Graspop Metal Meeting returns to Festivalpark Stenehei in Dessel, Belgium this summer! The festival runs for four days, from Thursday, June 16th through Sunday, June 19th. Having originated in 1996, Graspop Metal Meeting will reconvene this year for its 25th edition. In celebration, Graspop is bringing back some of their most frequent headlining acts: Iron Maiden will be returning for their eleventh year, Saxon for their tenth year, as well as My Dying Bride and Within Temptation for their ninth year. There will be additional headlining performances from Volbeat, Scorpions, Judas Priest, Korn, Five Finger Death Punch, Sabaton, Deep Purple and Deftones.
Graspop Metal Meeting organizers had originally planned the 25th edition in 2020, but announced via social media that it had to be canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The festival was rescheduled in 2021, but eventually, had to reschedule again for 2022, due to the continuation of the pandemic. That said, it’s finally here!
Along with the music, there are numerous attractions around the festival grounds.
The Festival Fair and Metal Market are onsite markets where you can buy merchandise from all of the artists, as well as miscellaneous vendors. The Food Truck Zone will feature food vendors of all different types of food. The Ducks of T(h)rash are stalls where you can collect 15 drink containers around the grounds and turn them into a recycling stand in exchange for a play at the hook-a-duck stall. Prizes include a Graspop Metal Meeting souvenir, a free spin on the Ferris wheel, a ‘fast lane ticket’ for the Singing Sessions and a Skydeck pass.
If that’s not enough, additional entertainment continues in the Metal Dome, the Classic Rock Cafe and the Graspop Metal Moose Bar after all the scheduled performances. Tribute bands and DJ’s will keep rocking in the Metal Plaza until “the wee hours of the morning”, according to the Graspop website.
Traveling? Don’t worry — there are several accommodation options for the festival. The only free option is to pitch your own tent in the Boneyard campground. If that’s not your style, there are a lot of paid accommodations, including a second campground called Metal Town. Brand new this year is a third campground called Camping Inferno, which is only 0.3 mile walk from the arena and features luxurious festihuts and rental tents. Situated 10 to 15 miles from the festival grounds are Metal Park and Devil’s Lake — areas where bungalows, cottages and hotels can be reserved.
All parking lots are still within walking distance from the main festival area, but for the first time in Graspop history, they are all paid lots. You can buy parking passes in advance online via the official Graspop Metal Meeting website or on the day-of with a bank or credit card (no cash). All tickets into the festival include access to the festival arena, camping in the Boneyard campgrounds and access to the shuttle bus between Mol train station. VIP tickets also include access to the VIP car park and VIP deck. Very limited festival tickets are still available for purchase. You can purchase any remaining tickets via the Graspop Metal Meeting website. Hope to see you there!