Comparing TomorrowWorld to Ultra and EDC
As of 2014, the three largest EDM festivals in the United States are TomorrowWorld in Atlanta, Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, and Ultra Music Festival in Miami. All three of these events are amazing and unique in their own way, but people who have yet to experience these wondrous festivals often ask what the difference is between them. I’m one of the lucky few to have attended all three of these festivals in the past year, so I’d like to break things down and give some first-hand insight on the similarities and difference of each festival.
TomorrowWorld is, in my opinion, truly the most special of the three festivals. Not to discredit the amazing experiences that can take place at Ultra and EDC, there are different elements of TomorrowWorld that are unrivaled by any festival of that size in the United States.
1) Camping in DreamVille
Camping adds a completely different element to a music festival, and camping is not an option at EDC or Ultra. DreamVille is like a magical nomadic city that was plopped down in the middle of Chatahoochee Hills outside Atlanta. DreamVille holds about 20,000 campers, and those who camp in DreamVille are lucky enough to turn their TomorrowWorld adventure into a 5-day festival, rather than 3 days. Campers in Dreamville can start their festival one day early with The Gathering, which is an awesome warm-up with headliners taking place at one of the stages inside TomorrowWorld. DreamVille also features a marketplace with amazing food and all of your essential needs, a boardwalk, and a newspaper printed every morning with highlights from the previous day. The newspaper is a great souvenir to remember the experience! However, it is possible to attend TomorrowWorld without camping in DreamVille, as there are shuttles and hotels in the area. But in order to get the entire experience, I recommend buying a pass to camp in DreamVille.
2) A truly diverse crowd
Last year, TomorrowWorld hosted visitors from over 75 different countries. It was commonplace to have your neighbor speak a completely different language than yourself, and everyone was extremely open to meeting new friends. EDC and Ultra are more likely to bring people from all over the United States, although there are some who travel from farther than that. However, at TomorrowWorld it was more of a global collection of friends.
3) A festival in nature
When I say that the grounds at TomorrowWorld are unbelievable, there is no exaggeration. The festival is set on 8,000 acres of land, lakes and rolling hills, although the actual festival grounds are only on a few hundred acres (tongue-in-cheek, the festival is extremely spacious). DreamVille campers must actually cross a specially built bridge over a beautiful lake to enter the festival grounds. To get to some of the stages, there is a walk through a trail in the woods. Last year, at one stage, many of the attendees actually brought hammocks to relax and listen to the music, while another stage had the lake set as a beautiful backdrop.
EDC takes place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Ultra at Bayfront Park. The Speedway is very spacious on its own, but the majority of it is concrete, which just isn’t quite as pretty. Some of Bayfront Park is filled with grass, but still doesn’t quite compare to the beautiful landscape of TomorrowWorld.
Some people may not really understand what a difference it can make to have only adults over the age of 21 at a festival, but it truly does make a huge difference in the maturity of the crowd. Mysteryland USA, also run by SFX and ID&T, was another example of a successful festival in the United States with a 21+ age restriction. It’s not to say that bad things can’t happen to those over 21, but typically an older crowd means more experience. Ultra is all ages and EDC is 18 or older. The more mature crowd at a festival like TomorrowWorld is definitely noticeable and can make a really big impact on your overall experience.
The advantages of EDC and Ultra
There are some advantages to festivals likes EDC and Ultra as well, such as the club scene and networking that can be experienced in Miami and Las Vegas. Ultra is preceded by the Winter Music Conference and Miami Music Week, which turns Ultra into an entire week of clubbing, festivals, and fun. The Winter Music Conference is also a great way to network with other people in the industry. The week before EDC is called EDC Week and is host to the internationally acclaimed EDMBiz conference, another industry networking event that takes place at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Additionally, in both Miami and Vegas, the party never ends. After Ultra, you can hit up the clubs to party all night. EDC has a unique timeframe, running from Sunset to Sunrise. If you’re looking for something to do during the day, Vegas pool parties are unlike anything else you’ve ever experienced.
Any of these festivals provide you with a great time and offer something different. If I had to pick a favorite, TomorrowWorld would be the choice because it offers something unlike any other festival of its size in the United States. When deciding which one to attend, don’t worry as much about the lineup. Instead, think about the experience you are looking to have. Ultimately, all of these festivals are stacked with huge headliners and supporting acts.
TomorrowWorld is coming up in less than 30 days, and they’ve decided to feature some of their up-and-coming stars with a series called “Artists Of Tomorrow.” This week, the series features Cash Cash. Take a listen to the 60-minute mix from the New Jersey-based brothers, and check out TomorrowWorld’s SoundCloud account for other “Artist Of Tomorrow” mixes from Milo & Otis, Botnek, and Oliver Heldens.
Tickets for TomorrowWorld are still available at TomorrowWorld.com, and the full lineup is posted below. Ultra and EDC tickets for 2015 are not yet on sale, but stay tuned for updates!