Following sets by international rock stars at the Holland International Blues Festival in Drenthe last weekend, on Saturday, it will be Groningen’s turn to host another world-famous performer: Sting will be headlining the first edition of the Stadspark Live Festival.
By Hans de Preter
The municipality of Groningen is anticipating massive crowds for the festival, which will kick off at 1 p.m. at the horse racing track in the Stadspark on Saturday, 22 June. Stadspark Live is a new northern pop festival which will bring Dutch and international stars alike to the north: Sting, who is equally well known for his work with The Police in the ‘80s and his solo career, will be the main attraction. Famous Dutch acts such as Anouk, Ronnie Flex & Deuxperience and Daniel Lohues, and British ska act The Specials and singer songwriter Tom Odell will round out the bill.
In addition to the musical acts, Dutch comedians Bert Visccher, Arjen Lubach and Alex Ploeg will keep the crowd entertained between sets. Half a dozen food trucks and other vendors will also be on hand for festival-goers to grab a bite.
Groningen has played host to world-famous artists before, but it has been 20 years since the Stadspark has been the stage for such high calibre acts: The Rolling Stones and Tina Turner played sold out performances in the park in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s.
To ensure that the expected influx of visitors goes smoothly the Groninger Internet Courantreports that parts of the Paterswoldseweg and Parkweg will be closed to traffic between 11 a.m. and 1 a.m. on the day of the festival. Residents of the Parkweg are advised not to park their cars on the Parkweg itself on Saturday, June 22, due to the anticipated turn out.
The municipality has notified local residents that they may already be facing some delays starting on Monday, 17 June as the festival facilities are being set up. Local disruption will also follow the end of the festival: additional traffic affiliated with the event is expected to in the area though Wednesday the 26th of June.
The municipality is also advising residents of the Laanhuizen neighbourhood to avoid the Parkweg – Paterswoldseweg intersection and to drive through Hoornsediep and James Wattstraat instead.
Stadspark Live is not the only new festival in the city this summer: at the end of the August, the two-day Hullabaloo festival will be held for the first time in Groningen. English singer Craig David, 2019 Eurovision winner Duncan Laurence and the popular Belgian artist Oscar and the Wolf will be headlining the late August music event.