The Survival Series is a resource highlighting my favorite festivals and parties around the world. Previously I’ve featured Burning Man, an epic week-long social experiment in the desert, Sunjam, an intimate annual rave on a deserted Central American island, and The Full Moon Party, Southeast Asia’s most infamous monthly blowout.
I’ve got festival fever, and Tomorrowland was an itch I just had to scratch. Read on for the complete Alex in Wanderland guide to Tomorrowland. This post refers exclusively to the original Belgian event, though there are now sister festivals in the US and Brazil.
Tomorrowland is an whimsically over-the-top EDM (that’s Electronic Dance Music, dad) festival. But Tomorrowland is about much more than music — it’s an event that prides itself on user experience and creating an extravagant and eccentric playground for ravers to go down the rabbit hole in.
The year I attended Tomorrowland, 2014, was its tenth year anniversary. As one music blog describes it,
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. Source.
Electronic Dance Music devotees, festival fanatics, and whimsy lovers from over 220 countries around the world. A total of 60,000 revelers per day over the three day weekend belies the oft-quoted number of 180,000 tickets sold per year. DreamVille, Tomorrowland’s fantasy land onsite camping and glamping village, holds up to 35,000 people.
The aptly named town of Boom, Belgium, a small town of about 16,000 about halfway between Antwerp and Brussels. The festival takes over the De Schorre recreation area, a lush park with lakes, beaches, forest, and a natural ampitheater all incorporated into the various stages.
Tomorrowland typically takes place towards the end of July. For the tenth anniversary in 2014, two weekends were held, July 18-20 and July 25-27. In 2015, Tomorrowland will be held over the weekend of July 24-26.
Those camping in DreamVille can arrive on Thursday and leave on Monday, and enjoy an exclusive pre-party on Thursday night known at The Gathering.
Tomorrowland is a full scale production with a ticket price (€237.50/$300) to match! Yet overall costs will vary wildly — from those traveling in from other parts of Europe and pitching a tent in general camping to someone flying in from across the world on a full service Global Journey package, the difference could be thousands of dollars.
I wrote a full post on my own personal cost breakdown from Tomorrowland, which totaled around $1,500.
Demand for Tomorrowland tickets is ridiculously high. Billboard reports that the 360,000 tickets available for 2014’s two weekends sold out in under an hour.
How I Got Tickets
Personally, I lucked into tickets in a very unexpected way. My Tomorrowland partner-in-crime Heather lives in the Cayman Islands, and on January 31st she received an email telling her that she was one of the first ten people to pre-register in her country, giving her entry into an extremely exclusive International Invites pre-sale designed to ensure the diversity of the festival’s audience. Obviously, not everyone has the benefit of having their festival buddy based out of a small Caribbean island nation. But if you live in a very sparsely populated country, it’s worth it to make sure you’re at your keyboard the moment pre-registration opens. You might just get lucky.
Still, even this was not without hiccups — when we received the link to buy tickets, all the DreamVille choices we were interested in didn’t even show as options. We didn’t know if they were sold out, or perhaps just unavailable for International Invitations. This seemed odd and so we hysterically tried to reach out to customer service for the next twenty four hours, panicking the entire time that we might lose what few options we had entirely. At one point, in response to a detailed, multi-paragraph email, we received the following — “We have received your email and we are working on it. We will contact you and give you further information.“ Gee thanks! About two days later, magically, the Dream Lodge appeared as an option, and we pressed purchase. That launched a whole other drama to do with Paylogic, the site that processes all ticket orders, rejecting Heather’s various credit cards multiple times. And I’m not even getting into the drama over the fact that Tomorrowland won’t deliver tickets to PO Boxes, which is the only way of receiving mail in the Cayman Islands.
Buying tickets to Tomorrowland? Not for the faint at heart.
How You Can Get Tickets
There is no way to guarantee getting tickets, though Tomorrowland proved their money making genius by arranging ticket sales so that ticket panic would motivate festival hopefuls to spring for the obscenely overpriced Global Journey packages, which include plane or train transfers plus accommodation in either DreamVille or a hotel, and go on sale two weeks prior to general sale.
This was the timeline for 2014’s ticket sales:
January 13: Pre-registration
Feb 1: Global Journey tickets go on sale
Feb 3: International Invites on sale
Feb 8: Belgian Pre-sale tickets go on sale (You must have a Belgian bank account and Belgian home address to be able to order tickets in the Belgian presale.)
Feb 15: General sale tickets go on sale
March 16: Final date to complete personalization (After this date, tickets cannot be transferred or resold except through The Exchange Desk, Tomorrowland’s official outlet for transfer.)
Despite extensive research, I was unable to determine how many tickets were allotted for each of the sales. One thing is for sure — in order to be eligible for Tomorrowland ticket sales you must complete pre-registration. This will give you a unique access code in order to enter the ticket shop when the sale opens. So the steps to getting tickets to Tomorrowland include:
STEP 1: Pre Register
STEP 2: Purchase Tickets — if you are lucky! Up to four tickets may be purchased at a time. Once payment goes through, you will receive a confirmation e-mail. This e-mail is not a ticket — when the personalization process starts, you will receive an e-mail with a special link to personalize your tickets.
STEP 3: Personalize tickets. There is a one month period for personalization — during this month is when the black market for ticket resales will go crazy. Once the final date for personalization has passed, it becomes significantly harder, if not impossible, to transfer tickets.
STEP 4: Receive tickets. Tomorrowland tickets come in the form of color-coded, light-up wristbands. These arrive in the last two weeks of June or beginning of July.
STEP 5: Use tickets! Make sure to bring photo ID matching the name on the tickets.
There are all kinds of crazy theories about how to game the online lottery system in order to ensure tickets. Forums and Facebook groups are bursting with theories about reloading the page, using various IP addresses, and speed testing your connecting before sales start — some super-smarty pants coding geniuses even figured out how to hack into the system during the Belgian pre-sale this year! (The organizers caught on before general sale.) Personally, I wasn’t planning on taking any extraordinary measures other than setting my alarm for an hour before the sale to remind myself to get in front of my laptop.
