A music festival is a usually recurring event where several artists perform live for the public. Of course the Hippies were the ones who organized the first festivals, the most famous called Woodstock. The hippies consisted largely of students that had idealistic views on life. The San Francisco movement revolved around terms such as: back to nature, love-ins, drugs, light shows, underground radio, etc., and that manifested itself as pop festivals. There was already a tradition of music festivals in the US, but then it was only about music and less about other art forms.
In 1967, the first large-scale pop festivals were organized in the Netherlands. On May 4, 1967 a nine-hour Beatmarathon took place in the Houtkamphal in Doetinchem, organized by Beatclub Shabby and Everplay. In August that year ‘Hai in the Rai’. Thereafter Utrecht followed with ‘Flight to Lowlands Paradise’ organized by a Utrecht artist Bunk Bessels. This 18-hour event did not have famous acts (in those days artists often failed), but experimental theater, dance, incense, poets, films, bodypainting and fluid slides for a decade (ten guilders), including breakfast. These festivals were all still ‘indoor’, but in 1968 the first open-air event was organized in Lochem in Gelderland: ‘Pilgrimage’, the first version of the Lochem Festival that ceased to exist in 1986.
In 1970, a multi-day outdoor pop festival was organized for the first time. The festival was a great success, according to eyewitnesses there were more than 100,000 people and it was very well organized. It was a big party that did not go unnoticed by others and soon the Netherlands had some leading festival about the world like pink pop. This example was taken over by other countries. The best and biggest music festivals in Europe are also some of the most successful in the world. Tomorrowland takes the lead, with giants like Creamfields, Ultra Europe, Sziget, Primavera Sound and Rock am Ring behind them. Annually millions of exuberant people come together in Belgium to enjoy the energetic atmosphere at the biggest and best festivals in the world. Tomorrowland, Rock Werchter and Pukkelpop are some of the award-winning festivals, that have made Belgium one of the top music destination.
Farxiyo Liban Farah