After a month of speculation about its future, TomorrowWorld organizers announced on Wednesday that the EDM festival will not be back in 2016.
A video posted on the TomorrowWorld website includes a baritone voiceover thanking the “beautiful people of tomorrow” for “showing your love.” Then an image of a treasure chest with a beating heart grows faint as the video fades out.
A message on the site informs fans of the grim news, yet offers a glimmer of hope at the end:
“It’s with a heavy heart that we inform you, TomorrowWorld will not take place in 2016. Unfortunately in the current environment, it is not possible to give you the best and unique experience you deserve.
We will miss seeing each other in September and experiencing the magic of TomorrowWorld as one. You, the People of Tomorrow, the foundation of TomorrowWorld, are our inspiration.
Let’s lock and cherish all the magnificent memories in our hearts, this is not farewell…”
After two successful years at Bouckaert Farm in Chattahoochee Hills – the first TomorrowWorld brought more than $85 million into the state, while the economic impact of the 2014 gathering was $93.9 million – the 2015 event took a disastrous turn thanks to a perfect storm of lousy weather and poor planning. The festival refunded thousands of attendees who were mired in mud, couldn’t gain entry or endured precarious conditions.
Compounding the situation was last month’s announcement that SFX Entertainment, the company behind TomorrowWorld and Tomorrowland Brazil and a stakeholder in the Electric Zoo in New York, Rock in Rio and about a dozen other global events, filed for bankruptcy.
According to a statement from the company, the filing would eliminate more than $300 million in debt, allowing SFX the ability to “continue to prepare for, plan and produce all of its festivals and events around the world and in the United States without interruption.”
But while that was true for the Tomorrowland festivals in Belgium and Brazil, the company wasn’t ready to commit to the future of TomorrowWorld, which has brought some of the top-name DJs and EDM stars including David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Steve Aoki and Afrojack to the Atlanta area.
In 2014, 160,000 people attended the sprawling event in southwest Atlanta. TomorrowWorld was contracted through 2023 at the farm in Chattahoochee Hills.
Repeated attempts to talk to TomorrowWorld organizers have been unsuccessful.