I’ve truly ticked off the first thing on my bucket list last weekend.
I literally feel like the luckiest girl alive to be honest. Tomorrowland is somewhere I’ve dreamed about for the last 5 years since watching the 2013 after movie. In that same year I was in Leeds fest in the pissing rain and lost
a little a lot of dignity. All of which I’ve clawed back in Tomorrowland.
I never thought I’d ever actually get an opportunity to go to Tomorrowland with the relentlessly fast selling tickets and the out of this world themes made it seem unimaginable anyway.
But it’s more magical than your mind can even comprehend.
The Theme – The Story of Planaxis
Tomorrowland decided to go with a theme focusing on discovering an enchanted underwater lost city. This theme was present in the stages and entertainment and by the end the 4 days it felt so real, they executed it.
In the circle of trust this year…
Oliver (Heldens) the Flamingo, Baby Shark and Gary the Giraffe.
And I suppose the more important members were Emma, Sally, Steph, Adam, Sutty, Sam, Luke, Jack and Sam.
These guys made it totally unforgettable. The festival is phenomenal on all levels but it wouldn’t have been the same or anywhere near as amazing without this group. We all looked out for each-other so much, I’d never take that for granted how caring each of them were. It’s not often you find friends and bloody 9 of them that feel like your family. CIRCLE OF TRUST I love you.
Luckily we had some cracking neighbours this year across from us. A bit of an upgrade from “Camp Ket” last year at Creamfields lol.
Andrew, Liam and Rob were a massive highlight for us. Andrew was like Liam and Rob’s dad – they rarely all returned at the end of the nights together as Liam and Rob got totally mashed. One morning Andrew (dad) taped Liam into the tent cause he was so disappointed in his fucked up antics when he came home in the early hours lol. Liam was the weirdest lad I’ve ever met in my life and provided 10/10 entertainment for us across the 4 days. WELL THAT’S JUST DANDY.
Wednesday – REUNITED
Taking it to the beginning we all joined forces again in the Adventure Backpackers, a random lil hostel, right on the white cliffs of Dover. We had to charge our batteries half way through the drive and pre ferry before the next slog to the land of Tomoz. This was a very giddy reunion spent on the terrace of the hostel catching up about the last year.
That’s when the girls Bridesmaids quotes began…
“WITH THE BEST OF THEM AND I’M GOING TO GO DOWN TO THE RIVERRRRR.”
“STOVE ARE YOU AN APPLIANCE”
We were shouted at for being really loud and I’m sure the high guy that was running the hostel let a little cat on the loose in the lads room to freak them out. I’d stay there again though lol that terrace was C U T E.
Thursday – The Gathering
On the ferry at 6am, Emma and Sall surprised us with an unbelievable flag to go with the thousands shown off at Tomorrowland. Luke fixed it up with the Creamfields and Tomorrowland logos as well as our Yorkshire and Lancashire roses. We hadn’t even got there and it was already the best time ever.
It was 37 degrees for most of the day on Thursday, so Ona was one frazzled upset lass carrying everything to our spot on the other side of Dreamville. (Dreamville is the name for the camping plot), yeah it was a dream. We finally got set up camp after Sutty’s determined dive onto a large plot to bagsy it for us. Not long after the strongbow darkfruit was out joined with wet towels to cool us down. We were home!!!!
The beer bong unfortunately didn’t even last 2 minutes.
Home was made complete with Emma’s Medical kit. My beautiful rave mum.
Emma couldn’t help me with my tragedy though…
I only got a wee bit of sun cream in my eye don’t wuz. A face of factor 50 was unfortunately a necessity in the 37 degree full sun. But it caused havoc with sweat running it into my eye. It was struggle city for a while but the lovely lovely first aiders rinsed my eye out no bother.
On Thursday night they hold a “gathering” in Dreamville as the main arena only opens Friday – Sunday. I pictured a shitty small stage in the middle of the campsite. I was not at all emotionally ready for the humongous stage structure and area that was The Gathering. All the acts were surprises for the night.
