Following the massive social media outcry over the disastrous conditions of TomorrowWorld, a PR representative from the festival has responded. Just don’t go looking for an apology, because there isn’t one.
According to Belgian news site Demorgen who pulled quotes from a BBC Radio 1 Interview, spokeswoman Debby Wilmsen, who represents Tomorrowland and TomorrowWorld, was quick to blame external sources, rather than anyone associated with the festival. Please note that the quotes below have been translated from Dutch to English via Google Translate.
“It is normal that the tents are wet when it rains five days. There you can as an organization not do anything. That people have far to walk, has to do with the size of the premises. The distances are simply enormous, even in dry weather they would have to step away. It’s no different in Belgium… Many people no longer wanted to wait and begin walking on their own, and they got lost in the woods around Chattahoochee Hills. It is rural America, there is no transport and who does not know his way, soon gets lost.”
Despite numerous complaints, Wilmsen claimed that TomorrowWorld had taken all precautions.
“We have done the same as in Belgium. We have hay and wood bark scattered and some parts covered with mats. Chattahoochee Hills is a huge site, we can not completely [make] full set of ramps. It also just kept raining. You can put hay but it will at some point still [get] too wet. And you can not put coverings over 40,000 tents.”
ALSO: Check out pictures of the horrible conditions.
Despite the fact that thousands of attendees were forced to walk five to 10 miles through the mud and cold rain in an attempt to find a ride home, Wilmsen accused the US media of focusing on a “small amount” of the 190,000 fans who attended the event.
“[The US media] focus primarily on what they see via social media visitors. It is also about a small percentage of the visitors… It’s not fun to read on social media how many people are dissatisfied, but on the other hand, there are many more people who have had a very good time.”
We have yet to see reports on social media from these many people who had a good time.
Wilmsen admits that the event organizers “failed in communication,” but hopes it hasn’t permanently damaged the brand.
“This is anyway not pleasant, in the first place not for the visitors. But we have to take stock. How big is the reputational damage is difficult to estimate.”
All things considered, it looks like they’re still stuck in the mud.
We mapped out the treacherous journey TomorrowWorld attendees had to take Saturday Night.