Faces in the crowd: the people of Tomorrowland
It is impossible to talk about Tomorrowland without talking about its people. The festival doesn’t throw around the term “Global Gathering” without good reason. Two hundred and fourteen nations were represented at this year’s Tomorrowland with attendance numbers swelling near 180,000. Fans from all walks of life made the journey to the dance music mecca and we spent our time walking the festival grounds, getting to know as many as we could. Hop past the break to see what we learned and who we met.
For starters, it was abundantly clear that foreign dance music fans have a much different approach to the festival ideal. In Europe, “ravers” do not carry LED gloves or fractal glasses. Neon accents the crowd rather than envelops it and themed costumes replace lingerie and drug reference laden t-shirts.
Even their musical tastes are more mature. When asked for a daily to-do list, most fans gave eclectic answers that reflected a deeper appreciation for the entire range of electronic music. Those at Ben Klock in the morning planned to head to Steve Aoki later on. Fans followed up their stints at Q-Dance with a closing set from Richie Hawtin. Tastes were more refined, with most people eager to experience every sound the festival had to offer. Despite cultural difference and languages barriers ,the crowd at Tomorrowland united under a common theme; their undying addiction to electronic beats.