The audience was ready for a performance by Eddy Vedder and Pearl Jam, but first it was time for the former Pinkpop boss to say goodbye. He announced his resignation in 2020, exactly after fifty years of Pinkpop.
It was not yet a goodbye. Due to the corona crisis, the festival site in Landgraaf was closed for two years in a row. Now that the 51st edition of the festival can finally take place, it is the opportunity for Smeets to say goodbye.
Before Jan Smeets climbed the main stage, a compilation of the great moments in his life as Pinkpop boss could be seen on large screens on stage.
As one of the founders of Pinkpop, Smeets has been involved in the ever-expanding music spectacle since the first modest festival in 1970, the oldest still existing in Europe. All these years he was known as “Mr. Pinkpop’, or as ‘Pinkpopboss Jan Smeets’.
He didn’t miss anything, he checked everything during the preparation and implementation of the festival. His outbursts of anger were notorious when, during his countless tours on his scooter, he saw something happen somewhere on the site that he did not like. The festival had to be perfectly organized down to the last detail, as far as Smeets was concerned. There were no loose ends in his vocabulary.
Smeets does not leave completely. He has now passed the baton to his three successors Niek Murray, Sierk Janssen and Tirsa Creusen, but he remains an advisor to the festival. What exactly that role entails remains to be seen.