Pinkpop festival ends late but survives heavy storm

The music festival Pinkpop ended in the early hours of Tuesday morning following a one-hour break while a heavy thunderstorm passed over its Limburg location.

As the rain began to fall, presenter Eric Corton took to the main stage, where heavy metal group Metallica was due to close the festival, to urge the 70,000 visitors to move away from the metal light masts and to stay calm.

Weather bureau KNMI issued an orange code warning earlier in the day, but Pinkpop organiser Jan Smeets decided not to cancel the rest of the festival.

Big risk

On tv news show Knevel en Van den Brink on Monday evening, the KNMI’s Margot Ribberink said Smeets was taking a big risk by not cancelling Metallica’s concert.

However, local mayor Raymond Vlecken rang in to the show to say Smeets was not being irresponsible in allowing the festival to continue.

After the downpour, emergency foil blankets were handed out to the crowd and Metallica took to the main stage.

Smeets closed the festival by thanking the audience for coming to the festival and for following Corton’s instructions.

The crowd was cold and wet but no one was hurt.

In 2011, the Belgian music festival Pukkelpop was engulfed in a heavy storm and five people died and 130 were injured when a large tent they were sheltering in collapsed.