• Stream Queen

Tomorrowland 2019- Soaked Edition

Updated: Sep 4, 2019

2019 has been an interesting year for festivals. Ultra Europe changing venues a week before the event, the relocation of Ultra Miami to Virginia Keys, cold weather with wind so intense it shut down the EDC mainstage, and not to mention the multiple cancellations of Swedish Hose Mafia shows... it's been an interesting year in the festival world. So, I guess I shouldn't be that surprised that Tomorrowland joined the club.


Thursday


I was welcomed to Belgium with a 103 degree heat wave, and because the shuttle dropped us off at the far end of the Magnificent Greens camping area, I was dripping in sweat by the time I got to the Montagoe camping, no thanks to the two suitcases I was struggling to pull over the uneven boardwalk. The star on far right is where I got dropped off... the star on the left is where I was staying. It was not the best 45 minute walk...





I was surprised and relieved to see that they added a pool to the Montagoe this year, a new addition and superior upgrade from the small pond that was installed last year. I quickly got the keys to my cabana, dropped off my suitcases, changed into my swimsuit, and went straight to the pool to cool off. I stayed at the pool pretty much all afternoon, partly because it was too hot to not be submerged in the refreshingly cool water, and partly because I was meeting so many people from around the world and having a great time.



After a quick (and miserable) walk to the nearby grocery store for the essentials (vodka...wine...snacks...), it was time to get ready for The Gathering. The Gathering is the official pre-party of Tomorrowland located in Dreamville, and only accessible by those that are camping. Before making my way to the railing (as always), I stopped in the Tomorrowland store. I usually don't buy merch from festivals, but I dropped around $200 this year on their exclusive 15 year anniversary flag and a sparkle logo hoodie. Worth it.





The Gathering was an amazing way to kick off the weekend, with special guests Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano and W&W. Yves V even played my all-time favorite festival song- 'Drip' by Jewelz and Sparks, which naturally, I freaked out at when it came on. (At my first Ultra in 2016, Tiesto played this and it was the moment I fell in love with Ultra and a song the first time hearing it, so it has been my favorite ever since). I was hoping it would cool off at night like last year, but it unfortunately did not. I slept on top of my blanket, in a bikini, with a small camping fan positioned six inches away from my face all night. (Camping fan is a LIFESAVER if you are camping at a festival, btw).



 

Friday


I was woken up to the news I had been hoping for for months- Ultra Miami returning to Bayfront. I also got the news that the Freedom stage had broken beyond repair, and that it would essentially be an outdoor stage, with no holosphere from Eric Prydz. I was actually super upset about that, I'm not even a fan of trance but Freedom stage was my favorite stage and I was stoked to see the holosphere. Anyway, Friday consisted of hanging out mainly at the Garden of Madness stage for sets by Sevenn, Laidback Luke, Timmy Trumpet, and Yves V; with a quick adventure down to the Q-Dance stage for D-Block and S-Te-Fan. Like always, the atmosphere of Tomorrowland is absolutely amazing. Everywhere you look, there is something beautiful to admire. It truly is like being in a fairy-tale. The weather on Friday was the best of the whole weekend, a bit cooler than the outrageous heat wave from Thursday, and no constant rain like the days that would follow. It started to rain when I left the venue and headed back to the Montagoe that night, and by the time I got back to my cabana, it was a straight up downpour. The rain didn't stop all night, and continued into the next day. I definitely did not mind the rain that night, it made sleeping so much better since it had cooled off so much.








 

