The pent-up demand for live music festivals is real in Europe.
After two years of stinging cancellations due to the pandemic, Belgium’s Tomorrowland has sold out its 600,000 passes for its flagship 2022 festival. The event will make its return to an in-person festival with three weekends in July in the cities of Boom and Rumst.
“We are very happy to welcome 600,000 festivalgoers at Tomorrowland in Belgium this summer,” says Tomorrowland spokeswoman Debby Wilmsen. “It is great to see that people [stayed] positive in those challenging years and we are looking forward to share love, music and friendship soon.”
Tomorrowland secured three weekends in the province of Antwerp for the first and only time in 2022 in order to recoup major losses faced by the festival due to the pandemic, the festival tells Billboard. Both of the 2020 and 2021 editions of the festival, which hosts hundreds of dance artists and 75,000 attendees per day, were canceled due to the pandemic, resulting in approximately 25 million euros ($28 million) in lost revenue, the company has said.
The cancellation of the 2021 festival was a particularly hard blow. It came just two months before Tomorrowland was scheduled to take place was plan, after local officials denied a permit to hold the two-weekend event, citing concerns about rising cases of the COVID-19 delta variant and the complexity of logistics to ensure health and safety checks for the crowd.
While in-person events were canceled, Tomorrowland hosted two virtual events instead called Tomorrowland: Around the World. The first one sold nearly 140,000 tickets and Tomorrowland compensated artists on a royalty-sharing compensation scheme based on overall ticket sales.
Organizers told Billboard in 2020 that Tomorrowland risked 5 million euros (about $6 million), including money for talent and production, to put on the pay-per-view festival, which took two-and-a-half months of planning and featured a heavyweight lineup including David Guetta, Tiësto, Eric Prydz, Amelie Lens and Martin Garrix.
The July mega-festival will feature more than 700 artists across 14 stages on the weekends of July 15-17, July 22-24 and July 29-31. Performing acts for 2022 include Diplo, Alesso, Sofi Tukker, Marshmello, Martin Garrix, DJ Diesel, Major Lazer and more.