On-Trade Progress’ Chief Editor Mike Underwood speaks with Pascal Faes, Managing Director at De Feesttafel, the events company behind Belgium’s leading Heavy Metal Festival; Graspop Metal Meeting.
Interior design within Hospitality Venues is a regular focus for us as we aim to bring our thousands of readers and followers the best ideas for enhancing the aesthetics of their establishments. In addition to all of the licensees and operators who read our publication each month, there are a lot of festival and event organisers. So when I was presented the opportunity to speak with some of the organisers at one of Europe’s most popular Rock Music Festivals, I thought it would be highly informative for me to gather some information on the Design and Furnishing requirements for such a heavily attended event.
Graspop Metal Meeting is an annual event, held in the Anwerp region of Belgium towards the end of June. Graspop was established in 1996 and despite being hosted by a relatively small location, has been known to attract crowds of over 150,000 and have headliners such as Motorhead, The Ramones and Iron Maiden! With such high numbers passing through the gates each year, it is essential to make sure that every aspect of the event is of the highest quality and able to withstand such heavy crowds.
For their furniture and design needs, Graspop uses Belgian furniture manufacturer, FlexFurn. FlexFurn’s range of folding and stacking furniture is targeted towards hospitality venues and events. They manufacture a range of unique, bespoke and stand-out products that could really transform your event and create a special occasion for everyone visiting. I had a few questions for Pascal about the festival and how they worked with their suppliers:
Tell me about Graspop
Graspop Metal Meeting is a large annual metal festival, running since 1996. It attracts more than 150.000 visitors over a 3 day period in June by showcasing the most popular international bands in the genre. Since 1996, Iron Maiden have been the most frequent headliners, visiting 8 times. This year, some of the better known bands were Rammstein, Scorpions, Deep Purple, Monster Magnet and Sepultura to name but a few.
Did you have a plan in mind when choosing the design and aesthetics for the festival?
Event company De Feesttafel did the Graspop Metal Meeting, using FlexFurn furniture exclusively. We have worked with Pascal Faes, owner of De Feesttafel for a couple of years and he knows our sense of style. They started out with the number of seating places we wanted to create, the atmosphere of the festival and the corporate identity. Once they knew that, the plan followed quickly. Because it is a metal festival, we opted for a combination of black and red which suits the heavy metal vibe perfectly. We also tried to buy a diverse mix of furniture, so we can also use this for other major events in the future. The fact that FlexFurn´s furniture is multifunctional, (you can easily change the table tops of Flow and Kubo tables, and you can even change the seat pads of the Kubo Bar barstools) makes it an investment that will have a very good ROI.
Why did you choose to work with FlexFurn?
We have been working with Flexfurn for a long time and one of the most important reasons is that they produce quality furniture at a fair price. Equally important, is that they offer a fully consultative service, taking into account our needs and also handle all of the logistical problems; including how to transport, install and store the furniture.
How was your experience of working with FlexFurn?
Very pleasant. The FlexFurn team made sure we got the correct quotations quickly and they were very much “in the know” of our needs and our project. Our deadlines were respected, which was very important to us because the festival does not wait! Materials were delivered on time and because they have a good logistics partner, everything looked good and nothing was damaged. A couple of items were even delivered on site by FlexFurn, which saved us time and money!
How do you choose your suppliers and what do you look for?
What´s on offer, the quality, the price and the availability are most important to us. FlexFurn is a supplier that understands this.
What are the future plans for Graspop?
We will continue providing a quality, genre specific music festival. It is important to keep working with the perfect suppliers to ensure everything runs smoothly. We will make some changes to the setup and the look every year, so it does not become boring or outdated and we are certain that FlexFurn is the right partner for us to do this.