A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise 2010: Rated!
Biddinghuizen, Netherlands - 20-22 August
Massive Attack: 'kept the crowd dancing and buzzing'
- Photographer:Jonathan Rainbird
Jonathan Rainbird - 01 September 2010
Overall – 8/10
A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise, or Lowlands as it’s more widely known, is the traditional close of the Dutch festival season. Set in a picturesque location in the heart of the Dutch lowlands, the festival is next to an amusement park, Walibi World, and is flanked by woodland and nestled on the banks of a gorgeous lake.
With nearly 60,000 party-goers experiencing over 200 acts including an eclectic mix of music, stand up comedy, poetry, games and a cinema spread over 10 different stages; as well as street artists, and even a tattoo parlour, there is something here to keep every festival fan happy.
A really fun and laidback event, everyone seems to have a great time, whatever they've been up to. Lowlands is the Dutch feel-good event of the summer.
Getting there and back – 7/10
Access to the site is based upon a Park and Ride system with a number of satellite car parks being relieved every 10-15 minutes by coaches direct to the festival. Considering that nearly 60,000 people converge on a small village about an hour east of Amsterdam, the fact that queues are less than an hour, indicate how well this operates. However, if for any reason you end up parked in backstage parking, this is incredibly easy to drive into, but much, much harder to get out of due to blinkered security personnel that prevent pedestrians crossing a road deemed perfectly safe for cyclists to cross. This forces a detour, walking against the flow of people leaving the festival, taking an hour just to get back to the car. Madness.
The Site – 7/10
The T-shaped layout has the three main stages at each extremity, with smaller stages along the route. Despite a tendency for the site to get bottle-necked, it is easier to get from stage to stage than in previous years. We're not sure what changed, but whatever has, worked.
Atmosphere – 9/10
The best way to describe it is Holland's mini Glastonbury. It has a similar eclectic feel to it, and is the only festival here in The Netherlands where people buy a ticket, “just because its Lowlands”, rather than the line up. This is another one of those festivals where you can really have a great time without setting eyes on any bands.
Music – 8/10
Musically there is something for everyone, a great mixture of new, local and established international artists. The only complaint is the scheduling, with Massive Attack and QOTSA clashing on the final night when Saturday's line-up seems a bit weaker.
Massive Attack – 8/10
The incredible legendary trip-hoppers keep the crowd dancing and buzzing, mixing tracks from their new album ‘Heligoland’, in with the classics from ‘Blue Lines’, ‘Protection’ and ‘Mezzanine’. Their music is timeless, just as thought-provoking, poignant and relevant today as it was 20 years ago.
Pendulum – 9/10
Finally noticed by the Dutch. The last few who never heard of this sensation listened, danced and fell in love. Live, Pendulum are irresistible. Dance Lowlands Dance!
Beach House - 7/10
Dreams with a bite or exciting lullabies? The crowd in the India tent are intrigued and float away to their own seventh heaven. Although Victoria Legrand confesses that she's doesn't like being on stage, we can only hope they will keep performing.
Triggerfinger - 9/10
This Belgium threesome must have thought: “Every girl's crazy for a sharp dressed man.” But even if they would have performed in bin bags, they would still have the crowd going wild with their high-speed blues-rock and their incredible riffs.
Queens Of The Stone Age - 8/10
The perfect headliner. After a day of excitement, drinks and partying, it's great to get down to earth with the overpowering rock of the honest, and appreciative, QOTSA. Josh Homme, makes it clear how much they are enjoying being back, but then confuses the crowd with no encore. Strange end to the day, the headliners perform a great set and bond with the crowd but end by being booed.
30 Seconds To Mars – 2/10
Jared Leto doesn’t have a very good time at Lowlands. Of course it's hard to win over the crowd after they were hypnotized by Pendulum. But isn't it a bit your own fault Jared? Trying to copy them by letting the crowd crouch and jump up and then getting grumpy over because the audience is l tired? Or getting annoyed when the crowd is reluctant to start a mosh pit? Jared, you're the lead singer of a emo-rockband! Stop behaving like a spoilt child, you ruined the show.
Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77 - 5/10
Promoted as a twister of punk, electro, acid, classic and hip hop, Bloody Beetroots starts off mainly as combination of Daft Punk and Faithless and sounds later more like Nine Inch Nails on acid. Although at first it feels like you've been bitten by an infectious dance bug, later their music felt like something you wanted to shake off. This got old real fast. Oh and the promised scary masks, er, two coloured stockings would have been a better description.
Foals - 3/10
The influences of Bowie and Bloc Party seem to sometimes take over. It’s sad since the (proven) potential is present in all five of the band members.
The Kooks - 5/10
Maybe because dinner time has just finished or the band’s lack of new songs, but somehow The Kooks can’t really get Alpha rocking. The mutual will is there, the music is smooth and excellent, but it still comes across as a warm up.
Best of Rock DJ's – 4/10
When you're following after QOTSA's headlining show closer, it might be an idea to include a few more rock tracks, rather than all too much folk and pop. People dance never the less, a lot more to do with not wanting the festival to finish rather than the choice of music.
Not a band. This is Lowlands own rock basement in which DJ's and Lowlands staff take their turn in playing rock songs: the first uses records and the latter instruments. During which the Lowland visitors pretend to be Rock Gods, dancing on the bar. The show is made by all!
Special mention herewith is the house band 'Music is a Weapon': ska/punk performed with love.
Stand up comedy workshops and stand up comedy master classes run by professional comedians. The best amateurs get to perform in the workshop stand up comedy show. As much fun as the performances of the professional comedians elsewhere in the festival area.
Arthouse movies, sexy, provoking and hilarious short films, documentaries about music, etcetera. Good entertainment while letting your feet rest.
Early birds can wake up singing, dancing or with tai chi.