Festival Report CardNews

Festival Report Card: Tomorrowland 2023 (Weekend 1)

Now that we’ve had some time to recover from our incredible Tomorrowland trip, we can finally share our thoughts and impressions with you. This past July, we returned to report on Tomorrowland for our sixth year.

For the 17th edition of Tomorrowland, entitled “Adscendo,” a park in the city of Boom, Belgium, called De Schorre was turned into a fantasy setting high beyond the horizon, where the People of Tomorrow saw the climax of a story from Tomorrowland’s Great Library archives.

Everything from the initial concept to the finished creation of the Tomorrowland 2023 Mainstage was made in-house by Tomorrowland, surpassing our highest expectations. Despite some gloomy weather, the main attraction was a towering spectacular city that sparkled with surprises even after the sunset.

More than 750 DJs were spread over 16 stages at this year’s event, making Tomorrowland unlike many other festivals. Because of its exceptional production, music, and energy, Tomorrowland Weekend 1 was an incredible weekend that we will never forget.

Read EDM Maniac’s Festival Report Card for details about the festival below.

Vibes: A+

Tomorrowland has an unparalleled atmosphere. Because of its popularity, getting tickets is difficult. Over 200 nations are represented at the festival, and tickets sell out in minutes. You can sense the positive vibes of the crowd at Tomorrowland the instant you enter since everyone there is overjoyed to be there after finally getting a ticket. We were treated with nothing but kindness and friendliness by everyone we met throughout the weekend and never encountered any bad vibes.

Tomorrowland is truly one of the happiest places on Earth, thanks to the thousands of people who came from all over the world to celebrate their love of dance music at the event. The people we interacted with were interested in learning about our American culture and building meaningful friendships.

Tomorrowland’s experience is unique because it’s not only about having a good time; it’s also about making friends for life from all corners of the globe. This has been the case for us year after year and we still keep in routine contact with people we’ve me at Tomorrowland.

There’s also a lot of talk about how “casual” attendees dress at Tomorrowland compared to American festivals. While that’s mostly the case (some people genuinely go all out!), it doesn’t change the vibes of the festival and the attendees. We found it nice not to think much about what we wore and instead prioritized our focus on the music and experience unfolding in front of us. Most people did the same.

Production: A+ 

Tomorrowland is famous all around the globe for the incredible planning that goes into it. The event is planned to the last detail so that attendees feel transported to another dimension. The event comes to life using cutting-edge technology throughout its 16 stages. They even decorate their garbage cans and restrooms.

The main stage of Tomorrowland was outfitted with every imaginable piece of production technology. The attention to detail was astounding, and they created an elaborate city with waterfalls, lasers, sixty costumed performers, and other special effects. There was no stone unturned.

Tomorrowland also featured a 3-story “Freedom” stage, with air conditioning and bars. This stage felt like a massive indoor club that lived permanently on the festival grounds. Some other stages included two stages on water, a stage with a mechanical dragon, and a massive tent with over 1,000,000 tiny LEDs. The sound quality at Tomorrowland was great at every stage.

In addition to its numerous stages, Tomorrowland also boasts a wide variety of eateries and an entire “Dreamville” camping town, complete with grocery stores, food stalls serving a variety of cuisines from across the world, a butcher, and other unique shops. The fact that Tomorrowland devotes so much time and money to organizing the event sets it apart from others. And it clearly shows.

Music: A+

With over 700 artists across the two weekends, this year’s lineup featured the most prominent artists in the world and some unique musical experiences. The Symphony of Unity, written for Tomorrowland, was performed by 50 live musicians at the Atmosphere stage, creating a unique performance blending classical and electronic music.

This year’s music experiences also saw Tale of Us‘ label, Afterlife, host their stage with mesmerizing visuals during Weekend 1, this experience left us breathless, and we spent most of the day at this stage. The “Rise” stage was a new addition, ensconced in greenery with gorgeous plants, and gave young and aspiring DJs from across the globe a chance to perform with the Tomorrowland Academy. At 11, UAE DJ Michelle became Tomorrowland’s youngest DJ!

There was music for everyone’s taste preferences at Tomorrowland. Aside from the main stage, Tomorrowland also included some smaller stages around the festival grounds, including a stage within a tunnel called the “Rave Cave” and a DJ in the restrooms at the main stage. Every area of Tomorrowland was blasting dance music from various genres, and every single DJ brought incredible energy and excitement to their sets. Some of our favorite sets were from Amelie Lens, Dom Dolla, Adriatique, and an unbelievable weekend closing set from Martin Garrix.

Venue: A+

De Schorre, the site of Tomorrowland, is surprisingly little more than a park. However, Tomorrowland makes excellent use of the area, converting the park into a vast, enchanted kingdom of dancing and music. Nature is a backdrop for the massive main stage and the more intimate CORE stage, where attendees can listen to techno sets in the middle of the woods. It’s breathtaking to be in the middle of a forest in a vast park.  Reasonable distances separate the stages; thus, there is little sound bleed.

The construction of Tomorrowland takes roughly two months. The event pulls in everything and completely changes this park, making it impossible to describe until you are there in person. It’s important to note that the shuttle buses and taxis are a 45-minute away if you aren’t camping. This is usually the case at most festivals, but it’s essential to remember. Shuttles, rideshares, and daily parking are all options, but none are conveniently located near Tomorrowland. As you go to the shuttle area, Tomorrowland has you covered with entertainment and drinks. We camped in style at Tomorrowland and had only a 20-minute stroll back to the Montagoe camping area.

When it rains, Tomorrowland may benefit from additional covered areas or awnings that can be retracted out of the way. When it rained, the restrooms and the limited covered places quickly became overcrowded. The weather at Tomorrowland is unpredictable, and the festival site could do more to prepare for wet conditions.

Overall: A+

Undoubtedly, Tomorrowland is unparalleled in the world of festivals. Tomorrowland is head and shoulders above the competition because of its excellent production values, enthusiastic multinational attendance, and attention to detail. Few events can compare to providing a magical experience for festivalgoers. The adjective “magical” is seldom used with “music festival,” but Tomorrowland is an unusual case. The enchantment and wonder of Tomorrowland remain with you long after your visit has ended, whether it was yesterday or many years ago. This is what keeps us coming back.

When comparing festivals throughout the globe, you’ll see that each one has its distinctive characteristics. But in many respects, Tomorrowland is not a festival. A trip to Tomorrowland is an adventure. It’s more than the long flights, hours, and dollars you put into getting there. In terms of memories, it is priceless. Traveling to Tomorrowland has always been a highlight of our summers, as it has introduced us to other cultures and connected us with people who share our same love of dance music.

Everyone should go to Tomorrowland at least once to feel the charm of the festival grounds and the warmth of human interaction. You’ll return with a newfound respect for dance music and a new, unforgettable life experience. Again, Tomorrowland is the only festival we have ever given an A+ on its Festival Report Card, and we hope you can see why.

Next summer, for our seventh time, we plan to revisit Tomorrowland, hoping to make even more new memories. Until then, Live Today, Love Tomorrow, Unite Forever.

All photos provided by Tomorrowland

Written by
Devin Lezama

Hi, I'm Devin! I'm from New York City but now spend my time in sunny Los Angeles attending shows and festivals. I'm also the founder of EDM Maniac.

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