This past Saturday saw TOMORROWLAND UNITE SA hit South Africa for what I hope is the first of many.
Kyle Watson, Household Funk w/ Justin Chalice, Vimo & Chunda Munki, Ricardo Da Costa w/ Sterra Lucas, Timo ODV, dodgy uncle Roger Goode and DJ Fresh all took stage before the live stream hit us from the Main Stage heart of Tomorrowland in Belgium.
For the first time ever the magic of Tomorrowland came to South Africa on Saturday 23 July. Whether they were dressed up with national flags, flower headdresses, neon outfits or outlandish weird and wonderful creations South Africa knows how to get ready for a taste of the world’s biggest house music event. Thousands flocked to the Ticketpro Dome to experience 12 hours of non-stop house and electro music at Tomorrowland UNITE SA.
At 8.45pm the moment we had all been waiting for was finally upon us. With the 100m HD screen counting down to the live cross-over the energy was palpable. Building bridges between Belgium and the rest of the world with a live connection from the Tomorrowland Main stage Mexico, India, Japan, Colombia, Germany, South Africa and Israel were united and welcomed to the madness. As the first International act Nicky Romero, the Jozi crowd ate up every track of explosive progressive house. Dutch house star Afrojack brought his big room live sound to the dome with catchy hooks, huge drops and exceptional vocals. During his set via the insane satellite stream, Jozi showed the world why SA was voted Dance Nation of the Year as their elated moves and waving flags were broadcast to all 6 UNITE nations.
Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike proved why they are the number one DJ’s in the world with their spontaneous performance and masterful crowd engagement with the local audience, splitting the crowd, getting them to sit down and jump-up as the bass dropped. Swedish music duo Axwell Ingrosso brought the electro euphoria as CO2 canons, sound and lighting were perfectly in unison with their Belgium show. Not to be outdone by the International heavyweights, SA favourite Dean Fuel kept the crowd pumping until the very end with a special set dedicated to 12 Years of Tomorrowland.
Complete with confetti canons, lasers, pyrotechnics, world-class production and innovative stage design this spectacle was an unforgettable event that blew South Africa away.
Despite the cold in the air over Jhb, the people came out in numbers to dance the night away.
I walked into the Ticketpro Dome with no real expectation, however by the time I left, my feet and body hurt from dancing. That stage was a thing of beauty. The team behind the feed from the Main Stage in Belgium were on form I have to add. With the reality of South African broadband all I was wondering as the night began as “what is the stream going to be like?” I was happily surprised. A solid feed and with what I can say the second best sound system I’ve ever experienced at The Dome.
Seeing a few faces from here being featured on screen at the event itself left me smiling happily. And it may sound biased, but I’d like to think the DJ’s on Main Stage had a thing for SA as we were the most mentioned country throughout all the four international DJ’s who took stage.
For those of us who were not lucky enough to make it to Belgium, this was the perfect fix!!
I am totally for another night out like this one, anything to have the world UNITE for a few hours to the best dance music around! I am looking forward to TOMORROWLAND UNITE SA 2017. Better yet, to be in Belgium live representing South Africa.
All images by Kevin Smith.