Entertainment | Belgium

'Can't believe this just happened' - Māori DJ makes Tomorrowland history

With summer across the northern hemisphere seeing live music back in full swing, one Māori electronic artist has made history at one of Europe's most prestigious electronic music festivals.

Montell2099, real name Montell Pinny (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi) was one of the first two New Zealand acts to have played at Tomorrowland, the two-weekend festival that sees more than 400,000 people funking and grooving to electric sounds in Belgium.

@themontell2099 Just played tomorrowland 🖤 #Tomorrowland #DJ #Montell2099 #NewZealand #crystalgarden #festival #Belgium ♬ original sound - TheMontell2099

The event sees festivalgoers from all over the globe coming together to see more than 700 artists. Some of these acts include legends of EDM (electronic dance music) such as Diplo, Armin Van Buuren and Macky Gee.

Montell2099, from Te Rereatukahia Pā, took to Facebook to thank those who came out to support him when he played on the Crystal Garden stage. "Can’t believe this just happened, thank you to everyone that came out and showed love at Tomorrowland!! Especially all you crazy Kiwis, was blown away to see the support from you lot and it made me go harder."

The other New Zealand act to share in the history-making moment was the electronic-pop duo SACHI.

Montel2099 was originally scheduled to play at the festival in 2020 but the appearance was cancelled due to Covid-19.

Montell2099 has been back at it touring around the world again in the last few months, as borders continue to open up. He's also been back in studios collaborating with others, most recently a second time with Drum & Bass legend and Belgium's own Netsky for their song Broken, released in February.