Being in Tomorrowland is on the bucket list of every EDM fan. It’s like a pilgrimage that each raver must go to in order to prove one’s worth to the electronic gods. And with each passing year, Tomorrowland only becomes more popular and otherworldly.
But how did Tomorrowland actually begin?
It all started in 2005.
More than 10 years ago, ID&T Belgium decided to organize the very first edition of Tomorrowland. During this stage, the popularity of electronic dance music itself was still relatively small compared to other genres.
On August 14, 2005, trance legend Armin van Buuren took to the stage, along with DJ.Arsha, Technoboy, Eddie Halliwell, and Technoboy, among others.
The next two years saw significant development.
Tomorrowland 2006 not only had Armin van Buuren playing again, but Swedish DJ Axwell and French pioneer DJ David Guetta had also joined the fun. In fact, Paul Oakenfold was also supposed to be on the roster, but his gig was cancelled because he was still on tour with the Pop Queen Madonna.
The third edition of Tomorrowland was quite special because the festival ran for two days.
In 2008, tens of thousands of people arrived at Tomorrowland.
Aside from having more than 50,000 attendees at Tomorrowland, the Belgian electronic dance music festival also had more than 100 participating DJs for the first time. Remember that this was way back in 2008, so this number for an EDM event was astonishing.
By 2009, the number of Tomorrowland festivalgoers had almost doubled.
The Tomorrowland mainstage was headlined by the one and only Moby, and almost 90,000 people attended the event. Likewise, a stage dedicated to 90’s music had SASH, Push, and Natural Born Deejays playing to the crowd.
2010 was a spectacular year for Tomorrowland.
For one, a staggering 120,000 people attended the two-day festival. Moreover, all tickets were sold out days before Tomorrowland 2010, and the official anthem made by Dada Life, Tara McDonald, and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike named “Tomorrow/Give Into The Night” was a hit in the Belgian charts.
Tomorrowland 2011 became the first edition to happen for three days.
Just like Tomorrowland 2010, all tickets for this edition were sold out. In fact, it only took several days for all tickets to be sold, with more than 180,000 people attending the music festival. Some of the DJs in the lineup included Paul van Dyk, Brodinski, David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, Hardwell, Tiesto, and Avicii.
More importantly, it won as the best festival in the world at the 2012 International Dance Music Awards.
More than two million people wanted to be in Tomorrowland 2012.
However, Boom, Belgium, could only accommodate 185,000 people at the time. But for those who managed to get in, they were in for a wild ride as around 400 DJs graced the fifteen stages of the three-day festival. Of course, the Belgians were the first to get their hands on the ticket, while the remaining 100,000 tickets were purchased within 43 minutes.
The festivalgoers came from more than 75 countries, and about 35,000 of them stayed at Dreamville, a spectacular spot at Tomorrowland for them to sleep and unwind.
Tomorrowland 2013 had 180,000 attendees.
The organizers offered wonderful yet incredibly expensive Full Madness passes, and they were all purchased within 35 minutes. What’s even more shocking is that all of the remaining tickets were grabbed in just one second. By this time, the Tomorrowland festivalgoers came from 214 countries and ID&T thankfully provided Global Journey packages.
The 10th anniversary was expectedly insane.
The hype was building, and ID&T knew that they had to offer two weekends for this edition of Tomorrowland. Because of this, 360,000 people attended the 10th anniversary of the Belgian music festival. Of course, each of those weekends more or less had the same lineup.
According to DJ Dave Clark, what made the 10th anniversary even more memorable was how the festival created a massive space to promote underground electronic music.
By 2015, Tomorrowland had a new theme called Melodia.
That year, 180,000 people attended the festival and it was graced by W&W, Steve Aoki, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, EDM prodigy Martin Garrix, beloved future house DJ Oliver Heldens, Tiesto, and even The Symphony of Unity.
This year’s Tomorrowland had the theme “The Elixir of Life” and it featured the new faces of EDM such as Don Diablo, The Chainsmokers, and Oliver Helden alongside established names Axwell & Ingrosso, Afrojack, and Steve Aoki.