Logo pukkelpop 2010.jpg
Logo for Pukkelpop 2010.
GenreRock, electronic, pop, hip hop
DatesMid-to-late August (since 1988)

Pukkelpop is an annual music festival that takes place near the city of Hasselt, Belgium, in mid-to-late August. It is held within a large enclosure of fields and woodland—between a dual carriageway called Kempische Steenweg—in the village of Kiewit, approximately 7 km north of Hasselt. It is the second largest music festival in Belgium after Rock Werchter, with an attendance rate of 180,000 over the course of the event in 2009.[1]

The program is noted for its wide variety of alternative music, spanning styles such as rock, pop, electronic, dance, hip-hop, punk and heavy metal. The event's organizers aim the festival to be a "progressive and contemporary" musical event.[2] Notable acts that have performed at previous editions include Sonic Youth, Ramones, Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, Radiohead, Metallica, PJ Harvey, Green Day, Blink-182, Guns N' Roses, Pixies, Daft Punk, The Prodigy, Nine Inch Nails, Iron Maiden, Björk, The Stone Roses and Eminem. The term "pukkel" is the Dutch word for "pimple".


The festival was founded in 1985 by youth organisation Humanistic Youth of Leopoldsburg (Dutch: Humanistische Jongeren van Leopoldsburg, or "Hujo"). It originated as a single day event, held on July 21—a national holiday in Belgium—in the village of Leopoldsburg, located approximately 25 km north of the event's current home in Kiewit. The inaugural event in 1985 took place at the village football grounds of Complex Excelsior Heppen and featured seven acts, with English songwriter Anne Clark headlining. The first year was attended by 3,000 people.

In 1988, the festival moved to the village of Hechtel-Eksel where it was held at Sanicole Airfield. The festival was also moved to late August. In 1989, the festival was cancelled after the two headliners, The Pogues and The Sugarcubes, cancelled their appearances a few weeks before the event. The festival returned in 1990, again taking place in Hechtel-Eksel, and reached a peak of 10,000 attendees. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds headlined.

In 1991, the festival moved to its current home in Kiewit. In its first year, the event took place on the grounds of the children's petting farm (Dutch: Kinderboerderij) located in the village. Ramones headlined on a bill which included Nirvana, who performed at the festival a month prior to the release of the group's breakthrough album Nevermind. In 1992, the festival site was moved to the fields by the Kempische Steenweg motorway, where it has been held ever since.

A shot of the commemorative stand at the 2005 edition. The stand was installed to mark the event's 20th anniversary.

In 1993, a new indoor stage called The Marquee was added, supplementing the outdoor Main Stage and almost doubling the amount of performers over the previous year. A second indoor stage, the Dance Hall, was added in 1994. In 1995, for the festival's tenth anniversary, the event became a two-day event for the first time, with Neil Young and The Smashing Pumpkins as the headlining acts. The festival also reached a peak in attendees at 60,000.

In 1996, two new stages were added: the outdoor Skate Stage, and a smaller-sized marquee called Club. Another marquee, named the Boiler Room, was added in 1997, bringing the total number of stages to six. From 1998 to 2001, the Skate Stage was renamed to the Hip-hop Stage for one of the two festival days, exclusively focused on rap and hip-hop artists such as Jurassic 5 and The Pharcyde. In 1999, the dance event Creamfields was amalgamated into Pukkelpop on the first day of the event; as a result most of the existing stages exclusively showcased dance music under different names. 1999 also saw the debut of the Experimental Stage, renamed to ChateauXCrapule the following year, and shortened to Chateau from the 2004 edition.

British band Editors performing on the Main Stage at the 2007 edition.

In 2000, an exchange programme was announced with Oppikoppi, an annual music festival held in South Africa near the city of Pretoria. In the same year, Eminem was forced to cancel his confirmed headline slot at the festival as he was barred from leaving the United States.

In 2001, the festival became a three-day event for the first time, reaching an attendance peak of 115,000, a 76% increase over the previous year. In 2004, an eighth stage was added, called Wablief? (Dutch word for "What?"). In 2005, the festival celebrated its 20th anniversary, featuring headliners Pixies, The Prodigy and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. The event also reached another attendance peak, totaling 137,000 festival-goers.

The festival returned in 2010 for its 25th anniversary, with Iron Maiden, Placebo, Queens of the Stone Age and Snow Patrol among the headlining acts. The 2010 edition was notable as the first ever Pukkelpop to have sold out its entire allotment of tickets, approximately five weeks prior to the commencement of the festival.

Other Languages
Deutsch: Pukkelpop
français: Pukkelpop
ქართული: პუკელპოპი
Nederlands: Pukkelpop
polski: Pukkelpop
русский: Пуккельпоп
svenska: Pukkelpop
West-Vlams: Pukkelpop