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The History And Making Of Tomorrowland Music Festival

Tomorrowland is not just a music festival. It has now grown into a global festival that celebrates music, fantasy and youth. The festival celebrates everything related to electronic music. After celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2019, one needs to examine where it came from. So, let us look into the history and making of the Tomorrowland music festival. 

2005-2008 : Beginnings

Tomorrowland had humble beginnings with around 500-1000 music-lovers. It all started in the town of Boom, Belgium, with two brothers, Manu and Michiel Beers. 


The first edition of Tomorrowland was not as epic as we know it today. Its lineup included Armin van Buuren, Push, Technoboy and local Belgian DJs. In 2006, the festival expanded to include David Guetta and Axwell, who are among the most well-known DJs today.


Only in 2007 did Tomorrowland become a 2-day festival. Plus, it grew to host 50,000 attendees in the same year. 2008 was also a special year for Tomorrowland, as it say 100 DJs participate for the first time. 

2009-2010: Themes

In 2009, Tomorrowland started experimenting with themes. For its fifth edition, ID&T, the Dutch organiser of the festival expanded to several venues. The theme for this year was Masker. 


Tomorrowland reached new milestones in 2010, with a record-breaking 120,000 attendees. The same year, it was nominated for the Best Music Event by the International Dance Music Awards, with its theme “Zon(Sun)”. 

2011-Now: Records

Tomorrowland truly started breaking records from 2011. Tickets would get sold out immediately, as over 200,000 attendees would gather in Boom, Belgium, every year. In 2011, the festival rolled out its first ever introduction video, a tradition that is beloved by fans. 


The same year, Tomorrowland became its legendary self with DJs such as Avicii, Dmitri Vegas, Like Mike, Tiesto, Swedish House Mafia, David Guetta and more. 


Technology and storytelling became a compulsory feature of each festival, with its themes encompassing creative storylines. For instance, in 2013, the theme “The Arising of Life” followed a mysterious discovery by a brilliant scientist. 


Tomorrowland did not hold back on celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2014. It was spread over two weekends and even featured magnificent music by the infamous composer Hans Zimmer. 


In 2015, Tomorrowland was voted as the world’s best festival by DJ Magazine. This was only one of many accolades that the festival has received. It continued to explore fascinating themes such as The Elixir of Life (2016), Amicorum Spectaculum (2017) and The Story of Planaxis (2018). 


In 2017, the festival became the biggest event on social media, with 1.2 billion views from around the world. The same year, it saw a record-breaking 400,000 attendees. 


The festival revived 2012’s theme “The Book of Wisdom” in 2019, where the stage featured non-EDM artists like Dua Lipa and Bebe Rexha. 


What Comes Next?

Tomorrowland was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was hosted as a virtual festival, titled “Tomorrowland Around the World” on July 25th and 26th, using Unreal Engine 4. 


Much to the disappointment of fans, Tomorrowland was denied permission in Belgium, due to the dangerous Delta variant. Music-lovers around the world are hopeful for its return in the following years.


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