CHATTAHOOCHEE HILLS, Georgia — With 300 performing artists and 50,000 guests on 500 acres, it’s no easy feat to run a dance music festival like TomorrowWorld, which debuted Stateside on Friday.
From medics to chefs, the staff on the ground can be just as important as the DJs that hit the various stages. And according to TomorrowWorld spokesperson Debby Wilmsen, the magic that occurs at the fest is a result of the careful orchestration behind the scenes.
TomorrowWorld’s risk-and-event crisis center is located in the attic of a horse barn that doubles as the artists’ lounge for the weekend. Staffed with a variety of experts, the information pours in from the site and is then graphed, analyzed and managed around the clock. Notably different from the companion festival in Belgium, Tomorrowland, is the presence of a fireman and policeman, who do constant surveillance to help maintain the safety of the grounds.
On the other side of the control room is a weatherman whose job is to continuously monitor the weather for any shift, from precipitation to heat. The festival organizers can then choose to distribute water more frequently — or decide to start selling ponchos. Though it wasn’t necessary considering the beautiful weather in Georgia, in Belgium, experts were on hand who could manipulate or disrupt cloud formations. So for example, to keep a potential rainstorm from ruining Martin Solveig and Laidback Luke’s Super You & Me set, organizers would shoot a hail cannon!
There are also food control and noise control centers, as well as a social media tracker to make sure each lane of the party is running as smoothly as possible.
With 18 cameras on site and a helicopter circling for additional coverage, there are no blind spots in Chattahoochee Hills. Apart from the 200 security guards on site and the 80 in nearby sleeping/camping area “Dreamville,” there’s also a staffer observing social media for any themes of theft or disruption. “Social media is now faster than the organization,” Wilmsen told MTV News.
So, yes, TomorrowWorld boasts an incredible lineup, stunning visual displays and all-around innovative execution, but keeping fans safe is just as key as making sure they’re entertained.