We all know this is the weirdest year ever.
This is especially true from the perspective of dance music festivals.
Even though it's the biggest festival in the world, Tomorrowland is still not immune to 2020. However, that being said, they proved why they have that title in the first place when they debuted the world's first digital festival.
Sure, there have been other "digital" festivals ... but they have been glorified livestreams of DJs in their house, studio, or maybe even in a club. No doubt, they have been great throughout quarantine to always have something to listen/watch/dance to at home ... but Tomorrowland has a reputation for pushing the limits.
Although Pasquale Rotella from Insomniac was the first rave promoter to truly step up the level of production by hosting livestream events from his Downtown Los Angeles headquarters, Tomorrowland perfected it.
That's what Tomorrowland "Around the World" is all about!
The theme for their 2020 festival is a "Reflection of Love", and you can tell that many people put a lot of PLUR into this production.
They're the first to recreate their wonderful festival with CGI, and with over 1 million viewers attending, we'd say it was a huge success!
It was also one of the first EDM events to charge money for their livestream. Most promoters have hosted their streams on Facebook, Twitch, or Youtube, but Tomorrowland went far beyond this and created an interactive online experience from their own website platform.
So the main question ... is Tomorrowland Around the World worth it? Even if you missed out on the main live event ... is the Relive experience worth the money still?
In short ... YES!
They even created a video game-like RPG map and a whole new mystical island to explore called:
"Ancient maps and some of the oldest books speak of a magical island, long since forgotten, that is home to all the wonders of nature and can be found only by those who are pure of heart.
In the middle of the ocean, undisturbed and untouched, lies Pāpiliōnem – the island where Mother Nature reigns, and welcomes the People of Tomorrow from all corners of the world to discover all of her miracles.
About its inhabitants, nothing is known. But even from afar, at sea, it is clear that Pāpiliōnem has pristine beaches, sparkling night skies, breathtaking mountains, enchanted forests and the most colorful sunsets. On the island, all of the world’s most beautiful biotopes can be found, and within a single day trip, visitors can experience all four seasons here.
Mother Nature herself makes sure all is in harmony and stimulates our five senses. Anyone who comes to celebrate life at the many magical locations on the island will be enveloped in freedom, purity and music.
Truly, a visit to Pāpiliōnem will be something to remember for a lifetime, and no one who does so will return home unchanged. For it is said that they who visit that magical island will forever radiate the unique memories and intense love from the bottom of their hearts."
All the stages are really well designed and have a great digital ambiance to enjoy the music with. They even went to all the trouble to animate huge crowds of people, including crowd audio. Not to mention, they literally made it sound like people were singing along to the songs throughout the performances. How'd they do that? We definitely would love to see a behind-the-scenes documentary on how they put this all together in just a few short quarantined-months.
What more can be said about the Mainstage besides the fact that it's where all the biggest artists play and where all the best production and lighting gets to shine. I wonder if this stage was made strictly for the digital version, or if this is what it would've looked like in real life this year? Regardless, it's a great stage to watch your favorite acts!
Make sure not to miss the "Elixir" stage that is underneath the mainstage. It's like a mystical underground club partying under the constellations.
The Freedom Stage is where you can check out most of the Trance and Progressive artists. This stage was literally going off all weekend long. You definitely need to watch most of the performances here. It's almost identical to the actual Tomorrowland Freedom stage in real life, with maybe a bit more grandiose size and production. It's the perfect warehouse for a rave!
Inside the Freedom Stage, you can also watch Eric Prydz' phenomenal performance inside his very own unique stage setup, called "THE CELL". This was easily the most incredible set of the weekend! Eric's music is timeless and the stage went with the music perfectly.
Need some melodic and progressive techno in your life? Us too! The Core stage is where you need to be to experience techno under open skies. The production is on point with a large masquerade mask built into a tree, lit up amidst a forest background.
The Cave is a classic stage at Tomorrowland, but its digital counterpart is a much larger space! This is where you can watch all the epic bass music to get your neck all stretched out with some headbanging! All the details of fire and floating gemstones are really cool too.
Are you ready to go a bit harder and faster? Then the spot for you is the Wall stage by Q-Dance, where all the best Hardstyle and Hardcore music is played. This stage in real life would be insane!
Finally, we have the Atmosphere stage for a bit of that harder techno. This stage was maybe the least exciting of the bunch, but still, an epic lineup considering its tough to beat any of the other stages. This stage is like the big-top circus tent that we've all seen the Boris Brejcha set from 2018 playing on. Maybe his music was the missing element this year?
Don't know where to start with so many great artists to choose from? Here's a list of all the sets we liked best to get you going with TML Around the World:
In addition to the music stages, there are also some cool points of interest on the map to explore ...
You can vote for the most iconic tracks of the white isle in the Ibiza500 on TML's One World Radio ... or share your favorite moments in the social feed ... enter the Great Library and explore the Book of Wisdom (which reminds me of the PC game Myst from back in the day) ...
You can also check out the winners of the Pepsi Max Sound of Tomorrow DJ contest and some advice from superstar producer, Fedde Le Grand ... watch a variety of influencers speak on the "Inspirations Sessions", including Prince Ea, Shaq, Pro Surfer Bethany Hamilton, Guy Laliberte (Founder of Cirque du Soleil), and many more.
Navigate to the People of Tomorrow area next to the main stage to leave an inspiring message of love to your fellow festival-goers.
And of course, don't forget to exit through the Gift shop at the top of the mountain for all the exclusive Tomorrowland merch ...
Interested in making your own drink recipes, including the Tomorrowland Summer Shot? Then head over to the Cocktail Inspiration zone sponsored by Absolut Vodka, Olmeca Tequila, and Havana Club Rum.
Although, we'll admit that the "Tastes of the World" area is a bit fancy for festival food ... and the only plant-based option is Eggplant Kebab ... a dairy/egg-free Tomorrowland pancake would be a delicious hangover remedy on a Sunday afternoon on the festival field. It was super cool that they got the DnB artist Netsky to interview and create the meals with the chefs.
The chef's behind the Eggplant Kebab, Tobias & Sebastian Wussler of Ponyhof restaurant in Gengenbach, Germany, do seem to have a wealth of knowledge on vegan dishes, and I wish they included more of their recipes to compliment the kebab.
"I think in the future, food will be more vegetarian." - Tobias Wussler
We totally agree Tobias! In fact, I'm tempted to make this recipe with a cocktail this weekend and rewatch some of our favorite sets again.
Don't forget, Tomorrowland's Relive experience ends on August 12 ... so make sure to dive into the digital island festival soon if you haven't already. At tomorrowland.com they even have a nice "test page" where you can test your connections to watch the streams before you purchase access.
The only criticism we have was the initial ticket-buying process had way too many options for "party-at-home" packages. Thus, it was a bit confusing to figure out which ticket you needed to buy. However, now that the initial festival is over, the process of purchasing a Relive ticket is pretty straightforward.
All in all, it's a great deal to get access to all these exclusive and time-sensitive performances for only about $15 USD (€ 12.50).
There are literally over 64 artists on the lineup that you can watch on-demand until the Relive platform disappears. That's only 23 cents per artist. Now, what festival can you attend from the comfort of your own home that has all the best dance music in the world for that price? What a deal!
PLURTH highly recommends getting a ticket and experiencing what festivals may look like in the future! Welcome to Tomorrowland everyone!
Let's say after watching it online for many years and now experiencing the digital version, we definitely have Tomorrowland in the top spot on our festival bucket list!
Check out Tomorrowland's official after-movie to see for yourself:
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