Kralingen Music Festival, Rotterdam, Netherlands June 1970

Kralingen Music Festival, Rotterdam, Netherlands June 1970
Authored By John Nicholson

The Kralingen Music Festival was a significant rock festival held in the Kralingse Bos, in the Kralingen neighbourhood of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, on 26–28 June 1970 and is an important one in the development of the European rock festival scene simply because it was the first multi-day event of its kind.

As many bands were over in England for the Isle of Wight and Bath festivals, they managed to attract some seriously good American bands such as Santana, The Byrds, It’s A Beautiful Day, Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna, Country Joe and the Fish as well as the cream of British progressives like Pink Floyd.

Approximately 100,000 attended. It was billed in Dutch as 'Pop Paradijs' and 'Holland Pop Festival 70.' As with Aachen in Germany, the main investor was Coca-Cola and their logo was draped from the stage. This was several years in advance oi sponsorship becoming a big thing at US festivals. I'm sure some of the heads present were not cool with Coke being promoted.

In both English and Dutch, the festival is also known by the English name Stamping Ground, and is often referred to as the European answer to Woodstock. Then again, wasn't everything? 

This festival became an influential event, as it turned out to be the beginning of the Dutch tolerance policy towards the old smokey dopey. Apparently there were undercover cops there but they did not arrest any of the users or small traders because there were just too many, and, as was almost always the case back in those days before the arrival of skunk, when people were stoned they caused no trouble, especially compared to crowds of drunks.

In 1971, a documentary about the festival came out called Stamping Ground, made by George Sluizer. The film was made for an international audience and is also known under the titles Love and Music, and in Germany Rock Fieber. Also, several books and exhibitions have been dedicated to the event.

A triple LP-boxset was released in 2010 which I must get hold of. I’ve never seen the film. In fact, I’d never even heard of it. I’ll have to hunt it down.

Since 21 September 2013, a memorial has been placed in the Kralingse Bos area, to commemorate the first multi-day open air pop festival on the European continent.

Friday, 26 June:

Saturday, 27 June:

Sunday, 28 June:


This just looks very Dutch somehow, doesn't it?

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