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19 August 2013

Facebook Brings TomorrowWorld Ticket Holders Together Ahead of Festival

In just over a month, TomorrowWorld, the Belgian electronic dance music (EDM) festival, will come to Georgia.

An estimated 150,000 EDM fans are expected to rage at Bouckaert's Farm, for three days this September, as dozens of DJs drop their best beats.

Since the event was first announced in April, a slew of Facebook groups were created to support the event. These groups have grown in size as more and more people learned about TomorrowWorld. One of the more larger groups, TomorrowWorld USA, counts over 3,100 people as members.

Each TomorrowWorld Facebook group has a different dynamic.

Some groups operate as information clearinghouses, where folks can get facts and figures about the festival to help with their planning. Other groups serve as a meeting point for people who live in the same city, state, or region to connect and get together.

One such group, TomorrowWorld East Coast, is unique in that they're planning a convoy that starts in Massachusetts, makes stops along the east coast for other festival-goers to join the cavalcade of cars, and ends in Georgia at TomorrowWorld.

(Members of the TomorrowWorld BGW Facebook group gather for a group picture in front of Atlanta's Opera nightclub. Photo by Andre Walker.)

Then there's TomorrowWorld BGW.

There's much debate within the group about what the "BGW" stands for. Some say "BGW" is short for Bananas Gone Whimsical. The NSFW answer is "BGW" = Bitches Gone Wild. Regardless, TomorrowWorld BGW is one of the more active Facebook groups, featuring people from different states who travel to see each other before going to a local club for EDM.

Since its inception, members of the TomorrowWorld BGW Facebook group have assembled at Atlanta's Opera nightclub each Friday for fun and fellowship.

Atlanta resident Kyle Parkins tells Georgia Unfiltered how this weekly event came about.

"I had been going to Opera every Illuminate night since May, but the first people I met were [TomorrowWorld BGW members] Michael Moore and Austin Homonek on a free entry night in early June. Nobody else really went to that, but it was still a good time," Parkins recounted. "Then literally the next day was the first major meetup, where the Atlanta core people first met, plus the twins [Anthony and Eric Williams] came up from Savannah for that too.

"Ever since then, every Friday more or less all the locals come out for our weekly rave meetups, and it’s been a blast every time!," Parkins continued.

Friday, 16 August 2013 was no different except this time, people came from as far away as Alaska to party with friends they'd met and interacted with via social media.

Ashley Louks, who learned about TomorrowWorld from her boyfriend, traveled to Atlanta from Fargo, North Dakota last Friday to join in what the group called "Epic Madness." Louks was part of a large gathering of TomorrowWorld BGW members who attended a performance by Cosmic Gate at Opera, before making a journey to Charlotte, North Carolina for a show by Simon Patterson.

"It was so surreal actually meeting these people in person and finding out that they are, in fact, real!," Louks told Georgia Unfiltered. "I would say I have interacted with a ton of people; and I had the privilege, this past weekend, to meet a good amount of the people I talk with regularly in Atlanta and Charlotte."

Bruce Harper of Newark, Delaware, says he found the TomorrowWorld BGW group by accident while searching for the official TomorrowWorld Facebook page.

"I'm glad I joined because all of the members are really nice and look like they know how to party," Harper said. "I've met dozens of people both online through TomorrowWorld groups and at other festivals I've attended like Firefly and Camp Bisco."

Harper told Georgia Unfiltered he's talked to the people he's met either online or at other festivals about their shared interest -- TomorrowWorld.

"I've even convinced four to five of my close friends to drive down with me next month," Harper said. "And that number is still growing. I can't wait!"

Kyle Parkins echoed Harper's comments.

"Even though we all met on Facebook initially, and even though I’ve known some of these people for only about two months, we’ve already grown so close and traveled to meet each other for shows," Parkins said. "It’s like we've known each other for so long because we are all on each other’s level, and we all get along extremely well. Our love for this music has really brought us together to form this big happy BGW family, and I love it."