My day at Pinkpop
Event: Pinkpop festival
Date + location: May 27th 2012 – Landgraaf, NL
Highlight of the day: Meet and Greet!
For me, other than their amazing set and meeting some awesome people, the Meet & Greet with the band was part of the incredible experience. It wasn’t my first M&G though, but it was still very exciting to me!
Our Pinkpop day started with us (Gregory, Yves, his girlfriend Veerle, and me) driving to the festival from Belgium in Gregory’s very cool Linkin Parkified car (a white car with the LPUX logo on each side), while playing LP music the entire drive. We arrived in Landgraaf around 11 AM.
Throughout the day I really met some awesome LPU members. Meeting some of them for the first time after chatting a lot on the community. Besides them, there were also some great Belgian LPUers I already met at Werchter (Belgium) last year. I’ve also met Adam (LPUHQ) for the first time (at 3 PM), we were supposed to be working as “roadies (together with Pascal and Lode) for the day” but we ended up being “roadies for the hour”, haha! Even though it was pretty much impossible to recruit new members (unless you gave them an additional M&G pass for that day in return), Adam is really awesome, he took the time to chat and hang out with us for couple of hours, even during the show…
After hanging out with very cool people all day, we were supposed to wait and prepare ourselves for the M&G at 7.15 PM. MANY people showed up, not sure how many (I’ll leave the counting for you guys ). After an hour we all got our M&G passes, and we had the possibility to buy the LPU11 cd for € 10. I did so because I didn’t have anything to get signed yet, and I don’t regret it, the signatures look great on the cd booklet. After that, we all went backstage where we had to wait for, let’s say, 15 minutes. The waiting definitely didn’t get us bored at all: three band members walked past us: Joe, Brad and Phoenix. Of course we went all excited (shouting their names and waving) to see them!
After those exciting minutes, we finally got led to the M&G room, which was rather small this time. The band still had to arrive to sign yet, but we had the opportunity to meet some or their amazing crew! Before I entered the room I saw Jim (Digby, LP’s tour manager), waved at him, he came to say hi for a second (apparently he remembered me from Twitter!) Other than him there were: Cory, Missy, Megumi and of course Adam we’ve met earlier that day, – all very cool people – giving us the info and instructions needed to make this M&G go by as easy as possible for everyone. Until finally the band arrived on their seats at the table
*Before I tell you how my M&G went, I want to mention that I won the “Linkin Park ambassador for Belgium” contest 3 days earlier. As a contest winner I will help promote the band in Belgium, mainly by keeping a blog, where I will share all of my LP experience as well as news posting in Dutch. Important to know is that the band chose the winner, so I was sure they knew about this contest, especially Mike, who announced the winner (me, my name!) on Belgian radio and even Tweeted about it!*
Congrats to @anvanoppens, our Belgian "Linkin Park Ambassador". She'll be translating for fans in Belgium!
— Mike Shinoda (@mikeshinoda) May 24, 2012
After lining up for a bit, it was my turn to interact with the band! First at the table was Joe. (I hadn’t really prepared what to say to them except for Mike and Chester.) I said “How are you?” and I told him about seeing them in Berlin as well the next week (Couldn’t think of anything else to say!) As moving on to Rob –I remember a handshake- I told him about Berlin as well but also, quickly mentioned me being the Belgian ambassador, but he seemed not to know/remember a lot of it… After Rob there was Chester, to Chester I decided to give my gift (a book including my own drawings and signatures and descriptions by LPUers about the band, I regret not taking a picture of it!). I didn’t really say anything else to him but he seemed happy with it, also gave him a handshake (I believe). Ok, then I arrived at Mike. As I told you, I already knew what to tell him. I thanked him for picking me as the Belgian LP ambassador while I was shaking his hand. I felt like he was really listening when I told him. He seemed to remember it very well! He kept asking questions about it (he mentioned the phone call with the radio station and he told me I should thank Adam instead (it became all clear to me at that point ), so I did, afterwards, through email, haha! Forgot to thank him during the day). While I was still talking to Mike, all my attention went to that conversation when I was standing in front of Brad already! I didn’t really say anything to Brad (I think because of the conversation I had with Mike) I put my hand out for a handshake but Brad wasn’t into that apparently (He didn’t shake any hands at all, he must’ve had a reason to! Just an Asian-like greeting, or how I should describe it). Eventually there was Phoenix, a quick handshake… I always thought of Dave he’s a very nice guy, and really open to talk during M&G’s. While Mike was still talking to me from his seat, I remember Dave, asking me about being the LPU Roadie For The Day (I don’t know if I was that crazy and it was just me, or that was actually what he was asking!), so I mentioned that as well and Missy (standing at the end of the table) was surprised to hear that as well.
When I got my signed booklet back, I had to come back to the spot where we were lining up to wait for the group photo. I noticed the band having a photo with a couple of fans (I think because of winning contest, I’m not sure), after that Mike looked right at me and he suggested ME to have a photo as well. So then it happened, Mike and Adam both called my name to come to the band to have my photo as well! Me and some of my friends were shocked. After the photo, we went back to the ‘crowd’ to have the group photo. I was standing pretty much between Chester and Phoenix. After the group photo the band had to leave, but I did manage to have Phoenix take a personal photo with me, which is now set as my general profile picture (LPU / Twitter / Facebook), and it will stay there for a while!
Before we went on to the show (it was around 9 PM already), we had a little time to have our own pictures with Adam, as he promised us. After that, Adam decided to join us to attend the first half of the show, so we found a spot to settle ourselves with the little group. It really wasn’t close to the stage but we had enough space, the cool people and the good vibe!
The show started around 9.15 PM. All I’m going to say about it is that I think it was the best show I’ve ever attended (I’m comparing here to London in 2008 and Belgium in 2011). The (amazing) setlist of the show was the same as at Rock In Rio (Portugal) the day before, but I didn’t follow the live stream or any info about that show on purpose. I wanted their show at Pinkpop to totally surprise me… And that’s what it did. Their “A Place For My Head” intro totally blew me away! As well as they did with their entire show. Just a typical Linkin Park show: exciting, perfect, energetic and mindblowing!
After the show we (Greogry, Pascal, Yves, Veerle and me) decided to have a beer at the parking lot before driving back home (I brought a lot of Belgian beer and there’s still some left that I will bring to Berlin as well ). I think I arrived home around 2 AM. It’s been a wonderful day! I can’t wait to go to Berlin!