It was boiling still but we made the most of every second, dancing like mad and then Lost Frequencies were announced. He did amazing! Then it was Netsky and I started to get para about reserving my energy and eyes so I fled the gathering admittedly to get an early kip. I had a shower, brushed my teeth, got my PJ’s on and just whilst closing my tent door, the radio station connected to the gathering blared out across Dreamville…
“AND FINALLY TOMORROWLAND I BRING YOU A STATE OF TRANCE. PLEASE WELCOME ARMIN VAN BUUREN DREAMVILLE”.
Luke’s face just dropped and was like “we off then”, me, Sally and Luke absolutely zoomed to meet the rest of them still going for it, at the gathering. Armin fucking Van Buuren. Wow.
I knew then that Tomorrowland was going to be the greatest experience of my life. Suprises like that don’t happen often. I can’t put into words how happy we all were and how amazing his set was so I’m afraid I’ll have to leave it there. Crying.
Friday – Face Mask Friday – Emma’s Birthday
The sun had not calmed down. I woke up to what felt like fire lazer beams striking my head through my shit tent. 37 degrees again. It didn’t and couldn’t have stopped us though. I opened my tent to see half of the gang already suppin the on dark fruit.
I heard our first morning parade commence around Dreamville radio. Every morning a group of dressed up marchers paraded around Dreamville and busted out some classic tunes on the trumpets. Just so you remember you’re at Tomorrowland still. In addition to that every day starts right with the Tomorrowland Today.
Yep people drop you of a newspaper filled with highlights of the day before and what’s still to come. IT’S THE BEST FESTIVAL IN THE WORLD.
Friday was special because it was Emma’s 23rd Birthday, spent in NO better place. Then all the surprises from Sally commenced. Here’s queen Em rocking half of them…
Emma and Sally brought out another surprise to the group, which contributed to the Face Mask Friday title. They were the funniest Oliver Heldens face mask for his set later on in the evening.
Oliver doesn’t need a birthday to get equal special rights for attention. As we are all massive Oliver Heldens fans we went the EXTRA MILE.
Shit shirts, masks and a flag. 9493043/10 for effort from us for Oli. On the hottest day as well – we were all dyin.
Friday was the big day, it was the first day we were going to see the main arena. En route we were nearly one man down with Emma, I thought the heat was gonna swallow her whole. She made it though thanks to some guys water spraying machine shout out to him!!!
You could see the anticipation on the lads faces that had been last year, eagerly watching our reactions as we approached the main stage hill. Half of us had deleted social media for the week before so the themes and stages were all new when we’d got there ffs.
As soon as we approached the top of the hill I could feel it taking my breath away. it was the quickest I’d fallen in love eva.
I’ve never seen such huge and extravagant stage in my life. I never even dreamed of an atmosphere like it. What makes it more special is all of the flags and seeing in the flesh the massive mix in people and cultures. All there for 1 reason – have the best fucking time ever. Everyone that enters is positive and all around you are just so open to chat and share experiences with you. We managed to see a bit of Jonas Blue who was taking over the main stage at the time.
Once we got our breath back we made our way to Chocolate Puma on the Arch stage. And I’d just like to say what a way to kick off our weekend – they were absolutely mint. And what a stage!!
Freedom stage was full unfortunately where A State Of Trance were doing their thing. So we missed Vini Vici, Cosmic Gate and Armin.
We moved on to Laidback Luke though which was actually MEGA and the Garden of Madness Stage is just something else. Sutty’s hero is Laidback Luke so he absolutely made our day, I’ve never seen someone move so quickly and grin for as long.
The rain came crashing down at this point but we accepted it with open arms as it was like 38 degrees. I’ve never been so hungry for rain.
