After two years of absence, the Tomorrowland festival returns: “It’s incredible”

Tens of thousands of young people from all over the world attended the Tomorrowland festival near Antwerp (Belgium) this weekend, one of the largest electronic music events in the world, after two years of absence due to the pandemic.

In extravagant costumes, covered in fishnet and sequins or colorful Hawaiian shirts and matching bucket hats, festival goers honored the magical décor, somewhere between Alice in Wonderland and Disneyland, under bright sunshine and mild temperatures, the Friday at the opening.

“Tomorrowland is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve been vaccinated three times. Even if I get Covid, it’s worth it.” explains Savannah de Barros, a 24-year-old South African woman who came with her boyfriend.

The great wheel, the articulated dragon and a hot air balloon taken from a Jules Verne book were once again installed on the De Schorre estate, in the province of Antwerp (Flanders).

Created in 2005 by two flamenco brothers passionate about electronic music, Tomorrowland has become one of the three or four most important festivals in the world of its kind, the largest in Europe.

No restrictions

For this edition, which comes after the total end of health restrictions, some 600,000 people from more than 200 countries are expected during the three planned weekends in July, compared to the traditional two. The extension must allow to absorb the losses due to the cancellations of 2020 and 2021.

Despite the resurgence of covid-19 infections in Belgium in recent weeks, masks remained rare. Many participants said they felt protected by the vaccine.

“If festival goers or our peers feel unwell, we tell them to stay home. But it is a normal festival, there are no restrictions. We can party, kiss, we are very happy to be here again.” festival spokeswoman Debby Wilmsen told AFP.

a dense program

Despite a high price -at least one hundred euros per day, without camping-, the dense program won over the public.

On the first day of the festival, the public, dotted with flags from around the world, crowded in front of the huge main stage, where German DJ Robin Schulz performed, giving excited spectators a show as futuristic as the sets. To close, the American group Major Lazer mixed for more than an hour, under the fireworks.

Other big names in techno and electronic music will arrive in the coming days, such as Martin Garrix, Paul Kalkbrenner and the Belgians Charlotte de Witte and Los Frequencies.

“The best experience of my life”

Joshua Matthews, 23, traveled from Perth, Australia. “Is incredible. We have been in confinement for two and a half years, we are among the first people to leave (the country). We came here, specifically for the festival”the young man told AFP, considering having lived through the “the best experience of your life”.

Coming from London to meet up with friends from Barcelona, ​​27-year-old Adria Mallada was also delighted to be able to party again, with no restrictions: “We were vaccinated for this reason. We will see with time, but for now we will enjoy and return to our normal life”.

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