There’s no denying that this new festival fetish of mine is quite the expensive hobby. But what can I say? I’ll hostel hop for months and play the credit card points game all day if it means that once a year I can splurge on a magical experience like Tomorrowland.
While costs will of course vary wildly from person to person, I know that when I’m planning for a big expenditure like a major European music festival, I like to have at least an inkling of what’s coming.
So exactly how much does Tomorrowland cost? This post is my own personal euro for euro breakdown! I decided not to include flights into the total because first, Tomorrowlanders fly in from over 200 different countries, meaning that figure will be largely irrelevant, and second, I flew in from one European country and out to another and enjoyed a bit of Belgium along the way, as this was part of a much larger trip. However, here are some of my best tips for scoring great flight deals.
Ticket: €237.50 or $300
Tickets are available in a few different packages. Day passes are €88/$111 each, while a Full Madness pass covering all three days of the festival is €237.50/$300. Comfort passes, which all access to seperate viewing decks, are €165/$208 per day or €437.5/$552 for the Full Madness comfort pass.
The week before the festival we panicked wondering if we should have splurged on comfort passes and tried fruitlessly to find a way to upgrade. In the end I’m so glad we didn’t bother — we never felt we were missing out.
Next up, read about how to get those damn tickets!
DreamVille Camping: €525 or $661
This was, obviously, my biggest expense. We chose to splurge on camping in the Dream Lodges, and it was our best decision of the festival. The cost included four nights. Camping at the Dream Lodges was a such a big part of my enjoyment of Tomorrowland, I can’t imagine my experience had we done another direction.
Next up, read all about camping in Dreamville!
Ticket Fees: €56 or $70
When it was finally time to check out, there were surprise “service costs” of €8 per person, “payment costs” of €23 per person, and “fulfillment costs” of €25 per person. So in total we paid €56/$70 each in ticketing fees. While the “service costs” fee is clearly stated on the Tomorrowland website, the other two were not — build them into your budget.
Tomorrowland Shuttle: €27 or $34
As Boom is not exactly a booming tourist destination the rest of the year, getting there is not so straightforward (see what I did there?). Taking the train from Brussels or Antwerp involves a transfer, though Tomorrowland does arrange free shuttles from the Boom train station to the festival grounds.
As Heather was flying in to Brussels late on Thursday and we were anxious to arrive to the festival as quickly as possible, I met her at the airport and we took Tomorrowland’s shuttle to the festival. The price was for a round trip ride to and from the airport.
Campsite Food and Alcohol: €48 or $60
I spent €48/$60 on food and alcohol to bring into DreamVille. While we didn’t plan to cook, a stash of apples, bananas, nuts and granola bars went a long way, and our array of booze and mixers was a much appreciated break from the overpriced drink stalls inside the festival. You can bring anything into DreamVille except glass, meaning all alcohol had to be transferred into plastic bottles ahead of time.
While we couldn’t get a clear answer on this leading up to the festival, there was drinkable water at the campsites. All water coming out of the sinks in the bathroom areas was clean and safe to drink, which saved us a ton on buying the bottled stuff.
However, any water or drinks you buy in the festival will be handed to you with the top off to encourage you to drink faster and thus consume more. I collected a few bottle caps in the days leading up to the festival and always had a few on me in my back pocket.
Costumes: €75 or $95
Considering my hefty collection of costumes and dress up clothes, I didn’t have to add to much to prepare to go all out at Tomorrowland. Back in the US I spent $62 on a festival-ready backpack, a patriotic headband and flag top, and the obligatory flower crown. Unfortunately all those items, along with dozens of other beloved camping and costume items, are still missing thanks to the Belgian postal system.
Once I accepted my box wasn’t going to show I ran out and bought a pair of €8/$10 rain boots and €18/$23 worth of emergency accessories at Claire’s in Brussels. I ditched the rain boots but assuming (praying!) I get my box back, this whole category is an investment in future tomfoolery.
On Site Purchases
Tokens: €165 or $208
When we purchased our tickets, Heather and I each bought a €50 Booze Bag containing 25 tokens and surmised it should last us most of the festival. Ha! It did not.
But at least you get value for what you are buying. Tomorrowland is known on the festival scene for its gourmet food and we were impressed by both the variety and quality. Each token had value of €2, and inside the festival mixed drinks cost 5 tokens, sodas and soft drinks cost 1.5 tokens, cheese toasties cost 2.5 tokens, and a meals like a pulled pork roll from the Texan BBQ stand or a noodle stir fry from the Asian booth cost 6-10 tokens. A great list of food and drink prices for 2014 can be found here.
We ate breakfast in our tent each morning with the food we’d brought, and pre-gamed with our own booze in DreamVille before entering the festival at night. Otherwise I didn’t really make an effort to restrict myself in this area and happily indulged in overpriced strawberry mojitos and frozen yogurt galore.
Splurges: €77 or $97
I had a few fun splurges along the way. I treated Heather and I to a bottle of champagne at the Bubbles with a View bar overlooking the main stage for €36/$45, I treated myself to a Tomorrowland t-shirt for €35/$44, and I made one trip to the oxygen bar for €6/$8. The t-shirt I could have lived without, in retrospect.
Total Cost for four nights:
€1,210 or $1,525 per person
While there are those who spent half what I did and those who spent triple (hello Global Journey guests!), I’m fairly certain Tomorrowland comprised the most expensive four days of my life. I knew they would be though, and I’m grateful for both the experience I had and the fact that I’m at a point in my life where I can make a massive annual splurge on something like this.
That said, I hesitated to post this breakdown. I had a few commenters that were shocked by what I spent on Burning Man last year, which was the same amount for more than twice the time. But alas, I’m owning this one — I had a killer time, and annoying mysterious fees and drunken t-shirt purchase aside, I don’t regret a single cent. [Update: Turns out Tomorrowland Brazil is even more expensive!]
Was that more or less than you expected? If you’ve been to Tomorrowland, please share your own experience in the comments below!