One thing you can do to prepare? Call your credit card the day before sales let them know you will be making a large international purchase and to decrease the chances they will block the sale.
What if You Don’t Get Tickets?
Exercise extreme caution in buying tickets second hand. Message boards, Facebook groups and ticket resale sites are flooded with Tomorrowland tickets at vastly inflated price, but there are no guarantees of their veracity and plenty of heartbreak scam stories. One site that seems to get consistently good reviews for second hand tickets is Viagogo, though I have no personal experience with them and Tomorrowland maintains they do not recommend using any ticket resale sites. Tomorrowland’s own Exchange Desk is the only officially sanctioned outlet to resell tickets.
You can reach Boom by car, by train, by Tomorrowland shuttle, or by Global Journey. International travelers will most likely fly into Brussels Airport (airport code BRU).
There are directions (don’t use your GPS!) and paid parking for those who arrive by car — parking vouchers are cheaper to buy ahead online than at the gate. If you’re thinking of driving an RV and bedding down in the parking lot at night, time for Plan B — camping in the lots is strictly forbidden. There are free shuttles from the certain parking lots to and from Tomorrowland.
There are also free shuttles from the Boom train station to and from Tomorrowland and DreamVille. For those staying in DreamVille, extra trains will run to Boom on Thursday, with the last free shuttle bus to DreamVille leaving at the railway station in Boom at 9 pm. On Monday, the free shuttles will be leaving from around 7am to 2pm. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, there will be free shuttles to and from the train station and both DreamVille and Tomorrowland.
Generally we found information about train service to and from Boom to be confusing and often conflicting, even within the official Tomorrowland site. On Sunday, employees at the DreamVille information desk seemed baffled by our question of how to reach Brussels by public transportation the next day. After come coaxing they pulled up the train schedule for us online, which involved at minimum one transfer. You can check schedules and ticket fares here.
Airport shuttles go to DreamVille from both Brussels’ two airports on Thursday, and return on Monday. Prices are reasonable at €27 or $34 round trip. Be sure your shuttle driver knows where in DreamVille you are staying — we didn’t know to mention we were staying in the Dream Lodge village and were dropped off clear at the opposite end of the campsite, a full forty minute walk away with all our luggage. Whoops! There are also shuttles that run to and from the festival and several cities within Belgium, the Netherlands and France on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. These range between €20-€24 per day.
On Monday, we wanted to go to downtown Brussels rather than the airport as we were spending a night in the city decompressing before flying out the next day. When we went to the information desk to find out our options, we were happily surprised that we were quite easily able to sweet talk our way into two Global Journey bracelets, which allowed us to hop on a Brussels station-bound shuttle for those connecting to their Global Journey package trains (despite bold-lettered signs declaring shuttles were strictly for Global Journey guests only!) This made us cheer with joy — our hotel was a five minute taxi from the train station as opposed to the hour it would have taken us to reach it from the airport. While this was a bonus for us, I would love to see Tomorrowland add in DreamVille shuttles on Thursday and Monday to and from Brussels and Antwerp — make it easier to explore the rest of the country, rather than just b-line to the airport!
If you are on a Global Journey package, everything will be arranged for you from door to door. Shuttles will bring you from your flight or train directly to your hotel or to DreamVille. If you are on a hotel package and staying in Brussels, a free shuttle will bring you to and from the festival grounds each day. More on Global Journey below.
Tomorrowland’s guide to how to get to and from the festival is found here.
In comparison to other festivals and events I’ve covered in this series, like Sunjam, The Full Moon Party, and Burning Man, staying literally alive is less of an issue. The festival is highly organized, security and medical teams are at the ready, and the grounds have been heavily rookie-raver-proofed.
However, there are the usual risks of overindulgence and dehydration. All the sinks in the restroom areas have potable water — no signs indicate this, though if you ask at information or security they will concede it, and every single time I made a trip to the toilets there were several people filling up. You will not be able to bring even empty water bottles into the festival and I received mixed reports on whether or not Camelbaks were allowed. Additionally, any water bottles you buy inside the festival will be handed to you with the bottle cap off. So your best bet is to bring a few bottle caps in your pocket, buy a bottle of water, and use the caps you brought to allow you to refill and drink as necessary during the day, cutting down on both costs and plastic.
Drugs are taken fairly seriously at Tomorrowland. Pat downs are par for the course getting through the gate, and there were drug sniffing dogs accompanying the row of stern-faced Belgian police that waited on the other side more than once. “Amnesty bins” at every festival entrance allow for those with a last minute change of heart to dump contraband with no consequences.
DreamVille, on the other hand, is fairly anything goes.
Tomorrowland is known for its culinary highlights from around the globe — you certainly won’t go hungry or thirsty at this festival. We enjoyed sampling many food stand specialties throughout the weekend, from Chat Hills Smokehouse pulled pork sandwiches to stir fried Asian noodles. There were also plenty of local treats, from cheap waffles and croquettes to a luxurious “chocolate experience” from Belgian chocolateier Callebaut. Vegetarian and gluten free options are available. Learn more here.
Food and drink are paid for with tokens purchased at special “ATM machines” using cash or credit cards. For more on costs, see my Tomorrowland budget breakdown.
There are three specialty restaurants and one specialty bar at Tomorrowland, each of one requires a reservation and a pre-purchased voucher. Wout Bru is the namesake pop up restaurant of a star Belgian chef with a mainstage view. BEAT features Beats by Dre headphones and a menu matched to the music and atmosphere of the current headliner. And Belgian Steakhouse features — you guessed it! — Belgian steaks. Bubbles with a View is a specialty bar serving full bottles of champagne, accompanied by a bowl of strawberries, with kick-ass mainstage views. Because we didn’t want to be tied down to a special reservation time, and because they sold out fairly quickly, we skipped the specialty restaurants. We did, however, splurge on Bubbles with a View, and it was fabulous!
