta, and Fedde le Grand.
Featured Stage Details
Unparalleled in size in detail, this natural amphitheater seemed destined to become perhaps the largest and most impressive Main Stage at any EDM festival. With the width of 1.5 football fields, anyone can easily see the amount of planning, labor, and attention to detail that the Tomorrowland production team put in to this mega structure. The stage itself is comprised of massive mechanical gears and an enormous functional waterwheel, giving it the appearance of a dream factory. The inviting pit and surrounding sloped sides can easily held the 60,000 lively fans that Tomorrowland attracted each day.
Modeled after a classical European opera house, this stage has seen the most improvement from previous years. Artists could be seen either from ground level or upper decks which completely surrounded the stage, much like in a real Opera house. While this stage may not have been as large as Main Stage, the intense visual stimuli such as firework shows and incredible lighting made this stage amazing.
Overall, the first weekend of the 10th anniversary of Tomorrowland was a fantastic and very well organized experience. After seeing hundreds of the top electronic music artists perform throughout the years it is clear that Tomorrowland is an instant favorite for both artists and the attendees. There is a clear connection acquired between artists and the attendees that is rarely seen anywhere else.
During the festival, David Guetta helped announce plans for Tomorrowland to expand to Brazil in 2015. You can catch that announcement here:
Independent Philly can’t wait to return to Tomorrowland in 2015 but for those of you who can’t make it all the way to Belgium, TomorrowWorld will be held in the U.S. again this year on September 26-28, 2014 outside Atlanta, GA, visit www.tomorrowworld.com
[Article by Phil Sozanski]
[Photo credit: DS Photography]
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You can view additional photos in the gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):