The festival season is back upon us, so it’s almost time to start preparing for our yearly appointment with Graspop Metal Meeting! To make your preparation a little easier, we will help you by pointing to some bands and events you can not miss during this 20th birthday edition. Just our two cents, of course.
Officially, the festival only takes three days, but traditionally the fun already starts at thursday. This day the festival ground is open only for combi visitors, so that would mean a multi day ticket would be extra worthwile. Especially for people who want to get to know some talented young Belgian bands. While you can enjoy the finals of this year’s Red Bull Bedroom Jam in the metal dome, there’s some other talent from own soil to be admired at the Jupiler Stage starting at 16h.
Around 21h the party moves towards the marquee for some cover band madness. Meanwhile (22h) the Graspop opening party starts at the metal dome. Around 02h DJ’s Will and Carl go on spinning some more heavy tracks in the metal dome untill the early hours!
All the people who still want more Belgian metal should, along with everybody else start their Friday at the Metal Dome around 11h15. That’s when King Hiss wakes up the crowd with their stoner metal. Later, there will be a first choice to be made. At 14h British hardrockers Thunder (main stage 1) and Swedish bluesrockers Blues Pills (Metal Dome) will be competing for spectators.
During the day, it would be definitely worthwile to pay the classic rock café a visit, where The Lounge Kittens will be bringing you some fine lounge versions of different metal tunes, all in perfect triple vocal harmony. They will be performing at 14h20 , 15h45 and 17h30.
Starting around 17h50, Main Stage 1 will be the place to be, with Cavalera Conspiracy (armed with a great new record ‘Pandemonium’) and the band with the all saying name Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators (20h). In between, a visit towards the Metal Dome might be worthwile, with Swedish prog metallers Evergrey performing at 19h20. All the people who like an extravagant show with lots of fireworks should gather back at main stage 1 again around 22h35 anyways for Kiss. Prepare yourself for a greatest hits show, who cares Paul Stanley can’t really sing anymore.
Don’t start your saturday in overdrive: there’s plenty of great music to be listened to towards the end of the day. Main Stage 1 is kept for the younger metalheads with Five Finger Death Punch (groove/alt-18h45), Korn (nu-20h55) and headliner Slipknot (nu-00h) while Main Stage 2 focusses more on classic metal with Exodus (thrash-15h50), Sonata Arctica (prog/power-17h45), Alice Cooper (shockrock/classic-19h45) and headliner Judas Priest (classic-22h20). And there’s even more. All Swedish melodeath lovers should definitely gather for Arch Enemy (19h25) and At The Gates (21h05).
Which again brings us to the final day much too fast. The first dilemma of the day starts at 14h with Tremonti (alt) at main stage 1 and young talented Belgian speedmetallers Evil Invaders at the Metal Dome. Right after those concerts (14h45), there’s only one way to go: the Marquee. The band playing is Sylosis. A fine group of people from Cemetery Junction, UK who blend elements from prog, black, core and melodeath into their unique and fresh sound. Afterwards, you can go chill in front of main 1 with the American Black Stone Cherry (hard rock-15h50). Afterwards you’ll get you enough time to get prepared for Lamb Of God (groove-19h) at Main Stage 2, followed by Motörhead (rock ‘n’ roll-20h) at Main Stage 1. A final visit to the Metal Dome will get you a performance of British extreme power metal sextet Dragonforce 21h15. You’ll be back in time at Main Stage 1 for headliner Scorpions (hard rock-22h35). Closing this year’s edition on Main Stage 2 at 00h15 is Faith No More, so why not?