You can bring unlimited amounts of your own food and drinks into DreamVille, though no glass is permitted — alcohol must be transferred into plastic bottles. Also be aware that ice is not sold on site.
On the DJ festival circuit, Tomorrowland is the enigmatic mecca of holy rave magic. Any raver worth his or her untz must make it there at least once, get muddy and praise the bpms. Source.
Alex in Wanderland’s Tomorrowland Tips
Tomorrowland is not easy to prepare for! In comparison to Burning Man, where I felt almost overwhelmed by the amount of helpful tips and planning information available, Tomorrowland was much more of a mystery. Here’s what I wish I had known —
1. Build in Time In Belgium
If you’re traveling internationally to attend Tomorrowland, don’t make the mistake of missing beautiful Belgium outside Boom! For me, Brussels made the perfect base to rest off any travel fatigue in an amazing hotel, stock up on supplies, and see a bit of the country. Civilized highlights like my Brussels chocolate walking tour and day trips to Ghent and Bruges perfectly complemented the hedonism of Tomorrowland.
Regardless of whether or not sightseeing is on the agenda, be sure to plan ahead. There are supermarkets in Boom, but it’s best not to rely on them, as liquor and bottled water will be sold out quickly. The city’s population is 16,000 – Tomorrowland’s population is 60,000 per day. Stock up ahead of time.
Whatever you do, don’t book an early morning flight or train on Monday. If you are staying in DreamVille, getting packed up, checked out and back to Brussels is quite the process. We were so grateful for our extra night in Brussels to get organized, repack, mail home our festival souvenirs, and buy one last round of Belgian chocolate. And don’t assume if you book Global Journey they will choose you an ideal flight time — our Dream Lodge neighbors had to leave at 5am to catch their flights back to Norway, a hassle they had paid a serious premium for!
2. Pack Properly
Think carefully about what to bring to Tomorrowland, as you’ll pay a premium for any essentials you forget. Sunscreen and chapstick, (the festival is open from noon to 1am — most of it takes place during daylight!), tokens and a backup credit card or cash, the key to my locker, my camera or iPhone, and bottle caps (all water sold in Tomorrowland is handed over sans cap) made it into the festival with me every day.
For DreamVille, don’t forget earplugs for sleeping or a towel for showering. I made a rookie festival mistake of thinking I’d be comfortable in flip flops during the day. In addition to my rainboots, I wish I’d brought a pair of lightweight day boots, Keds, or other close-toed shoes. Things got messy — and muddy!
Also bring physically printed copies of any and all vouchers (festival tickets, shuttle transfers, Bubbles with a View, exclusive dining experiences, etc.)
3. Download the Tomorrowland App
I don’t know what I would have done without the Tomorrowland App! Available two weeks before festival on Android and iPhone, this beautifully designed app allows you to scroll through timetables, maps, FAQs, and even place your tent on a map of DreamVille should you find yourself lost when stumbling home late at night. Be sure to download the app before you arrive — there’s no wifi at Tomorrowland, and it’s available in only one tucked away corner of DreamVille (which I didn’t visit the entire four days!)
4. Don’t Get Stuck on the Mainstage
I was absolutely shocked when I talked to other festival-goers on Saturday who had barely left the main stage. Tomorrowland is a playground, go explore it! Discover hidden stages, ride the ferris wheel (night and day!), taste test different treats, and go discover new artists you’ve never heard of. While we stuck to the mainstage for the last few hours of each night, some of my favorite moments and sets (namely, Kygo on the BlueFlame stage and Diplo on Mad Decent) happened elsewhere in the festival grounds.
5. Join Facebook Groups
I joined a few Tomorrowland Facebook groups once I started looking into attending, and they were immensely helpful in planning. While they were occasionally flooded with ridiculous memes and posts desperately searching for tickets, there was also plenty of useful information being exchanged and I received answers to some questions that I simply couldn’t find anywhere else.
6. Protect your Wristband
Be careful with your wristband — the faces (the part with the Tomorrowland logo) fell off easily and unless the wristband would no longer scan, you could not get a replacement. Mine broke the first hour I was at the festival and I was extremely irritated that after all I’d spent to be there, I was expected to walk around all weekend with a broken wristband. Thankfully a sympathetic employee at the Dream Lodges broke protocol and gave me a replacement part from another discarded band. Be careful!
7. Pace Yourself
On of the things I loved most about staying in DreamVille was the ability to enter the festival as it opened, spend a few hours playing during the day, and then go back to the campsite to relax, regroup, and then get ready to rage again at night. Four nights and three days was the perfect amount of time for this festival — but I don’t think I would have made it had we attempted to stay inside the gates for the full thirteen hours they were open.
8. Get Swept Away
Sure, some of the sentiments are a bit cheesy. Some of the “peace, love, unity and respect” stuff rang a tad hollow and some of the sets seemed a tad manufactured. But the bottom line? Tomorrowland is a blast. Grab a friend, unplug from the world, and enter the technicolor wonderland that is Tomorrowland. Get swept away in the madness.
Also in this series: The Cost of Tomorrowland • Once Upon a Time at Tomorrowland • Dreaming of DreamVille
Trying to get tickets sounds like a bit of a nightmare, but worth it in the end, I’m sure! I’ll definitely come back to this post if I ever make it to Tomorrowland.
I hope it will be a great resource for future years 🙂
I love your articles.I read that because your friend was the island she was able to get an early invitation. I am from Puerto Rico, so I would like to know how did she get into that list. Thanks
Hi Natalie! All the details are in this post, I promise 🙂 Reread the section on preregistration, and let me know if anything is still unclear.
I wanted to ask whether if I could buy tickets and then resell them during the personalisation period would that be alright?
Sorry Usman, I have no personal experience with this and can’t comment.
This festival sounds crazy. I love the idea of flowers being dropped by helicopters and being surrounded by soap bubbles. So fun 🙂
The organizers definitely know how to put on a show!
