Pinkpop Festival

The Pinkpop Festival or PINKPOP is a large, annual music festival held at Landgraaf, Netherlands. It is usually held on the Pentecost weekend (Pinksteren in Dutch, hence the name). If Pentecost falls on an early date in May, the festival is held later in June. Starting in 1970, at Burgemeester Damen Sportpark in the town of Geleen, PinkPop is the oldest and longest running annual dedicated pop and rock music festival in the world.

Nowadays, Pinkpop is a three-day festival, from Saturday through Monday when on Pentecost weekend, or Friday through Sunday otherwise, with a 60,000 people per day capacity, and with performances on 4 separate stages. From 2006 through 2011, Pinkpop sold out six years in a row. During 44 editions, more than 2 million people have attended Pinkpop. Some 700 music acts have played at the festival.

In 1994 (the 25th edition), it was decided to sell only 60,000 tickets, to prevent overcrowding due to the popularity of the festival. In 1995, it was made into a 2-day festival. Two years later, in 1997, this was further expanded to three days.

2007 saw a spin-off, later in the year, on 11 August, called Pinkpop Classic, for an older rock audience, with bands that previously performed there in past decades. This spin-off was held again in following years, with exception of 2011, in which the organisation was not able to sign enough interesting older bands.

In 2008, Pinkpop was for the first time in its history not held on Pentecost weekend, which fell too early that year for the convenience of fans and performers alike. This was decided following the 2005 edition, in which the Pentecost weekend also fell early and therefore Pinkpop could not convince many great performers to come play at the festival. Sales were disappointing in 2005, so by shifting the 2008 festival, the organisation hoped to solve these problems. Pinkpop 2008 turned out to have had the largest concert attendance to date. The dates for the 2010, 2013, 2015 and 2016 edition have been shifted as well, for similar reasons.

Name and logo

The name consists of two parts. 'Pink' comes from the Dutch word for Pentecost (Pinksteren) and 'pop' comes from pop music (or 'popular music'). But a later creative interpretation for the name combines the English word pink and the Dutch word pop, which means doll, thus forming the origin for the logo, a doll in a pink dress.

The precursor to Pinkpop was held on Pentecost Monday in 1969. It was completely free, and called Pinknick because people were supposed to bring their own food. Only a free pig roast and free apples were provided by the organizers. Inspired by the Monterey festival from 1967, a number of hip local bands were persuaded to come and play unpaid. Almost 10,000 visitors were attracted, ranging from pop music lovers to grandparents and their grandchildren. And families with empty shopping bags, loading up on apples.



Pinkpop 2007 was held on May 26, 27 and 28 2007. It was the 20th time the event was held at the Megaland Park. On February 28, most of the line-up was revealed. Pearl Jam was announced to make their 3rd appearance on the Pinkpop stage, but they cancelled, for two of their members would become fathers in the Pentecost weekend.: Krezip replaced Amy Winehouse, because she had to cancel due to illness. Krezip started their gig playing Amy Winehouse's "Rehab".


Pinkpop 2008 was held in the Landgraaf Megaland Park on 30 May, 31 May and 1 June 2008. On 10 and 17 December there were 3 bands officially announced to headline on each of the three festival days. These headlining bands are the internationally renowned Foo Fighters, Metallica, and the recently reunited Rage Against the Machine. Pinkpop 2008 had the largest audience of concert attendees to date, with an average of just over 60,000 people arriving each of the three days, prompting the festival organizers to announce that 180,000 people had visited the festival. Because the 42,500 available three-day passes sold out completely, the actual number of unique visitors is 94,000.: Animal Alpha replaced Novastar, because they experienced delays in recording their new album. : Eagles of Death Metal replaced Chris Cornell, because he had obligations in the studio.


On 4 March 2009, the Pinkpop Board gave a press conference in Paradiso in Amsterdam, to answer questions from the press and announce which artists will be performing on Pinkpop 2009 will be announced.: Krezip replaced Depeche Mode, because lead singer Dave Gahan had to undergo a procedure after a tumor was spotted in his bladder two weeks before Pinkpop. Placebo replaced Depeche Mode as headliner.


: Ryan Shaw replaced Wolfmother, because lead singer Andrew Stockdale was too sick to go on tour. Wolfmother was first planned on Sunday, but Triggerfinger covered their spot, so Ryan Shaw could play on Saturday.


Pinkpop 2011 was held on 11, 12 and 13 June, headlined by Coldplay, Kings of Leon and Foo Fighters on Saturday, Sunday and Monday respectively. File:Pinkpop 2011 - Maurice van Bruggen 5.jpg|Pinkpop 2011, June 12 File:Pinkpop 2011 - Maurice van Bruggen 4.jpg|Converse-stage and Mainstage (2011) File:Pinkpop 2011 - Maurice van Bruggen 1.jpg|Converse-stage (2011) File:Pinkpop 2011 - Maurice van Bruggen 2.jpg|Backstage (2011) File:Pinkpop 2011 - Maurice van Bruggen 3.jpg|Entrance Mainstage (2011)


Pinkpop 2012 was held on 26, 27, 28 of May.: At first Kasabian would perform as well, but they had to cancel due to private matters. Kyuss Lives! replaced Kasabian's spot, Moss covered Kyuss Lives!'s spot.


Pinkpop 2013 was held on June 14, 15 and 16; the third time that it was not held in the weekend of Pentecost.


Pinkpop 2014 was held on June 7, 8 and 9.


Pinkpop 2015 was held on June 12, 13 and 14; the fourth time that it will not be held in the weekend of Pentecost.: At first Sam Smith would perform as well, but he had to cancel due to voice problems. Placebo replaced Sam Smith's spot. : Originally the Foo Fighters would serve as the festival's headliner but had to cancel their performance due to a broken leg by frontman Dave Grohl two days earlier. Pharrell Williams became headliner instead and the Flemish trio Triggerfinger was added as a last-minute addition to the line-up.


Pinkpop 2016 was held on June 10, 11 and 12.


Pinkpop 2017 was held on June 3, 4 and 5.


Pinkpop 2018 was held on June 15, 16 and 17.

A fatal traffic accident involving festival-goers took place in the early morning of June 18. After the festival, at around 04:00, a group of persons [ sat on the road near Campsite B], which was not closed to vehicular traffic. Information as it is now, indicates that a white Opel van travelling along this road could not avoid the group and ran into them, killing one and severely injuring three more. The driver reported himself to the police several hours later in Amsterdam.

During the performance of the Foo Fighters on June 16, the disintegration of a large meteor was observed in the sky right behind the main stage and caught on video. The fireball and its disintegration was widely observed also elsewhere in the Benelux countries, Germany and France. An analysis of over 200 eyewitness reports suggests that the disintegration took place at 23:11 local time near the Belgian city of Liège.