Tomorrowland – A walk down memory lane

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Arguably, the world’s biggest EDM festival, Tomorrowland is almost here! Taking place over 2 weekends from July 20-23 and 27-29, the festival is set to have one of its biggest year’s yet. Under the theme ‘The Story of Planaxis’, this year’s event is ready to give the people of tomorrow another thrilling and enchanting journey in the lawns of Boom, Belgium. But let’s take a look back at the past episodes of the event, mainly it’s themes and how the festival has evolved over time.

Tomorrowland 2005 – The first edition

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Sunday August 14, 2005 – a magical date in the history of the festival. A brand new festival popped up, transforming the town of Boom into a fairy tale dominion, where enchanting electronic music was to be heard from behind every tree and out of every rabbit hole. From the start Tomorrowland turned out to be a grand spectacle, unlike anything that came before it. But this was only the beginning of their fairy tale… About 10,000 people bore witness to the first edition of Tomorrowland, and to the magic that surrounded it (including DJ sets by Sven Väth, Sasha, Armin van Buuren, Erol Alkan and Justice).

Tomorrowland 2006 – The second turn

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In the second year, the festival took place in July. Word-of-mouth was growing stronger throughout Belgium, and with eight stages and enough extra space to put up three thousand sleeping beauties, the second edition wasn’t only bigger in terms of attendance but also in magic and experience.

Tomorrowland 2007 – Third time’s the charm

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Soon enough, word also travelled outside Belgium’s borders, and come the third edition, people from the Netherlands, France, Germany and the United Kingdom travelled to Belgium to unveil the mysteries of Tomorrowland. More than 20,000 people were welcomed and for the first time, the festival took place over 2 days.

Tomorrowland 2008 – The big breakthrough

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In 2008, Tomorrowland’s real breakthrough happened. 50,000 people flocked together in Boom for a collective – and quite literal – meltdown, and they also prepared for the festival to become a global phenomenon.

Tomorrowland 2009 – Five years on

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In 2009, the festival was successfully launched into orbit, when for the first time in its history all tickets were sold-out. Once again, temperatures reached record-breaking levels, while surprise act Moby widened the festival’s profile and appeal. Belgium’s already rich nightlife scene – including some of the world’s most legendary labels, clubs, parties and artists in the history of electronic music – had finally stepped into to the daylight, and people were watching.

Tomorrowland 2010 – No looking back

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Pretty much every A-list DJ in the world came to Tomorrowland. Spectacular stages, truly phenomenal festival grounds and – last but not least – DreamVille, the camping grounds that really made you believe you’re inside a dream. During the sixth edition, 25,000 thousand people spent the night at DreamVille.

Tomorrowland 2011 – The Tree of Life

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The first year with an actual theme, 2011 saw the festival add a third day to it’s roster due to the higher demand for tickets than before. All 180,000 tickets sold out in less than a day. The stage even featured a tree as the backdrop, an ode to the theme of the year.

Tomorrowland 2012 – The Book of Wisdom

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After winning the International Dance Music Award for Best Music Event in Miami for the first time in 2012, Tomorrowland had officially become the most global festival on earth. A whopping two million people visited the website of the festival, hoping to score a ticket – over ten times more than the number of available tickets. The festival launched its own YouTube channel in 2012 – broadcasting DJ sets, interviews and behind-the-scenes features. With well over eight million people tuning in, Tomorrowland quickly and easily becomes the most-watched music festival on the planet. Its official after-movie adds another one hundred million views (and still counting) to that claim.

Tomorrowland 2013 – The Arising of Life

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In 2013 all tickets sold out in record time and 200+ nationalities gathered in Boom to experience what is now also the most listened to music festival on the planet. Several of those nationalities have travelled to the festival with a Global Journey Package, the official Tomorrowland Travel packages.

Tomorrowland 2014 – The Key to Happiness

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To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the festival, and to meet the high demand for tickets, the 2014 edition of the festival would be held over two weekends; 18–20 July and 25–27 July. The festival was officially an international destination already, this particular edition was epic to put it lightly. The organizers had the following PR: “At Tomorrowland & DreamVille we celebrate life. We unite hearts from all over the world. One world, one heart. Because we know the heart is the most powerful energy source in the world, we are able to create the power to make this world a better place. More love more happiness.”

Tomorrowland 2015 – The Secret Kingdom of Melodia

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Enter the Secret Kingdom of Melodia and be overwhelmed with true magic… Over 180,000 People of Tomorrow witnessed epic performances and massive fireworks. On Sunday, the National Orchestra of Belgium brought “The Symphony of Unity”, A live mix between popular electronic tracks and classical music. In May 2015, the first edition of Tomorrowland Brasil took place in Itu, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Later in 2016, the “Key To Happiness” MainStage traveled to Chattahoochee Hills (USA) for the third edition of TomorrowWorld.

Tomorrowland 2016 – The Elixir of Life

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On July 22, 23, 24, the festival celebrated its 12th edition. All 180,000 tickets were sold out in recordtime. People from all over the world visited the Holy Grounds and discovered the Elixir of Life. In April 2016, the second edition of Tomorrowland Brasil took place. Brazil unlocked true happiness in front of the “Key To Happiness” mainstage.

Tomorrowland 2017 – Amicorum Spectaculum

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A magical gathering of the People of Tomorrow took place during 2 weekends. On July 21-22-23 and July 28-29-30 more than 400.000 friends discovered “Amicorum Spectaculum”. A show that is seldom seen, a gathering of talents that left you in wonder. The theme translated as ‘Spectacular Friends’, stayed true to it’s nature and Tomorrowland’s belief for the people of tomorrow. The 2017 edition is the closest event we’ve got to gauge what could possibly happen at this year’s edition.

Tomorrowland 2018 – The Story of Planaxis

Not much to say here. How about we let the video do the talking?

So, there you have it. A brief yet immersive experience into the festival’s evolution since 2005. Quite the journey, right?

Check out this year’s lineup here.

For more information, visit the official website.

Khushrav Bhada
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Khushrav Bhada

DJ, podcast host and team partner at T.H.E, Khushrav is a music enthusiast whose interests spread across all genres from electronic to hip-hop to classical opera.
Khushrav Bhada
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