Graspop Festival is held every June in Dessel, Belgium and has been running since 1996. It features international Rock and Metal bands. Dessel is 60km from Antwerp and 99km away from the capital Brussels. In my opinion it is the best organised festival I have been to.
Graspop Metal Meeting Festival Dates
Graspop Metal Meeting 2021 will be held from Thursday June 17th – Sunday June 20th. For 2021 the festival will last for 4 days however most years it has been a 3 day festival.
Checkout the List of European Metal Festivals for other festivals and dates.
Graspop Attendance Capacity
The daily capacity at Graspop is 50,000. The arena size is more than adequate for it not to feel too packed when at capacity and the stages are reasonably close to each other so it’s not too much effort if you are stage-hopping.
Standard Weekend Festival Ticket: These cover arena entry for all festival days. Tickets for 2021 are sold out. The tickets also include camping, free parking and access to the shuttle bus between Mol station and Dessel
Day Tickets: These can be purchased for any single day nearer to the festival date. The cost for 2021 is €105.
Graspop also sell a limited number of VIP weekend and VIP day tickets at an additional cost to the standard tickets.
You will need tokens to purchase food and drink at Grasspop Festival. The tokens (GMM Tokens) are basically plastic counters that have a value. All prices of food and drink at Grasspop are therefore displayed in tokens.
Tokens can be purchased from Ticketmaster in advance costing €2.65 per token and it works out better value than purchasing them at the festival. Once you have made your online purchase, you will get an order confirmation that can be handed in at the arena token collection desk and they will give you your tokens.
Tokens can also be purchased on the day but it works out slightly more expensive. €2.86 if you pay with card or €3 if pay by cash.
How Many Graspop Tokens Do I Need?
The number of Graspop Tokens you will need depends on how much food and drink you plan to purchase at the festival guide. To help you out, for a 3 day Graspop festival I buy 40 tokens in advance and then usually top up with another 10 at the festival. That covers 2 food purchases a day and about 5 half-litre beers a day.
Tip! Purchase the amount of tokens you think you will need in advance and if you eventually find you are a few short you can then purchase them in a small batch from the token machines at the festival (ideally paying by card which is cheaper).
Graspop Stages and Line Up
There are 5 stages at Graspop. Main Stage 1, main Stage 2, Marquee, Metal Dome and Jupiler Stage. The major acts that appear on the main stages alternate so there are no main stage clashes and usually about 5 – 10 minutes gap between the bands.
Bands for 2021 are yet to be announced
7-8 bands will play each stage per day. So around 35-40 bands per day.
The last bands usually finish around 01:30 each morning.
Tip! There will be band clashes across the stages. Use Clashfinder to help plan your itinerary. Note that the Clashfinder initially is just a guide and will only become accurate once official stage times have been announced.
Graspop Festival Location
The Graspop Festival address is: Zandbergen 102 2480, Dessel.
Dessel is located between Antwerp and Eindhoven
Travelling to Graspop Metal Meeting
You can travel to Graspop Festival by Train, Bus, Bicycle, Car/Motorbike or Plane. Public transport is recommended. Cycling is also recommended and very popular.
Graspop run a free shuttle bus between the nearest railway station (Mol) and the festival site and also from the Kiss & Ride Zone in Dessel. EventExpressBus company will be running a coach service
from some of the nearest airports to the festival (prices vary).
There is car parking close to the festival site and also a free Bicycle parking lot.
Travel Packages: A number of operators across Europe provide Travel Packages to Graspop Metal Meeting which include a festival ticket along with camping, hotel and transport options. See the Metal Festival Travel Packages page for more information.
Tip! You can travel to Eindhoven if necessary and there are busses and trains available to get you into Belgium and towards the festival location.
Camping at Graspop
There are 5 camping and accommodation options at Graspop:
BONEYARD – For pitching tents and is close to the main arena. It is first come first served regarding where you choose to pitch your tent. You can also rent a pre-pitched tent.
CAMPING SKULLOTEL – This campsite is 1.5km from the main arena and is intended to be a quieter campsite and is in a more luxurious setting than the BONEYARD
METAL TOWN – here you can book a pitch for motorhomes, folding caravans and tents. You can also book a festihut.
METAL PARK – This is an area 15km from the festival site where there is accommodation that can be pre-booked.
DEVIL’S LAKE – Cottages can be booked here, however it is 25km from the festival site.
Tip! If you plan to do some cooking, you will unlikely be allowed stoves with flames and gas canisters. Use a Solid Fuel Stove instead.
Tip! A Camping Chair is recommended when camping so you have somewhere to sit in the mornings and evenings before/after the bands and is essential if the ground is wet.
Hotels and Accommodation Local to Graspop Festival
Graspop is close to a number of small local towns that are from 2km to the festival site and there are bigger towns as you go further out. They have several alternative forms of accommodation if you prefer not to use the campsite or luxury camping options suggested by Graspop.
You can find a selection of accommodation options near Graspop, DESSEL on the interactive map below. You can zoom in/out and drag.
Tip! The hotels do get booked up quickly so if you know you are going to go to the festival, you are advised to then book your hotel ASAP before prices go up and/or they sell out.
Wristbands and Entry
Wristbands are handed out upon arrival.
What to Bring to Graspop Festival
Food & Drink at Graspop
All food and drink can be purchased using GMM tokens. You cannot pay cash or with a credit/debit card. If need be, a token can be broken in half to cover for instance a beer at 1.5 GMM tokens.
Food: There are plenty of outlets to buy food at Graspop Festival. These range from burgers, noodles, hot dogs, fries and many more options including vegan and vegetarian. As a guide, a large burger is 4 GMM tokens. A small burger is 2 GMM tokens and Fries are 2 GMM tokens.
Beer at Graspop: There are plenty of bars in the arena to buy beer. Standard Beers are 250ml and cost 1 GMM Token. Half-litre beers are also available in the middle of the festival arena costing 2 GMM Tokens. (So the price works out slightly cheaper to buy half-litres compared to 250ml).
Jupiler is the main beer sold at Graspop. The Belgian Beer Bar and Classic Rock Café sell speciality beers on tap which cost different amounts, but with a starting price of 1.5 GMM Tokens.
Soft Drinks: These are available from all the drink outlets. Usually in quite small plastic bottles costing 1 GMM Token. Note that the serving staff remove and throw away the bottle caps caps therefore you can’t easily save drink in the bottles for later.
Water: Water can be purchased at the bars. There are also free drinking water taps situated near the toilets within the area where you would wash your hands.
Graspop sometimes operate a drinking cup scheme whereby you purchase a cup initially and keep the cup with you during the day. If you buy 40 GMM tokens in advance you will be given a free cup at the arena entrance when you collect your tokens.
Food & Alcohol are not to be taken into main arena
Tip! Fill up on snack bars at the campsite before going to the arena in the morning.
Tip! In the surrounding roads as you walk to the main entrance, there are food and drink stalls that are much cheaper than in the main arena.
Graspop Metal Meeting Merchandise
Graspop has merchandise stalls for official merchandise and also a Metal Market full of stalls belonging to various traders.
The weather can be unpredictable. As Graspop is held in a field, it will get muddy if it rains so be prepared. There is shelter at the main food-hall from sun or rain and also some of the stages are in tents which therefore offer shelter. Some of the bars are also under cover and there is a covered beer garden.
Mobile Phone Charging: There are facilities available to either charge your phone securely or to rent a charging stick.
Wi-Fi: There is free Wi-Fi available at the main festival entrance, the arena and in the restaurant tent in Metal Plaza.
Graspop Festival App: Each year Graspop have available a festival app for iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded for free.