Saturday


Saturday morning consisted of making the trek down to the Marketplace for food and to pick up my Global Journey bag. By the time I started walking back to the Montagoe, it had started to rain again, and the forecast predicted rain the rest of the day. Luckily, I had brought a rain jacket (which I got for last year but never ended up using), so I packed my Global Journey bag with my flag and new hoodie, threw on my rain jacket, and set off for the festival. The line to get through security was drastically less busy than Friday, I think a lot of people wanted to wait out the rain, but like that was gonna happen. By the time I got in, it was raining so hard that I went to the TML store and bought a hat that I didn't even really like, just to keep the water out of my eyes (but lets be real, I was really trying to protect my makeup lol). Today was a mainstage-all-night day, my group and I secured our spot at the railing and raged at that spot until midnight or so. The rain came and went, and I was constantly alternating between putting on my hat and rain jacket, taking them off, and putting them on again. We made a ton of friends with the people around us, for the most part, the people that are up at the rail are there for the majority of the time, so it's always the most fun when you make friends with everyone around you. Bonus, when those asshole people try to squeeze their way up to the front, you have a whole group of people backing you up and telling them to go somewhere else (which sounds terrible, but when you've locked down a railing spot for hours, there's no way you are letting someone squeeze in and push you out of the way). By the time DJ Snake came on, who I am not a fan of, I was hungry and ready to wander. We said goodbye to our new friends, made our way to the food stands, and sat and ate until the festival ended. By this point, my fingers were literally pruny from the near-constant rain all day. My hair was a tangled mess, my hoodie soaked under my rain jacket. Despite what normally would be a miserable time anywhere else, I was having the time of my life.





 

Sunday


I woke up Sunday to the sound of rain, and checked the weather only to be disappointed that it was going to rain... All. Fucking. Day. Again. I was so cold even wearing a hoodie and leggings, and for about an hour, I debated whether I even wanted to wear my planned festival outfit, or if I just wanted to go in leggings and a hoodie like I did at EDC. Luckily, I decided to wear my festival outfit under my 'warm' layers and brought in my GJ bag again. I say 'warm' because my hoodie that I had worn the night before was still soaking wet, even though I laid it out to dry all night. Oh well, by the time I got into the festival and into the crowd, the rain had let up a bit and I warmed up, and shed my outer layers pretty quickly. Sunday was planned to be an exploring day, since Tomorrowland is so massive and there is so much to see. But when we ran into our friends we met from the day before at the mainstage rail, my group and I decided to just hang out there instead. Oops. Maybe next year I'll actually see more of the festival than the mainstage, lol. Nervo and Garmiani were my favorite sets this day, but by the time Solomun came on, I was just not feelin' it. So I went off to get drinks and food, the process of which took nearly an hour. When I got back to my group, Lost Frequencies had started playing, and we decided to start making our way to the Lotus stage for Afrojack. It was surprisingly not busy, AT ALL, and we made our way to the middle rail so easily I was shocked. We ended Tomorrowland weekend with Bassjackers at the Lotus stage, and were able to watch the last fifteen minutes or so of the 15 year spectacle on mainstage before the glorious weekend officially ended.





 

Overall, I had an absolutely amazing time at Tomorrowland 2019. Although I feel like Weekend 2 got a bit screwed over as far as the Freedom stage/holosphere and weather goes, I actually had more fun this year than I did last. My intended plan for the weekend, like exploring more on Sunday, did not pan out as expected, but that's kind of always the case for festivals, right? I feel like I always have a plan but it goes out the window once I get there, like if I am having fun at another stage or with a great group of people at a set I didn't care to see. As a person who gets anxiety if I don't know exactly what is going to happen and plans trips down to every detail, part of why I love festivals is the ability to let loose and just go with the flow, and having a great time regardless on if things are going as planned or not.


I always love returning to a festival for a second time, because it is so fun being able to reunite with people you only see at festivals. While it's fun going to a festival for the first time because everything is new and so exciting, I prefer the familiarity of returning and knowing what to expect, having a better grasp on where things are, and meeting up with people I haven't seen since the last major festival. But I think the main difference in why I loved this year more, compared to last year, was the completely different experience at the mainstage railing. Last year was rough, I didn't really make friends with the people around me, people were constantly shoving, getting aggressive, and it just wasn't a good time. This year, we got lucky with the area we chose to hang out at because everyone around us was so awesome. The people you choose to surround yourself with, whether that is at a festival or life in general, really do make such a big difference.


Last year, when I got home, I wasn't sure if I wanted to go back to Tomorrowland again. It disappointingly wasn't as amazing as I had built it up in my head to be, and I wasn't sure if it was worth the money (more than what I spend on EDC and Ultra combined). I decided to go because it was the 15 year anniversary, and I am so thankful I gave it another chance. I plan on returning for Tomorrowland 2020 and can't wait to see what's in store for next year. (BTW- the rumor is the theme will be space related, and there's no way I'm missing a galactic themed TML mainstage).