Govt defends its ‘confidence’ in Tomorrowland

Govt defends its ‘confidence’ in Tomorrowland

Spokesman insists he never said dance music event was confirmed, after organisers issue denial

Govt defends its ‘confidence’ in Tomorrowland
The world-class Tomorrowland music event in Belgium in 2017. (File photo)

The government has defended its stance after the organisers of Tomorrowland, a major electronic dance music (EDM) festival, denied a government statement suggesting that the annual event would come to Thailand, saying the offer was still being studied.

Government spokesman Chai Watcharonke told the Bangkok Post that the announcement he made last week affirmed “the government’s confidence” that Thailand would have the opportunity to organise the world-class event.

“We never said that we had received confirmation from Tomorrowland. We just said we were confident we might.”

Mr Chai said the government made its pitch to the organisers of the event when they met last December. The organising team said the festival would not be staged outside Belgium in 2024 or 2025, but if Thailand made a successful proposal, it might get to hold the event from 2026 onward, he said.

“There hasn’t been an official agreement yet,” he said on Friday. “On the Thai side, we communicated that there have been talks and negotiations. And from talking, we reaffirm our confidence in the opportunity to bring Tomorrowland to Thailand.

“Therefore, if the previous communication created a misunderstanding, we accept such criticism and will try to improve communications to be clearer in future.”

He said the government had a team working on the matter, but did not comment further.

According to a report on Thursday on, a news portal for the dance music industry, the Tomorrowland organisers said an event in Thailand had not yet been confirmed and further exploration is required.

“The Tomorrowland team is diligently conducting thorough research and exploration to assess the feasibility of hosting Tomorrowland in Thailand. There is still much to be investigated,” spokesperson Debby Wilmsen was quoted as saying.

It was confirmed that the Tomorrowland team met with Thai officials in December but organisers insisted there was no confirmation about holding the festival in Thailand.

Tomorrowland draws some 400,000 music lovers every year. The two-week summer event is held in Belgium. This year, the festival will be held in Boom, Belgium, from July 19 to 28. Since its debut in 2005, Tomorrowland has had spin-offs, including TomorrowWorld in Atlanta and Tomorrowland Winter in France. Brazil will also host the event in October.

Meanwhile, the Board of Investment (BoI) has agreed to promote investments in music, sports and festivals aimed at establishing Thailand as a destination for world-class events and a hub for tourism, Mr Chai said.

To attract organisers, customs duties will be waived on imports of machinery and equipment for events with an investment of at least 100 million baht, and authorities will make it easier for foreign staff of the events to obtain visas and work permits.

One event that has been confirmed for this year is Summer Sonic, one of the most successful music festivals from Japan.

It will take place at Impact Arena from Aug 24-25 following shows in Tokyo and Osaka.

The government's efforts to bring concerts and other events to Thailand aim to attract more visitors to the country and boost the economy.

Mr Srettha, who is known for positioning himself as a salesman searching for new trade and investment opportunities for the country, aims to emulate the success of Singapore in securing an exclusive deal for superstar Taylor Swift to perform solely in the island state for her Southeast Asian tour.

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