We headed back to the main stage to watch Kolsch. He wasn’t like I’d seen him before as he was definitely trying to make his sound a bit more mainstream for the main stage crowd. However I absolutely lost my shit when he played Grey. It melts me every time. I’ve never heard it like that live before either. The whole hill vibrated with the rush of the bass, it was incredible. The fruit salad lads made it for me.
Staying on the mainstage things went completely mental with W&W next. It was my first time seeing them and it got us right in the mood for the big man Heldens.
The clock struck OLIVER HELDENS time and 1/2 the masks had survived the rain for his arrival. Unfortunately for pretty much his whole set I was close to death, the days 37 degrees had caught up on me so I had to stand on the side with half of our team that were also starting to burn out. Watching it out of the crowd was actually pretty special though, his set was insane as always and I’m lucky as hell to have seen him at Tomorrowland.
To conclude a mental Friday and our first day in the madness me, Emma and Adam closed on Underworld rather than fuckin Hardwell on the main stage. The Organ of Harmony stage were we saw Underworld was mega…
We just wanted to sit on the hill and wind down ready to head back to camp and we didn’t really know what to expect with underworld. Adam and Emma know where to find the old-schoolers, the crowd was amazing and full of old nutters. But none of them compared to Karl Hyde the main nutter rocking the stage, absolutely off his nut. He swung his hips like mad, spoke gibberish over Rick Smiths’ amazing keyboard playing and so naturally put on the best show ever.
I’ve never seen so many lazers in my life and it literally captured me. I couldn’t even sit down and wind down I went mental on that hill especially to born slippy and I just remember looking back at Adam and Emma every 2 minutes like IS THIS REAL!?!?!
FUCKING MAGIC – WHAT A DAY. CRYING.
Saturday – SEQUIN SATURDAY – Jacks Birthday – Best day of my life
On Saturday it was Jack’s birthday and Sally smashed it again with Jack’s gifts. My personal fave was his I’m In A State Of Trance tee that he rocked on Sequin Saturday.
The day just immediately started right on Saturday, the temperature had dropped by 10 degrees and the hottest we saw it from then on out was 25 degrees. BLESSED. Saturday was already the best day. Sequin saturday got us really giddy and we even managed to get the lads more bloody squiny than us!
My sequin sisters!!!
We started our long venture to the arena, (about 3 miles to be exact), and on the long slog they have a few free bikes that they give out at the start and collect at the end. Adam managed to snatch one off someone and had a decent ride on it which was hilarious. I’m gutted I missed the opportunity to hop on one.
The first stop in the arena was Alan Fitzpatrick at 5pm. I’ve been DYING to see him for years, I absolutely love his sound so I rounded the troops together to take them with me. He was almighty and obviously it went off when he finally played We Do What We Want, everyone bounced. Me and Sutty got papped by a photographer cause we looked so extra with our sequins. He bossed sequin Saturday…
We then found ourselves in the Freedom stage seeing Salvatore Ganacci next, who was one of the funnest surprises of the weekend. He was fucking hilarious and his set was banging and such a lively pick me up. You can watch his funny highlights from his set on Weekend 1 here. It’s worth a watch.
We set off from Salvatore to head back to the main stage for Don Diablo. But I saw Sutty’s puppy eyes engrossed in Ingrosso who came on after Salvatore at Freedom. I could see how much he wanted to stay so we fucked off from everyone and stayed to watch his set. THANK the tomozland lords that we did. Ingrosso smashed it and he brought out Axwell which was amazing. And again it was worth it to see Sutty so elated lol. He was going at 100mph with his fist pumps.
We joined the rest of the squad at Don Diablo and I’m kinda glad we didn’t rush for it. It wasn’t the best I’ve seen him. It was actually really emotional set, Don cried loads and some Sweedish Avicii fans held a tribute in the crowd. It’s the first Tomorrowland since the death of Avicii so it was actually mega touching.
We caught a bit of Afrojack on the main stage too who was another good surprise too. The bit we saw of him was absolutely sick and shook everyones emotions back to the right place after Don Diablo.
