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In Flames performs at Graspop 2008

Graspop Metal Meeting is a hard rock festival in Dessel, Belgium that has taken place each year since 1996. Despite the small size of the festival grounds (upholding a perimeter of only ~4 km) the festival draws a large number of international spectators, with a total of 135,000 visitors in 2008-edition. The event was not originally a heavy metal festival. It was conceived as a local family festival. In 1995, the headliners billed were Joe Cocker and Simple Minds. However, due to the public being oversaturated with family festivals, the number of visitors had reached an all-time low.

Founder Peter Van Geel realized that mainstream rock music wasn't the ticket. He reflected on the most memorable acts of the preceding years: Motörhead, Ramones, Paradise Lost, and so forth. He also considered his own musical preferences and that started him thinking: why not go for a drastic reorientation?

Peter discussed the matter with Werchter festival promoter Herman Schueremans, who advised him to get in touch with Bob Schoenmaekers, the owner of the Biebob concert venue and metal club in nearby Vosselaar. A couple of years earlier, Schoenmaekers had set up his "Midsummer Metal Meeting" in Vosselaar and because of space limits he was thinking of an open air festival. The initial contact soon led to close collaboration. The duo decided to launch a brand-new metal festival under the name of "Graspop Metal Meeting". The date of choice was to be the last weekend of June.

The new direction proved to be a successful one. The festival has seen a continually rising number of visitors over the years, as well as continuing to attract the most popular international bands in the genre. Since the festivals inception in 1996, Iron Maiden has headlined it six times. Other bands which have prominently been featured are Slayer, Saxon, Megadeth and Motorhead.


Previous line-ups

  • June 30 1996:

Iron Maiden, Slayer, Life of Agony, Channel Zero, Sick of It All, Fear Factory, Tiamat, Skin, Gorefest, Type O Negative, Morbid Angel, Downset, Shelter, Drain, Manhole

  • June 29 1997:

Megadeth, Alice Cooper, Biohazard, Saxon, Obituary, Grip Inc., Samael, Entombed, Pist-on, My Dying Bride, Tiamat, Moonspell, Cradle of Filth, The Gathering, Dimmu Borgir, Madball, Lagwagon, Ryker's, Millencolin, Deviate, Handsome

  • June 28 1998:

Black Sabbath, Dream Theater, Deftones, Soulfly, Iced Earth (replaced Savatage at the last minute), Coal Chamber, Obituary, Spiritual Beggars, Paradise Lost, Moonspell, Dimmu Borgir, In Flames, Within Temptation, Primus, Madball, Pro-Pain, The Misfits, Congress

  • June 27 1999:

Manowar, Sepultura, Motörhead, Stormtroopers of Death, The Gathering, Kreator, Primal Fear, Darkane, Ancient Rites, Cradle of Filth, Mercyful Fate, Immortal, Anathema, Children of Bodom, Hypocrisy, Danzig, Slapshot, Ryker's, Pitchshifter, Ignite, Out

  • June 24 2000:

Iron Maiden, Machine Head, Rollins Band, Saxon, Testament, Gamma Ray, Entombed, Dirty Deeds, My Dying Bride, Anathema, Tristania, Samael, Apocalyptica, Cannibal Corpse, God Dethroned, Oceans of Sadness, Cro-mags, Madball, Skarhead, No Fun At All, 59 Times the Pain, Liberator, Bombshell Rocks, Voice of a Generation

  • June 23 2001:

Judas Priest, Cradle of Filth, Megadeth, Bad Religion (canceled), Motörhead, Suicidal Tendencies, Savatage, Marduk, Within Temptation, Dropkick Murphys, Sick of It All, Six Feet Under, Macabre, Shelter, Awkward Thought, Primal Fear, The Haunted, Orphanage, Backfire, Farmer Boys, Unleashed, Kill II This, Pist-on, Nevermore, Rose Tattoo, Destruction, Devin Townsend, Ancient Rites, Metalium, Action in DC

  • July 5 - July 6 2002:

