The Best in Festivals & Conferences: Lowlands

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CH. VIII – Lowlands Festival

My wonderful couchsurfing host in Amsterdam told me about this music festival that takes place in the Netherlands every August. It looks like one of those amazingly huge party that I would definitely put on my bucket list. The festival has been going steady since the new millenium and now attracts around 55 000 people ( = to the population of Qila Didar Singh, in Pakistan) and over 200 acts, spread over 10 stages. That’s a lot of stages. You would need one of those wheely things the “security guards” have at the Palau to get around.

The main sponsor of the festival is Grolsch, who have a stage to their name. Converse is also present, of course. Most of the stages are inside huge tents to provide shelter from rain, which is something you definitely want to consider if you are thinking of organizing your own music festival. Burning Man and other big festivals sometimes neglect this aspect and the conditions become so harsh that it affects negatively the festival experience for the normal festivalgoer, as opposed to the one that loves dancing in the mud and the rain and having a tent full of dirt and sleeping in shit for a couple days and being sick for weeks after the festival. These guys don’t care if you set up tents or not, but they’re usually Australian.

Genius marketing: I read that in 1997, a band called Life of Agony (?) released a CD of their unplugged set at the festival, obviously entitled Unplugged at the Lowlands Festival ’97. This is a brilliant way, for an emerging music festival to get promotion and free advertising. It doesn’t say to what extent the festival actually contributed in the making / production of the album but this is definitely an idea that I am keeping in mind, since it’s a win-win for both the artist and the festival in terms of exposure.

Lowlands features music of course but also theater, comedy, literature & films. It’s basically a cultural festival. There line-up is very big and varied (http://lowlands.nl/programma/) but the usual festival bands are playing (2doorcinemaclub, hot chip, bloc party, feist, black keys, boy & bear, of monsters & men, etc.) with a lot of bands that I’ve never heard of. Their website is a bit too funky for me, but then again, they grow the best grass in the world.

The regular festival ticket costs 185 euros and includes a pass to the 3 days of festival and the camping spot.

By the way…I just found this site, if you are interested in knowing more about festivals: http://www.wikifestivals.com/

I didn’t find any recap or official after-festival video like most festivals do (and what Tomorrowland masters). Personally I think it would be crucial nowadays but they put up a lot of video of entire shows. But since putting a full-show of one only would probably not have pleased everybody, here is a video that sums it up pretty well:

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