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Tomorrowland: 6 of the best sets away from the festival’s epic main stage

From The Cage and the Rose Garden to Core and the Garden Of Madness, DJ Mag explored Tomorrowland's 17 stages to find the best electronic acts away from the main arena on weekend one of the festival

Last weekend, from the 18th to the 21st July, Tomorrowland returned once again to the Belgian town of Boom to celebrate the festival's 15th anniversary.

200,000 guests attended weekend one of the festival, which boasted 17 stages, and brought back the 2012 The Book Of Wisdom theme for an immersive music experience like no other.

With major stage and layout changes, including the addition of Tomorrowland Winter's L'Orangerie and Lotus stages, and the tallest mainstage in the beloved festivals history standing at 62 metres high, DJ Mag explored the festival site away from this year's epic main arena to see what else we could find. 

6.
Cristoph — Eric Prydz presents Holosphere at the Freedom Stage

Pryda affiliate and HOLO regular, Cristoph joined the Eric Prydz presents Holosphere at the newly redesigned Freedom stage. Performing alongside the likes of Camelphat, Tiga and Yotto before Prydz took over for the debut of his EPIC 6.0 show, Cristoph delivered an hour of power in his typically progressive style, playing tracks from himself, Jeremy Oleander, Adana Twins and more.

5.
Melvo Baptiste — Glitterbox at The Cage

Hidden in the basement of The Cage, Glitterbox took over the intimate stage on Saturday for a full day of disco, house and everything in between. Playing for two hours in the early afternoon, Melvo Baptiste worked warm up set magic that saw a relatively spacious room turn into tailgate queues for the dancefloor which bubbled at full capacity for the remainder of the day.

4.
Paula Temple — NK at L'Orangerie

The elegant L’Orangerie stage made its festival debut last weekend, playing host to Sexy By Nature on Friday and Rampage on the Sunday. Saturday saw трип label boss Nina Kraviz take over for an expertly curated day of techno, with Paula Temple delivering two hours of brain-rattling, warehouse-ready tracks, before handing over to Helena Hauff for the penultimate slot.

3.
La Fleur — ANTS at the Garden Of Madness

Sunday at Tomorrowland witnessed an Ibiza takeover, with Ushuaïa mainstays ANTS in the Garden Of Madness for a day of bubbling house and techno cuts. La Fleur played a simmering warm-up set comprised of newer tracks and outright classics, closing her set on ‘Show Me Love’ before dutch duo ANOTR took over to deepen the groove.

2.
Solardo — Dirtybird at the CORE

A stage which few people we spoke to had actually found yet, CORE was a tech haven tucked away in the forest, accessible only by a specially constructed bridge. Crosstown Rebels, Dirtybird and Cocoon took over the stage each day of weekend one, with Solardo’s appearance at Dirtybird providing a riot deep in the woods and into the night.

1.
Purple Disco Machine — Rose Garden

The most impressive stage away from the mammoth main arena, Rose Garden was a stage which retained a steady crowd across the weekend. An enormous, mechanical dragon, breathing rose-scented smoke, loomed and snarled over the crowd on a man-made island. The backdrop was the perfect setting for Purple Disco Machine, who played everything from ABBA to Sylvester, to bring the disco vibes to Tomorrowland.

Want more? Listen to 10 massive tracks we heard at Tomorrowland headliner Carl Cox's One Night Stand in Ibiza.

Amy Fielding is DJ Mag's digital staff writer. Follow her on twitter here.

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