Me, Emma, Adam and Sam ventured back to Freedom for Virtual Self but we managed to catch the last 30 mins of Alesso. Alesso threw some Avicii in there of course but it was class and i’m buzzing we got that half n hour.
Then Virtual Self happened. I wasn’t even prepared for how amazing Virtual Self was going to be. I fell in love with his Ghost Voices and Particle Arts tracks when they came out recently, his sound is so sick. Trancey dubstep? Absolutely.
We weren’t even prepared for what happened. The first 20 minutes was honestly close to one of the best moments in my life. We found so much space to lose our heads to and he opened with Ghost Voices so it was just amazing. The whole lighting production, amazing set list and lil mosher head bangs was all just insane.
We all had the best time and I was totally in shock when I left. I’m so buzzing that we did that.
We rushed to Above and Beyond as soon as we were still trying to get our breath back from Virtual Self. We reunited with everyone on the hill but it wasn’t the easiest of journeys…
Just as Jack met us at the top of the hill and was taking us to the rest of the group at the bottom, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike declared that they were doing Crowd Control.
Here‘s a video of Crowd Control if you’ve never heard of it – watch the last 20 seconds lol.
So we were trying to move down the hill whilst jumping with the most intense crowd of 100,000 people 8 jumps to the left and then to the right for what felt like forever. Jack just said “this is going to be messy” and then the crowed roared and dragged us left and right. I remember looking at Emma and we were crying with laughter. It was honestly the funniest fucking thing ever. I’m pretty sure I weed because I was laughing so hard lol.
Then Above and Beyond happened. I can’t talk about it so if you want to watch how amazing it was just go right here. No words can describe what we saw or the feelings I felt watching that.
When we got back to camp, our gazebo had well and truly fallen to shit and our mad neighbour Liam thought he was in a crystal maze.
Rain came down like a mofo that Saturday night. My 2 man tent that was actually a 1 man, that was stated to be waterproof that actually fucking was NOT, pretty much caved in on me on Sunday morning. So I crawled into the lads tent doorway and slept in a few puddles in the porch. Then Sutty passed me orange Lucozade sport which saved my life, nothing has ever tasted as good I swear.
Sunday – Silly Silly Sunday
By Sunday the lads had fully embraced their feminine side, I think the sequins from Saturday had gone into their blood stream. Emma saved our lives with some water stick on tattoos and the lads were loving it more than us! Adam actually got a feather on his cheek lol.
I was absolutely PISSED by 10am, Sunday is the day were you have to finish all your booze. I was wasting no gin. So I was happy as larry from very early. We spent loads of time around camp in the day which was sick family time lol. I know it sounds ridiculous but by Sunday I was already getting really emotional at the thought of being without them.
We marched to the main stage again for the last time, crying, (which is a bit blury for me), and we caught a bit of Ummett Ozcan on main stage.
Finally we made an appearance at the Rave Cave which is a tiny hole in the wall which is constantly booming. It only has a capacity of like 100 but they randomly have sick a-list dj’s in there trying to make the most of their experience too. Sometimes the little intimate shit is the best! In our case when we arrived Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike were smashing out a little gig in there.
Then we walked to DJ Frank which was shit RnB tracks cut off early and poorly mixed together. We were all fairly disappointed but we still made a good do of it. We (or I especially) were going mental dancing still. We had a surprising amount of energy to say that on Saturday we’d done approx 36,000 steps each lol.
Whilst waiting for Darren Styles at Freedom next we caught the back end Pablo Discobar. HAHAHA yes discobar, it was an actual embarrassment to be fair.
Still managed to lose our heads and boogie like mad though to the OTT hardstyle. Then Darren Styles happened. He was AMAZING. Everything that he played went off and the dancing in there was CRIMINAL. Everyone lost their heads a bit. I wish his shit hardstyle MC would have fucked off though – he was a nonce.