Slayer, Dream Theater, Machine Head, Bruce Dickinson, Halford, My Dying Bride, Biohazard, Immortal, Cannibal Corpse, Tristania, Symphony X, Hypocrisy, Arch Enemy, Slapshot, The Vandals, D.R.I., Deviate, Dismember, Subzero, Calibre, Evergrey, Saxon, Agnostic Front, Anathema, Moonspell, Kreator, After Forever, Less Than Jake, In Extremo, Doro, Skarhead, Rage, Manic Movement, Massif, Xeah

  • July 4 - July 5 2003:

Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper, Within Temptation, Ministry, Anthrax, Stone Sour, Murderdolls, Lacuna Coil, Sick of It All, Six Feet Under, Hatebreed, Finntroll, Prong, Arch Enemy, The Haunted, Youth of Today, Doro, Pro-Pain, Deströyer 666, Convict, Killer, Type O Negative, Stratovarius, Sepultura, Apocalyptica, Opeth, Overkill, Samael, Masterplan, Mastodon, Atreyu, Oceans of Sadness, Aborted

  • June 25 - June 27 2004:

Iced Earth, Exodus, Anathema, Hypocrisy, In Extremo, After Forever, Suffocation, Circle II Circle, Action in DC, Epica, Dillinger Escape Plan, Cowboys and Aliens, Alice Cooper, Slipknot, Motörhead, Cradle of Filth, Queensrÿche, Soulfly, My Dying Bride, Agnostic Front, Anthrax, Terror, Blood for Blood, Pleymo, Oomph!, Morbid Angel, Brides of Destruction, Evergrey, Backfire, Discipline, Scarve, Do or Die, Judas Priest, Life of Agony, Dimmu Borgir, Saxon, Fear Factory, Children of Bodom, Therion, Hatebreed, Testament, Ill Nino, Death Angel, Ignite, Chimaira, Killswitch Engage, Dying Fetus, Malevolent Creation, Seven Witches, Shadows Fall, Destruction

  • June 24 - June 26 2005:

Iron Maiden, The Ga*Ga*s, Alter Bridge, Helmet, Papa Roach, Within Temptation, System of a Down, Immolation, Enslaved, Grave Digger, Metal Church, Megadeth, Nevermore, The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, Caliban, H2O, Madball, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Kreator, Chimaira, Judasville, Sengir, Cowboys & Aliens, Axamenta, In-Quest, Autumn, Skitsoy, Soilwork, Epica, Kamelot, Hatebreed, Accept, Slayer, Slipknot, Behemoth, Gorefest, Amon Amarth, Samael, Sirenia, In Flames, Peter Pan Speedrock, Pro-Pain, Rose Tattoo, Mastodon, Sick of It All, Anthrax, Stormrider, DragonForce, Axel Rudi Pell, Primal Fear, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dio, Dream Theater, Oceans of Sadness, Dark Tranquillity, Nuclear Assault, Arch Enemy, Lacuna Coil, Hatesphere, Murphy's Law, Walls of Jericho, Amen, Terror

  • June 23 - June 25 2006:

Friday: Whitesnake, Lacuna Coil, Satyricon, Trivium, Moonspell, Evergrey, Edguy, Y&T, Michael Schenker Group, The Gathering, Leaves' Eyes, Leatherwolf, Gojira, The Maple Room, Battalion, Iconoclasm, Panchrysia, Callenish Circle, Leng Tch'e, Sevendust, Stream of Passion, Sengir.

Saturday: Guns N' Roses, Soulfly, Opeth, Nile, Alice in Chains, Obituary, Bullet for My Valentine, Akercocke, Ill Niño, Avenged Sevenfold, Bloodsimple, My Dying Bride, Ancient Rites, Stone Sour, The New York Dolls, Death Angel, Jon Oliva's 'Pain'.

Sunday: Motörhead, Saxon, Cradle of Filth, In Flames, Helloween, Arch Enemy, Exodus, Armored Saint, DragonForce, Ignite, Ensiferum, Machine Men, After Forever, Beyond Fear, Enthroned, In-Quest.