Whoa, the lead up to the festival sounds super stressful and intense, but those photos make it look totally worth it!
That’s why I started with the beautiful photos, and ended with the tale of how hard it was to get there 🙂 Ha!
I really hope I get to do this one day!! Looks awesome, now I just need a friend that lives on a tiny island… 😉 I love how they put all of those cool touches on the festival, like the face art, flower drops and oxygen bars. I’ve never heard of that kind of flair at any other festival!
I definitely lucked out with Heather, in more ways than one! The ultimate festival buddy.
The evolution of rave is so interesting to me. There may be a lot more bells & whistles — in this case, A LOT more — but it’s amazing that 25+ yrs after its inception, we are still dancing all night long to synthetic beats in a muddy field x
Indeed! (And I totally underestimated the muddy bit — so glad I found those rain boots last minute!)
You guys are so lucky for living on the other side of the world; it is virtually impossible for Dutch/Belgian people to get tickets due to the fact they want to keep the festival as international as possible. I know people who tried to get tickets with eight laptops next to eachother without any success (the did that three years in a row).
Furthermore, it is obvious that you can drink from the tap (in Holland at least), so that’s probably why there are no signs ;p
Hey Geke, I don’t know if statistically that is true… I couldn’t find official numbers so I didn’t include them in this post, but from what I read in many places a fairly significant portion of tickets are set aside exclusively for the Belgian pre-sale. With 1.8 million people trying to get 180,000 tickets, it’s not surprising that some people may not get through even trying a few years in a row! But I wish your friends luck next time 🙂
Looks like so much. Gonna have to add that one to the list!
Good luck landing tickets Dane! It’s well worth the hassle!
Dang girl, the ticket thing sounds like a nightmare! But the festival looks like a fairytale. Still fully jealous 🙂
Oh man, I was in Panama at the time and the stress had me doubled over for days! But as the photos show, it was well worth it in the end 🙂
That ticketing process is insane! Enough right there to stress me out!! Great guide though!
Yeah, reading through our messages to each other during those few days cracks me up. We were a wreck!
Thank you for this important blog. I was waiting for this from last week. It has cleared all the doubts and keeping my fingers crossed about the ticket though i will take all the efforts to make it possible. The only doubt i have is about the type of credit cards which paylogic accepts.
I am researching on that. I also wanted to know whether they accept debit cards as well.
Let me know if you have any information or any link on the same.
I’m not sure about that Uttam! I know Heather used a Visa credit card from a Cayman Islands bank. Good luck finding out more!
What an amazing post Alex, I am sending it everywhere in my net!
Its like a perfect guide but greatly written and free! I am not into electronic music at all, despite a live in Ibiza now, but I really want to go to Tomorrowland next year just after reading the post!
By the way, I know Viagogo very well as a seller and buyer (not the overpriced type, but below retail price as I could not attend the venue)….and always had very bad experiences with them.
Dodgy re-sellers buy cheap tickets in viagogo (my tickets) and try to sell them again to third and fourth parties, terribly overpriced I assume. In the case they don´t sell them, Viagogo will happily tell the first seller (me) the tickets were false and will not pay you (as a first seller). A real mess and always finish badly to everyone. Thats my experience anyway. I lost 4 Royal Opera House tickets that way (even with the Royal opera house credit card ticket attached to them). Obviously now I give my tickets away for free to friends when I have the chance.
I also know plenty people who got fake tickets many times.
Its a very dangerous website…although thats just my experience anyway.
Thanks again for an amazing post
Thanks for sharing that info, Pilar! “Is Viagogo safe?” or some variation on that question popped up MULTIPLE times per day in those Tomorrowland Facebook groups, and it was always hotly debated. As much I LOVED Tomorrowland and was determined to go, I would not have purchased tickets second hand had I not landed them through official outlets.
I would love to go to this festival one day – it looks amazing! The ticket process sounds like an absolute nightmare, but it sounds like you had an insane time though! Love the top two photos Alex! x
It was! I wish they would streamline the process and have better customer service through the whole thing :-/ But I guess they don’t have any incentive to do so!
Since I write a series every year, along with multiple posts on how to get to Tomorrowland, the best way to get there from the hotel is the bus. I’ve gone for the past three years and this is what we always use.
Your posts were some of the only I could find when I was planning Helene, thank you for them! 🙂
Excuse my curiosity, but if you’ve taken the bus every year how are you able to rule outhe other options as “the best” if you’ve only tried the bus?
The bus is really the only option, Zachary 🙂 Well, the only direct one at least other than taking a VERY expensive taxi!
You make these crazy festivals look like so much fun… I’m nearly convinced to come along next time!
Tomorrowland Brazil? You in? 😉
Great guide. But the ticket process is very bad.
Ha — I won’t argue with you there!
Sorry if i am wrong.
You’re not wrong! I agree with you 🙂
ekkk so excited for next year…fingers crossed for tickets though! sounds a bit like glasto
btw just listened to your Q&A session on TBS…afer seeing so many photos of you on your blog i did not expect you to sound like that for some reason lol useful listen…thanks!
You are not the first person to have said that! I wonder what people picture my voice like 🙂
Of all the things on this post – the one thing that really stuck out was – how tall was that bloke standing next to you in the blue shorts!
Ha! I am definitely used to being the shortest in the crew at all times 🙂
Wow, sounds like you had a great time! Thanks for all the details about how to get tickets, get there and for the tips for enjoying yourself. Great tip about the bottle caps! 🙂
I do love to research! They didn’t make it easy in this case but I’m up for a challenge!
So 2015 is Bonnaroo then, yes? Ticket prices are around the same ($250-$300 for a four-day pass) but lodging would be free (with meeeeee) and airfare cheap (you can fly from NYC to Nashville for $100 each way) =)
Girl, I’ve already allotted the appropriate amount of Southwest miles for the cause! I can’t wait to reunite!
