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Tomorrowland 2019 brought quality in quantity

We enjoyed a weekend of fireworks, fun and Havana Club rum at the Belgian mega-festival

  • Words: Susan Hansen | In association with Havana Club TML XV
  • 1 August 2019

“Live today, Love tomorrow, Unite Forever” is the gargantuan European dance music festival’s motto. Quite possibly the biggest in the world, Tomorrowland has built its reputation slowly but surely. The extraordinary ability to match quantity with supreme quality is an attribute not often seen on an increasingly oversaturated global festival market, but in its fifteenth year, the Belgian giant is a smart contender in this category.

The idyllic scenery of Boom’s De Schorre park in Antwerp evokes an awe-inspiring sensation. The site offers natural space, aesthetics and remoteness. It is an organic layout consisting of paths, ponds and some forest terrain. The festival uses the space with imagination.

Tomorrowland represents event hosting on a different scale. Meticulously curated, the blistering line-up features the world’s biggest DJs. The star-studded line-up includes Richie Hawtin, DJ Snake, Carl Cox, Alison Wonderland, Armin van Buuren, Eric Prydz, Jeroen Search, Charlotte De Witte, Tiësto, Martin Garrix and Amelie Lens.

Weekend highlights come in the form of sets by Armin van Buuren, who delivers impeccable sound and visuals and the vibrancy of Jeroen Search as he brings in new dimensions. Mixmag's July cover star Richie Hawtin’s popularity reaches a high with his originality.

The target of delivering ambitious quotas in diversity and internationalism is applied and a core objective of hosting guests of every nationality in the world looks set to be achieved. Diversity is not only evident amongst guests and artists; the food and drink outlets embody the same objective, there is something from almost every part of the world.

In between seeing the top DJs over the course of the weekend, we were invited to visit Bar Manana by Havana Club, an artistic festival bar that underpins the warm values of the authentic Cuban rum, for the exclusive launch of a rare and exclusive limited-edition rum to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Tomorrowland Festival – Havana Club TML XV.

Created by Master of Cuban Rum, Asbel Morales, in collaboration with the creative minds behind Tomorrowland, the rum is a tribute to the unique, celebratory atmosphere of the festival and the vibrant energy from the streets of Havana.

Prize-winning mixologist Ninon Fauvarque was the perfect Havana Club host on the ground at Bar Manana. To mark the festival, Ninon has created an exclusive cocktail to refresh festival-goers with a blend of Havana Club TML XV, apricot brandy, soft spice syrup, lime juice and iced green tea.

If you didn’t get the chance to taste Havana Club TML XV at Tomorrowland, the rum is exclusively available at fifteen of the leading cocktail bars in cities across Europe for a limited time. Head to the following cocktail havens to try the rum; Barcelona – Paradiso; Munich – Schumann’s; London – Oriole, Artesian and Kwānt; Belgium –L’apereau, Amsterdam – Flying Dutchmen & Tales & Spirits; Cologne – Little Link; Paris –Little Red Door and Bisou Bar; Belgrade –Riddle Craft Bar;Zürich – Bar am Wasser; Lisbon – Red Frog; or Athens – Baba Au Rum.

Back at the festival, Tomorrowland’s theme of otherworldliness, the associated vibe of adventure, mystery, imagination and fantasy was brought to life at the ‘Mainstage’, consisting of a gigantic stage design, a massive ornament of book on shelves, a castle, a giant quill pen, a church altar and a painting.

It may seem overwhelming at times, but the stages offer unique features such as a large dragon, the pulsating sensation of a beating heart and purple mushrooms. The level of detail is staggering and surreal, but it sums up the magnitude of Tomorrowland; an adventure like no other, in surroundings unlike anything else.

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