History

Parkpop, the largest free pop festival of the Netherlands, took place for the first time on July 5, 1981 in The Hague Zuiderpark and attracted over 35,000 visitors. The festival was created by the merger of Maliepop and Noordzeepop and the new location Zuiderpark led to the name Parkpop. There were not many big free pop festivals so there were plenty of growth opportunities. Targeted promotion for the city of The Hague and stimulate pop music in The Hague were the main principles of the new Parkpop. John Tieleman, Rob Keehnen, Pieter Jacobs, Leen Visser, Elli Schelling, John Vueren, Jaap Huurman, Rien Puyenbroek and Guus Dutrieux are the founders of Parkpop as we know it today. Parkpop is the pride of The Hague and the largest free pop festival in the Netherlands! 

80's

Growth opportunities were exploited quickly in the 80's. The number of visitors grew from 35,000 to over 200,000 and an extra stage was added in the park. In 1988 the 'third field' was added, which included rappers, skateboarders and break dancers presenting themselves to the general public. In the 80's, also the first major sponsors were attracted, like the Nutsspaarbank and the Dutch Dairy Organisation. Click here for the highlights in the 80's.

90's

With over 500,000 visitors, the 1992 edition was a breaking record year. The Zuiderpark went upside down with artists such as The Scene, Chris Whitley and Angela & the Rude. In 1996 the Netherlands meets a new phenomenon, Marco Borsato. Parkpop is the first large-scale festival that Borsato has added to his oeuvre. Click here for the highlights of the 90's.

00's

In 2000 the Dommelsch Dance Area was launched on Parkpop. An area where various dance DJ's, including the great DJ Tiesto, provided a new experience on Parkpop in the field of dance music. In 2003 the local heroes and the young talent from The Hague with were given an own stage at the Locals Only Area. In 2006 Parkpop was broadcasted live on national tv and radio. Despite the rain, there were more than 175,000 visitors present in the Zuiderpark. Click here for the highlights of the 00's

10's

In 2010 Parkpop celebrated its 30th anniversary. Including a spectacular opening of a group of artists from The Hague like Robert-Jan Stips, Cesar Zuiderwijk, Evert Nieuwstede, Tim Akkerman and more. From three stages a special song was played at the same time where a tribute was brought to the festival. Parkpop took over the world news in 2010 when Snoop Dogg was canceled by the Mayor ten days before the festival. Reggae legend Alpha Blondy was flown in as a replacement. The Zuiderpark had more than 250,000 visitors in that year. 

In 2011, the weather gods were in favour of Parkpop: plenty of sunshine over 20 degrees. Apart from the good weather, the crowd in the Zuiderpark could also enjoy perfomance by for example Di-rect, La Pegatina, Graffiti6, Tim Knol and Jamie Cullum.

A year later and almost 10 degrees colder, in 2012, it remains far below 20 degrees. The day started with heavy rain. Later that afternoon, the sun started to shine. Despite the weather, there were still more than 150,000 visitors.  On stage amongst others Blaudzun, Amy MacDonald, Adam Ant and Bettie Serveert.

The 33th Parkpop: sunlit and over 250,000 visitors. De Kraaien (a very popular band from The Hague) had the honor to kick off. Sinead O'Connor was the last artist to perfom, het set included a beautiful version of "Nothing compares 2u”. Other artists a.o. were Bob Geldof, The Handsome Poets and Barry Hay seen with Flying V Formation.

In 2014 Night at the Park was introduced on the evening before Parkpop. Unlike Parkpop, Night at the Park is not free, but nevertheless extremely popular within the Parkpop community. Night at the Park had a very successful first edition with over 15,500 visitors and great artists such as Madness, The State, Golden Earring, Van Dik Hout and more. Sunday June 29 was not only the day of Parkpop, but also the day of the World Cup match Netherlands - Mexico. Among others Gers Pardoel, Epica, Kensington and 10cc were artists featuring at Parkpop. The football match was shown on the big screens next to the stage. The Dutch team won 2 – 1.

Parkpop celebrated in 2015 its 35th anniversary and more than 225,000 visitors were present to celebrate this jubilee with such artists as Chef'Special, Nico & Vinz and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Without any doubt , Frans Bauer (singer of Dutch popular music) was the biggest surprise. He stunned the audience with his version of the The Hague anthem ‘O o Den Haag’ and his rendition of the song Du Hast from German band Rammstein.

Despite the rain pouring down the days before the 2016 edition of Parkpop, it was sunny and dry at the day of the festival itself. With more than 4 stages, 30 artists (amongst others, Billy Ocean, Typhoon, Jett Rebel and John Coffey) and over 278,000 visitors, the Zuiderpark was completely put upside down again! 

2017 is the year of the first edition of Parkpop Downtown. On Friday, June 23 Parkpop Downtown transforms the centre of The Hague into a big Parkpop preparty.

Click here for the highlights of the 10's

 

 

Partners