Aug 2012
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The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Tomorrowland Festival

Disclaimer: In the past years I’ve been to most noteworthy music festivals all over Europe – as a music journalist, as a DJ, or simply as a visitor, as a fan. I’ve seen Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson telling the crowd at Sziget Festival 2010 (Budapest, Hungary) how this was their biggest festival in 35 years of touring. I’ve seen Mike Skinner of The Street making tens of thousands of people sit down at Rock En Seine Festival 2011 (Paris, France) just to make all of them jump simultaneously a few seconds later. I’ve seen Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails smashing his guitar on stage in an outburst of anger at Frequency Festival 2007 (Salzburg, Austria). Bottom line: I’ve seen one or two things in my life – but I’ve never ever seen anything like Tomorrowland.

Tomorrowland is bigger, louder, harder and most definitely crazier than any other festival I’ve ever been to. Fireworks synced with the drops of the tracks being played, floating stages in the middle of a lake, dancers dressed as fairytale characters next to the DJs, helicopters dropping flowers over the dancing crowd, soap bubbles in the air everywhere, ferris wheels and poker casinos – Tomorrowland has it all. You’ll probably have the time of your life at this fairyland of bass, but it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes. Don’t panic, though:

Continue reading after the jump.

Get Your Tickets

  • 180.000 tickets have been available for this year’s festival. They sold out in less than two hours. If you want to be part of Tomorrowland 2013, keep a close eye on their website and prepare to spend a day in front of the computer, waiting for ticket web shop to open.
  • Remember that you need a ticket to the festival itself and a separate ticket for accommodation.
  • Don’t go there if you didn’t get any tickets. I met some people at the entry who were trying to sneak in without tickets. None of them got in.
  • Don’t buy tickets from strangers in front of the entry. On the one hand, all tickets have names on them, and you need a matching ID to get in. On the other hand, there are people selling fake tickets and wristbands. The tickets have a barcode on them and the wristbands have a small chip inside them: you won’t get in with fake ones.
  • If you have a spare ticket, bring it with you. There are lots of people around the festival area trying to find tickets. Remember that you also need to bring a copy of the person’s passport whose name is on the ticket, or the person you sold your ticket to won’t get in.

    Things You’ll Need

  • Tickets + ID. Make sure to print your tickets at home, both the festival tickets and the tickets for accommodation. Also remember to bring a matching ID, or you won’t get in.
  • Water. Lots of water. If you’re going by car, fill up the trunk with bottled water. If you’re traveling by train, make sure to buy enough water in Brussels. If you think you have enough water, buy more – you’ll need it. Also bring some big bottles to refill at the refresh points in the camping area (free). Inside the festival area you can buy water at the bars.
  • Good shoes. Leave your ballerinas and espadrilles at home, or at least bring some other decent shoes. You’ll be walking around a lot, as the camping area is at least 15 minutes away from the stages, depending on where you set up your tent. Walking from the far end of the campsite to the far end of the festival area will take at least 30 minutes. (60 minutes if you’re hungover and have bad shoes)
  • Sunscreen. The stages open at noon (12 pm) and close at 1 am. You’ll spend most of the day outside, and most probably there will be blistering heat. Lots of sunscreen, enough water and regular breaks in the shadow of some trees will help you avoid sunburns and sunstrokes.
  • Cash (or a credit card). Inside the festival area you can’t buy food and drinks with cash. Tomorrowland has its own currency, with machines similar to ATMs where you can exchange cash to vouchers for drinks and food. There are also counters where you can buy vouchers with credit cards and bank cards.
  • Sunglasses to protect your eyes during the day, indicate you as a douche bag at night and help hiding your hangover in the morning.
  • Soap, shampoo, towels and whatever else you need. There are showers at the entrance to the camping area. Don’t take a shower in the morning, though – you’ll have to wait for at least an hour as there will be hundreds of people waiting there. Wait for the afternoon or the evening, you’ll get to the showers in no time then.
  • Drinks. You’re allowed to bring all kinds of drinks to the camping area, with no restriction in quantity (I met some guys we were bragging about having brought 150 litres of beer all the way from Sweden). If you plan to bring vodka or any other spirits, make sure to refill it into plastic bottles: no glass bottles allowed.
  • Earplugs. During the day you’ll need them to protect your ears, at night you’ll be glad to use them to drown out your snoring tent mates and your neighbors who might be partying until dawn.
    Your Trip To Tomorrowland

