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The Music Scene

Posted: 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Economic impact of TomorrowWorld: $85.1 million for the state of Georgia 

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Phil Skinner/AJC
TomorrowWorld brought more than 120,000 people to Bouckaert Farm last year.

By Melissa Ruggieri

Last fall, when marquee EDM acts David Guetta, Afrojack, Steve Aoki and about 300 other DJs commandeered Bouckaert Farm in south Fulton County for a three-day weekend, no one really knew what to expect.

Seven months after TomorrowWorld brought pounding beats, 300 DJs, massive stages and enough confetti to cover the 500 acres of farmland, the financial results are in. TomorrowWorld’s economic impact was calculated at $85.1 million, with $70 million of it in Atlanta and neighboring areas, according to a study paid for by the event’s producers.

That dollar figure is the same amount the NCAA Final Four Championship games brought to the city in 2013.

The economic impact study was conducted by Beacon Economics, an independent research and consulting firm based in Los Angeles.

TomorrowWorld, an offshoot of the decade-old TomorrowLand EDM festival in Belgium, made its U.S. debut last year. According to the study, about 12 percent of attendees came from outside the U.S. (75 countries were represented). As for the North American fans, every state was represented in the crowd, with Georgia and Florida leading the location demographic, followed by New York and Texas and then the rest of the country.

“One of the big parts of TomorrowWorld coming here is putting Atlanta on the map as an event site,” said Justin Epstein, CEO of Premier Agency, which handles PR for TomorrowWorld.

The festival’s project director, Shawn Kent, admits he was surprised – happily so – at the results of the economic impact study.

“It’s kind of overwhelming that we can create such an impact in a community,” he said. “It’s kind of humbling in a way that, wow, we’re an economic impact, and you really see it now.”

TomorrowWorld is contracted for 10 years at the farm in Chattahoochee Hills and will return for its sophomore production at the site Sept. 26-28. Tickets are on sale now and this year’s lineup is expected in the next few weeks.

 Kent also noted that the “theme” of this year’s event – an all-important element for fans – will be announced at the end of summer (“The Key to Happiness” is the theme to this year’s TomorrowLand, which will take place during two weekends in Belgium in July).

Here are some other takeaways from the economic impact study for the 2013 edition of TomorrowWorld:

  • 120,000 people attended over three days (Kent acknowledges this fell a little short of projections of 50,000 per day, or 150,000 for the event). An additional 20,000 fans who arrived the Thursday before the official Friday kickoff to get situated on the DreamVille camp site were also tallied.


  •  TomorrowWorld employed the equivalent of 749 annual full time jobs.


  • An estimated $4.3 million in tax revenues went to the state and local governments as a result of event-related spending.


  • About 22.5 percent of TomorrowWorld attendees spent several additional days in the Atlanta area. Visiting attendees' direct expenditures added $28.7 million into the local economy across areas such as lodging, restaurants, sightseeing, etc.


  • TomorrowWorld surveyed 1,829 attendees two weeks after the festival and received a score of 9.2 out of 10 for overall enjoyment of the festival (a total slightly higher than TomorrowLand usually receives).

 If you didn’t attend last year’s festival or need a refresher about TomorrowWorld, check out our page of videos, stories, photos, tweets and more

Melissa Ruggieri

About Melissa Ruggieri

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

Connect with Melissa Ruggieri on:TwitterFacebook

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