Stage imagery on par with sound importance in TomorrowWorld experience
When weighing what makes Tomorrowland the top-voted festival for years running, the answer lies in not just the all-star lineup, the international appeal or the sense of wonder evoked from the entire package: What makes Tomorrowland Tomorrowland is the attention to detail put into creating the visual atmosphere. TomorrowWorld is no different.
While we’ve spent the last few weeks giving you the skinny on who’s who of each stage, what we couldn’t anticipate is how each stage would feel. From the whimsical butterflies at the Dim Mak Stage to the demonic scorpion shooting fire at Q-Dance, each intricate decoration was placed with purpose on the massive 550-acre grounds to unleash a sense of make believe not often revealed in our every day life. Though the DJs at TomorrowWorld make their way to other festivals, the stages of TomorrowWorld do not: Check out our gallery below and be sure to live them yourself next year.
Though the Main Stage concept had already been seen in Belgium in 2012, no pictures can describe the majesty of it’s literal storybooks. Inscribed with the festival’s motto “Yesterday is History, Today is a Gift, Tomorrow is a Mystery” among other phrases, the stories-high books inspired a sense of the story yet to be told while Tiesto, Sebastian Ingrosso, Fedde Le Grand and others treated the crowd to some of their favorite tracks from tales already written. With many more artists and plenty more new material as well, the stage invites attendees to help create the next chapter in the “Book Of Wisdom” by making their own plot lines legendary.
Super You & Me
No butterfly wings shaped this circus tent stage, but bunches of toadstool mushrooms did. On Friday equipped with superhero paraphernalia and videos to match, the details will swap out for the All Gone Pete Tong and Smash The House vs. Dirty Dutch stages, but the Alice In Wonderland meets “Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite” feeling will not. Dark during the day to allow the lasers and fungi to glow, the stage covered a lot of physical ground but filled quickly for the likes of Henrix, Carnage and Batman, Superman and Spiderman, played by Laidback Luke, Chuckie and Steve Aoki.
The second of two tent stages, the Dim Mak stage was located farthest from the Main Stage but packed its own serious punch. Taking on Tomorrowland’s butterfly theme, the elements were toned down to wings flanking the stage and larger than life decorations hanging from the tent’s poles. Done in purples and blues, the lighting gave the winged creatures a dreamlike feel though the bass drops from such names as Deorro, Clockwork and Borgore kept things grounded.
Hard style calls for hard edges, and the Q-Dance scorpion stage delivered tenfold. Another carryover from Tomorrowland, the many-fanged metallic structure was best observed from all sides to see the threatening curve of its skeletature. Leaving ominous smoke rings with its bursts of pyro, the trashing crowd almost gave the appearance of shaking the structure, though one look at its construction cleared away that notion as a complete impossibility: Not even Frontliner or Psyko Punkz could rattle the stinger.
It’s A Trap
If the It’s A Trap Stage weren’t sharing a space with the Anthem and Dirty Bird stages, its zen qualities may have seemed a touch out of place. Buddhist statues perched almost smiling under multicolored onion domes guarded the not-so-serene crowd as embellished arches and curtains let the lake breeze through. With its back to the forest, the antics were kept shaded from prying eyes as Two Fresh, UZ and Flosstradamus ran the trap into the woodland ground – no word on if the Buddhas will keep it a secret.
Perhaps the most majestic if at times mildly populated of the stages, the Deep End stage featured a real lake as a backdrop and cascading waterfalls on its video screens. Designed like a walled city topped with with waterlilies that doubled as lights, the screens changed from stones to fountains to waterfalls, occasionally going to black to allow for a minimalist light show while the main platform – and deep house heroes Jamie Jones, Art Department and Damian Lazarus – took center stage. Fool’s Gold and Mad Decent will take over the stage in the coming nights, as well as some non-aqueous fish – if you need a hint, it’s “pyro.”
Surprisingly small and surprisingly loud, Ferry Corsten’s Full On stage kept things simple with a completely open design – other than a booth and speakers, the area was structureless. Unless of course you looked down. Pools of water edged the stage, creating the shape of the festival’s butterfly around the edges. Whether inviting listeners to pause in reflection as the euphoric b2bs from Corsten and Audien, Aly & Fila or Cosmic Gate rocked the stage or daring them to dive into the upcoming Belgian or Trance Addict stages, the shallow pond provided a special treat for the observant and a potential trick for the carried away.
The most adorable things often come in miniature, and the no-frills Kitsune stage was no exception. Surrounded by trees with a small woodchipped dance area, the stage provided just enough space for the DJ and a few extra large pieces of candy. Lollipops and swizzle sticks sprung out of the ground while hard candy was strung up like party lights. A slice of a storybook gingerbread house coated with French electro/house, sets The Knocks, Penguin Prison and Gigamesh all helped make the experience all the sweeter.