Why Brazil? An in-depth look into the birth of Tomorrowland’s newest sibling
Tomorrowland‘s iconic stage design, the Book of Wisdom, has officially made its grand journey from Atlanta, Georgia to the the jungles of São Paolo, Brazil.
In 2012, the first chapter of the Book of Wisdom was written in the lands of Boom, Belgium, during Tomorrowland’s eighth year of mystical experiences. The next year, the second chapter was opened in the majestic Chattahoochee Hills to inaugurate the festival’s first expansion into the US with its sister gala, TomorrowWorld. The Book of Wisdom connects the three festivals and their succession into one another. Once the chapter occurs in Belgium, it is then set to occur in the US, and beginning tomorrow, Brazil will hold the final destination for the stage.
Beginning nearly 10 years ago, ID&T Belgium attracted a simple 10,000 electronic music crazed fans to the fields of Boom for the first ever Tomorrowland. Fast-forward to present time, and last year’s festival brought 400,000 international fans across its three day spread. With the number of festivals around the world exponentially rising each year and the US market indefinitely hungry, Tomorrowland knew their amplification needed to happen to keep up with their competitors. And thus in 2013, Tomorrowland made its jump across the pond to the royal Chattahoochee Hills of Georgia to produce TomorrowWorld. With other markets in South America and Asia catching up, the chief festival force had to act quickly to sustain its growth. Thus spawned Tomorrowland Brasil, looking to break ground in 2015.
But, why Brazil? The underlying question was addressed in a discussion yesterday with International Director of Tomorrowland, Bruno Vanwelsenaers, and Project Director of TomorrowWorld, Jamie Reilly, where the two festival executives illuminated on what to expect from Tomorrowlands’ newest chapter and the challenges of international extension into South America.
“We looked at the community of Tomorrowland, the People of Tomorrow, and we see that we have a huge following in Brazil,” Bruno says. “We saw the market was growing, and it was really ready for Tomorrowland.”
Tucked away in the Amazon forest, São Paolo presents an intriguing location for Tomorrowland in comparison to the green pastures and remote woodlands of its sister festivals. With such a foreign land and unfamiliar cultural surrounding in mind, Tomorrowland prepared and planned for two years to ensure the success of their second evolution.
Making the leap from Boom to Chattahoochee, cultural challenges were expected to arise, but not to the degree of a South American expedition. How would Tomorrowland acclimate to Brazilian customs while keeping the European festival’s identity and values entirely intact? In Brazil, they speak Portuguese, live very different lifestyles, and eat different cuisines.
“It’s always an intricate process between respecting the core values of Tomorrowland and bringing that around the world. But also, creating a unique experience that makes a difference from Belgium and the US and Brazil… We also try to ensure that the experience is unique and that we are respecting the country we are in, the neighbors, and the crowd as part of our core values that is like nothing else in the world.” – Jamie Reilly, Project Director of TomorrowWorld
It’s that process that differentiates Tomorrowland. For ID&T, it’s not necessarily about retrieving the most expensive DJs in the world or attracting the hottest celebrities. Rather the festival promoters are in search of one thing: a unique experience that is like nothing else in the world.
To give each Tomorrowland its distinct flair, the event developers made sure to form a collection of atypical stages specifically designed for Brazil but also incorporate those that define the Tomorrowland experience. The Dim Mak stage in Brazil, for instance, could be perceived as an entirely different stage from the one in Boom but with similar rosters. The rave that attendees lose themselves in at Full On with Ferry Corsten will be an entirely different adventure than the one that occurs in five months at TomorrowWorld. It’s the intersection of consistency and singularity Tomorrowland pursues in each of their celebrations.
Supplementing the Brazil-specific stage concepts, Tomorrowland Brasil attendees will encounter a plethora of native foods and drinks from regional chefs that the festival has partnered with to provide an unparalleled synthesis of cultures. The equatorial climate, primeval forest setting, and authentic dining options intend to make Tomorrowland Brasil its own signature event.
Towards the end of the conversation, the final lurking question of “what’s next” inevitably came about. Tomorrowland Brasil may have just broken ground in South America, but the arms race for new festival territories is more heated than ever.
“It’s a very big endeavor to bring such a large and famous festival to different countries around the world, and while we’re doing crowds here in Brazil, we’re continuing to assess a tremendous amount in our existing festivals.” – Jamie
It’s here we see where Tomorrowland’s success comes from. It took ID&T eight years to take the plunge into the American market with their leviathan festival and two years of strategic planing to roll the dice on a South American expansion. Instead of marking their territory in as many markets as possible, they foster growth and verify that they can create the unparalleled experience they believe the People of Tomorrow need and deserve. And with 180,000 people selling out the next chapter of Tomorrowland, the festival’s South American gamble is anticipated to pay off.
“Music festival, but much more than a music festival. It’s more about the experience for fans and people of Tomorrow because of the decorations, good food, and about having the best day of your life.” – Bruno Vanwelsenaers, Director of Tomorrowland
To watch history being made in São Paolo this weekend, check out the Tomorrowland Brasil live stream here.