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Published: June 26th 2011
I headed to Daniel to stay the night at his place as we’d decided to head into PinkPop the following Friday night before it all got a bit hectic on Saturday. We went to the movies that evening to watch the Hangover2 with two of his friends.
I stayed at Daniel’s place for most of the morning and headed to R&G on my plank mid-afternoon. I just managed to whip my be-hind in the front door before a massive thunderstorm unleashed itself on the residents of Hillensberg. Hail pelted down and the rain looked like one giant waterfall. Daniel joined us for supper later that evening and we headed out into Sittard afterwards for a few drinks. We’d decided that trying to pitch a tent in this weather just wasn’t worth it and that we’d get up early the next morning to head through.
We set off nice and early, with everything (impressively) packed and sorted. Daniel knew a sneaky back-road-turned-into -adventure (due to road-works) that took us past all the hoards of festival-goers. We arrived and parked where we were going to work the following day. This would give us music, a
football and snacks left in the car to entertain us.
We grabbed our bundles of weekend-goodies and set off on the 4km walk to where we were camping. Oh, man, what a las. Hot, sweaty, hung-over and carrying far too much for UN standards. We made it eventually, with the help of some sweeties I’d stuffed into my pockets and the juice that was sticking out of our grocery bag. However, the camping we’d been allocated to was full, and so we once again intrepidly set off 200m further down the way and pitched out tents in a field usually used by goats. This was obvious due to the massive pile of hay and goat-poo that lay 5m away from where we slept for the weekend.
We set up our camp, ate and then headed to explore the massive terrain that was the festival-hum-bug. Daniel headed straight for the tent where his football club was working…and hence where the most gratis liquid substances would originate from. I decided to quickly pop back to the tent (approximately a 45min walk) to fetch some lunch, my raincoat and sweets before the evening really began. Mistake.
I arrived back to
find absolute masses of people crowding the entrance which I had just breezed through. Utterly shocked I stood in awe for about 30 seconds before being a right arse and pushing my way through half the crowd. It still took me around an hour to get back in to the festival terrain and I couldn’t even sms Daniel as there was just too much cellular activity. I finally made it back and was greeted with plenty of beer and plenty of love from a very happy Daniel. I got to see Lifehouse and then we wrangled our way to make a video of Simple Plan playing so I could make my sister go green.
After SP we met up with friends and fed ourselves fat in various forms before settling down to watch Coldplay. They were paid just over a million € to arrive 30 minutes late, but their set was amazing. What an awesome beginning to the weekend!
After spending the night sleeping next to goat-turd, Daniel snoring and a generator keeping the floodlight on over the camping I woke up to some sun! Daniel and I
had to do our 4 hour shift at the parking lot today and the early-wake up and epic walk was not awesome. It was fun kicking the soccer-ball, riding the electric bike and playing games on Daniel’s phone though. One bus came in 4 hours. Relaxed.
After our ‘agonising’ 4 hours of traffic-control and showing a bus where to park we headed back to our tents for lunch. A quick lunch and we were off! This time the line was only half the size it was the day before, but it being only around 1pm I was still in awe. Hanson could be heard playing in the distance as Daniel and I made our way the main stage to wait for Wolfmother. It was the one band I was really keen to see. I’d only just started listening to their music last year, and I thought they were a pretty random band; obviously not! Hurts had some know-numbers and were very good live. Wolfmother, however, were just about the highlight of PinkPop for me. They brought such an old-school feeling to the festival. You thought Robert Plant was going to jump out of the drum-kit.
We then foraged for food and awaited KOL. They were a bit disappointing in their connection with the crowd, but the live singing and performance of both old and new sounds was spectacular. Caleb did a flipping awesome job (and it certainly looked like he was having a fun time) of proving how unique his voice is. Everyone singing “woooaaaahhh-wooooaaaahhh” to ‘Use Somebody’ was indeed one of the moments of the festival. Coldplay and KOL in two days. Ridiculous.
Woke up after another fun night with the cousin. We had no responsibilities that morning and so let the heat of the sun wake us up. Today was going to be quite interesting, with so many bands on offer that we wanted to see! We went to the festival terrain pretty early to actually have a good look around for once at all the stores and artwork.
