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The Music Scene

Posted: 5:55 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, 2013

It's a wrap for TomorrowWorld 

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By Melissa Ruggieri

It’s a wrap for TomorrowWorld, the three-day EDM festival that commandeered Bouckaert Farm in Chattahoochee Hills all weekend.

Festival organizers cite a cumulative attendance figure of about 140,000 people throughout the weekend (check out the video from AJC ace Ryon Horne above for a sampling of some of the countries represented in the blissful crowd) and say they are already planning to return next year.

Although about 30,000 revelers stayed on-site in the DreamVille campgrounds, the perfect-weather weekend likely spurred curiosity-seekers to take the ride 25 minutes south of the airport to check out a primo EDM lineup including David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Alesso, Afrojack, Steve Aoki and hundreds of other DJs/producers who performed on eight stages.

According to south Fulton police, there were a few arrests over the weekend: two for narcotics (one for possession of marijuana and MDMA sales and one for possession of MDMA –more commonly known as ecstasy or molly); three for battery/fighting and nine traffic accidents, none of them serious.

TomorrowWorld made a point of preaching a zero tolerance drug policy and had undercover police as well as K-9 units on site during the event.

I didn’t make it to the third night of TW (I was covering this gathering with Cee Lo Green and Little Richard instead), but my editor, Jamila Robinson, had this to report about Guetta’s headlining set on that jaw-droppingly-cool main stage:

“[Guetta] turned the Main Stage at TomorrowWorld into an unforgettable party scene, rocking and remixing beats of pop hits with thousands of people. 

“I never thought I’d see this in the U.S.,” Guetta said from his perch on the “Book of Wisdom,” the 400-foot high stage surrounded by fireworks, cascading fountains straight out of Vegas and the smoke from dry ice.

Guetta’s set included yet another remix of Icona Pop’s “I Love It,” a smash hit for electronic dance music, as well as pop stations.  The thumping beat kept the revelers dancing, high-fiving, waving flags and climbing on the shoulders of fellow festival-goers for better views.

While, Guetta’s 90-minute set included the ubiquitous “Eat. Sleep. Rave. Repeat,” by fellow deejay, Calvin Harris who played Saturday, he also included Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven” and La Roux’s “Bulletproof,” cutting the sound in time for impromptu sing-alongs."

And then we have this summary from AJC Chief Dining Critic John Kessler, who could be seen shaking it with the kids a couple of days over the weekend:

"Being at TomorrowWorld in a sea of arm-pumping, hopping bodies reminded me very much of the nightclubs in Europe when I was an exchange student in the early 1980s. Suddenly I was no longer on dance floors where people were going down, down, down to the strains of the B52's "Rock Lobster" and instead on dance floors where people danced like robots to Kraftwerk. Electronic music, at its inception, had a distinctly European flavor. It still does at TomorrowWorld. That kind of triumphant spirit and synthesized pop sound feels like it comes from a very different place from the blues-inflected dance music here. 

There's also something about watching everyone in their wild costumed prancing around with excitement as the sun begins to set that feels almost pagan. 

The spirit of the festival was so great. I loved when people crossed the bridges over the pond separated into two lanes, one in each direction, they'd high five each other as they passed, like teams after a soccer match.

There were some great totems, including one of Ron Swanson from "Parks and Recreation" that was always near the front of the main stage."

I’m sorry I missed that Ron Swanson totem, but not sorry that I spent two days at the well-organized, visually arresting gathering. On to next year…

Check out our TomorrowWorld main page for photos, videos and recaps from the weekend.

Melissa Ruggieri

About Melissa Ruggieri

Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers music and entertainment news for Atlanta Music Scene blog on ajc.

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