Tomorrowland Festival Details...
Tomorrowland Festival, De Schorre Recreation Area, Boom (South of Antwerp) Belgium
Tomorrowland 2010 Review...
It was unbelievable and totally worth it to be there. Tomorrowland 2010 took place 24th-25th of July at Boom, in one of the most beautiful recreational parks I’ve ever seen, near Antwerp in Belgium and attracted 120.000 visitors in total for both days. It was a big Success in every sense, and this was evident from the satisfied faces of all those party people that had a great time without any troubles and hassle. The most happening Dj’s at the moment, played their best DJ sets as a result of the positive vibe of the place. If you love Trance as I do, on Saturday First State, Airbase, Solarstone, Lange, Activa and Jon O'Bir rock their tents, and on Sunday Armin van Buuren on his State of Trance stage was joined by the legendary Paul Oakenfold, Gareth Emery, Rank 1, Menno de Jong, and the always impressive Markus Schultz. If you love progressive sounds, the new breed of progressive house Dj’s were there as well on Versuz or Smash, The House stages.
At La Rocca on Sunday, the old school, but sounding fresh as ever Sasha, Nick Warren, and Hernan Cattaneo were there to remind us all that the EDM culture has certain roots, and noteworthy progression through the years as a result of the rapid development of the new music technology. Another stand out part of this celebration of electronic music was the amazing decoration of the various stages with the best,of course, ID&T’s own main open air gigantic proportions stage. SUN as a symbol of life was at the centre of everything, with big wide eyes that were moving and observing everything.
All over the stage, you could see beautiful exotic flowers with lights and water fountains inside them. Dancers dressed up as creatures of this magical place called Tomorrowland were dancing inside them. The lighting effects, incredible lasers and the high definition gigantic TV screens on each side, that you could watch close ups of the DJ booth and shots from the crowd were, absolutely fantastic. What is more, in some parts of the sets a helicopter was throwing flowers to the crowd, and in that very creative and surprising way, connected the audience with the nature that is the central part of that mysterious Tomorrowland. I was very honoured to be press at this great event, and in the following lines I provide for you my very own unique account of my two days in the unknown and highly pleasurable 'Tomorrowland' that has established the reputation of one of the best festivals in Europe.
First of all the reputation of the organization company was a huge guarantee and seal of approval. ID&T Belgium in co-operation with the mother company in Holland, always takes care of each little detail of the events, and offers to the people an experience that is second to none. Tomorrowland took place in that physically astonishing De Shorre attraction, that as I understand should be a great park for the locals to pass their day. Therefore, from the early start, the scenery left me breathless while I was looking at it from the bus, with the very friendly and always with wide smile, drivers. We got out from the bus and I could listen with much joy and enthusiasm the loud sound coming out from the various tents. As press, I had to get in from the backstage entrance so I walked a little to find it.
After running around and asking various people, I manage to find the press office and the hospitality area for the artists. This beautiful area was the place that Dj’s could relax, eat, drink and give interviews before and after the set, to the big amount of media that was present there to cover the event from many countries. In the press office I was introduced to Debbie and her colleague who were responsible to organize everything around the press coverage of the event and its communication to the media such as newspapers, radio, TV and internet. I am always amazed with talented people like Debbie who was always smiling and very friendly despite the huge amount of work that she had to get through. After a while, I was ready to get inside the grounds of the festival. I was already prepared to be supprised in a way, from the photos of the previous years, but this was unbelievable and too huge to be true. Variety of tents and sounds packed with visitors from various countries and ages. Beautiful girls were walking around wearing sexy outfits and hunky sexy boys with them without t-shirts and very well trained bodies.
As it seems the gym culture and its dogma to be fit and slim prevails all over the world with result to feel uneasy if you have some extra weight. On my way the first tent that I come across was the Trance Addict stage and was decorated like candy house with gigantic chewing gums and sweets hanging from the ceiling. It was busy early on with First State’s set in full effect. He played a fantastic selection of progressive trance tracks full of powerful and strong memorable riffs that the crowd absolutely loved it. Next to the Trance Addict stage the famous Belgian nostalgic party organizers I Love the 90’s had its own packed stage. The mighty M.I.K.E. AKA Push was performing and the time that I was there, he played his classic tunez that we all adore. The audience had great time and they were very absorbed from his selection.
I was curious to see how the Main Stage looked like so I followed the signs towards it. Everything was clearly indicated so it was impossible not to find the stage that you were searching for. This can only tell the hi-tech levels of the organization of that massive event. Of course, you could expect some delays because of crowd walking around a bit drunk as the Belgians are famous for their love for good quality Beer! I passed from a stage that was inside a cave were minimal sounds were playing and the choice of the place was the best you could get for that kind of music.
