BOOM, Belgium — It's finally here: Day 1 of Tomorrowland! MTV News has flown halfway across the world to experience this insane music festival firsthand. Celebrating the ninth year of the festival — which has expanded from a one-day, 10,000-person event to a three-day global blowout with over 180,000 visitors — Tomorrowland has a reputation to deliver some of the most over-the-top stage production on the planet.
The fantasy-themed event's 15 unique stages are decked out in intricate decor. Local superstars Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike were kind enough to give us another sneak peak at the highly anticipated stage designs, starting with locally sponsored CafÃ© d'Anvers.
"On this stage on Friday, you're going to find Jamie Jones; on Saturday, Cocoon; and on Sunday, Minus. The stage is hosted by Café d'Anvers, which is one of the best underground clubs in Belgium," Dimitri explained. "This is for sure one of the best places to be this weekend."
Next stop was the "Garden of Madness," a truly unique stage on a lake that will host Afrojack and his Jacked crew, YVES V with V-Sessions, and label parties Smash the House and Dirty Dutch on large interconnected floating blocks.
"This stage is designed by Daniel Ost, one of the most famous florists in the world," Dimitri said. "And this stage is actually, really floating on water. As you can see, it's humongous, and after this weekend, there's going to be nothing left of it except water, so let's hope we don't make this baby sink."
Unfortunately, it might be a rainy weekend here in Belgium. For most, the immediate fear is not the rain itself, but the dreaded mud that comes after. Having dealt with this nightmare in the past, festival organizers decided to cover essentially the entire grounds with wood and plastic decking.
Last stop on the tour was the always-popular main stage. Throughout the weekend, this stage will host the likes of Tiësto, Sebastian Ingrosso and Avicii alongside main-stage newbies Porter Robinson, Arty and Zedd. The colossal structure, situated in a naturally occurring amphitheater-like setting, includes a waterfall, a giant volcano and, oddly enough, a restaurant.
Built into the main stage for the first time ever is a gourmet restaurant. Michelin three-star chef Sergio Herman has teamed up with Jordi Roca — who, with his brothers, owns El Celler de Can Roca, recently named best restaurant in the world — to give attendees a break from the typical festival fare. Good luck getting in, however: Roca's Spanish establishment has a one-year waiting list, so we assume festival foodies will be all over it.