Boom, Belgium — MTV News was graciously invited to attend one of Europe's largest dance-music gatherings this past weekend: Boom, Belgium's Tomorrowland Festival. Rivaling the size of Las Vegas' Electric Daisy Carnival and Miami's Ultra Music Festival, the 7-year-old Tomorrowland, which started out with just 10,000 attendees, swelled to around 180,000 fans and campers this year. They descended upon 14 stages for their pick of the litter of the fest's 469 performing DJs.
Easily one of the most recognized names in dance music today, electronic dance-music icon Tiësto was among the headliners of the three-day dance-a-thon. Unlike Friday night headlining pals Swedish House Mafia or Sunday night's performance by crossover star David Guetta, Tiësto had rainy weather to deal with. But in a testament to just how popular the Dutch DJ/producer, born Tijs Verwest, is, the 40,000 fans at Tomorrowland's main stage didn't waver for a second. If anything, the elements heightened the venerated star's epic set, which featured hits "Zero 76" (his song with Hardwell off of his recent Club Life, Volume 1: Las Vegas album), his as-yet-unreleased remix of Kanye West's "Lost in the World" and his Bassjackers effort "Mush, Mush." He also dropped two as-yet-unreleased and untitled new bangers over the course of his performance.
MTV News had the pleasure of catching up with Tiësto just before his two-hour set at Tomorrowland, and there he gushed about an effort he is very much looking forward to back on our shores: He's launching a college tour that will bring him to a dozen college campuses all over America in September.
"I'm really excited about the Tiësto College Invasion Tour because I never really went to the colleges to play, and it's just a whole new generation to DJ for," Verwest said. "Probably most of them have never heard me play. So I thought it's time to do this. Electronic music is getting so big in the U.S., so I thought it's a great opportunity."
Tiësto is launching two pretty cool contests in conjunction with the tour. The first will give fans a crack at remixing soon-to-be-released song "Work Hard, Play Hard" (featuring vocals by Kay), and the winner with the best remix will have his or her track released on Tiësto's Musical Freedom label and a chance to open for him on the College Invasion Tour. That lucky someone may share opening duties with 19-year-old sensation Porter Robinson.
The second contest will see one lucky go-getter have Tiësto attend his or her house party. "The person who makes the most promotion, the most of a rumble about me coming to their college wins a prize," Verwest revealed. "And the prize is that I'm going to visit their home and have a little party there."
So will Tiësto play the role of Will Ferrell in the college cult film "Old School"? Well, the globetrotting DJ/ producer has been known to let his hair down from time to time, but you'll have to stir up enough of a storm to find out!
"Tijs the Tank! That's gonna be 'Tijs the Tank night' for sure," Verwest joked. " 'Tiësto the Tank!' Let's go streaking!"
To have the big man visit your home, check the "Tiësto House Party" tab on Tiësto's Facebook page for more info.
Below are the cities Tiësto will be hitting:
»September 15 - Madison, WI @ Alliant Energy Center Expo Hall
»September 16 - Ypsilanti, MI @ EMU Convocation Center
»September 18 - Syracuse, NY @ Oncenter
»September 19 - Amherst, MA @ Mullins Center
»September 20 - Kingston, RI @ Ryan Center
»September 21 - Norfolk, VA @ Scopes Arena
»September 22 - Winston-Salem, NC @ Joel Coliseum
»September 23 - Charleston, SC @ Patriots Point
»September 24 - Tallahassee, FL @ Floyds
»September 25 - Athens, GA @ Classic Center
»September 27 - Baton Rouge, LA @ River Center
»September 29 - Austin, TX @ Cedar Park Center