I’ve been determined to go to Tomorrowland ever since I saw the after movie a few years ago!!! I’m so jealous you got to go this year. I wanted to get tickets to Brazil for my birthday but no luck! I am going to try and get tickets for July next year.
I’m def. going to need attire help. haha.
I’d be happy to consult on costumes once you land tickets, Amy 🙂
I’m so glad that the effort was worth it because wowza! Also – I am in AWE of the attention to detail in these Tomorrowland posts. As someone who is a major pre-trip researcher… this is going to be invaluable info for future festival goers. Be proud lady!
Thank you so much Whitney, that means a lot! These kinds of posts are a bitch to write but totally worth it in the end when I start hearing from people who were able to use them to their benefit 🙂
WOWZA … the whole getting your hands on the ticket thing sounds like a total nightmare! But …. TOTALLY worth it. Its looks like a magical land. Im surprised they offer the drug bins for last minute disposal tho, you’d be charged here in Oz, even if you were getting rid of them. Love your pictures, totally inspires me to make this a thing next year. 🙂
I thought it was a good system. It gives anyone who is wavering a chance to change their mind and still come in and enjoy the festival arrest-free 🙂
It all sounds amazing but I just don’t think I have the time/energy to prepare so much for a festival and do so much planning. It actually seems exhausting – unless of course you really love the music. I remember your Burning Man stuff too and it was a lot of planning and money. Maybe I’m just not cut out for festivals- or maybe Goa being an every day trance party has made me lazy lol
Yeah, the funny thing is that I don’t even crazy love EDM! But I think many people go to Tomorrowland more for the festival experience than for the music, actually… though that’s the kind of admission that can get you a lot of dirty looks in the wrong circles! 🙂
Sounds fun! So, are you going to Brazil next year?
I was pretty excited to until I realized it was over the same weekend as Batabanoo in Grand Cayman, which I am committed to this year 🙂 Oh well, there’s always next time!
This is an awesome wrap of Tomorrowland! I’ll keep this as a resource for when I get the chance to make it there, which I certainly will now!
So glad to hear that Marcello! Good luck with the ticket drama!
This looks AMAZING! I’m so glad I have internet friends like you through whom I can live vicariously. 😉
Always happy to provide 🙂
Hi, I love your post on Tomorrowland, i was wondering the global package includes? does it include the ticket or do you have to purchase that separate? Also if you take the global journey does it automatically include the hotel? Thanks sorry for so many confusing questions.
The Global Journey packages DO include tickets, and can include either hotels or camping, from what I understand 🙂
Hi Alex, all this information is extremely helpful and I’m so happy i came across your website!
I have one question about tickets. You said your friend lived in the Cayman Islands. Was the postal address where the tickets would be sent to a different address than your friend’s in the Cayman Islands?
Actually that was a big stress for us — tickets cannot be sent to PO Boxes, and there are ONLY PO Boxes in the Cayman Islands! (No home delivery for mail.) So we had them sent to her parent’s place in the US. We didn’t have an issue. She did register with a Cayman address and driver’s license, though.
Thank you for answering! So during the pre registration you put in a US address? I was wondering this because I registered from a different country from my postal address (Same issue with the cayman islands, in Ethiopia it’s only PO. BOX)
So to decide whether you’re top 10 its based on postal address?
Nope, in pre-registration she put the Cayman address, where she lives (we weren’t even thinking about shipping at that point.) You can put in whatever address you want if you get through to a purchase page — it doesn’t need to match the address you pre-register with.
My brother in Zimbabwe has been lucky enough to be in the top 10 pre-registered and he can buy 4 tickets. He is coming to visit us in the UK in June and July this year so we are worried we need to get the tickets posted here in UK and pay with our UK credit card. Do you think that will be okay? I didnt know if the link that allows you to buy early is restricted at all?
We shipped our bracelets to the US with no problem, but we did pay with a Caymanian credit card and billing address, so I can’t say what will happen there. Good luck!
Hey Alex, such an awesome post and it sounds like you had the best time over there! Just wondering, did you find out how many tickets you were able to buy? I managed to get the first 10 in my country and it says I can buy up to 4 tickets, however the Dreamville packages say that 2P or 4P tent/lodge packages count as 1 ticket? Just slightly confused and want to get tickets for all my friends so wondering if you had anymore info on this?
We were able to buy for four people with our access code. Hope that helps!
Question about the pre-sale…I have a friend in Canada who was one of the first ten to register, so will get a link to purchase tickets before the regular sale. He cannot go, so wants to give the link to me. I am also from Canada, but do you know if your friend had to sign in with her account using the link? Or could I be sent the link and login with my account?
Any insight would be useful! Thanks!!
Hey Brittney, unfortunately I can’t advise you — we used our own link and did it all by the book, so I haven’t a clue what would happen if we had tried with another name. I don’t think it will be a problem, considering I’ve seen people trying to sell their access code links, but I just can’t be sure. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful!
Hi Alex, Amazing post, indeed very helpful. Well I got my global journey tickets for this year from Budapest.
I am sure will enjoy this festival.
Enjoy! I wish I was going back 🙂
Hi Alex, thank you for the detailed info for the begginers of Tomorrowland!
Question about ID check…does Tomorrowland check our ID and bracelet if the registered name is completely munched? I am anxious about my belongings during the festival so want to keep my ID (passport) in the rocked rocker. If the answer is yes, when does Tomorroland ask us the ID check? At entrance for each day’s? Or any other situation??
Hey Kuniko, I’m not sure what you mean by the name being “completely munched?” They checked IDs at check-in and that was it! Otherwise you just use your bracelet to swipe in and out of the festival and campgrounds.
This post and all your other posts really helped me understand how the whole process works for Tomorrowland! I’ve just missed the cut and reading your blog, I’m planning my trip (hopefully) for Tomorrowland next year, starting from NOW. I was hoping if you could explain more about pre-registering for the tickets, as I’m not quite sure how that works and does that mean that for each country, only the first 10 people will be allowed to buy the tickets?
