Pinkpop 2015 – Your Definitive Guide

As per usual, the time has come for Pinkpop Festival to reveal its (full) line-up to the outside world by means of its annual press conference. Although a slight bit of excitement was absent due to the fact that all three headliners had already been announced, there was still a huge amount of excitement regarding the rest of the line-up. All Things Loud was present in the Paradiso on Wednesday (25 February) to experience it all unravel. Read on for a full, day-by-day guide to the 2015 line-up, as well as an insight into what happened at yesterday’s press conference.

The Friday is headed up by rock behemoths Muse, coming down to Landgraaf for their first appearance in eight years. Seventh album Drones is due in May, a “heavy rock” record set to defy all previous expectations anyone ever had of Muse. That same day sees the Guy Garvey-fronted Elbow supporting Muse on the main stage following the release of their 2014 album The Take Off and Landing of Everything. Expect a lot of lighters in the air during the likes of One Day Like This, because we all know that this is what Elbow are all about. Joining them on the main stage is singer-songwriter George Ezra, a young lad who saw massive success thanks to the track Budapest. Budapest is a festival anthem, which means that we can expect nothing less than anthems on the Friday. Over on the 3fm Stage, former Guns ‘n Roses guitarist Slash will be headlining together with vocalist Myles Kennedy (of Alter Bridge fame) and backing band The Conspirators. Cult legends Faith No More will be supporting Slash on the 3fm Stage, playing a slot which is rather low down the bill for a band of such stature. New album Sol Invictus is due in May, so expect plenty of new tracks in and amongst the classic likes of Epic, Midlife Crisis and Easy. Meanwhile, the Brand Bier Tent will be headlined by UK trance DJs Above & Beyond, a rather unorthodox selection for this year’s line-up (more on that later). English soul singer Paloma Faith will support them, bringing her eclectic mix of soulful RnB and pop to the tent. Irish singer-songwriter Gavin James will also appear in the tent alongside the winners of the annual Nu or Nooit competition, Jick Munro & the Amazing
. Last year also saw the introduction of Stage 4, a stage which intends to shed some light on upcoming talent and acts you’ve probably never heard of. This year, the daily DJs on Stage 4’s opening night are DJs Waxfiend & Prime, whereas the American grunge rock group Pop Evil will headline the stage. Although they aren’t on the line-up poster, French group Shaka Ponk will also appear. They were one of five acts mentioned during the press conference who weren’t supposed to be revealed yet will still make the journey to Landgraaf in June.

The Saturday is by far one of the poppiest days Pinkpop have ever put on, with a couple of exceptions. The big headline spot comes from Robbie Williams, a man who we can all agree needs absolutely no introduction. He’s set to tour Europe as part of his Let Me Entertain You Tour, with Pinkpop being one of the first stops. Joining him on the main stage are Irish pop-rockers The Script, sub-headlining a mere two years after they did the same for The Killers. Appearing for her sixth time at Pinkpop this year will be Dutch vocalist Anouk, a woman who’s playing more festivals this summer than the whole line-up combined. We’re joking, although we’re not far from the truth. Dutch singer-songwriter Dotan will also play the main stage, a man perhaps best known for his hit single Home, and not much else. Tonight saw him announce a show at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, so we hope that the hype is actually big enough to fill a 17,000 capacity arena. Danceable English synth-rockers The Wombats will open the main stage, a choice not many people had thought of, but a good one nonetheless. Recent single Greek Tragedy is an anthemic track, perfect for any main stage. Over on the 3fm Stage, Swedish DJ/Producer Avicii will headline together with a newly formed Bluegrass band with which he has also recorded a brand new album. Although it’s not been confirmed that this is case, festival founder Jan Smeets certainly alluded to it during the press conference by telling presenter Giel Beelen that he’d bringing more than just a DJ Set. Joining Avicii on the 3fm Stage will be Dutch rockers Kensington, a band whose rise is so stratospheric that they’ve already got two sold out shows at the Ziggo Dome awaiting them in November. Belgian pop singer Selah Sue also joins the 3fm Stage, with two more names yet to be announced. The Brand Bier stage has the most unusual division of acts, with Queens of the Stone Age side project Eagles of Death Metal headlining. Also joining them, we kid you not, are one-hit wonders Sheppard and Magic! Squeezed inbetween the two are the gentlemen in John Coffey, one of the heaviest post-hardcore bands around today in Holland. Stage 4 is so far filled up by American folk-punk group East Cameron Folkcore, with DJ Joost van Bellen set to close the tent following the cancellation of his set last year thanks to dangerous weather conditions.

