Strikes Can’t De-Rail Metal Meeting

A rail strike that left rock fans worried they’d have a hard time making it back from Dessel for Belgium’s Graspop Metal Meeting doesn’t appear to have affected attendance.

In Belgium. 

The festival sent out a warning June 27, pointing out there were several car-pooling sites where fans could try sharing a ride.

The 24-hour strike began on the last day of the festival, June 29. “The train strikes went on as planned, but we managed to transport our festivalgoers by offering bus trips to big cities all over the country,” Graspop’s Ken Van Heertum told Pollstar.

Dutch visitors were bussed back over the border to Eindhoven, where they could continue their journeys via its own non-striking railway network.

The three-day festival pulled crowds of 40,000 on the opening day, 45,000 on the second and 50,000 on the final day, well up to the festival’s usual 130,000 three-day crowd.

The acts keeping GMM among the world’s top metal fests June 27-29 included Black SabbathSlayerSoundgardenRob Zombie, and Mastodon.