Photo courtesy of Elliott Brockelbank

TomorrowWorld returned to Chattahoochee Hills, Ga. for the third annual electronic dance music (EDM) filled weekend. Beginning in 2013, the colorful festival is the American extension of Tomorrowland, one of the largest EDM festivals in the world, hailing from Belgium.

TomorrowWorld is the largest and perhaps most important festival for those who enjoy EDM in the slightest. One does not have to appreciate EDM in order to have a good time at TomorrowWorld.

The main attraction of the music festival was that it was a grandiose adult carnival, and this affair was definitely evident throughout as patrons  escaped the reality of life for the weekend. Festival goers viewed TomorrowWorld as an opportunity to relive their childhoods by playing dress up.

The food available was surprisingly good for a festival. Keeping with the carnival theme, food was served in tents. A wide range of cuisine, including a few vegetarian options were served by local and non-local restaurants.

However, at the end of the day, the main attraction is still the music. The biggest headliners of the festivals performed at the main TomorrowWorld stage to a very enthusiastic and large crowd.

Such headliners included Steve Aoki, Adventure Club, and Afrojack. Other big names were Bingo Players, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and the closing act, Hardwell. Considering the price of the tickets, these were phenomenal artists worth the money.

Newcomers and veterans enjoyed the artists, with each of them bringing their own spin and expertise onto the music being performed. As the EDM scene is growing in general, DJs and producers are getting more respect for their chosen musical genre. Last weekend’s performers have not only the expertise and practice to gauge their audience, but the ability to apply this newly gained knowledge.

However, there were definite costs to all of this fun. Ticket prices started at a moderate $150. Furthermore, the cost of pregaming and transportation can easily add another $100 to the expenses. This does not even account for all other expenses at the festival itself.

TomorrowWorld used its own currency, which was given the moniker of pearls. Pearls were sold nine at a time for $20. Patrons could exchange pearls for food, liquor and various trinkets at the TomorrowWorld gift-shop. This unique currency seemed to have two important points which could be easily overlooked.

First, pearls gave those in attendance the illusion that they were not spending as much money as they actually were. The second, perhaps more interesting note on the use of pearls, was that if someone did not spend all of their pearls, TomorrowWorld was offering to give a refund for the unused currency at a 2.5 percent charge.

Perhaps the worst part of TomorrowWorld would have to be returning to the real world and home, wherever that may be for each festival goer. Due to the inconvenient rain and decidedly poor planning, the shuttles to take patrons back to the Uber and taxi pickup spots were unceremoniously cancelled with limited information. This meant that patrons were forced to walk about four miles in the woods of Georgia just to have the pleasure of waiting for their rides in the parking lot.

In addition to this less than appreciated setback, Uber drivers started taking bribes from patrons before leaving instead of charging the flat rate of $60. Most people were not able to get back to their homes or any other destination until 7 a.m. the following morning.

Early Sunday, as the last of the stragglers were finally pulling themselves out of the muddy transportation debacle, festival organizers announced that, due to mother nature, only those in the DreamVille camping area would be able to attend that day’s festivities to much outrage online.

With this in mind, TomorrowWorld would have benefitted in guest satisfaction by providing the appropriate accommodations for patrons; however, through oversight or other reasons, this did not come to pass.

The costs of TomorrowWorld as well as the general debacle that was transportation may make potential festival attendees hesitant to participate in TomorrowWorld; however, in spite of all the trouble, TomorrowWorld still remains the festival to attend for EDM. The company has already issued their apologies and started looking into refunds, and this is quite a strong indication that this year’s transportation incident was simply a misstep in the long run.