I then went to the very front of the stage for Two Door Cinema Club. A relatively new band, but with a lot of funk! Daniel had no idea who they were, but I had a good
time jumping around and taking videos. We then headed to meet up with some friends and hung around to watch Go Back to the Zoo, who were also very good live. Volbeat was up next with some harder rock, and the head-banging that ensued spurred us on to feed our rumbling tummies on the way to catch a glimpse of The Script. After that (it really was a mission-day) we headed back to the main-stage to watch Kaiser Chiefs and to await the Foo Fighters. I missed both Thirty Seconds to Mars and Deadmau5 in order to get a decent view for FF.
It all paid off and I lost my Sh&^% with FF. They’re my teenage/ high school/feel-good-memories band that I’ve been listening to for ages; all thanks to John Nel. It was surreal as the rain poured with the very first stroke Dave Grohl made. These clouds then turned into a magnificent sunset as he told us to “sing the rain away”. It worked and I leant softly against the mosh-pit as the rainbow disappeared and opened a starry-night for good measure. I could never have imagined a better way to end off
one of the most memorable weekends I’ve had this year.
We’d left the Monday evening after FF (Daniel had been the BOB) and had a good night’s sleep back at his place. He had work the following morning, so I lazed around his flat and went to R&G in the afternoon for tea. They very kindly dropped me off at the train station as I had work the next day.
Wednesday 15/06 – Saturday 25th
Work. Every. Single. Day. Except Sunday the 19th (and a late-start on the following Monday). During my day-shifts I had the evenings free, but doing anything after such a long day of work (9am-6pm) doesn’t really happen unless it’s something in the city. By the time I get home from work it’s 9pm because I’ve chosen to grab a meal there…and the cycle’s always a distance!
However, I’ve made sure I’ve had some fantastic evenings with colleagues; chilling on a roof-top with guitars and my harmonica. Or cycling to Waalre and sitting by the edge of a dam with the boys I’ve made friends with in Waalre. This happens to include their postman who’s an avid
longboarder (using it for the post-route!) I’ve also seen a couple movies with Wout and spent some more time with Habib. The one evening Habib and I explored the industrial area where we stumbled upon an underground party being planned.
I also took the one day I had free (Sunday the 19th) to explore Amsterdam again. I left the Saturday evening straight after work, taking one of the late trains in to Amsterdam. I got to stay with the students in their flat again and had a few relaxed beers with them that evening. The next morning I went on an adventure through the city and started off by visiting the Zoo! It’s called “Artis”. I took the chance to visit all the animal enclosures that required close-up examination first, as there had just been a baby-elephant born and the tourists were eagerly queuing to see either only it’s rear-end or a piece of grey skin.
After the formidable tour of the zoo, and the amazing new animals that had been seen, intrepid Stu set out into the back-roads of Amsterdam. I was tired of stifling my walking pace only to be able to stare at the wobbling
rear of a fat, black, British woman. I was glad to take a few side-roads and ended up getting slightly lost. After an hour or so of walking, photo-taking and discovery of some very pretty alleys I followed the sight-seeing bus-route and the throngs of croc-wearing people to the Centrum. Immediately regretting my decision I once again headed out of the most expensive stretch in Holland. I wound up in an Australian-owned Café where I sank my weary legs into a bench and my teeth into a delicious hamburger. I got chatting to some guys from London who were pretty ‘relaxed’ and had a good laugh with/at them before bidding adieu.
I then took the train home and had a lot to tell O&O at the dinner-table that night. Amsterdam is such a beautiful city. It’s just really expensive and busy. I think I could cope with that kind of orderly chaos, if I had my own retreat and knew more of the bargain-crannies. I’ve certainly found some great quiet spots and inexpensive places to eat and drink. Win.
My mother and sister arrive tomorrow morning. The 25th marked my last day of work at De-V
and I’m officially on Holiday for the whole of July. My plans are to stay here until around the 7th of July. I then have an old Grove primary friend in France I can possibly visit. From France I’d head to Switzerland where some friends of mine who also longboard are residing. From Switz we’ll head to Czech Republic for a race (they’re racing). After the race in Kozakov we’ll head through to Germany, where I might branch off and visit Philipp again. It’s all pretty open and that’s how I like it! I don’t have to book flights as I’d be using the train mostly. You can carry more luggage and see more of the landscape!
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