My friend turned back to me in immense excitement standing in the long crawling queue and said, “ALIYA, IPPO GATE THURAKKUM!” which translates as “Buddy, the gate will be opened shortly!” I couldn’t wait to step my foot inside the Mecca of music festivals, TOMORROWLAND. Reaching two hours prior to the opening time was a choice deliberately made by us just because 7 of us couldn’t contain our excitement sitting back at the Meininger Hotel in Brussels City Center.
The hotel was exclusively reserved for the people of Tomorrowland and arranged shuttle cab services to Boom where the music festival is being held. The 30 km journey which took us approximately 45 mins passed in chanting and discussing things we were gonna do inside. The official flags of Tomorrowland hanging out from every house in the neighborhood escalated our vibes of the journey. We were among the first 50 who reached the location, and we proudly took out our national flag to let people know that more Indians are joining this time. Spending that 2 hours in the queue clicking memories, the security guards finally opened the gates flushing thousands of music lovers to the first round of security check. Clearing past the first security check with my 13kg backpack on my shoulders, we walked into an area with a huge billboard that said “THIS IS YOUR LIFE. MAKE EVERY SECOND LEGENDARY”. That moment instantly started sending chills down my spine and wrote the first chapter of my Tomorrowland journey.
The floral headbanded staff at the Will Call verified our tickets with the passport and issued us the Tomorrowland bracelets. We were asked to take a picture of the # on the back of the bracelet in case it gets lost. Yes, my next mission was to click pictures of the bracelet around my hand with cool hand gestures. Clicking pictures with my phone held high, we walked towards the final security check where the guards deep searched every inch, nook and corner of my backpack and wallet. We rushed to the baggage counters, safe landed our backpacks, took only the necessary items (debit card and mobile) and started making our way into that mystical km stretch.
Seven of us had no clue that 16 insane stages were set up inside for the music lovers from over 200 countries. Nor did we have any idea that the Tomorrowland festival had its own currency called The Pearl. And Yes, it’s expensive. For every 100 Euros, you will get 65 pearls, and there are many stations set up for this transactional purpose. We topped up our bracelets with these pearls by swiping debit cards there and moved forward.
We tired ourselves walking two circuits around the entire venue (I would rather call it a township) and parked ourselves at the main stage to get the first whiff of the Tomorrowland. The main stage was easily the most spectacular thing I have ever seen in my life. With a gigantic seahorse in the middle, thousands of sea creatures swimming towards it from hundreds of Led screens and large waterfall like structures on either end of the set made it look like one of the scenes from AQUAMAN . The stage is set at the foot of a semicircle hill and makes it feel like an improvised version of Colosseum. Huge number of masses started flocking into the main stage as the voice boomed out “PEOPLE OF TOMORROWLAND, PLEASE WELCOME VINI VICI.” The crowd went mad and electrifying energy was flowing everywhere. The epic line up of Alan Walker, Hardwell, and Axwell Ingrosso followed onto the main stage along with Don Diablo, Lost Stories and Tiësto onto the Freedom stage.
After hours of pump and jump dance moves with 4 lakh souls out there, the girls in our group wanted to sit on the hill, high and above, facing the mainstage to get a wide-angle view. Metric tonnes of fireworks and confetti lighting up the sky took our breath away from that hill top. Realising that the show is closing down, I wanted to take the last few minutes of Tomorrowland from the front area. Being extremely close to the mainstage is a crazy feeling as the atmosphere there is intense.
Steve Aoki decided to finish it off in style and pulled out the legendary ‘CROWD CONTROL’ and ‘CAKE ME’ requests. That windup scene literally wrote the legendary chapter of my life.
‘They say there is no place like home, but there certainly is no place like Tomorrowland’