  • Tomorrowland is taking place at a recreational area located in the small city of Boom, Belgium. There are supermarkets etc. in the town, but don’t rely on them, as liquor and bottled water will be sold out within a few hours (city population: 16.000 – festival visitors 60.000 per day).
  • The cheapest and quickest way to get to Tomorrowland is by flying to Brussels and then taking the train to Boom. The train rides takes between one and two hours (depending on the connections), and there are free shuttles busses from the train station in Boom to the festival area.
  • Brussels is a beautiful city. If you have enough time, fly there a few days earlier to do some sightseeing. This way you’ll also have enough time to buy food, water, beers and whatever else you need for the festival.
  • If you’re traveling from London or Manchester, you can fly to Antwerp which is closer to the festival area than Brussels.
  • Don’t book a flight back leaving before Monday noon. All in all (walking, shuttle bus, trains etc.) it will take you at least (!) 3 or 4 hours from the festival gates to the airport.
  • If you live nearby and are lucky enough to have someone give you a ride to the festival, there are kiss+ride areas where you can go by car to drop people off. If you’re going to the festival by taxi, make sure they drop you off at the kiss+ride area at the camping (just follow the orange arrows saying “kiss + ride” that are all over the city). Don’t let them drop you off at the festival or at the parking area – otherwise you’ll have to walk a long way.
  • If you get lost, don’t hesitate to go ask the security guys who can be found throughout the entire city. All of them I talked to were really nice and helpful, one of them even called me a taxi back to the airport.
  • Pro tip: if you’re thirsty and you see people sitting in garages or on their front lawns drinking beer, ask them if they sell beer. Most of them do, but they don’t advertize it openly as it’s not allowed. We met some very friendly Belgian guys who even offered us to join them for dinner.

    Accommodation – Dreamville, Mansions, Hotels


    As I said, there are lots of different types of accommodation. All of them need to be booked online before the festival starts. Depending on your budgetary situation, everything ranging from a sleeping bag to a mansion with your very own butler is possible.

  • DreamVille is the most common form of accommodation at Tomorrowland. It’s a large camping area where you can set up your own tent. It might be a good idea to arrive one day earlier (Thursday) so you can find a good spot. There are refresh points with toilets, showers and water.
  • If you’re flying a long way and don’t want to bring your own tent, you can also rent an Easy Tent. This will also grant you access to a separated camping area.
  • There are different types of container homes and mansions. If you can afford it, this is probably the most relaxed way of enjoying the festival. You’ll have a clean bed, electricity to charge your phones and cameras, separate showers and toilets and even refrigerators, depending on the type (and cost) of your accommodation.
  • You can also stay at a hotel in or around Boom and go back to the festival everyday. That way you can also buy food and drinks the city everyday. Make sure to book your rooms as early as possible, though – when I tried finding a room two months before the festival, none of the hotels around had any beds free.
    Tomorrowland – Festival, Fairyland, Madness


