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‘Mister Pinkpop’ Jan Smeets says goodbye after fifty years

Jan Smeets is stepping down as Pinkpop’s festival director. After fifty years, “Mister Pinkpop” takes a step back and starts to enjoy “the free time and what he has built up with the festival,” Pinkpop announced tonight.

Smeets organized the first edition of Pinkpop in 1970 at the age of 25. The festival did not skip a year until 2020, making it the longest-running open-air festival in the world. Due to the corona crisis, the 51st edition of Pinkpop has been moved to next year.


The organization of Pinkpop is continued by the permanent team in combination with MOJO, which has been responsible for the programming since 1986. Smeets does not let go of the festival completely; he continues to assist the team as an advisor. “I may officially stop as director, but you are certainly not rid of me,” says 75-year-old Smeets.


Until the fiftieth edition of last year, it was “unthinkable” for Smeets to quit, although he had already passed retirement age. “With the time freed up because of Covid-19 and the fact that Jan has been struggling with his health in recent years, he came back to his point of view,” said Pinkpop.

Smeets was still hospitalized in April due to an infection. Because he falls into a risk group due to heart complaints – he was operated on his heart in 2018 – and operations, Smeets was tested for corona. That test turned out positive.

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“Mister Pinkpop” Jan Smeets says goodbye after fifty years


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