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Total Musical Immersion: Pukkelpop 2014


by David Barnard August 28, 2014

The festival scene in Belgium explodes over the summer, with a multitude of choices every weekend. Pukkelpop, a music festival in Kiewit, Hasselt, Belgium, is one of the high-flyers and has been running for decades. For 3 days, the festival site becomes our own reality and an experience we hope to share and reflect into new Glower Designs.

It isn’t our first time at Pukkelpop, but we’ve always seen it is an unmissable opportunity for total immersion in musical inspiration. So what was it like through our eyes and ears? And which acts have made it to our must-see-list? 

"...this mix and mingle of styles results in a relaxed, harmonious atmosphere, more so than at festivals with a single target audience. It just works."

A Mix and Mingle of Musical Styles

With the 7 stages strategically positioned for maximum schedule filling, Pukkelpop invites you to enjoy a variety of dance, rock, and indie. For this edition a whopping 70 000 visitors a day join us in our trek from stage to stage. One of the great aspects about Pukkelpop is the diverse blend of music and musical followers. People come out for the music and parties and this mix and mingle of styles results in a relaxed, harmonious atmosphere, more so than at festivals with a single target audience. It just works.

Pukkelpop 2014 music festival wristband

Pukkelpop also do a top job of hunting out up-and-coming acts, it’s our yearly opportunity to discover new bands before they reach global status. Some of the bands in our playlists that originated from Pukkelpop are Alt-JFrightened RabbitJungleLocal NativesNetskyYeasayer. Yes, we all love that cheeky feeling of having been there from the early days. But solid performers in the music scene are not left off the list at this festival either; big names and long serving cult classics make the picture complete for everyone. 

With live acts ranging from thrash metal and punk to indie, drum & bass, folk and hip hop, you’re guaranteed an eclectic amalgamation of styles and fashion. Our debut as Glower, means our eyes are all the more drawn to the outfits which have become an integral part of festivals. Though far too many onesies and morph suits, we do not fail to notice the 10s of thousands of different t-shirts and brands on display, from the sublime to the totally ridiculous.

For the first time at Pukkelpop we were happy to spot some of our own. Behold the first flock of Glowers. Thanks for posing, guys!

People wearing Glower printed t-shirts at Pukkelpop music festival 2014

Time to Start The Party

After weeks of anticipation and strategic highlighting of our schedule, our festival experience starts on the Wednesday evening in the Boiler room. In this beloved DJ arena we already find an overwhelming number of excited partygoers. Impressive circular supports suspended from the ceiling and lit up by neon and fluttering, like large jet engines pulsing along to the beats in the night-time breeze set the scene for the night and we know it's kicking off.

"...we’re blessed with great music and spectacular scenes that etch in the brain. The festival is a fantastic place to be if you love music and the open air."

We’re looking forward to seeing Laston & Geo perform for the opening party and they don’t disappoint. There’s a constant wave of energy as the whole crowd cheers, shouts, chants and dances away through their two hour set like there weren’t three more days of festival to go.

In the following days, as the hours pass and the performances tick by, we’re blessed with great music and spectacular scenes that etch in the brain. The festival is a fantastic place to be if you love music and the open air. Performance highlights for us include Temples, Boy & Bear, Queens of the Stone Age, The National, Nadiem Shah, Fink and Balthazar.

Balthazar performing at Pukkelpop music festival 2014

As the ringing in the ears remains and the brains whirs and strains to organise and shape all the things we’ve seen, we aim to put pencil to paper to turn the feeling of Pukkelpop 2014 into something to wear on your chest.

Balthazar performing at Pukkelpop music festival 2014

Sun setting at Pukkelpop 2014 music festival




David Barnard
David Barnard

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