The following might show a degree of naïvety on my part here, so feel free to correct me. I personally would have thought that if you wanted to hold an event involving a large number of people, it would probably be a good idea to speak to the authorities first and have the event given the all clear.
Ask anyone who lives in Ireland and they can tell you the story of how country music singer Garth Brooks tried to put on a series of five shows at Dublin’s Croke Park in 2014. All five shows sold out within hours – but there was a problem. He hadn’t applied for permission from Dublin City Council to do this. They only granted licences for three nights, and he was forced to cancel the entire thing.
I would have thought events organisers would have looked at this bruising episode and learnt some lessons. Apparently not. Tomorrowland tried to stage an event in 2021 and were told by the authorities they could not go ahead with it – having sold tens of thousands of tickets before trying to get it cleared by the powers that be.
This, along with Covid-19 meaning they’ve not been able to hold an event since 2019, means Tomorrowland is in something of a difficult financial position. And this isn’t my assessment, by the way – spokesperson Debby Wilmsen told Het Laatste Nieuws in September that they “really have to do this [hold an event over three weekends in 2022] to cushion the financial hangover”.
They’re taking no chances, with the event having been cleared before any tickets were sold. It will all take place during July 2022 – the only compromises appear to have been to shorten the opening parties and to forego the helicopter flights which normally take place alongside the event.
And I strongly suspect the organisers will be quite relaxed about letting those go as part of the deal. No lineup details yet, but expect it to be full of the usual circuit, business techno types…