Followed by the brilliant Café D’Anvers stage, that resembled beach house party with even realistic sea sand. The M_inus tent was decorated with red hearts and then one of the largest tents was that of the famous Belgian club VERSUZ that on Saturday fantastic house music was playing from Martin Solveig’s guests such as Bart B More, Wally Lopez and Bingo Players to name just a few. Of course, not only dance stages but other attractions were offered as well to the visitor. One of them was the Red Bull snow stage that someone could through himself on the snowy path from a quite high point and do snowboarding. I decided without hesitation that is very dangerous for me so I walked though a beautiful path with trees towards the highest part, to observe what was going on in the large valley right in front of the main stage. At this time, the mighty Afrojack was unleashing his biggest tunes and you could see masses of clubbers reacting to him like a huge Australian sea wave. The Main Stage decoration was outstanding with gigantic flowers, water, and great light effects that were transferring the festival visitors to that mythic place that is Tomorrowland.
The set was fantastic but I had to leave as my day was filled with many appointments for interviews and it was time to get back to the press area to check if I could catch some of them. I passed through the hospitality area after sending some hopeless sms to some artist managers, and at a table outside I recognised from a distance the British trance mafia that consisted of Lange and Rich Solarstone, along with their partners and their amazing tour manager and booking agent Paula from 24 Seven Management. I went straight to them and after greeting, hanging and kissing, because I was talking with them via email for many years, and it was the first time to meet them in person. It is such a strange and pleasurable feeling. I did my interviews with them, and you will be able to watch them soon online on this web page. Also, I did interviews with Sander van Dien, AKA First State, and the always warm and welcoming Swedish Trance hero, Airbase. They both revealed quite juicy interesting news about their future projects. Sander starting his own 3 labels, under the wing of Black Hole, and Airbase about his forthcoming album at Menno de Jong’s Intuition record label.
Next target was to leave the hip VIP hospitality area, to catch a few minutes with Rich Solarstone, a fantastic DJ set that was full of great melodies and the energy levels were really high. W&W took over from him by playing the latest Faithless track that cropped up in many sets in the trance addict stage. I really enjoyed their tech trance selection, but I had to keep on moving around the stages to feel the atmosphere of this great event. My heart was crying to stay at Trance Addict and satisfy my trance addiction, but it’s a shame when you visit such a big event, not to go around and feel the sets of other Dj’s as well. In other words to experience different kinds of music and Dj’s that is difficult to get a booking in a club near your hometown.
It was the right time to go back to the main stage to check the dance phenomenon called Swedish House Mafia. Their set was absolutely mind blowing. They were fantastic also about their interaction with their crowd. They were speaking on the mic and encourage them to carry on partying. At some other festivals, MC’s are talking endlessly over the tunes without stopping for a moment. At Tomorrowland many Dj’s were assuming the role of MC, and that was quite refreshing and special. When you see live SHM, you feel that you are here to stay and “One” that was played many times in variety of stages, is just the beginning. During their set, the helicopter was throwing again to the crowds real flowers, which is fantastic idea if you compare it with to just throwing coloured paper pieces or something similar.
After taking some footage, and wiggling my butt to their wicked sounds, I moved through the masses of people, to the trance addict stage again, as the very talented and sweet DJ Lange, was breaking and shaking with awesome tunes. He finished with his current smash “Strong Believer” with Alexander Klaus on vocals. They also did the fantastic vocals for the quality Deep Voices-Heart of Stone, released on Lange recordings this summer. The stage was taken over from Leon Bolier, who according to other fellow Dj’s as well, he got the respect from the crowd as he played a brilliant energetic set. I left the stage to go at the backstage, as I had to meet the trance legend Johan Gielen that I was thinking his Belgian but actually, he is Dutch that resided to Belgium for more than 15 years and now his back in Holland.
Along with him were his top-notch manager that happens to be his fiancé as well and the excellent Cor Fijneman. Johan and Cor have resurrected the classic Airscape project and on I love the 90’s stage were about to perform a back 2 back DJ set after the legendary pop dance act “Scooter”. Before conducting the interviews we watched the amazing fireworks that were thrown in various places at the festival so everybody could experience them. It was fantastic to see the variety of the beautiful shapes that those fireworks were taking in the air. In their interview with them you will check out interesting news like that both Johan and Cor are working for their brand new solo artist albums coming in the record shop near you and Cor with his side project Dunogoz and Da Ruffas