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Tomorrowland is an overall experience: Michiel Beers

UNITE: The Mirror to Tomorrowland will see live sets by DJs Martin Garrix, Armin van Buuren, and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike streamed in Mumbai from the largest Electronic music festival in the world, Tomorrowland. Its founder, Michiel Beers, talks music and his plans for India

For diehard Electronic Dance Music fans, it is a dream come true to occupy foot space at the Belgian Electronic music festival, Tomorrowland. Last year, the festival completed 10 years of existence, and is now also held in the US and Brasil. More than 4,00,000 people attended the festival last year.

Crowds throng near the stage at the ninth edition of Tomorrowland in Belgium, July 2013. Pic/AFP
Crowds throng near the stage at the ninth edition of Tomorrowland in Belgium, July 2013. Pic/AFP

India will now get a brief glimpse of the energy with three top sets being streamed live in the city in a concert format as part of UNITE: The Mirror to Tomorrowland. Apart from Mumbai, the digital bridge will also connect Mexico to Boom, the festival venue in Belgium. Michiel Beers, the founder of Tomorrowland shares the journey so far and his future plans over an email interview.

One of the stages at Tomorrowland
One of the stages at Tomorrowland

Q. What was your vision and aim for Tomorrowland when it started 10 years back?
A. We wanted to create a fun festival with a colourful, happy and young vibe throughout the day. It would also offer different kinds of platforms for talented producers to showcase their Electronic music.

Manu (left) and Michiel Beers, (right) co-founders of Tomorrowland, pose with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, whose message was engraved for posterity on a piece of wood and will be added to the permanent bridge at the recreational domain De Schorre in Boom. Pic/AFP
Manu (left) and Michiel Beers, (right) co-founders of Tomorrowland, pose with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, whose message was engraved for posterity on a piece of wood and will be added to the permanent bridge at the recreational domain De Schorre in Boom. Pic/AFP

Q. From over 100 DJs who perform at Tomorrowland, what made you select these particular artistes for screening, since all of them have performed in India before?
A. These artistes have undoubtedly performed at Sunburn before, however, each of them carry their own aura around when they are a part of Tomorrowland. Also, they are headliners of Tomorrowland Belgium mainstage on day 2. All three artistes, are renowned DJs internationally and have a good ranking on DJ Mag. Tomorrowland promises a different experience with all three DJs during the festival. As this is our first time in India, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike only made sense, as they are resident DJs at Tomorrowland. Armin van Buuren has been performing at the festival since it had started. Garrix is a young, fresh and popular talent who appeals to the Indian audience.

Q. Is this to test the grounds, and look at possibly bringing Tomorrowland to India at some point?
A. Tomorrowland is always exploring possibilities and options but in the immediate future, the full focus is on the 11th edition of Tomorrowland in Belgium, the third edition of TomorrowWorld in the USA and the second edition of Tomorrowland Brasil in 2016. We are glad to set foot in India with assistance from our promoters/partners (Percept Live) to ensure the scale and magnitude of the festival is replicated in India. They share a similar vision to ours. India is definitely a huge market and there are possibilities of Tomorrowland being hosted in India in a few years down the line.

Q. How have you shaken things up to ensure that fans keep coming back?
A. We have a new theme every year; we book different artistes every year (we have 16 stages) and every year, we have new things to offer. This keeps fans expecting more from the festival. It is an overall experience and not just a music festival.

Q. How much potential does Indian hold for a large-scale festival organiser?
A. We feel the love from Indian fans through social media and the attendance from the country is increasing every year. The fans in this country are very eager and passionate about the brand and Electronic Dance Music.

On: July 25, 11 pm onwards
At: Dome NSCI, Worli.
Log on to: Tomorrowland.com

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