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Event Accommodation for Discriminating Fans
Music festivals have come a long way since the days of Woodstock when young people watched their idols perform while huddled under tarps, crowded in primitive tents or from Volkswagen Microbuses mired in muddy ﬁelds. Music festivals today are highly organized and offer not only great entertainment, but also luxurious accommodations and extraordinary sensory experiences.
Last July, more than 380,000 fans enjoyed music, dancing and stunning visuals at Tomorrowland, a popularelectronic music festival that takes place annually in the town of Boom, Belgium, about 20 miles north of Brussels. In September 2013, an American spin-off known as TomorrowWorld was held at the Bouckaert Farm in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia, 30 miles southwest of Atlanta. Promoters hope to eventually take the Tomorrowland festival concept worldwide to countries including Brazil, South Africa, China and elsewhere.
At the Tomorrowland and TomorrowWorld festivals, attendees can choose from a range of accommodation alternatives, including the option to stay in a custom-made Dream Lodge set in an attractive master-planned Dream Village. Dream Lodges are luxurious, high-end furnished tents with full-size beds, storage compartments, comfortable furniture and spacious terraces. Dream Lodge accommodation also includes access to a swimming pool, hot tub, landscaped areas to sit, gather and relax and other community amenities.
The Dream Lodges were fabricated at a factory in Samarinda on the island of Borneo in Indonesia. Wood United PTE, a Singapore-based supplier of timber and premium timberbased products, built the Dream Lodging units using 100% FSC tropical hardwoods from Indonesia, including Red Balau and Meranti Batu (Shorea ssp.) species.
Red Balau is an extremely dense, tight grained wood that ranges in color from straw to dark reddish brown. The Meranti Batu used in construction of the Dream Lodges is a moderately coarse textured wood that ranges in tone from pale pink to deep, rich reddish brown. These hardwood species are known for their strength, durability and beauty, and are ideal for decking, ﬂooring and other outdoor usage. The timber is harvested from well-managed permanent forests that are maintained through a program of sustainable forest management under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) system. This certiﬁcation ensures that the forests can regenerate and maintain biodiversity. This program is overseen, coordinated and supervised by external forestry auditors in combination with the Forestry Department of the Indonesian Government.
Wood components of the Dream Lodges include decking platforms, stairs, poles, beds, chairs, tables and small vaults to hold valuables. The project involved making tens of thousands of parts, large and small. Crews worked around the clock for more than two months to complete the project.
The modular design of the units makes them versatile and fully adjustable. “One of the most important things about the Dream Lodges is that they are moveable and can be set up quickly,” said Timothy Paul, Group Director of Wood United. “They are designed to be set up in meadows on uneven ground. You can easily pick the units up with a fork lift, position and attach the adjustable legs to level them and make them stable. They are structurally strong and therefore very safe.”
“So much more can be done with timber if people think outside of the box. We are excited to explore new applications and proud to show people all over the world that wood is still a cool product.”
TIMOTHY PAUL, GROUP DIRECTOR OF WOOD UNITED
The Tomorrowland Dream Village includes approximately 400 units and sleeps over 900 people in two- and four-bed conﬁgurations. After a festival, the units can be quickly disassembled, packed into 40-foot containers and stored or shipped to the next festival location.
In 2013, the Tomorrowland Dream Village sold out in just three hours. “These are comfortable, attractive and relaxing accommodations that provide a ﬁrst-rate camping experience,” says Paul. “They offer all the things people enjoy about camping without the hassles. The fact that they are made of high-quality natural materials and crafted in an environmentally responsible way is also appealing to festival goers,” he added.
The popularity of the Dream Lodges has led to requests from other special event and festival producers to design similar accommodations. “We have also received inquiries from several eco-tourism groups and resort developers. This type of accommodation is much less costly to build than a resort hotel at a ﬁxed location and offers a much more rapid return on investment,” said Paul.
Since 2008, Wood United has produced and shipped standard wood products such as residential decking, truck ﬂooring, moldings and timber for exterior doors and windows. Recently, Wood United provided Indonesian rubberwood for the staircases at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London for the 2012 Summer Olympics, as well as South American Ipe for the Kuwait Police Academy and wood for the Marina Bay Sands Casino and Santosa Resort in Singapore.
“So much more can be done with timber if people think outside of the box,” says Paul. “We are excited to explore new applications and proud to show people all over the world that wood is still a cool product.”
TIMOTHY PAUL/WOOD UNITED PTE. LTD.