Live Nation Belgium’s summer season notched another success when Pukkelpop enjoyed three sun-soaked days and smashed its ticket-selling record.
The crowd of 152,000 that came for the August 14-16 event the company co-promotes with the Humanistic Youth of Leopoldsburg (led by politician Chokri Mahassine) was up nearly 13 percent on last year’s 135,000 visitors, the previous record.
A few days earlier, Belgian LN chief Herman Schueremans saw Rock En France, the second festival the promoter/politician produced on French soil, receive a rapturous response from the country’s media, which was amused at Metallica headlining a UNESCO World Heritage site.
More than 22,000 fans in Arras Market Square saw the U.S. rockers, backed by Within Temptation and Gorija, create their own little piece of cultural history.
Asked why Pukkelpop had done so well, Schueremans told Pollstar, “It’s mainly the general positive festival feeling and also the Metallica factor on Friday.”
The 57,000 who came for Metallica was the biggest crowd of the three days, with Thursday and Sunday pulling 45,000 and 50,000 respectively.
The Kiewit-Hasselt event also upped its green credentials by providing free bus transport from anywhere in the country, using more food from sustainable sources, reusing rainwater in the water systems and using solar panels to provide some of the power. The festival provided free transport via train the previous two years.
The transport initiative certainly worked, as Pukkelpop’s Els Verstraelen reported 17,691 people took advantage of the free bus ride on opening day.
Among the 210 acts helping Pukkelpop go clean and stay green were The Killers, The Flaming Lips, Serj Tankian, Mercury Rev, Plain White T’s, Killswitch Engage, Drive-By Truckers, Dropkick Murphys and Klaxons.