At Graspop Metal Meeting every cloud has a silver lining

Graspop Metal Meeting started off as wet as a tropical rainforest but that did absolutely nothing to dampen the spirits of the metal hordes. Four days later, as the 27th edition of Belgium’s premier metal festival draws to a close, it’s safe to say it’s been yet another extremely successful four days. Heads were banged, mosh pits exploded, kindred metal spirits came together and most of all: a torrent of memorable performances sent the metal faithful into rapture.

As was the case with recent editions, GMM2024 was completely sold out and the weather-beaten arena welcomed some 55,000 music enthusiasts per day as they soaked up both familiar classics and up-and-coming talent. Household names like Judas Priest, Scorpions, Alice Cooper and Deep Purple know the lay of the land in Dessel but like every year, the festival paid particular attention to the next generation of metal heroes. Polyphia, Slaughter to Prevail and Wargasm were just a few of the acts to make their Graspop debut this year.

Our homegrown bands delivered standout performances. Stake dropped by to celebrate their 20th anniversary on the huge South Stage. It was a particularly emotional occasion as guitarist Cis Deman will be leaving the band shortly to chase his American Dream. Brutus’s Graspop hazing challenged the tensile strength of a chock-full Metal Dome as the band met with a triumphant reception.

Honourable mention goes to Tool’s first GMM gig. The American prog metallers closed out the first festival day in grand style with a musical and visual display that dropped jaws across the festival arena. Metalcore sensations Bring Me The Horizon added a fourth notch to their GMM belt. Saturday marked their first headlining slot here and the Sheffield natives repaid that confidence in spades. They sent the Graspoppers off to bed – or to their inflatable mattress – with a blissful smile.

There’s no way around it: our favourite metal festival has seen much drier and less muddy editions. Fortunately the Graspop faithful are the most forgiving audience in the world. Thursday and Friday saw a proliferation of Wellingtons and ponchos as the metal masses took the meteorological conditions in stride. After rain comes sunshine and sure enough, on Saturday and Sunday the sun chased off any lingering rain clouds. After a wet and muddy start it was a wonderful feeling to be able to conclude the festival under sunny skies.

True to its motto ‘stay metal, stay safe & take care’, the GMM team pulled out all the stops to keep the meteorological inconveniences to a minimum. In addition to truckloads of mulch and straw in the festival arena, a number of preventive measures were in place to give festival-goers the experience of a lifetime.

With the car parks off limits all weekend long due to the heavy rainfall of the last few weeks, it was all hands on deck to set up a new mobility plan. A total of 75 additional shuttle buses were deployed to the ‘Kiss & Ride’ zone and car parks further away. Visitors heeded the organisers’ repeated appeals to come by bicycle: every day the free bicycle storage facility near the festival grounds accommodated over 12,000 bicycles, a 60% increase compared to last year! Visitors also made grateful use of the other alternatives on offer, such as the ‘Park & Bike’ and ‘Park & Train’. Last but not least, a big shout out goes to Belgian railway company NMBS and the bus companies who stepped up on such short notice.

This year camping Boneyard welcomed, amongst others, a supermarket and a barber shop but unfortunately mother nature made its mark here as well with several large puddles. Behind the scenes no effort was spared to assist afflicted campers if necessary. The unofficial world record for the world’s largest drier was shattered: campers could dry their clothes in a large hall with a constant supply of hot air. In conjunction with the municipality of Dessel, shelter was provided for metalheads whose tent had been flooded and the heated Red Cross stations both in the festival arena and at camping Boneyard were expanded considerably.

During the festival, the mayor of Dessel, Kris Van Dijck called on the city’s residents to make the many Graspoppers feel as welcome as possible. In a heartwarming show of solidarity, many residents gave the festival-goers access to their drive so they could park their car or even pitch their tent. Needless to say, we owe mayor Van Dijck and the inhabitants of Dessel a huge debt of gratitude.

Last but not least we would like to thank our Graspop Metal Meeting crew from the bottom of our hearts! You were on call 24/7, you assisted our many visitors and artists with a smile and gave it everything, even in the face of such challenging and unexpected conditions. You embody the true spirit of Graspop Metal Meeting!

Oh, one last thing: mark your calendars because next year’s edition of Graspop Metal Meeting will take place on 19-22 June 2025!

Note for the editor, not for publication:

For more information, please contact:

GMM Press Office


Download photos from Graspop Metal Meeting 2024 here.


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About Graspop Metal Meeting

Four days, five stages. Banging headliners, up-and-coming talent, rapid-fire blast beats and the biggest mosh pits. For the 27th time the Dessel plains will be the hotspot for the leading lights of the metal and hard rock scenes. Once again Dessel will shake to its very foundations. The leading and most all-round hard rock and metal festival of the Benelux takes place from 20-23 June 2024. GMM2024 is the hallmark event marked in red on every metalhead’s calendar.


Graspop Metal Meeting Zandbergen 104 2480 Dessel (BE)