  • There are almost 20 stages where more than 400 artists are performing simultaneously. It’s impossible to see everyone and everything. I had a perfect schedule of who I wanted to catch when and where, but soon I ended up just wandering around with friends, discovering the festival area and staying at every stage where we liked the tunes being played.
  • Even though Tomorrowland is a music festival after all, you don’t really go there for the music. Of course there’s the incredible line-up that reads like a who’s who of the international jetset of electronic dance music, but soon you’ll find out that you go there to party, to see the massive stages, to meet people from all over the world. You go there for fireworks, for the biggest lasers you’ll ever see, for secret stages hidden somewhere in the middle of a lake. You go there for the madness of Tomorrowland.
  • Every stage looks like a dream come true, from the main stage to the real small ones. Grass on the floor of the stage, giant flowers and mushrooms, water fountains and flamethrowers – the stage designers’ love for details is hard to describe. Also, there are powerful sound systems on all stages: massive bass lines, crisp percussions, crystal clear vocals. As I said, bring earplugs – you’ll need them.
  • Of course there are the real big names headlining the festival. I’ve never seen anything close to the shows of David Guetta, Avicii and Swedish House Mafia. But then again, there are underground artists who for me are the real headliners of the festival – don’t always go for the biggest names. On the last day of the festival I witnessed Fake Blood absolutely killing it, playing the best set I’ve heard at the entire festival.
  • Unlike most other music festivals, the main part of the program is taking place during the day. Don’t waste too much of your time pre drinking at your tent in DreamVille: you’ll find everything you need inside the festival area. At exactly 1am all stages close and you have to leave the festival area.
  • At the risk of repeating myself: If you think you’ve seen it all – believe me, you haven’t. Tomorrowland can’t be compared to any other festival I’ve ever been to. You need to go there yourself to experience the madness of Tomorrowland.
    How To Get Home

  • After three days (or more) of partying, you’ll be tired, exhausted and craving for your own bed and your own shower. The best thing you can do is get up at 6am in the morning, get your stuff packed and leave before 60.000 other people wake up. If you leave in the afternoon, you’ll have difficulties getting on the busses and trains back to the airport.
  • There are shuttle busses back to the train station and to the city of Antwerp.
  • Pro tip: buy coffee to go and breakfast at the exit of the camping area. The train station in Boom does not have any shops or restaurants.
    See you at Tomorrowland 2013!
    Please like Disco Demons on Facebook or follow on Twitter for more questions!

    Photo credits:
    Tomorrowland | offical facebook page
    Brussels Airlines | official facebook page
    volume.at | full photo galleries here: day 1 // day 2 // day 3

    • Rod

      Can anyone tell me if you can purchase an easy tent once you arrive at tomorrowland? or is it a preorder thing? Same with the mansions?… i didnt see options on the dreamville pass when i bought it. Thanks! :) 21DAYS!

    • gus

      Rod: Easytents and cabins etc has to be ordered in advanced, you buy them when you buy the tickets, but unfortunately they use to get sold out pretty fast. If you didnt get one, just buy a (or a couple) of light and cheap tents and bring with you. They are not as cumbersome as one would think if you pack wisely!

      • Rod

        Thank you! 3 Days!!

    • Jamessalamon

      Ridiculous I know – but on behalf of the girlfriend; anywhere you can plug a hair dryer in ?!!

    • Thedude

      Nice tips man! Hey, I have a question. I’m backpacking in europe and I want to stay at dreamville.. where the hell I leave my Backpack?

      • Mum Blic

        There are lockers you can rent, see this link http://www.tomorrowland.com/en/locker-vouchers .Probably bye best beforehand otherwise maybe sold out ?
        Last but not least: Make sure you have tickets!! I don’t think you can stay at Dreamville without a festival tickets. Good luck

    • Kyle Parcero

      Are the container homes the ones with two beds inside? And if we stay in a tent, where will we keep our luggage?

    • Pingback: Surviving Tomorrowland • Alex in Wanderland

    • Maris

      HI! I’m willing to go this year but is there any tips you can give to actually get the tickets?? I understand it’s extremely difficult to get them and that you have to wait until the website lets you in… is there anything I can do about it??

    • amber

      Hey, I’m planning to go in 2016 but I’m really confused about everything! Like, is it possible to buy a ticket for camping and partying only for one night rather than all 3 nights? And when do I need to pre-register my self. Also, how am I to do online registering? I couldn’t find anything that could help me with that one. The tickets got sold out in a second in 2013 so how fast do I need to be about this? There’s more but if I could talk to you personally, that would be great!

    • Mona

      im going in 2017 but im wondering about the container homes i think thats what they’re called. are they any good? and how far away from the festival? also are dreamville and tomorrowland separate or is dreamville in tomorrowland but you just have to walk to a different area for the shows?

