Graspop Metal Meeting 2014
Graspop is an annual metal festival in the small town of Desse, situated in the Flemish speaking Flanders region. It has been held since 1996 and it draws over 140 000 visitors a year. lt is situated 60km from Antwerp, 99km from Brussels and 35km from Eindhoven and 10km from the Dutch border. Thus most of them audience are from Belgium and the Netherlands, but you can find metal fans from all over the world.
We bought a one day ticket as a part of the trip to Brussels and Antwerp in June 2014. Since there were no available hotels in Dessels, and we didn't want to camp, we had to go to a hotel in Lommel about 20km from Graspop. From there we had to take a train that departs in Mol, where a free shuttle bus drives you near the entrance of the festival outside Dessel. But things arenot so easy always. A guy had jumped on the train platform and we had to wait in Lommel, that had no available taxis, and no buses for 3 hours to Mol and Graspop! So we nearly missed the first band, Tiamat, but fortunately we got in time. And on our way to Antwerp and Brussels Airport the day after, a train strike begun that caused a lot of troubles for us but that's another story! The bands were incredible, especially the legends of Black Sabbath and Alice in Chains. Soundgarden, Paradise Lost and Tiamat was also awesome, Rob Zombie was not bad either. Unfortunately Megadeth cancelled their show. And there was several good bands the other days as well, that we didn't see, such as Opeth and Satyricon. The festival is really nice, since it is much smaller then for example Wacken, there are only 3 large stages that are situated. And there are no large waiting lines for toilets and food, and you can actually get tap water. It is much cheaper then Wacken too, the bands are slightly better, and you pay with tokens (that you buy in the area), so no cash or cards are needed. The biggest complaint is that there are no bus service or trains available after the festival closes, and it is really hard to get a taxi. That could be better organized by Graspop, the train company and the nearby towns!