DJs, producers and brothers Dimitri and Michael Thivaios, more commonly known as Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike to their more than 4 million Instagram followers, are once again headlining Tomorrowland, the Belgian electronic dance music festival that’s usually held in the town of Boom but going digital this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Toward the end of April, the Belgian government decided to cancel all major events taking place in the country, which included our 16th edition of Tomorrowland,” shared the festival’s cofounder, Michiel Beers. “We realized the impact this had on the Tomorrowland community, so we organized weekly livestreams, [called] United Through Music. We saw immense success and engagement, reaching more than 25 million active viewers. After the fourth week, we thought, why not organize a real digital festival and not a livestream? So, we did.”
Tomorrowland, first held in 2005, is one of Europe’s most popular music festivals, occurring during two weekends and known for selling out fast. Usually held in July for those aged 18 and older and with tickets costing between 88 euros to 272 euros, last year’s event brought out 400,000 festivalgoers. This year, it’s being held online and targeting a global audience of all ages on July 25 and 26 between 3 p.m. and 1 a.m. Central European Summer Time. Online day passes cost 12.50 euros, while weekend tickets are 20 euros (which include access to videos capturing the performances following the experience). They’ll be available starting June 18 at tomorrowland.com.
“We wanted our pricing to be inclusive and ensure everyone around the world can experience Tomorrowland,” said Beers, who also runs Tomorrowland Brasil and Tomorrowland Winter in the French Alps (held in March and also canceled this year). “We also wanted to be mindful of those who have been affected financially due to COVID-19. This price point allows us to deliver a spectacular experience, which will also benefit our Tomorrowland Foundation.”
The foundation, which gathers funds from donations given by Tomorrowland goers and contributions from the organization behind the festival, WeAreOneWorld, helps children and young adults between the ages of four and 21 living in developing countries or areas in crisis. The foundation will come to life during the online festival experience as part of a number of other interactive experiences planned, including various webinars, games and workshops.
These features are one way this virtual festival stands apart from the rest, continued Beers: “Tomorrowland 2020 is not a traditional livestream event with DJs in a studio or at their homes and viewers in a chat box. Instead, it is a totally unique form of visual entertainment. Logistically, this means that we’ve had to research quite a bit on the latest technologies on one hand and available studios on the other hand, where we’ve been safely working with each artist to bring the concept to life.”
Those technologies were created by their digital and creative teams in collaboration with IT experts and U.S.-based creative studio DogStudio Inc. There will be “eight different stages viewers can [digitally] walk-through,” he added. “This will include our signature stages fans know and love, such as atmosphere, core, freedom stage and elixir, joined by three new additional stages, which have been specially created and designed by the creative team and 3-D artists behind Tomorrowland.”
The rest of the lineup will be announced on June 15. “I can promise you we are featuring some of the biggest and best names in EDM, pop and beyond,” Beers said.