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Pinkpop founder Jan Smeets retires

Jan Smeets, founder and festival director of iconic Dutch festival Pinkpop, is stepping down after 50+ years at the helm.

Smeets, 75, who was last year honoured with a commemorative coin in celebration of Pinkpop’s 50th year, is stepping back from his role as festival director with immediate effect, he announced late on Friday (18 September).

Then aged 25, Smeets – known in the Netherlands as ‘Mr Pinkpop’ – organised the first edition of Pinkpop in 1970, and the 60,000-capacity Limburg event is now the longest-running open-air festival in the world.

The unprecedented events of summer 2020 marked the first time Pinkpop – which was this year to have been headlined by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Post Malone and Guns N’ Roses – had not gone ahead since.

Highly regarded both in the Netherlands and internationally, Smeets is also an officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau

Smeets’s team will continue to organise Pinkpop, in collaboration with Live Nation’s Mojo Concerts, according to Entertainment Business.

While taking a step back for health reasons, he will stay on in an advisory capacity: “I may have officially retired as festival director, but you certainly haven’t got rid of me!” he told staff and colleagues.

Highly regarded both in the Netherlands and internationally, Smeets is also an officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau, a longstanding ILMC member, a founder of Yourope (the European Festival Association) and a winner of festival association VNPF’s lifetime achievement award.

 


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Jan Smeets honoured for 50 years of Pinkpop

Pinkpop founder Jan Smeets has received a golden commemorative coin, embossed with the Pinkpop logo, from the Royal Dutch Mint to celebrate 50 years of the festival.

The Dutch festival celebrates its 50th edition this year, making it the oldest, continually running festival in the world. Festival founder Smeets received the jubilee coin, embossed with the festival logo and an image of the famous ‘Pinkpop Girl’. A total of 6,000 coins will be produced.

“For this 50th edition, I am honoured that the Royal Dutch Mint has immortalised the logo for everyone,” says Smeets.

Fleetwood Mac, Mumford and Sons and the Cure will headline the anniversary festival, with other performances from Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren, Jamiroquai, Bastille, Lenny Kravitz, the 1975 and J Balvin.

“For this 50th edition, I am honoured that the Royal Dutch Mint has immortalised the logo for everyone”

The first edition of Pinkpop took place on 1970 on Pentecost Monday in the Dutch city of Geleen. The festival has grown since its origins from a one-day event to a three-day, 60,000-capacity affair.

The image of the Pinkpop Girl has been present on the festival logo since early on and will dominate the aesthetics of the anniversary event.

Bert van Ravenswaaij, chief financial officer of the Royal Dutch Mint, comments: “It is special for the Royal Dutch Mint – virtually the oldest company in the Netherlands – to make a special anniversary issue for the oldest, still-running festival in the world. We are very proud of this.”

The 50th anniversary edition of Pinkpop takes place from 8 to 10 June on the Megaland festival site in Landgraaf, the Netherlands, tickets for the festival are now available. Fans can buy special anniversary Pinkpop medals here.

 


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