Graspop Buys Success

When they saw how many big rock acts were on tour this summer, the organziers of Belgium’s Graspop Metal Meeting decided to double their budget and buy as many as possible.

"It was a risk but not much of a risk when you see the lineup," promoter Peter Van Geel told Pollstar a few days after the festival had beaten its previous attendance record by 20,000.

"We saw that we could make offers on Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden and Slayer and we thought, let’s do it."

Herman Schueremans from Live Nation Belgium, who books the event’s major attractions, doesn’t believe the money and the billing are the only reasons for Graspop’s success.

"The heavy metal market is quite small here but they have exploited the gap in it and now people are coming from such places as France, Germany and Holland," he explained. "They enjoy Belgian hospitality, Belgian beer, decent organization and very reasonable ticket prices."

More than 105,000 turned up across the three days June 22-24, which comfortably beat last year’s record attendance of 85,000.

Among the other acts appearing at the Deboeretang festival park in Dessell were Korn, Blind Guardian, Black Label Society, Heaven And Hell, Slayer, Within Temptation, Type O Negative, Lamb Of God, Velvet Revolver and Mastodon.