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The international appeal of Tomorrowland
In only 15 years, Tomorrowland has become one of the most popular music festivals on the planet. It's widely recognized as an event that is full of positive vibes musically and emotionally.

With festivals like Coachella and Rock in Rio essentially becoming their own pop-up metropolis, the experience has become as much about how to navigate the overwhelming size of these events as about enjoying the music. It's comforting to know that in this era humans still physically assemble en masse, sometimes preferring a shared real world experience to that of a virtual one.

Still, for those who prefer a modern soundtrack with a classic festival vibe, Tomorrowland is an ideal proposition. 2019 marks the fifteenth year of this EDM festival held in Boom, Belgium. In less than a decade and a half it has become THE festival for fans of the genre and is often cited for the positivity of those who attend. While attendees of many festivals seem to go to "be seen" or for bragging rights, it's apparent that the audience at Tomorrowland come to be together?and to dance!

With only fifteen years in existence, the Tomorrowland music festival went from one modest location in Belgium to a present day celebration of electronic dance music on nearly every continent. Boom, Belgium is still the birthplace of this global phenomenon which has featured performances by Moby, Swedish House Mafia, Martin Garrix, David Guetta, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Armin van Buuren, and the biggest names in EDM. The nearly half a million attendees in recent years eclipses the first year's 9,000, as does its reputation of selling out in mere minutes. Numerous awards continue to vet the festivals prominence; such as the DJ Award for the Best International Dance Music Festival, voted the Best Music Event by the International Dance Music Awards, and voted World's Best Festival by DJ Magazine.

The festival's reputation for inclusion has become its international calling card, attracting EDM enthusiasts from all over the world. While many gatherings of the genre may lean more towards the individual experience, Tomorrowland has been lauded for its sense of community and belonging. Tomorrowland Belgium specifically is known for a multinational crowds of fans. Even so, this massive production must be properly financed. Increasingly in the live music world, this relies on merchandising. An international crowd is quite challenging to cater to; the designs need to suit many tastes and the models must be styled accordingly. The presentation of official Tomorrowland merchandise was shot by photographer Lesley Hoste. Because of the multiple global events and demographic, the challenge of creating images universally attractive were quite substantial. Hoste attained the services of Fraukje Van De Wiele as Make-up Artist (and Hair stylist). Also known as Frances Folies, Fraukje is renowned for her work with Radar Event's Retronettes and model Gia Geneviere. Due to the variety of models presented, the photographer needed an expert with the ability to tailor to numerous different looks. The success of Tomorrowland's merch relied heavily on this presentation and has proven extremely relevant. Describing her approach and its success, Frances reveals, "My strongest characteristic as an artist is that I am sometimes too empathic and can imagine myself in the shoes and style of a genre/customer/context. I'm like a chameleon, depending on what context I'm in. I instantly understand what look and feel a client wants or who his clients are. I imagined girls from all over the world who want to travel to experience the Tomorrowland vibe. They want cool and powerful clothes but very comfy for partying and travel. Most of them are staying in a tent and don't have a lot of space to bring a lot of make-up. This was a part of the client's briefing, quirky but easy looks; something you can easily do in a camping in a tent after sleeping 3 hours. Of course, colors and impact are important but not too sophisticated either." Frances has a very personal connection with Tommorowland as she is a native of Belgium and has even done make-up for artists who perform at this event, including female hip-hop DJ Kisa.

Tomorrowland continues to expand its sphere of influence and importance as one of the largest and most important music festivals in the world. In addition to new cities and countries in which Tomorrowland appears, the original Boom location was expanded in 2017 by adding a second weekend for the first time ever. This year, the festival's birthplace will host visitors from all over the world on July 19-21 & 26-28. In an era where it seems so many want more togetherness, Tomorrowland is doing more than its fair share of attaining this goal.

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