Tomorrowland 2013: The Most ‘Mental’ Festival Yet?

MTV News looks back on what's been deemed the 'mother' of all EDM festivals.

It was a weekend of superheroes, volcanoes, waterfalls and a surprise visit from Slash. And now that we’re back in the States, MTV News is looking back on just how epic Tomorrowland 2013 was.

Given the sheer size of the festival, It would probably be easier to point out who wasn’t in Boom, Belgium, this weekend than who was. An incredible lineup of the world’s biggest DJs entertained 180,000 electronic music junkies for three days of EDM madness.

“I think Tomorrowland to me is like the mother of creativity for all festivals,” Nicky Romero told MTV News. “They always come up with an amazing stage, amazing people, amazing acts, and it’s a really big honor to be here and to be a small part of this festival.”

No stranger to the festival circuit, but new to Tomorrowland, U.K. producer Russ Chimes seemed shocked after his first glimpse at the main stage. “It’s mental,” said Chimes. “I’ve not been here before and we just went to see the main stage. Waterfalls, pyrotechnics and about a hundred thousand people.”

Attendees stepped into a landscape of sight and sound featuring 15 stages on both land and water. Hosting a broad spectrum of dance music genres, guests spent the weekend at various stage events like the Garden of Madness, Carl Cox and Friends, and Super You & Me.

Saturday’s highlights included an emotional set by Armin Van Buuren, who rushed to festival grounds only moments after his wife had given birth to a baby boy. The Dutch producer appeared teary-eyed as he began to play to thousands of adoring fans.

That passion is something that former Swedish House Mafia DJ Steve Angello felt from everyone at the festival. All three members of former power trio were in attendance to play solo sets on the main stage.

“I’ve been here for so many years now and it just gets bigger and better,” Angello told MTV News. “You know, it’s one of those things that it’s, they know what they’re doing. It’s still driven by people with passion, so you can tell by the production that this year is amazing. It’s beautiful. So the people are here because they can feel that passion. When you lose that, you lose the crowd.”

Ninety-two nationalities were in attendance from every continent in the world, making the festival a truly global experience — but to Romero, it felt like a family gathering.

“All the flags and all the people, like everybody’s just so like one,” he said. “All countries become one and it’s something magical that only happens at Tomorrowland.”