I’m sure by now, everyone reading this has already heard stories of TomorrowWorld 2015, whether they be horror stories or stories of life-changing experiences. I’m not here to bash TomorrowWorld or lift it up to seem like absolutely nothing was wrong. I’m just here to give you what I experienced, good and bad, from a first-time attendee’s perspective.
I was fortunate enough to stay in DreamVille, so I was able to arrive on Thursday to experience The Gathering with Headhunterz. Upon arriving, the line for parking was a little long, but not as long as horror stories I heard in the past. We waited for about an hour to get into the actual parking lot. Thankfully we had purchased our parking pass in advance so I’m sure that saved some time as well. Once we parked, we started the journey from the parking lot to will call to pick up our tickets, which is only a part of the so called “Trail of Tears.”
Honestly, will call was the first thing to irritate me. Everything at the will call windows seemed unorganized. The signs labeling which lines to stand in were extremely vague, and there were multiple people including myself that spent 20 or 30 minutes waiting in a line, just to get to the front and be told that the line they were standing in was incorrect and that we needed to wait in another line. But I did end up getting my ticket after waiting for about an hour, and we were off to head to security to get checked into DreamVille.
At the entrance to DreamVille, there was a long line. This was to be expected though, as each bag had to be individually searched and each person had at least two bags for the weekend. After waiting for about an hour for that, we wanted to get the fun started so we set up our tents, got changed and headed over to see Headhunterz.
That’s when it started.
Just as a few drops here and there, no thunder or lightning, and definitely no where near anything I had experienced in Florida in the past. The rain had begun and it was bearable, it just didn’t stop. After standing in the rain and 60-degree weather for a few hours, a few fellow campers and I were over it and decided to head back to our tents. I didn’t get to see HeadHunterz like I really wanted to, but I did get to know some of our neighbors and hang out with them for a bit. When I woke up the next day in my tent, the rain hadn’t stopped, but we got ready anyway and started the day. At this time, it was apparent that it was going to be a very wet weekend.
Just walking into the festival was magical. I could tell the amount of thought and detail that had been put into the stages, eating areas, even the walkways were lined with lights and looked like they belonged there. Everything was absolutely beautiful. One of my favorite sights to see were the bridges that included multiple colorful fountains in the water and fish spitting fire into the air. The main stage was breathtaking with countless gears and working pieces all moving together to create an amazing visual. One thing I really enjoyed about Main Stage was the fact that instead of confetti and smoke coming from just the front of the stage, they added these elements to the sides and back of the stage to make it feel like an enclosed area. When the smoke went off, all you could see were the people dancing directly around you. The music on Friday was okay. My favorite set that day was Audien. I was really excited to see Kaskade as I’ve never seen him live before, but to be quite honest with you I was not at all impressed. Maybe because I was already exhausted and ready to go back to camp at that time, but I definitely expected more considering multiple people told me that his set was one that I couldn’t miss.
One thing I really wanted to mention were the bathrooms. Of course, at any festival there are going to be gross porto-potties that you try to avoid at all costs, but there were bathrooms at TomorrowWorld that actually flushed. And get this, they even had lights inside! I definitely thought this was worth a mention. The bathrooms seemed to be cleaned daily and were kept up way better than I expected. Another thing I really enjoyed were the food options. So many things to choose from! Burritos, tacos, BBQ, Asian, the possibilities were endless. Aside from the fact that food and drinks were outrageously expensive, converting dollars to TomorrowWorld pearls is really hard after you’ve been drinking for a few hours. I honestly think they were trying to confuse people into spending more money.
Walking around to other stages proved to be difficult, as the mud was only getting worse and worse and the festival was being overwhelmed with a massive amount of people. There was one point on Saturday where a friend and I went to sit back on the hill for about an hour and witnessed 20-30 people slipping and falling in the mud in one particularly dangerous spot. Conditions were definitely rough and not at all ideal, but besides the fact that it took an abnormal amount of time for one of our friends to park and meet us, I had no idea what others were experiencing outside the festival, like long wait times for shuttles, and being stranded in the rain and cold.
On Saturday I was able to enjoy Seven Lions while sitting on the back of the hill and relaxing. I was definitely impressed with this set and I believe he did an amazing job at Mythical Frames. Other sets I enjoyed that day were Bingo Players, Bassnectar, and Ferry Corsten. Although I do have to admit I didn’t pay much attention at all that day and ended up leaving to go back to the tent and rest for a few. Camping and partying for four days straight is hard!
On Sunday the rain had pretty much stopped. I woke up and checked Facebook, and that’s when I saw the status TomorrowWorld had posted about only allowing festivalgoers that were staying in DreamVille a chance to attend the festival for the last day. I can completely understand why TomorrowWorld would do this, as I can’t imagine driving through that much mud in the hills and mountains would be safe at all. I was extremely upset and felt bad for the people that wouldn’t be able to attend the festival, but decided to look on the bright side and enjoy the last day of TomorrowWorld as a private party for those that endured the rain throughout their stay in DreamVille. Sunday ended up being my favorite day. Although conditions to get to the festival were almost impossible, they were working hard inside TomorrowWorld to make it safe for the festivalgoers, laying down hay and gravel in muddy areas which definitely helped lower the amount of slips and falls.
Sunday was also my favorite day as far as music goes. We started the day off with Tritonal (one of my favorites) and the energy was through the roof. Because the attendance was lowered by a drastic amount that day, we got to go right up to the front with no problem at all. Other mentionables that day were The Chainsmokers and Martin Garrix, who both definitely lived up to their hype. On Sunday I also got to spend some time by myself to relax on the back hill and watch David Guetta, whom I’ve never seen before and I thought did an amazing job. We closed the last day with Porter Robinson. He started his Worlds set, and literally five minutes into it, everything stopped working. He came over the mic and apologized and asked us to wait with him while things were situated. After about 20 minutes of waiting, he came back on and told us that he wouldn’t be able to do his Worlds set that evening, but he wanted to play something else for us. The impromptu set from Porter was nothing short of amazing with different graphics and familiar songs. He even played an extra five minutes to make up for lost time.
That night was the first night I felt that DreamVille could really be enjoyed in its full glory. We were able to take a stroll down the boardwalk and see people playing music, making hop-scotch with glow sticks, hooping, etc. Everyone was alive and it was beautiful! After walking down the boardwalk we wandered to The Gathering stage where there were a circle of people flowing and cheering each other on. An absolutely perfect way to end the festival and spend time with our neighbors in Dreamville.
All in all, although I know a lot of people didn’t have the same experience that I did at TomorrowWorld, I had an absolutely amazing time. Things weren’t perfect, and I feel for those who were unhappy with their TomorrowWorld experience. I wish things could have turned out differently for them, because I definitely plan on going back next year and enjoying the wild ride all over again.
I also would like to put an important piece of advice out there: Stay in Dreamville if at all possible. The people I got to meet and the experiences that I had due to being in DreamVille were irreplaceable, and I couldn’t imagine going through this experience without it. DreamVille was definitely worth it, even if I didn’t shower for four days straight.