The logo of the popular festival
I was 17 when I went to a festival for the first time. A friend of mine suggested to go to Lowlands Paradise, a 3-day festival with a lot of alternative music. I was a bit too young to completely give in to the filthy festival madness, but nevertheless I went there again the year after. And I went there the consecutive eleven years that followed.
When I look back at it, the festival was like a thread running throughout my entire youth. The first festival, the first time camping without my parents, being stoned for the first time, seeing the bands that would influence my taste in music. Throughout these years I've seen the music changing. I've experienced the acceptance of hip hop in the alternative scene, and a few years after the acceptance of house music (before lowlands it wasn't so common to like anything else than rock or punk). I've seen acts like Oasis, The Offspring, T. Raumschmiere and 2 many DJ's when they still played in a concert hall that was half full. But more important, the festival also functioned as a yearly get together for my group of friends from Alkmaar. I've met one of my best friends there. And a friend of mine met his current partner at Lowlands.
The first time they announced at the main stage (where the entire festival was gathered) that they were happy to have reached 10.000 visitors. Now, 17 years later, the festival is so popular that the 55.000 tickets were sold out in less than 2 hours! A lot of my colleagues actually laid down their work for 2 hours to click their mouse and make numerous phonecalls in order to get a ticket. A total collapse of the ticket site due to too many visitors made it impossible to get through. It wasn't easy but everybody who wanted a ticket actually got one. And I have one as well. Thanks to my colleague Daniel, who called with a friend from DDB who phoned about 200 times to sneak past the automatic answering machines. It's great to have seen a quality festival like Lowlands, growing to become the most popular festival of Holland.