I loved all the pictures you took and am in awe by how amazing both you and Heather look in the pictures! I hope that I’ll be able to experience what you guys did next year!
Thanks and cheers
Hey there! No, a festival where only the first ten people from every country can buy tickets would be much smaller than Tomorrowland 🙂 The first ten people from each country are GUARANTEED tickets. Hope that makes things clearer! Best of luck!
I had the same experience this year. Since I’m living in Nigeria at the moment i was lucky enough to be one of the first ten people who pre-registered (Nigeria’s population 200Million :P). I had also the stress of credit cards, i tried 3 credit cards and finally I used my friend my friend’s PAYPAL account to pay. Apparently Paypal is the easiest, safest and best way to pay for tomorrowland tickets.
Are you coming to the festival this year.
Congrats on nabbing tickets Nassim! I won’t be making it this summer, but I’d love to try Brazil in a future year.
Hey Alex, thanks for your blog it really helped me very well to plan my trip! Are ciggerates and zippos permited in Tomorrowland premises?
Hey Pratik — I don’t smoke so I’m not 100% sure, but I do believe there were people smoking in the festival grounds.
This was a very informative post!
Thanks Christian! That’s what I was going for! 🙂
Hey Alex.. Thanks for the guide!
Where do you recomend me to purchase my camping gear?
– on site?
Do you have any particular store in mind?
Btw, you are pretty
Regards from Mexico.
Hi Dio! You are welcome. I would definitely purchase your camping gear in Brussels as offerings on site will be extremely limited (or you could go for the Dream Tents, which are more expensive but means you don’t have to pack a tent or sleeping bag). Even in Brussels there might be slim pickings… arrive a few days early to be safe!
Im coming to Tomorrowland this year. I want to know where i can buy the tickets for the shuttles leaving from the cities in The Netherlands.
Hey Raymundo! Congrats on heading to Tomorrowland. I’d check the Tomorrowland website for available shuttles. They might not even by one sale yet, but you can always keep checking back in!
Hi, good info here, the festival looks great! I am considering using the bracelet of a friend who cannot go anymore; obviously the bracelet is already now pre-registered in that person’s name. You said you only had to show your ID at check-in; do I still have to “check-in” if I already have the bracelet? Just wondering if I actually need to show my ID at any point in time if i already have the bracelet. Thanks!
We got ours in the mail ahead of time too — if memory serves I believe you have to activate it upon arrival. Best of luck!
I have got tickets and have got a few questions.
I have friends staying in another campsite and wonder what was the best way to keep in contact?
-is their signal for mobiles?
– can you bring alcohol bought outside into the dreamville campsite?
-Can you bring food you bought outside into the campsite?
Hey Katarina, we didn’t have our phones turned on for international calls so I’m not sure if there was service or not (I was just using mine for photos!). You are able to bring alcohol and food but no glass containers so make sure to transfer everything ahead of time. Enjoy!
Hi Alex, I only got hyped about Tomorrowland like earlier this year & I absolutely am grateful for your post! I’m planning to go there in a few years since I’m from Nepal & I got college to focus on. Lol.
But I do have a question about how you got your tickets. You said your friend was one of the first 10 people to pre-register? So is it that the first 10 people to pre-register from a country will have the opportunity to buy tickets before the actual sale goes up??
-Love from Nepal.
Yup, that’s how it goes! At least for now 🙂
I missed out on Tomorrowland this year, but I gathered all the videos that I could find on YouTube, I thought it might be a good compliment to the best and most comprehensive write-up for surviving a festival I’ve seen. Check it out!
Thanks for the kudos on this post! Viva Tomorrowland!
Well thank u Alex.I think booking procedures of glbl jrny is more easier than the normal booking.Atleast i can avoid prebooking..
Good luck 🙂
I’ve been following your blog, and I have a question. Did your friend find out almost a month later that she was amongst the 10 first people to register? Did she get the auto-generated email anyway? I got the link because I pre-registered already, however, I’m not sure if I got that I’m already ruled out of those first 10. Would you mind advising?
Hey Patty! To reiterate what was in the post, she received the email telling her she had an International Invite on January 31st, four days before those tickets went on sale. When she preregistered, she received a confirmation email just like I did. You probably won’t find out for several weeks if you will receive an International Invite or not. Good luck!
Hey I just wanted to tell you that this survival guide is very helpful to me, I have never really been to a festival but I am planning on going to Tomorrowland this year since I turn 18 very soon, there are many things about Tomorrowland I wouldn’t have known if it wasnt’t for this guide, I pre-registered yesterday so I really hope I get tickets, this festival is something I just need to go to!
Thanks, Oliver! So glad you found this helpful. Best of luck landing tickets!
Hello Alex, I have just received an email saying that i am one of the first 10 people from the country who registered for Tomorrowland 2016. Now i am a British guy based in Doha, Qatar and i’m facing the same dilemma as you as we only have P.O box not postal address. How did you overcome this? i registered with my Qatar details but was tempted to maybe deliver to my British address when actually purchasing the if that was possible.. Basically im paying for myself and 3 of the lads, for the 5 days there what is the best way to go about it?
Hey Thomas, we were able to have the bracelets shipped to an address in the US. We did use a Cayman credit card and billing address to be safe. We didn’t have any issues. Hope that helps!
Im 35 turning 36 this year. My brother is turning 40. We have always wanted to go to a festival like this. Will we stand out in a bad way?
Hey Dave, you’ll definitely be older than the median age but don’t let that stop you! The friend I went with was in her early thirties and we had an awesome time.
Hey I saw in that picture that only tickets for a whole weekend are for sale?
Is it also possible to buy just a one day ticket for just saturday or just sunday? And how much is this
Hey Stijn, not sure what picture you are referring to. Check the Tomorrowland site for current ticket prices and availability!
Was reading your replies. How did you manage to get the bracelets sent to a US address? Did you email them or call them to change it ?
Im from fiji and we only have PO boxes here as well .
