Every year, for three days, the little town of Boom in Belgium transforms into the epicentre of EDM. Tomorrowland (July 24-26) brings in the biggest performers – the line-up this year includes DJ Armin van Buuren (world no 3), Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike (no 2) and Martin Garrix (no 4), among others. It gets unparalleled crowds (approximately 1,80,000 visitors), amazing lighting and special effects. No wonder, every year, tickets are sold out within hours.
But can the music, the ambience and the thrill be re-created on a screen? The people signing up for a paid screening of the festival in town must believe so.
On July 25, the 11th edition of Tomorrowland will be screened live in just two cities in the world: Mexico City and Mumbai. Dubbed as Unite: The Mirror to Tomorrowland, it will be held at NSCI stadium, from 11pm till early morning. Tickets are priced at `1,000 (plus taxes, mind you), and the organisers are expecting 10,000 people.
Shailendra Singh, MD, Percept (the Mumbai organiser), says that the event will be akin to Tomorrowland Belgium: "When the pyros and CO2 guns (air pistols) go off there, they will also go off here. City fans will interact with fans in Boom. So far, Tomorrowland has only been streamed live in Brasil (last year)."
The event has been in the pipeline for years, since India boasts of a sizeable EDM fan base. "Almost 10,000 Indians attend Tomorrowland every year; this is for those who can’t make it," adds Singh.
But aside from the line-up and stage paraphernalia, why would you attend an event being streamed a continent away? We let the fans do the talking.
Nikhil Sharma (25) is the co-founder of online EDM magazine Front Row Ravers, and a property consultant. Based in Hyderabad, he will come to Mumbai for the event. A die-hard fan of Armin van Buuren, he attended his live concert in Mumbai (June 6), where he shelled out `3,000 for a ticket. While that was an in-the-flesh experience, he has no qualms about paying for a virtual event: "It’s cheaper than attending a live concert, though the interaction is missing. In a live concert, you end up dancing among fans anyway. Timing isn’t an issue as I stay up to watch EDM events on YouTube."
A view of Tomorrowland, Belgium
EDM fan Som Prem (18) is a mass media student from Bandra’s RD National College. He is excited to dance till dawn, while listening to EDM greats: "Online streaming showcases a few minutes on each stage; here, we will witness complete sets," he says.
Fans are hopeful that this may be a precursor for Tomorrowland heading to India (like Brasil, where the streaming was followed by the event).
While the jury is still out on whether this is a marketing gimmick or the real deal, the fans aren’t complaining.
Unite: The mirror to Tomorrowland will be held on July 25, 11 pm to 3 am. At Dome, NSCI, Worli. Buy tickets on tomorrowland.com
Line-up 11 pm (Doors & local DJs); 12am (Martin Garrix); 1am (Armin van Buuren); 2.15am (Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike)
Tickets priced:`1,000 (exclusive of taxes)
> The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) hosts screenings from MET Opera (New York), National Theatre Live (London), the Bolshoi Ballet (Russia), and of international art exhibitions.
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> PVR Live showcases live performance arts events and performances as well as recorded concerts and performances.