(From left, Tomorrowland co-founder Michiel Beers, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and Tomorrowland co-founder Manu Beers unveil the United Nations contribution to the One World Bridge located in Belgium. Image courtesy Tomorrowland/ID&T.)
At a ceremony held in Brussels, Belgium, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gave his blessing to the Tomorrowland family of festivals.
"The Tomorrowland festival, in general, symbolizes some of the core values the United Nations strives to uphold every day around the world: dignity, respect, diversity and solidarity," the Secretary General said.
First held in 2005, Tomorrowland is the world's largest electronic music festival; hosting more than 200,000 people over three days at the end of July annually in Boom, Belgium. In 2013, Tomorrowland expanded to Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia, USA, for a sister event called Tomorrowworld. And 2015 welcomed Brasil to the global festival family as well with the launch of Tomorrowland Brasil.
“In the past 10 years, we have built a magical world in which everyone comes together in a spirit of positivity. Tomorrowland has become the world's most international event and welcomes more different nationalities than the Olympic Games," said Michiel Beers, who founded Tomorrowland with brother Manu. "We are now organising three “global gatherings” per year: one in Belgium, one in the USA and one in Brazil.”
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Tomorrowland constructed the One World Bridge at the festival site as a permanent symbol of the annual gathering.
“When we decided to design the bridge in honor of the 10th anniversary of the festival in collaboration with the province of Antwerp and Arne Quinze, we felt it was important for the entire world to be able to take part," Tomorrowland co-founder Manu Beers says. "The One World bridge now displays 210,000 positive messages from everyone from our neighbours in Boom, Belgium to faraway friends in Australia."
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon added a message of peace on behalf of the United Nations on the One World bridge.
Together with Tomorrowland's founders, Ban Ki-moon unveiled his contribution to the One World Bridge.
"Both the festival and the bridge show the huge importance of thinking creatively about how to build a safer, more prosperous and sustainable world," Ban Ki-moon said at the ceremony. "I am honored and very much touched by this carving of my name. I hope this will remind many people who will be seeing this and participating of the work of the United Nations, working as one to promote and protect human dignity for all people.
"In that spirit, I have decided that my message for the bridge will be this: 'Let’s work as one towards dignity for all,'" the UN Secretary General continued.
Tomorrowland is scheduled for 24 - 26 July 2015, and is expected to be streamed online for those who can't make the trip to Belgium.
Tickets for Tomorrowworld are still available at www.tomorrowworld.com