Parkpop Shares Soccer Team’s Early Finish

Dutch band Di-rect’s headline performance was brought forward by nearly an hour to give Parkpop fans a chance to catch the televised World Cup soccer between Holland and Portugal, which meant an early finish to the festival and the country’s interest in the football.

The Dutch side was beaten 1-0 and knocked out of the competition in a very bad-tempered match.

“If they were going to get beaten, they may just as well have done it earlier – then we wouldn’t have had to change our schedule,” festival organizer Ben van Veuren told his Parkpop colleagues as the referee booked 12 players and sent four of them off for continued foul play.

The wet weather that hit several European festivals over the June 23-25 weekend – and caused Germany’s Hurricane Festival to close down early – also cut the crowd at The Hague’s Zuiderpark to about 175,000.

On a sunny day, the 26-year-old free event has been known to top the 300,000 mark but, under the circumstances, van Veuren was pleased with the way the numbers held up.

Among those singing in the rain June 25th were Kelis, The Kooks, Kaizers Orchestra, Infadels, Melanie C, Ilse DeLange, Babylon Circus, and Garland Jeffreys.

Next year’s Parkpop is June 24th.

– John Gammon