Pukkelpop Sells Out Despite No-Shows

As the Belgian festival season drew to an end Aug. 15-17, Pukkelpop chief Chokri Mahassine could have reflected on the fact his event would be a leading contender for any European award for “Unluckiest Festival.”

Photo: facebook.com/Pukkelpop2013

It would have been a shoo-in to win if the competition was judged on the number of acts that canceled.

In addition to losing a key headliner when Neil Young & Crazy Horse had to cancel its European run because guitarist Frank Sampedro injured his hand, Pukkelpop had 15 cancellations.

They included Slayer, As I Lay Dying, Beware of Darkness, The Courteeners, Foreign Beggars, Frank Turne, Soulwax, and The Pretty Reckless.

The festival still managed to rise above the problems caused by the late changes in the lineup, pulling a sellout crowd of 66,000 per day. The acts who did make it to Hasselt included Eminem, The Prodigy, Nine Inch Nails, Chase & Status, Hurts, Kendrick Lamar, Skunk Anansie, Knife Party, and Kodaline.