By: Eline van Beek
The beautiful weather made this Pentecost weekend complete. Everybody was extremely happy at the 43rd edition of Pinkpop. I know in England and a lot of other places Pentecost isn’t an official holiday but in the Netherlands it definitely is. However most of the Dutch people don’t know why we celebrate it, Jan Smeets (organiser of Pinkpop) filled this holiday with a complete festival. Already for 43 years Jan Smeets is organising Pinkpop most of the time during ‘Pinksteren’. Now you know why it is called Pinkpop ;-). For Keane it’s the third time they have performed at this amazing pink festival and this is absolutely the best time ever! They pumped up the energy of the audience and we had to make some ‘fucking noise’, Tom said. Well, that absolutely happened! And we all gave a big LIKE to that! ;-)
I’ll tell you all my big adventures of Pinkpop 2012! Of course most of this article is about Keane but this festival had a lot more to offer! I’m regretting the fact I only went for one day because the atmosphere at the festival was more than perfect. The staff was happy, the artists were happy and the whole audience (43.000 people on Sunday) were really amazing. Reasons: 25 C degrees, sunny and great bands! It all gave me a lot of energy!
Overdose of marketing
Though there were downsides. Because of the hot weather, Pinkpop kindly offered free drinking water for everyone. Downside: you had to wait more than half an hour to get the water. The only other option was just pay 2,50 euros for a cup of water. Also I’m realising that all festivals are getting more commercialized. Someone needed to tell me everything about Ben & Jerry’s and the ‘amazing’ special for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream you can share with your friends in special cups. ‘For only 10 euros!’ Those prices are really ridiculous! No thanks. I love Ben & Jerry’s but the supermarket has a better price for it. Also boys from Coca-Cola would love to dance the limbo with you and you can take a ride on the carousel under the apple tree of Jillz. You know, I like all those great ideas and I am pro smart marketing but you can get an overdose of commercializing!
I’m glad Pinkpop also had the opposite of commercialising: art! Pinkpop has installed a ‘newseum’ where modern art was posed from talented artist. And of course art related to music. Though it was very hot in the small wooden hut they’ve made for the newseum, it was great fun to also see something other than marketing booths. I loved the carton boxes with fun phrases such like: shakin’ forever. I think every music fan has this written as life statement.
Luckily I could anticipate in all the messages employees wanted to give me: LIKE! I just gave a big thumb up and they couldn’t say anything anymore. I loved the big Facebook thumb they sell at this Dutch shop ‘Expo’. My boyfriend and I bought it because it would be fun for our pictures of our holiday but it got a lot more attention! National television and reviews loved it to see the big Facebook thumb during the Keane concert and after the concert lots of people kept staring at it. I think my message was clear: I like Keane!
Signing the New CD (That You HAD to Buy)
Something you don’t see very often is a Keane autograph session at a festival. Luckily for the Keane fans, the band was happy to be connecting with their fans again. Though the sponsor - Free Record Shop and Pinkpop were very strict with what could and could not be signed. I spoke with some fans via Facebook about the signing session and some fans could sign everything (t-shirts, big book of Strangeland) and others –like us could not. Some could take a picture with them, others could not. And because my brother –also massive Keane fan had bruised his ankle/foot, we were one of the first fans get their CD signed. I was disappointed that you were forced to purchase the new Keane CD if you wanted to get in line for the signing session and that was the only item we were allowed to have autographed. It was worth it but the restriction didn’t make the signing session a fun event for some of us. They were perhaps very strict for us because we were the first in line. I had to hand in my Pinkpop tickets I wanted to sign, my brothers big book of Strangeland he wanted to get signed and my Facebook thumb. I thought it would be fantastic to get a picture with Keane while giving a big thumb up! Anyhow I am glad to have had the opportunity to have a little chat with Jesse and Tim and tell them Amsterdam was great and the new album is amazing. And for Tom and Richard I just had my thumbs up though the effect wasn’t strong because they were just my real thumb. If you would like to see all the pictures of the signing session and spot more Keane fans you know you can visit the Facebook of Free Record Shop here. The guy who took the pictures loved the thumb as well!
Bombay Bicycle Club – Surprisingly Good
I would love to share with you my review of the Sunday of Pinkpop 2012. My top 3 bands of performing were: Keane (duh), The Wombats and Bombay Bicycle club. Of course I already was familiar with Bombay Bicycle Clubs latest hit ‘Shuffle’ but I was quite surprised of their performance in the Converse tent. It was energetic and absolutely flawless. They play were fun and happy Britpop songs, just the way I like it. (Thumbs up!) In the tent there was a big party going on. I think it’s a talented band with a lot more potential in the music business. It convinced me to buy their CD very soon. Left there with a big smile on my face.
Jumping Around with The Wombats
OK, let’s go back to the 3FM stage. It’s the second biggest stage of Pinkpop after the main stage of course. I’m still surprised that Keane wasn’t performing on the main stage considering they are a #1 band here (Strangeland is also at the top of the charts in Holland) but on the other hand, I was quite happy with it. It was crowded but not too crowded. We were at the back of the audience because of my brother was still suffering from his foot injury. Because it was a smaller stage, we were still quite close. Before Keane performed, the Wombats gave an ultimate showcase at Pinkpop. Their energetic songs gave me a rush. I was jumping along with their biggest hits. I see the Wombats as my sweethearts - at this small venue in Utrecht where I volunteer as a stage manager the Wombats gave one of their first gigs in the Netherlands (2007). When they performed at Ekko, it was my first time as a stage manager without assistance; it was a very special day for all of us - and the production went very well. They are very nice lads and they are adorable, so to see those lads perform at this big festival was priceless to me. So jumping and singing a long with ‘Tokyo – Vampires & Wolves’ and older songs is just amazing. It gives you a shot of endorphin! The whole audience sang ‘She’s not that beautiful, she’s not that beautiful’ of the song ‘My First Wedding’ at the end of the show. Absolutely an amazing experience!
This was the moment I was waiting for! Because we were in the back, we were very close to the Pinkpop camera. Every time I held the Facebook thumb up you could see it on the big screens next to the stage. Everybody was laughing seeing the big thumb. And you know what? The camera loved it as well! Through the whole show everybody looked at me each time the thumbs up appeared on the screen. I can remember an older man (around mid 50’s) with grey/white hair pointed at me and was smiled a lot at me every time he saw the thing on screen. It was adorable! Also during the concert a man came up to me and wanted to tell me the thumb is amazing. I think my message was clear: I like Keane!
During whole concert you could see a big Facebook thumb getting up in the air which I feel summarises the concert perfectly. This was amazing, this was a kind of performance you can not otherwise than ‘LIKE’.’ This is one of the phrases of an amazing review about Keane’s concert.
Photo Credit: Dani van der Raaf
The concert was absolutely fantastic. The energy the whole band was giving to the audience is absolutely amazing. You are a whole different person after Keane’s gig at Pinkpop. It’s as if they brought a masterpiece to life. Tom sang his lungs out, Richard, Tim and Jesse playing everything perfect. There were no mistakes. Well, ok… We had to give Tom a fist (is that correct?) during a different song than supposed to. But well, I think that was the extra energy Tom wanted to give Pinkpop 2012. The best concert ever yet. I LIKE! Like Pinkpop, Like The Wombats, Like Bombay Bicycle Club and LIKE KEANE! :-)
Text: Eline van Beek / Pictures: Eline van Beek & Gert-Jan van Beek