Published by RsvpAtl
Monday morning we returned to our vehicle where it had remained all weekend. Under a thick layer of mud following the four previous days of continuous rain and after the rural Georgia elements took their toll. After little sleep, and lots of dancing, our group took a deep breath and then smacked hands for one last 'high five' of the weekend. We had endured the weekend's worrisome weather and still left with a smile on our faces.
We had endured the weekend's worrisome weather and still left with smiles on our faces.
There is no denying the added difficulty everyone had this year due to the weather and other external factors. It's been nearly two weeks since the music began and essentially the rain and clouds in Atlanta only let up two days ago. Walking through the mud pit that was Dreamville where we stayed, was anything but dreamy - initially. Of course continuous rain and ongoing foot traffic will certainly pose challenges for any festival taking place 100% outdoors.
Everyone has heard their share of stories. Over the last two years, the festival experienced an increase in the number of thefts as well. We heard of it and had our own campmates experience it firsthand. The unfortunate circumstance is that apparently one of the looters even worked for the festival and was bragging about his acquisitions on Twitter. Then there's the stories of individuals trudging miles in the dark, mosquito-infested backwoods of Georgia to reach their shuttles or taxis. These seemingly the worst of the bunch.
However, the stories you haven't heard sung from rooftops over the last two weeks are of the countless acts of kindness, generosity and respect the overwhelming majority of festival attendees experienced primarily inside of Dreamville. From our passed experiences, these are the norms, not the outliers.
By the second day we had taken note of a group of individuals who were distributing ponchos and rain boots to anyone who would share a joke along the boardwalk. We smiled as two couples got engaged in front of the mainstage on Friday night. We smiled at the security guard who was passing around glitter at the Mythical Frames stage, and were happy to see everyone around us helped up those who wiped out dancing in the mud.
While we've attended numerous festivals over the last decade, we understand that their popularity has also brought several newcomers to the scene -TomorrowWorld, even, a first camping festival for many. Walking several miles as evidenced by people's pedometers is to be expected. Rain, if forecasted (for attendees and event organizers) should be planned for. Though the genres and landscapes holding each of these festivals may be different, they all share one thing in common - it is entirely about what YOU make of it.
National media and dance music blogs have grabbed hold of a few pictures and stories of the thousands and made mass generalizations about the negative sentiments the attendees of the festival had.
Those 'positive vibes' typically commonplace while attending a festival were still present, they just required some coaxing. When asking neighbors how they were holding up in the rain, the credo shared across Dreamville was, "We're making Lemonade out of Lemons." And that's the way we took it too.
"We're making Lemonade out of Lemons." And that's the way we took it too.
The storms thwarted our plans of bringing out large speakers to keep an after party going in Dreamville when they endured water damage on day one along with one of our laptops. The laptop got buried in a box of rice to dry along with a prayer (actually revived it!), and we thought our fun this year in Dreamville would be kept to a minimum. As rsvpATL, we couldn't let that happen especially in our own backyard.
Chattahoochee Hills’ forecast for Sunday teased a day without rain and we came prepared to RISE UP on Sunday and root on our Falcons from camp. It took a few hours to clean from the party the night before that was beer cans and wet wipes scattered across our wet camp site, but we were [mildly] entertained as “The Gathering” stage broke out into the oddest combination of Yoga wake-up we have ever heard. Assumingly without rain, this would have been a daily occurrence all weekend and not just on the last day, nor so awkward for everyone in DreamVille trying to still catch some Zs.
We set up a TV and antenna along the boardwalk and invited fellow Football fans to come in and catch up on their Sunday real time scores. This is the way the DreamVille atmosphere was supposed to be all weekend. Quickly a group gathered and we were doing beer funnels following touchdowns, and NFL trivia at halftime for leftover granola bars and fruit from our camp, all the while rooting on our undefeated Atlanta Falcons with a smile.
Smiles, like hugs, in Dreamville go a long ways.
For a festival in its infancy (third year being held stateside) there were certainly some learnings event promoters can take away from the weekend. In one of our previous posts leading up to the festival we discussed how we were planning on taking some measures this year to prevent the thefts we heard and experienced firsthand last year. While we agree there could have been significantly greater security in the campsites and main stages for thefts, keeping a close eye on your valuables at all times is just good advice in a crowd of people anywhere, too.
We’ve been asked from many who did and didn’t attend this year’s festival about some of our tops and how we survived, so below are our Superlatives.
rsvpATL TomorrowWorld Superlatives
Nicest Surprise: Boat Stage. In fact, all the stages. The production value of TomororwWorld is unparalleled. The 400+ foot wide mainstage takes the glory but all of the stages and decorative elements walking between them really make the ticket price worthwhile in our eyes.
Oddest Thing Seen: Walking from Dreamville into the festival Sunday night after the rain had subsided, we spotted a festival WORKER (clearly on something from another planet) walk straight into a fence and fall down and begin spinning in the mud muttering random musings into his walkie-talkie radio that was screaming back at him. Can't make this stuff up, Our apologies our GoPro wasn't with us... O_0
Best MacGyver: The daily DreamVille Newspapers we used as towels – Big Daddy style – to keep everything in our tents dry.
Best Service Recovery: We exited Dreamville and left TomorrowWorld’s site one day and attempted to return to On-Site Parking with our legitimate On-Site parking pass. We were directed to park off-site (which obviously was an annoyance), but were given cards with complimentary Pearls on them as an apology for the inconvenience. We are seeing unused Pearls start to come back as refunds along with those who requested a Refund for being unable to attend on Sunday.
Best Single Moment: Sunday afternoon around 1pm when football had begun and the sun eclipsed for just a brief 10 second period. The first all weekend and Cheers echoed across all of Dreamville followed by a unified disappointed “Awwwww” moments later when the clouds regained control.
Biggest Disappointment: That ~30,000 fellow festivalgoers were shut out on Sunday. (Arguably a positive though, because Armin’s headlining close felt like a private show for the 40,000 that had stuck it out all weekend in DreamVille). We tweeted out about the party at Opera for those who were shut out on Sunday night open to 18+ and included some of the DJs who were even rescheduled. (See, it pays to follow us on Twitter, @rsvpATL!)
Biggest Reason to Return Next Year: The Culture. Not a festival stateside that can even hold a flame up to TomorrowWorld in terms of the diverse group of people internationally that fly in to partake in the madness. We had campmates on either sides of us from Mexico, Argentina, India and Australia (along with some late-night loud Texans) we became great friends with over the weekend. We asked (and learned) how to say ‘pasties’ in Spanish from our neighbors. (pezones). We also had our other international neighbors share their version of fruit-by-the-foot with us which was quite tasty!
2015's TomorrowWorld was admittedly a different landscape than years passed, but with some provisions and a positive attitude - just as fun!
Going through photos (and the laundry) we are still discovering little reminders of 'Boom, Belgium' in Georgia we had all but forgotten. 2015's TomorrowWorld was admittedly a different landscape than years passed, but with some provisions and a positive attitude - just as fun!
Additional Positive TomorrowWorld 2015 Experiences
We're compiling the GREAT stories that kept you going through the weekend and embodied the ambiance and atmosphere we all left the real world to escape to. Comment below and share them with us using #TWrsvpATL.
- What you're Forgetting About TomorrowWorld 2015 - Ashley Cizek, SensibleReason
- TomorrowWorld 2015 - Kristelle's Experience, edmIdentity
- TomorrowWorld 2015 - Jeff's Experience