Where do I begin? In the past 6 months I’ve traveled from Downtown Miami to Upstate New York, and everywhere in between … and the most beautiful music festival I have ever been a part of was just 20 minutes from my studio in Atlanta. My crew would return to Bouckaert Farm, exactly one year after one of the most legendary festivals of 2012, Counterpoint.
We spent most of Thursday morning running around town picking up groceries for the next FIVE DAYS of camping, and we were on the road to Tomorrowworld by 4pm. Parking was super easy. Moving all of our gear to Dreamville was not. The parking lot was absolutely massive, which was expected. The distance from our campsite in Dreamville to the car was at least two miles. Our first trip into Dreamville took two hours. One hour of standing in line and going through security, thirty minutes to our spot in Dreamville, and thirty minutes to set up camp. Zach and I decided to do the smart thing – drink a handle of vodka once we got back to the car and use our newly found super strength to drag a tarp with all of our remaining gear into Dreamville before the sunset. We just wanted to set up camp and party. Let me say that dragging that tarp was the hardest workout that I’ve had since football two-a-days, my senior year in high school. Literally dying. After seeing stars before the sunset, it was time for the festivities to begin. We entered ‘The Gathering’ hosted by Counterpoint within Dreamville to catch massively energetic sets from Mayhem vs. Antiserum, Minnesota, Heroes X Villians, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, and GRiZ. Such a great start to the weekend.
Day 1: The sun shines on Dreamville. Our camp perfect, right in the middle of Dreamville, near the General Store. We were less than 10 feet from the wooden street, repping a Bassmonster.com flag, Dream Team flag, and a ‘My Dad thinks I’m camping’ sign. We had neighbors from Austin, TX, Orlando, FL, and Atlanta. We had a Dreamcatcher totem with a GoPro on it, and I was with some of my best friends. CONFIRMED: This was going to be one hell of a weekend.
We spent Friday morning setting up the finishing touches on camp, linking up with old friends, and taking one more trip to the car to grab our cases of water. Around 4 in the afternoon, rage mode initiated. We found ourselves at Main Stage with DJ Chuckie. Before I go any futher, let me just say that Main Stage was f*cking insane. You could literally stay there from 12pm to 2am (the entire day) and never be disappointed. The amount of raw energy, flawless DJ sets, and stage production, was literally incomparable to any other music festival I have attended. We were in a trance for hours, catching the best sets I have ever heard from Fedde Le Grand, Porter Robinson, Sebastian Ingrosso, and Tiesto. While all of the house music was ‘next-level’ we migrated to the Dim Mak Stage, to catch Dirtyphonics and Borgore. Dirtyphonics LIVE was very impressive and do I even have to introduce Borgore? Let’s just say our Dreamcatcher totem was bouncing so hard that it literally destroyed itself and evolved into a rage stick. Day 1, done.
Day 2: Zach woke me up sometime around 10am for something that had us salivating for weeks. Our boys and lovers, the Chainsmokers, were the first set of the day at 12:30. Were we front row with a Bassmonster flag and an American flag? Yes. Was their set one of the best of the weekend? Yes. These boys deserve all the success in the world.
We literally needed a few hours to recover from the most epic wake and bass I have ever experienced, but after a good meal and drink, we wanted more bass. Oh, there’s a stage called ‘All Your Bass Are Belong To Us’? Perfect. Bass Church was hot and grimy, with sets from Figure, Delta Heavy, and Zomboy. Back to mainstage for some Calvin Harris, then to the Fools Gold Clubhouse for RL Grime. I would like to note that I experienced the craziest kind of bliss and euphoria during this set. Around 10:30, with 15 minutes left in his set (which topped his legendary Camp Bisco set), fireworks began going off behind the stage, and lit up the sky as they reflected on the lake behind him as well. This stage was set like an amphitheater, on a slight slant so everyone in the crowd has a great view. He proceeded to drop Flosstradamus’ production ‘Underground Anthem’ and I went absolutely bonkers. In the middle of an amazing crowd, time seemed to stop and the visuals and audio quality made it one of my favorite concert experiences, ever. My mind was literally blown, so of course I swung by main stage to catch a glimpse of Afroki (Afrojack + Steve Aoki) before crashing for the night. The rest of the crew continued raging for AraabMuzik, Rusko, and Excision. Bless their souls. Day 2, success.
Day 3: Sunday, the grand finale. I had more schedule conflicts than ever, and my whole body was sore.
Did I care? No. :) Did I go straight to the OWSLA Stage? Yes.
Kill Paris, KOAN Sound, and Seven Lions set up a pretty good afternoon in my book. As the sun began to set, Main Stage was calling us. Could Nicky Romero and Hardwell top their performances from Ultra earlier this year? It’s debatable, but those are some dirty boys. Bootleg after bootleg and remix after remix, the Tomorrowworld crowd was bouncing the entire time from front row to the back of the hill. There was a definite possibility that my heartrate would be stuck at 128 bpm after their sets, and I was content with my house music fix. I love my crew because we were all on the same page about where we wanted to be for the rest of the night. As tough at it was, not Main Stage, not OWSLA, not Dirty Dutch, and not Q-dance. We’re about that Mad Decent life. All hail Paper Diamond, Dillon Francis, and Diplo. I was very impressed with Paper Diamond, it’s inspiring to see how his style has developed and meshed with his new trap style to create something unique from everyone else in the game. Who did we see next? What’s his name? DJ Hanzel? And where’s his dad? The man, the legend, the animal, and the beast, Dillon Francis is literally at the top of his game, and THE game. I’ll argue that his set at Tomorrowworld might be the best of his career. On top of that, a typical Dillon Francis crowd is just as weird as him, and the stage was in the exact same spot as the Fool’s Gold Clubhouse the night before.
Dillon is currently working on a new album, and he was literally dropping track after track that I had never heard before and the crowd was loving it. From deep ravey house cuts to trap and moombahton, it was one of the most well rounded sets I have ever heard from any multi-genre DJ. Best part of his set? How about the 10:30 fireworks again during his ‘Bird Machine’ edit. It was absolutely filthy.
At the end of his set, I walked to the back hill to see if I could spot our entire crew since we were scattered throughout the crowd. By some sort of miracle, I did, and we gathered, and we raged, one last time, for the finale of Tomorrowworld, with one of the hardest-working, most-respected DJ’s in the world, Diplo. This man has so many bangers in his back pocket, I can’t even begin to critique his set. Who am I to judge Diplo? The man is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the World’s Largest Twerk Wall. All I know is that I was smiling during the entire set, and just had one of the best weekends of my entire life. Take me back.
Top 3 Best Memories at TW:
1. Front row for The Chainsmokers set, wasted at 12:30 in the afternoon, and them closing out their set with ‘Disclosure – You & Me (Flume Remix) (Chainsmokers Edit)
2. Dillon Francis dropping ‘DJ Snake – Bird Machine’ and ‘Terio -Ooo Kill Em (CAKED UP Remix)’ with fireworks in the background
3. RL Grime dropping ‘Flosstradamus – Underground Anthem’ with fireworks in the background