Story and photography by: Christina Montford
In its pioneer years, any festival is bound to have a few bumps along the road — growing pains, lets call them. And while this year’s TomorrowWorld’s massive growth spurt might have had something to do with the numerous pains, the festival still managed to deliver its promised “madness.”
Nestled in the sprawling fields of Chattahochee Hills, just outside of Atlanta, TomorrowWorld is a three-day festival of EDM, raving and all around debauchery. Tickets run about $400 depending on whether you want to add on the camping in DreamVille option, which we did, or so we thought before we saw the long journey between the camping area and the parking lot. Lovingly called “the trail of tears” by all who see it, the trek can be upwards of three miles, depending on where you are told to park. Visions of us lugging three or four days worth of clothing, camping gear and food behind us were enough to quickly change our minds.
Although we didn’t camp in DreamVille, I still had to walk the grounds for journalistic purposes and a drink or two. The security was extremely lax. My friend and I didn’t even notice we had snuck into the coveted campsite until we were surrounded by tents. Tickets for Dreamville quickly sold out and the campsite was filled beyond capacity, so much so that they had to extend the site back to the parking lot. Tents were everywhere — the forest, the trail, parking spots. It was mayhem. One I was particularly pleased I didn’t have to sleep in.
Colorful ballerinas and Indian headdresses were aplenty this year as it seemed like everyone was pulling out all the stops. Masks and pasties and painted bodies (oh my!) danced across the bridge into the festival grounds. With seven stages boasting names like Mystical Frames, Trap Stage, Super You&Me and Trance Addict, the sets for each stage had to be magical.
“Arising of Life,” the theme for this year, brought one of the most elaborate main stage designs I’ve ever seen. Phixion Creations sculpted a 426 ft. wide stage with a giant volcano as the center piece to symbolize the world’s center. The right side represented organic life on earth and came complete with plants and a waterfall, while the left side was made to represent the expansion of life on earth. The whole structure was close to 100 ft. tall and welcomed acts like Dimitri Vegas, David Guetta, Steve Aoki, Skrillex and Kaskade. With so many big names and magnificent stages the music and the mayhem went well into the early morning every night.
Every experience leaves you with memories. Every adventure leaves you with new pictures on you iPhone roll. But festivals leave you with a feeling. And while it may have been overcrowded, filled with “bros” and dusty as all hell, TomorrowWorld left me with nothing but warmth (and a small cold). The festival’s “welcome to the madness” slogan was an understatement. The experience was three days of crazy costumes, high-fives and some of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever come across. As long as the festival is in America, you can bet you’ll catch me among the sea of girls on someone’s shoulders, tutu and all.