fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Pinkpop honours departing founder Jan Smeets

Netherlands’ legendary Pinkpop festival has paid a special tribute to departing founder Jan Smeets in recognition of his 50 years at the helm.

Smeets organised the first edition of Pinkpop at the age of 25 in 1970, and the Landgraaf event is now the longest-running open-air festival in the world, but announced he was stepping back from his role as festival director in 2020, with his team continuing to organise Pinkpop in collaboration with Live Nation’s Mojo Concerts.

But with the event cancelled for the past two years due to pandemic, this year’s edition – held from 17-19 June – provided the first chance for the man known in the Netherlands as ‘Mr Pinkpop’ to bid farewell to the crowd in person.

“The audience waved, cheered and clapped for him after he got on stage, where we first showed footage of Jan from the 1970s to 2019 on the screens,” Pinkpop festival manager Niek Murray tells IQ. “It was a very emotional moment for all of us, but he deserved a proper goodbye.”

“A lot of good people have left the festival world and it will take some time to get back to the level we were before Covid”

Highly regarded both in his homeland 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.

While taking a step back for health reasons, he has stated his intention to stay on at Pinkpop in an advisory capacity.

This year’s festival, headlined by Metallica, Pearl Jam and Imagine Dragons, drew two-sold out 70,000-cap crowds for its first two nights and 57,250 for the final day. A total of 44,500 weekend tickets were sale alongside 63,750 day tickets.

With other acts including Twenty One Pilots, Royal Blood, Maneskin, Deftones and Nile Rodgers + Chic, Murray tells IQ it felt “unbelievable” to be back in business following Pinkpop’s two-year hiatus.

“The second day was the hottest in the history of the festival”

“Everybody was so happy to be on site,” he says. “Overall, it went fine. The first day was a bit rusty, but the visitors did not really have any issues with that. There were more cancellations of volunteers and staff than normal, but we managed it.

“A lot of good people have left the festival world and it will take some time to get back to the level we were before Covid. During the build and preparation, some issues with staff shortages at our suppliers caused delays, but we made it and opened everything on time.

“The first day of the festival was hot, the second day was very hot – 35/36 degrees – the hottest day in the history of the festival. We provided a lot of free water taps, more shelters on site and our medical staff worked there asses off, but there were no huge problems.”

Murray also discusses a number of the new features brought in for 2022 including changes to the layout of the site.

“Our North Stage [cap 30,000] was turned 180 degrees and is now facing our South Stage (previously named Mainstage, cap. 70,000]. We also moved our TentStage [10,000] to the previous place of our North Stage and we created more sitting spots and shelters around the Tent Stage.

“We also introduced our Wilhemina Sky Deck, with packages including drinks/food etc, which was a very nice place to watch the concerts on a ‘higher level’.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

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.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

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.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free digest of essential live music industry news, via email or Messenger.