The final day of the festival is headed up by the legendary Foo Fighters, a band who are currently touring the world relentlessly in support of new record Sonic Highways, one of the finest albums of 2014. Whereas Dave Grohl and co. will be bringing you the anthems, sub-headliner Pharrell Williams will be bringing the party. His hit single Happy was a smash hit in Holland, so expect his set to be one of the busiest all weekend. OneRepublic will also make an appearance on the main stage, a stage that’s being sponsored by SkyRadio for one day only. We’re joking, but we wish we weren’t. Dutch youth sentimentalist rap group De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig are also on the main stage this year, perhaps best known for their early 2000s smash hit Watskebeurt. The 3fm Stage will see soul star Sam Smith headline, a man who doesn’t need instructing on how to put on a killer live show. Hard rockers Rise Against will sub-headline, being squished rather awkwardly between Smith and the American group Counting Crows. If you’re not aware of who Counting Crows are, we suggest you check an assortment of Dreamworks movie soundtracks. It’ll make for pleasant listening, although their placement on this line-up is slightly odd considering their appearance at Concert at Sea later that summer. Dutch rapper Typhoon, one of the most talked about artists of 2014, will follow an opening set from the rather unknown Kitty, Daisy & Lewis. The Brand Bier Tent will be headlined by German group Fiddler’s Green, perhaps the organization’s second choice once they couldn’t nag the Dropkick Murphy’s. Dutch female vocalist Kovacs will support Fiddler’s Green with her brooding mixture of soulful RnB. Her performance at last year’s Lowlands Festival was, along with that of Typhoon, one of the most talked about sets of the summer. Belgian star Oscar & the Wolf will also be bringing his debut album Entity to Landgraaf, but not before English singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey takes to the stage. Mulvey is one of those names who you don’t actively expect to be there, thus taking you by surprise when announced. Mulvey’s booking is a good one, unlike that of Urbanus & de Fanfaar, a Belgian carnival act who, despite being fun, seem more like a filler act. Stage 4 will be closed by De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig’s very own Willie Wartaal, whereas Australians The Pierce Brothers and Estonians Ewert and the Two Dragons will also appear.

Alongside these names, though, the press conference also saw the accidental announcement of a further three names – Scottish alt rockers Twin Atlantic, Australian sibling duo Angus & Julia Stone and English rockers Lonely the Brave. These three bookings alone are better than the whole Stage 4 line-up combined, which unfortunately says a lot. The line-up for Pinkpop 2015 is a good one if you look at it from a broader context, however nothing in the near future will beat 2014’s line-up (which featured, amongst others, The Rolling Stones, Arctic Monkeys, Metallica and Arcade Fire). As the next few weeks pass, we’ll find out more about the line-up that was announced in today’s annual press conference.

The press conference, something which is now somewhat a tradition, took place in the legendary Paradiso venue to a room full of invite-only guests and competition winners. Presenter, Radio DJ and proud All Things Loud supporter Giel Beelen took control of the afternoon. The presentation opened with a look back to Pinkpop 2014, as further videos throughout the afternoon were dedicated to Pinkpop’s various charity exploits, alongside assorted clips of artists appearing this year. The fourth annual Jan Smeets Award was handed out to the Kunstbende, an organization who aim to give young talent a chance to shine. Jan Smeets, as most of us know, is the founder of Pinkpop Festival and has had an active role since its inception. There were also five performances throughout the afternoon, with the whole show being opened by Jick Munro & the Laserbeams. Their upbeat mix of carnival-esque folk rock ensured that the audience was awake and upbeat, before Kovacs slowed proceedings drastically with a stripped-back set. Donning a waist-length bear hat over her bald head, Sharon Kovacs followed her two-song set by telling presenter Beelen about the time she fell asleep in the bushes at her first Pinkpop. Her speech ended with a jokey plea to find the two people who helped her get to bed, with various men in the audience nominating themselves. Moody Belgian star Oscar & the Wolf also featured, playing two stripped back tracks from debut record Entity. Rapper Typhoon also featured, bringing the party in another stripped back set which saw the barefoot rapper enthusiastically move around stage. Dutch hardcore rockers John Coffey closed the press conference with three songs from new record Great News. Set opener Broke Neck powered through the Paradiso, giving us a good taste of what to expect come June.

Presenter Giel Beelen speaking to Typhoon.

All Things Loud will be bringing you full coverage of Pinkpop 2015.