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Pukkelpop Smashes Records

06:01 AM Saturday 8/29/09 | |

Pukkelpop has smashed its attendance record by attracting a three-day crowd of 180,000 to the western Belgian city of Hasselt.

That’s more than 20 percent up on the 152,000 it pulled last year.

Festival organiser Chokri Mahassine believes the increase is thanks to many factors, including that, considering the economic crisis, it’s cheaper to visit a festival than go on holiday.

“An older generation of festival-goers keeps coming to the festival just because of the excellent lineup and the extra comfort. A few years ago they would pull out at a younger age, now they keep coming back,” he told Pollstar.

“People save money on holidays and prefer to stay at home. These people see Pukkelpop as their ideal city trip. And so do people from abroad.”

This year the festival had to open a second campsite to accommodate the 47,500 people who visited the event for all three days, coming from as far as Mexico, Brazil, Ukraine, Poland, Canada, Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

Most of the foreign visitors came from Holland, Luxembourg, France and Germany, but Great Britain, Spain, Ireland and Italy were also strongly represented.

Mahassine also believes the rise in popularity in festivals in general means people don’t want to miss out and then be forced to listen to their friends spending the rest of the year talking about what a good time they had.

This year’s Pukkelpop, which is the country’s second-biggest festival behind Rock Werchter, drew 60,000 on the first day, 59,000 on the second and 61,000 on the final day.

The 200 acts playing across the eight festival stages Aug. 20-22 included Faith No More, Placebo, Arctic Monkeys, The Offspring, Kraftwerk, N*E*R*D, My Bloody Valentine and Snow Patrol.