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If you think of Easter – ‘Pasen’ in Dutch – then you are inclined to think of a long bank holiday weekend, tasty food, enjoying being with your family, and perhaps even of Paaspop. The music festival that has taken place since in Schijndel (Brabant) since 1974 has been inextricably linked to Easter since 1985.
Paaspop has kicked off the festival season in the Netherlands for years now. A 37-hectare grass field specially installed at the edge of Schijndel for this festival is transformed into an exceptionally ambient festival each year. A festival that appeals to the imagination in the festival world and then we are not only talking about its dimensions. Over 100,000 visitors, of which 11,000 stay at the campsite. Fifty-five trucks full of scaffolding for the decor and an assembly and disassembly time of 2 1/2 months. Producer Joost Meulensteen has his hands full making sure everything runs smoothly. We spoke to him shortly after the festival.
“The Greatest Show On Earth” – Event Manager Joost Meulensteen
‘If I could look back with satisfaction at the weekend? Yes, you could say that. We noticed that everyone, not only the suppliers and crew but also the visitors were ready for a good party. And indeed, we gave that to everyone, including ourselves. We did justice to the theme of Paaspop: “The Greatest show on earth”.’
Meulensteen is the festival’s main producer. An event’s man in heart and soul. He doesn’t consider it work but more an ‘exceptional hobby’ that he does with great passion. The grass plain is transformed into a mini-Las Vegas in a couple of few weeks. Each decor is more beautiful and more extravagant than the next. The amount of lighting and technique decorating the decors and creating the atmosphere cannot be described in words. ‘Indeed, I am still amazed sometimes when I see the aftermovie a few days after the event. I ask myself; did we really manage to do this?’
One team, one task
The festival organisation has been working with Boels Rental for decades. ‘Well, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That maybe a cliché, but Boels really rents out everything and provides input to solutions that work. The engagement and level of service is excellent. The contact with Dennis Dubbelman’s events team runs smoothly. They understand the kind of pressure we are under and act accordingly. Meulensteen is particularly enthusiastic about what he himself calls, the one team, one task principle, based on the premise of availability, expertise and flexibility. ‘It means the production runs smoothly and that is the most important thing to me.’
For Boels Rental, Paaspop is an extremely challenging job, explains Dennis Dubbelman. Indeed, a lot of expertise comes in to play, mainly in terms of machinery and power supplies. The advantage is that we have been doing this for years and know what Paaspop expects from us. That is extremely helpful when it comes to supplying aerial platforms, site carriers, climate solutions for tents, power supplies, catering equipment and the light towers, among other things.’
Dennis has mentioned them already, the light towers. This year we used a hybrid light tower for the first time. ‘We notice that sustainability is gaining in importance within events. During Paaspop we worked with Joost Meulensteen’s team to look at the options and what works. The light towers are a good step in the right direction.’ Joost adds: ‘In the events world, it is about looking for a balance between enhancing sustainability and implementation. We want to be seriously engaged with the climate and see what the possibilities are. Future techniques will certainly help us with that. It’s good that Boels is also moving with the times in terms of zero and low emissions. So in that case, Boels Rental will be our partner in the future too.’