Thanks in advance for your reply
Hey Sam, we put on a US address right from the get-go! We also sent a note explaining our situation. Good luck.
Are you able to bring in a purse on festival grounds? Also, how did you handle phone carrier charges of you had any?
Yup, you can bring a purse in! I had my phone on airplane mode the whole time and just used it for photos and the festival app 🙂 So no charges!
Hi Alex! I´m from Argentina and I´m planning to go to tomorrowland this year with two other friends of mine.
Right now, my frinds are partying in Brazil on a batchelor´s party, and they will be there until next week. The thing is that I will have to puchase the tickets and acomodation for the three of us cause they don´t have computers, just their movile phones. Do you know if I can purchase all of this with one credit card? I know that we all have to be preregistered, but beside that, can one person buy three tickets?
I believe that one person can purchase up to four tickets. You should definitely confirm that on the Tomorrowland site as things may have changed in the last two years. Enjoy!
I’m planing to visit tomorrowland next year and have started researching about my journey. Your blog was one of the best where I got information. I will be contacting further for information. So be in touch .
Glad you found this helpful, Somit! Enjoy the festival!
Does anyone know if Belgium sales taxes are included in the ticket prices? I know the treasure box fee, payment fee & service see are not included in the price. But I wanna know if I have to pay sales tax on top of that.
Hey Andrea, check out my Cost of Tomorrowland post (linked to at the end of this one) for a full breakdown of the ticket fees I paid.
Hi Alex. What if we buy the full madness tickets but not the Dreamville package? Is there any hotels o hostels near Tomorrowland to stay in?
I don’t believe there are any right in Boom (I could be wrong as I never looked into that option — we knew we wanted to stay in Dreamville from the get go), but there are plenty in Brussels or Antwerp. It is quite a hike to and from the festival every day, though!
First of all. Thank you for all the information. Really helpful. Secondly, your selfies look pretty darn amazing. I have never found a good selfie camera. May I know which one you used for this event?
Check out my Obsessions page — I had my full set of camera gear on me for this festival 🙂
thanks for this. This year I’m going to tomorrowland. You helped me during my phase 2 (trying to get secured tickets online since phase 1, buying them online through preregistration etc. failed). Since I live in Miami and know that is pretty much the same hustle with ultra and I went to EDC Las Vegas and Puerto Rico without tickets and bought them over there, phase 3 is going to Belgium couple of days before everybody and buy the tickets there. Any thoughts, recommendations… Thanks
Hey Sasha, unfortunately I don’t think that plan will work here. Tickets need to be pre-registered with the name of the attendee months prior to the festival, and they DO check IDs. I’d be interested to hear the results if you do try it, but I’ve never heard of that working for anyone in regards to Tomorrowland (I definitely have at other festivals like Burning Man.)
Thank you SOOO much for this post- I so surprised how little information is available for Tomorrowland- You rock for doing these super informative posts!
I am pre planning for 2017 right now- 6 months of craziness is the plan beginning with Tomorrowland.
Can you give any insight into the “relax rooms” I am also worried about them being too stuffy/hot but love the idea of being able to lock everything up. It weirds me out that strangers can come into your space- on your bed if you aren’t around. I am not sure if you heard anything in passing.
Thanks so much!
Hey Kathleen, I never really got in the relax rooms or talked to anyone who had them so I can’t comment on them. But security was tight in the Dream Lodge area and we never heard of anyone going inside anyone else’s tents. We felt comfortable with the whole thing once we got there! And yeah, I feel you on the lack of info frustration 🙂
I love your website and honestly have been using it to do much of my tomorrowland 2017 planning. One question I have to ask is, can you move the beds in the Dream Lodge? Ideally I’d like to sleep WITH my boyfriend and it doesn’t seem like the beds will move :/
Hey Alizen! I wasn’t sure about this before but I just got back from Tomorrowland Brazil where I confirmed that YES you can indeed move the beds. It does make the tent configuration kind of awkward to be honest, but they do move. Enjoy!
Good to see a pretty face doing a good deed, its really helpful and i wanna thank you for that.
I am going to tomorrowland 2016 this july with my wife,
I have booked the tickets but they said i need to get my tent along with me so can I put the tent anywhere or there is specific area provided by them.
I am going with my wife so the will stay with her hope the security is good and toilets are clean.
Just wanna know from your experiance that is it Fun camping or and which is better option Regular full madness or Comfort Full madness, which area has better young crowd.
Thank you and waiting for your precious answer.
Thanks and love
Hey Ricky, from my understanding you will be directed to a specific camping area when you check in to Dreamville based on your arrival time. Unfortunately I never tried the Comfort pass so I’m not sure how VIP the VIP experience really is! We had a great time in the general festival areas, however.
Hi! Im going this year to Tomorrowland with my two friends! your information was dope!
Glad to hear it Alex! Hope you enjoy!
Wow, this is quite the exhaustive recount of how to do Tomorrowland. Even without the whole production the grounds look really neat. Thanks for sharing this. Definitely adding to my bookmarks!
There’s not much info out there on Tomorrowland, so I tried to throw as many details as I could into one post 🙂
I don’t remember what you called this but you talked about a backpack with water in it, I was thinking about too buy a backpack with built-in water bottle. You Said something that that you could not take it with you in to the festival or was I who was reading wrong?
Hey Alex! I believe you are referring to a Camelbak. To be honest at this point (years after) I can’t recall if they were allowed or not — I’d have to reread the post to see if I mentioned it explicitly.
With all due respect to Insomniac Events, judging from the photos in this post Tomorrowland’s festival grounds are event bigger than the EDC’s motor speedway venue. Thanks for writing such a detailed report. I would never imagine that there are bigger EDM fests than EDC and Ultra.
Oh yeah — this event is HUGE. I haven’t been to EDC but from the photos I’ve seen the grounds are much, much more extensive.
Adrian from Romania here.
I want to go in 2017 at Tomorrowland.
I have a few questions:
1.What’s the difference between Easy Tent and DreamVille pass ?
