Lowlands Hits Another High Spot

Now that Lowlands Festival is back in the habit of selling out, it’s only a question of how long it will take. This year’s 55,000 three-day tickets for the Dutch event were gone about seven weeks in advance.

That’s the quickest it’s been in its 16-year history and a month quicker than last year. Festival director Eric van Eerdenburg said there’s no reason it shouldn’t continue to sell out in advance, given the right acts are available.

Lowlands’ fortunes took an upswing when festival promoter Mojo Concerts decided in 2003 to reschedule the event to avoid an annual bidding war with the U.K.’s twinned Reading and Leeds festivals, which took place on the same late August weekend.

Although the shift means Lowlands now clashes with the U.K.’s twinned V Festivals, van Eerdenburg said the musical styles don’t overlap as much, creating less competition to book the same acts.

Benefiting from not having to pay such high prices and not competing for the same headliners, Lowlands’ attendances have risen steadily from 48,000 (2003), 52,000 (2004) and 54,000 (2005), followed by a hat-trick of advance sellouts.

Beyond talking about the figures, van Eerdenburg said he wouldn’t want to compare this year’s August 15-17 gathering with past Lowlands gatherings, pointing out that some festivals always claim to have had their “best year ever.”

He did say the event was lucky with the weather, as the showers and storms that blew over Europe during the previous week subsided before the festival began. The sun came out and stayed out until light showers returned on the Sunday evening.

Acts helping Lowlands hit another high spot at the Walibi World site included Franz Ferdinand, Sigur Ros, The Flaming Lips, Editors, Killswitch Engage, The Roots, Plain White T’s, The Breeders and Anti-Flag.