Welcome to my little black book of travel destinations.
Before my friend Jay and I saw this video I had no idea about Electronic Dance music. I had never been to “a rave,” and I really didn’t have any interest in going to one. But the beginning soliloquy in that above video spoke to me on so many fundamental levels, I started researching the festival and it immediately rose to the top of my Bucketlist.
How to get tickets?
The process to get Tomorrowland tickets is extensive. There are multiple steps you need to do before the Worldwide ticket sale, and even then, it’s somewhat unlikely you will be able to push the same button faster than millions of people around the globe.
If you’re looking to go to Tomorrowland 2018, pre-registration will start on Tuesday, January 9 at 17:00 Central European Time. For my friends in the states, that means 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time or 8:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. The first 10 people from each country will secure their place at the festival just like that. But don’t hold your breath on that one, there’s less than 1 percent chance you will get this honor if you live in countries with reliable internet service.
Pre-registration gives you an access code to get into the Worldwide Pre-Sale, and without it, you won’t be able to enter the ticket portal. Pre-registration will continue through February 2 at 20:00 Central European time (2 p.m. Eastern, 11 a.m. Pacific).
The Worldwide-Pre Sale is the first time people who have pre-registered have at securing tickets. Last year, this is how my friend Jay and I got tickets. This year, that date and time is on Saturday, January 27 at 17:00 CET. In a nutshell, everyone who has pre-registered sits around on their computer (or computers) and wait for the clock to strike the top of the hour. All at once, people around the world click the same button, hoping to be one of the 100,000 or so people lucky enough to get to the ticketing site.
But don’t worry if you don’t get tickets in January! There is another chance!
Worldwide Ticket Sale
If you were late to the game and just found about Tomorrowland 2018 after the Worldwide Pre-Sale, you can still pre-register until February 2 for the Worldwide Ticket Sale on Saturday, February 3. This will be your last chance to get tickets for this beautiful event of love, peace, and happiness. The same basic principle applies, and from my experience, the more computers you have, the better.
If you are going to Tomorrowland solo, this may be harder for you. If you have a group of people, get on a Skype call and all push the button together. If one of you gets in, get tickets for the whole group and the other will pay you back (I would hope!).
There is another way to make sure you get your tickets for this crazy festival, and if you are willing to fork over the extra cash, Global Journey may be for you. Global Journey packages include travel from certain cities around the globe either by plane, train, or bus and guarantee you tickets. There are different types of Global Journey packages, so make sure you check the link above for what suits you and your needs the best. These packages tend to be more expensive than “winning the lottery” of the Worldwide Sales, but punches your ticket immediately.
Types of accommodations
- Magnificent Greens
- Jay and I got Magnificent Greens tickets for Tomorrowland 2017 which basically means you get a patch of grass with your name on it. Think of the Magnificent Greens as a campsite in DreamVille. Buying this ticket will force you to either bring your own tent from home or buy a tent voucher that you can pick up upon arrival into Dreamville. This is a great economically-friendly option for those backpacking around Europe or budget travelers.
- Easy Tent
- Easy Tents are located in the Friendship Garden area of Dreamville. These are previously-pitched tents complete with mattress and bedside table and can be purchased in two or four person tents. Easy Tents are more expensive than Magnificent Greens, but are closer to the festival grounds and mitigate the need to pick up tent vouchers. The atmosphere is similar and many festival goers are in close proximity to everyone else. It has to feel nice to have an actual mattress underneath you.
- Relax Room
- The Relax Room is set up for two people with a lockable tentlike structure and two beds. These give you access to certain parts of the festival other campers will not have access to. Expect these prices to be higher than the Easy Tent.
- If you have about $25,000 USD to blow, check out the Mansions in Dreamville. These mansions can fit up to 12 people and is fully stocked with a kitchen, bathroom, living room, sofas, and a fully-customizable living area. It is at the top of the accommodation food chain and is located in a private area of Dreamville nearest the festival grounds.
Getting to Boom
Getting to Boom can be done a bunch of different ways, the easiest of which is to train to Boom from Antwerp Centraal Station. If you are coming just for the festival and are not a part of Global Journey, I recommend not making Brussels your home base, as there are no great trains that go directly from Brussels to Boom.
Getting a train ticket to Boom from Antwerp is easy: go to a self-kiosk or the counter and find a ticket for your desired time. There are about three or four trains per hour that depart Antwerp bound for Boom.
If you are flying internationally, I would suggest flying into either Amsterdam or London to get the best airfare, and then book a separate domestic flight to Brussels or Antwerp. If you want to get the most out of your travel experience, train from Amsterdam or London into Belgium. You will get to see the lay of the land and you will likely meet people on your journey you will remember for a long time.
Weather in Boom
Although it is summer in western Europe during Tomorrowland – which usually happens on the second and third weekends of July – you will likely encounter some rainy weather during the festival. On Saturday last year, the rain was whipping so violently during Jauz’s mainstage set that most of the festival’s participants flocked to a nearby shelter to wait it out. Luckily, the rain tends to be intermittent and stops rather quickly. In contrast, when the clouds part and the sun shines down it can heat up in a hurry.
A few scattered thunderstorms are a small price to pay for one of the best times of your life.
What to bring to Tomorrowland
Packing minimally will benefit you in many ways. It will save you shoulder and back pain, save your wallet a few Euros to get a smaller storage locker, and will let you enjoy the actual festival instead of always wondering where all of your things are. That being said, here are a few essentials to bring along for the ride.
- Clothes! Clothes are one of the aspects that makes Tomorrowland a unique experience. There are people from over 200 countries in one place for the weekend, and the styles, color combinations, and themes are fantastic!
- Sunglasses. Obviously.
- Sunscreen. Unless you want to look like a lobster after Day 1.
- Good walking shoes. The festival is a little more than a mile away from DreamVille and you will be very sad if you only pack flip-flops. As awesome as Tomorrowland is, there is trash everywhere on the grounds. I brought a pair of Nikes and my ankles still swoll up to double their normal size.
- Power bank. If you’re like me and love to document travels and experiences, you will need an external power bank charged up to the brim before you show up to the festival. You can buy an external power bank at the festival, but it will cost you about $20 Euros.
- Headache medicine. Trust me on this one. Tomorrowland is a huge party and you won’t be getting much sleep. Take care of yourself.
- Water. See above.
- Open mind, heart, and soul. If you check your prejudices, preconceived notions, and ego at the door, there is a very slim chance this will not become the favorite weekend of your life.
Food at Tomorrowland
You can literally eat whatever the hell you want at this thing. There are stands from all over the world. I had everything from pizza, to lasagna, to chicken patties, to fried Ethiopian, and many things in between. Stay away from the breakfast chicken bagels, though, they were not good.