The field of graspop just before the 2008 festival
  • June 22 - June 24 2007:

Friday: Aerosmith, Chris Cornell, Within Temptation, Type O Negative, Blind Guardian, Celtic Frost, Therion, Sabaton, Grave Digger, Vader, 1349, Pain of Salvation, Amorphis, Joe Satriani.

Saturday: Iron Maiden, KoRn, Heaven & Hell, Life of Agony, Cannibal Corpse, Tiamat, Dimmu Borgir, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Lamb of God, Sirenia, Brutal Truth, Drowning Pool, Atheist.

Sunday: Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer, Black Label Society, Children of Bodom, HammerFall, Amon Amarth, Finntroll, Mastodon, Chimaira, Moonsorrow, Devil Driver, Unearth, Korpiklaani, In This Moment, Turisas, Eluveitie.

  • June 27 - June 29 2008:

Friday : Judas Priest, Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Ministry, Morbid Angel, Saxon, Testament, Yngwie Malmsteen, Nile, Obituary, Symphony X, Deathstars, Tesla, Behemoth, Black Stone Cherry

Saturday : Kiss, Cavalera Conspiracy, Iced Earth, Immortal, Sonata Arctica, Volbeat (cancelled), Bring Me the Horizon, Korpiklaani, My Dying Bride, Helmet, Forbidden, Dying Fetus, Hollenthon, 36 Crazy Fists, Agent Steel, Bleeding Through, Novembers Doom, Throwdown, Sabaton,

Sunday : Iron Maiden, In Flames, Apocalyptica, Bullet for My Valentine, Opeth (cancelled), Avenged Sevenfold, At the Gates, Arch Enemy, Madball, Primordial, Soilwork, Rotting Christ, Rose Tattoo, Comeback Kid, Lauren Harris, Alchemist, Converge

  • June 26 - June 28 2009:

Friday : Mötley Crüe, Soulfly, DragonForce, Heaven & Hell, Papa Roach, Static-X, Buckcherry, Dream Theater, Down, Blind Guardian, W.A.S.P., Exodus, Pestilence, Lääz Rockit, The Gathering, Samael, Jon Oliva's Pain, Firewind, Taake.

Saturday : Slipknot, Korn, Killswitch Engage (cancelled, replaced by In-Quest), Hatebreed, Lacuna Coil, Volbeat, Mastodon, Gojira, Parkway Drive, Legion of the Damned, Black Stone Cherry, Kataklysm, Wolves in the Throne Room, Dagoba, Negura Bunget, Keep of Kalessin, Journey, Death Angel, Monster Magnet, Duff Mc Kagan's Loaded, No Use for a Name, All Shall Perish, Five Finger Death Punch (cancelled, replaced by Delain).

Sunday : Marilyn Manson, Disturbed, Trivium, Anthrax, Epica, Sacred Reich, Eths, God Forbid, Scar Symmetry, DevilDriver, August Burns Red, Nightwish, Lamb of God, Children of Bodom, Sick of It All, Warbringer, Suicidal Tendencies, All That Remains.

Graspop 2010

In 2010 the festival will take place between June 25th and 27th. The festival will celebrate its 15th anniversery.

Confirmed artists so far are: Kiss, Aerosmith, Motörhead, Channel Zero, Killswitch Engage, Amon Amarth, Immortal, My Dying Bride, Tarja, Ratt, Behemoth, Ignite, Korpiklaani, Sepultura, Saxon, Anvil, Jon Oliva's Pain, Walls Of Jericho, Tankard, Bleeding Through, Alestorm, All Shall Perish, Deadlock, The Faceless, Bullet For My Valentine, Sabaton, Mucky Pup, Necrophobic, Therion, Doro, Bloodbath, Nile, Obituary, As I Lay Dying, Ghost Brigade, Job for a Cowboy and Hail of Bullets.[1]

Other self-confirmed bands and strong rumours include Evergrey, Gama Bomb, Axel Rudi Pell, AC/DC.

External links




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