Me and Emma tried to drag Jack, Adam and Sutty away early to see Solomun on the main stage but they were like 3 fat kids in a sweet shop. Never seen them with that much energy and bounce before. So we left the kids bouncing around and we went to check out Solomun on the main stage. I’m chuffing glad we did as well. The atmosphere was banging. He stayed true to techno and didn’t do any mainstream EDM shit. His set was class and everyones reactions were mega.
We then held tight for Steve Angello, he’s always amazing. He absolutely smashed it and it got us right warmed up for David Guetta. Me and Emma saw David Guetta in Ibiza last year at Ushuaia and it was honestly fuckin immense so we had high hopes for him on the main stage. He too fuckin smashed it. The fireworks started popping off and the lights were just mental.
Then Martin Garrix closed the whole thing. We witnessed it right in the crowd, closer to the front, not on the hill and I can’t even describe it. Sutty got me up on his shoulders representing as soon as Animals dropped…
Again if you want to see how amazing it was check out his full set here. I’m too emotional to go into detail.
We nearly had fights on the way back to camp with the whole STEVE, ALAN shouting malarkey which was funny for 2 mins – and then it got us all pretty aggy. We ended up at Dreamville radio after party trying to stay in the moment as much as possible.
Me, Adam, Sutty, Luke, Sam and Sam stayed up for ages at camp clinging onto Tomorrowland for as long as we could. Sutty and Luke were doing THE BEST impressions, my personal fave was the muffin man scene from Shrek. They went in on the Gingerbread and Lord Farquaad torture scene, it was 10/10.
Then Luke turned into a T-Rex at one point. Some twats in the camp were drop kicking a huge mushroom prop in the campsite which remained undefeated. It was just phenomenal and had to be there to be honest. It was the saddest goodbye going into my tent at for the final time.
Monday – Miserable Monday – RIP BABY SHARK
We all got up reluctantly and packed away our homes for the past 4 days. It was the first time I’ve looked at my tent and desired it. Dreamville radio blasted out some of the highlights of the main DJ sets of the weekend and I just sat and cried into my bucket hat.
Then we all had to make an intense group decision which was to leave baby shark in the fields of Dreamville. Baby Shark was our meet up mascot. He saved our lives in the crowd on his pole held up high by us. We cracked open a dark fruit for him and we all had our individual moment with him and kissed him goodbye. I lost my shit at this point it was like leaving a child lol. I booed my eyes out and Steph cuddled me until she also broke and booed with me!
We picked up our last paper on the way out which was like closure on what felt like a full on dream at this point. It didn’t feel real at all on that Monday like we’d just lived what we had.
We dicked about a bit before having to rush to the Ferry for 2pm. Our 3 cars were doing about 110mph trying to get down that estimated time of arrival as much as possible. Unfortunately the French road signs beat us and we fucked up onto a dead end road and on a couple of roundabouts and we missed the ferry.
WHICH WAS GREAT NEWS BECAUSE WE GOT THE CAMPING CHAIR CIRCLE OUT AGAIN FOR THE LAST TIME.
Sat on the car loading car park we all told our stories again and waited 2 hours for the next ferry. Me and Emma discovered a vending machine that gave us 2 of everything we bought so we went a bit mental on that.
Finally we got on the ferry and had the most EXPENSIVE but mighty feast I’d had all week. We had an intense game of heads which was class and then the sleeping beauties all fell one by one.
Big up to Sam for driving me, Emma and Adam back home all in one piece.
Struggling to accept that I won’t see that electric sky for another year. If I don’t get tickets I will buy one for 2k off some mug that decides not to go and sells it. I would chop off a leg to see that shit again. Life isn’t worth living without Tomorrowland. I miss my family so much, thank you so much to all 9 of you that looked after me, wanted me to have the best time ever and provided so many amazing memories that I will NEVER EVER EVER EVER forget. Crying.
Remember your flags, suncream (but avoid your eyes), funky outfits and open mind next year. It’ll change your life. I wonder what the theme will be…