Smeets More Than Happy With Pinkpop

The Dutch festival didn’t have the capacity-stretching crowd-pullers to bring in 70,000 per day, but Pinkpop chief Jan Smeets was more than happy with the sort of 50,000-plus attendance that would have once been considered a sellout.

“When we had Springsteen and Metallica in the last two years, we knew very well that we couldn’t find these acts every year,” Smeets told Pollstar. “In the past, selling 41,000 three-day tickets and a further 31,000 day tickets across three days would have been better than a sellout.”

Smeets was particularly pleased because it was also a good return for a festival that fell on what’s usually an unfavourable weekend.
Pinkpop’s license ties the event to the Whitsun weekend, which falls seven weeks after Easter. An early Easter means an early Pinkpop.

In 2005 it suffered what Smeets described as “a financial disaster,” when only 20,000 per day showed for a Pinkpop that was held May 14-16.

In 1985 another early Easter resulted in the festival, which boasted average attendances of 43,000-per day until the last two boom years, producing its lowest ever attendance of 15,000 per day.

Next year’s calendar is kinder to Pinkpop, as Whitsun will be June 11-13, a week after Marek Lieberberg’s giant Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park festivals in Germany and much further into the summer outdoor season.

Smeets’ 41-year tenure of what the Guinness Book Of Records credits as the world’s oldest pop festival has taught him that Pinkpop always does best when it falls on the weekend of or after Lieberberg’s events.

The acts helping to keep Smeets sweet over the May 28-30 weekend included Rammstein, Green Day, The Prodigy, Pixies, Paolo Nutini, Gogol Bordello, Pink, John Mayer, Kasabian, Editors, Florence & The Machine, Black Box Revelation, Mika, and Kate Nash.