      • Kabir Ahmed

        Hello! I too am looking to go in 2017. it will be my first time, If you are interested in going together you can email me at Kabir726@gmail.com (from NYC, NY USA)

    • http://www.gameofthronesseason5episode6.com/2015/05/game-of-thrones-season-5-episode-6.html Elena Gomez

      Don’t miss: Tomorrowland Belguim 2015 live full 3 mandness nights.

      • http://bhutarabdha.asia/ Bhutarabdha Agrohà


    • tarek369

      I’ve bought 5 tickets magnificent greens and we are coming with plane , any one can tell me if its possible to rent tents there as all the easy tent packages where sold out . Thanks

    • Xireyh

      I rent an apartment in Antwerp next to the bus stop to Boom and to the train station as well.
      It is for 4 persons but there is just one air bed for 2. You need to take your own bed clothes and towels.
      It’s painted, clean, big and empty but there is kitchen with oven and microwave as well as plates.
      It has 2 big terraces and the area is full of restaurants, shops, bakerys, pharmacies, supermarkets, etc.
      The price is 200 € per night.
      There is a security deposit of 100 € / person.

      If you are interested, please contact me: xireyh[at]yahoo.es

      No pets allowed. No smoking.
      The check in is flexible, just email at forehand and we can arrange timing.
      Check out is usually around noon, but could be agreed upon differently.

      hope to contact responsable people.

      I’d like you to close al the lights and check the
      stove when you go out or when you go to sleep.

      Take you own beauty products.

      Respect the neighbours by not making noise.

      appreciate if people leave the space used as clean as they found it
      even if a full cleaning of the flat gets done professionally once a

      Please treat my place like you would want me to treat yours :)

      For security measures I hope you don’t mind me taking a copy of your passport.

    • Pingback: Tomorrowland - Lets Breathe Music

    • Andrew martin

      Can anybody tell me a rough cost for 2 staying in 1 of the dreamlodges as part of the global package ? Really want to go in 2016

    • Eko

      Wow I was able to get Free tickets for Tomorrowland 2016 also you can benefit from this reward your ticket free.

    • Maria Cerdan Lopez Villanueva

      Hello, I am an artist & performer who wants to work for this festival in its next edition.

      How should I apply for that?

      Could I have the email contacts of any person in charge of this field in order to send them all the information, please?

      Thank you so much for your attention,


    • Khổng Thùy Linh

      Hi. I have plan to join TML alone, and camp there. As solo raver, I have only 1 option: to bring my own tent. Is there any shop that offers renting tent service? I don’t want to buy a tent and drag it all the way. (I plan to do sightseeing afterwards in Brussels and Paris). Also, is it safe for girl staying alone in a tent at TML? Thanks in advance!

      • Grace N.

        Hi, are you still going? I’m going solo and I got the global journey package. I took the option to buy my own tent/mattress/comforter which I will pick up at Dreamville.

    • http://2016tomorrowland.com Tomorrowland 2016

      This is really most amazing experience I have heard till date, You can know about Tomorrowland Dreamville on http://2016tomorrowland.com/tomorrowland-2016-brasil-dreamville.html

    • Piet Lego

      Hi, there is a campingshop at the campingsite: Tentenzo.com
      You can pre-order and collect or by stuff over there!

    • Satyam Arya

      If you are looking to travel to Belgium for the Tomorrowland festival, a 3-day pass may cost somewhere between INR 90000-170000 excluding tickets to Belgium. Read this article for more information. Visit https://storify.com/Dealhopp/are-you-going-to-tomorrowland#publicize

    • shelly

      This will be my 3rd festival!!! I used this link last year to save on my flight, train and room because my friends didnt want to camp..it was comfortable but wasn’t the experience i’m used to! but yea, go to https://goo.gl/L3hE62 to get discounts on ya trip..all you need is your email, its free (Travel site let you use $2,000 worth of their discount as promo) I also used this for my Dubai Trip from North Carolina my flight was $170