2.Is DreamVille far away from the festival?
3.EasyTent is there at the festival and DreamVille kilometers away?
4.How many accomodation options are in DreamVille and how many in EasyTent
Yeah,my questions are stupid and confusing because I’m a little confused about this areas.
I want to buy the right tickets.
Thank you !
Hey Adrian. Have you checked out this post? I think it will answer all your questions about Dreamville. Enjoy!
I was wondering if it is possible to cook a decent meal yourself in dreamville? As it is quite expensive there… . Is it easy to go from dreamville to the stages or does that take much time?
There are BBQ grills in Dreamville, so I suppose if you planned ahead, brought a good cooler (and remember, no ice is available for sale anywhere in Dreamville!) and were ambitious you could make quite a lovely meal. Depending on where you camp in Dreamville it could be a 10-40 minute walk. The Dream Lodges, Relax Rooms and Easy Tents have closest access. If you’re general camping I recommend arriving early to get the best camping spot. Good luck!
thnx alots for ur useful tips about the festival bust can you elaborate more about the issue of when you stated that when the final date of personalizing comes, it comes harder to transfer tickets? do you refer to the ones who demanding a re-sale tickets for the festival? and is the wrist band (tickets) can be easily taken off or its a water resisitant?
Yes, the wristbands can easily be taken on and off and I took mine off to shower though didn’t worry when it got a little wet from rain or washing my hands. As for the resale question, I’m afraid I don’t know TOO much on this subject since I have never had to buy or sell a ticket from a secondary source. Best of luck finding answers!
arrival should be one day or 2 days before the beginning of the festival if i’m using the dream lodges@dream ville?
You check in the day before the festival, the day of The Gathering. Exact times for when check in begins will be included with your ticket 🙂
Wow, love the blog! (and that you’re a fellow picky eater!)
Discovered this post today after learning about Tomorrowland this morning. Already planning on going haha. But I wanted to ask, which of all these major festivals has been your favourite?
Tough question because they are SO different. Full Moon for example is just one night, so in a totally different category from the other two. And Burning Man and Tomorrowland and also starkly different, with Tomorrowland being much more commercial and and Burning Man being much, much more intense to prepare for. They are all a blast… I can’t pick between them!
Today I pre registered to Tomorrowland from my country,Romania.
How long I have to wait to know If I’m in the first 10 people from my country who pre registered.
Hi George! I shared the full timeline from my year above. I think we found out about the international invites just a few days before they went on sale. Good luck!
I also love in the Cayman Islands and just pre registered for tomorowland.I am expecting to be among the first 20/registrations of course. What I wanted to check was how did u manage the delivery of the tickets if they wouldn’t deliver to a pobox?
Hey Harry! We had them delivered to Heather’s parent’s house in the USA. Hope that helps.
Hi! myself and two friends are planning on going to tomorrow land this year and were planning on staying in the easy tents. however i was wondering if two of us got the tent, and the other one got the ticket and a dreamville pass would be be able to stay in the tent together or is there only certain times the person with the pass can visit the camping area? or would they say anything or not allow 3 of us to squeeze into one tent ?
Sorry Katie, but no. You have to have a special Easy Tent wristband to get into that area, so unless you traded wristbands and went two at a time there’s no way to bring a third person with a regular camping pass into your tent.
What a nice guide to tomorrowland. I also want to be a part of this. Thank you for sharing this and please keep it up.
Thanks Victoria! I hope it helps many travelers and festival-goers alike.
I recieved an email from tomorrowland that I’m in the first 10 people in my country and I will recieve a special link to buy 4 tickets 100% chance for the 2nd weeknd.
I want to sell the link because I can’t go.
Whete I can sell it ?
Hey George, I don’t know if it’s possible to transfer the link. I never bought or sold tickets in any way other than the official channels so I have no experience to share. Good luck.
Just wondering how were the toilet/shower facilities at the lodge ?
Hey Sam! Do you mean in the Dream Lodges? If so, they were great! Warm showers with free shampoo — woo hoo! My only complaint was that all the toilets were meant to be the fancy flushing kind within the Dream Lodges, but due to some sort of mix up (the security admitted to us) there was a regular row of port potties put in instead. But it seemed that was an error and so we just walked a bit further to go to the flushing ones 🙂
Hey Alex, I love your blog! I’ve wanted to go to tomorrowland for years but none of my friends could afford it / get time off / wanted to go! So this year I’ve taken the plunge and got tickets to go alone! Just wondering how easy it will be to meet people? I’m doing the discover Belgium package and staying in a hotel! Thanks Vicky
That’s awesome Vicky! I have no experience going alone, but I assume that you’ll meet plenty of people in your shuttle to and from the hotel!
I didn’t really read much info about Global Journey. What’s the price, and what’s included?
Hey Ya’heia! I didn’t do Global Journey, so I really just have the info that was hard to find elsewhere. You can find loads more about Global Journey on the official Tomorrowland website!
How did you and Heather sort out the not mailing to P.O. Box issue? I live in the Cayman Islands so I’ll have this problem too when I try for tickets. Thanks for the posts on Tomorrowland. Husband and I are going to try and attend next year.
We actually had them mailed to Heather’s parents’ address in the US — I think only the billing address has to match the country you pre-registered from! Good luck!
Are you going this year? If so see you there! More or less lmao 🙂
Sadly not this year 🙂 But perhaps I’ll go again someday!
I’m going to Tomorrowland this year with my friends.
I am curious about the shuttle from Brussels airport to Dreamville. Where do you buy the tickets, and when will they be available ?
So many great tips, thank you 🙂
Hi Synne! They are available on the Tomorrowland website. I believe they announced them by email a few months ahead — snap them up quick because routes do sell out!
Okay perfect! Thank you for answering ????
You’re so welcome! Good luck!
This is the ultimate guide to Tomorrowland. Such a great article reading for me, thank you for sharing this article.
You’re welcome! Hope Tomorrowland comes back stronger than ever!