‘Life without Pinkpop…never’

P!nk, Robbie Williams and The Red Hot Chili Peppers headline the 52nd edition of Pinkpop this weekend. And tomorrow through Sunday names like The War on Drugs, Niall Horan, The Script, Queens of the Stone Age, Ellie Goulding, Goldband and Machine Gun Kelly. To whom this certainly also applies is Tirsa Krusen, a Limburger with a special story. As a kid, she thought Pinkpop would be her Plan A, without a Plan B. And she succeeded.

Tirsa Krusen (32) was born and raised in Brunssum, not even walking distance from Pinkpop Valhalla Megaland in Landgraf. So Limburg at its best? Anyway, she accepts via a video link from a cabin at the under-construction festival site. “I love Rowen Heise, Limburg beer and I am such a true Burgundian who loves club life and carnivals. A true Limburger.

8-year-old Tirsa was trapped in a Pinkpop construction fence

You’ve already interned at Buro Pinkpop in 2011, but what’s your history with the festival?

Tirsa Krusen: “At a very young age I would always go for a walk around Pinkpop with my parents. In 1999, when I was 8 years old, Robbie Williams performed just like this year. Then my hand went through a construction fence But stuck. There was some panic and then I ended up backstage to bandage that hand. We had to wait for an ambulance as the matter was serious enough. I then saw what it looked like backstage and then I already decided Done: I want to be there later, I want to do something there. A real ‘later when I’m older’ feeling. From the age of 12, the age when it was allowed, I did a Visited Pinkpop as a guest. I used to play in bands when I was a bit older, but I actually find organizing around the band more fun than playing myself.

‘Apply next Friday’

“Jan Smits did the Kunstbende Limburg Foundation as a project, also as a talent development process. People develop there, on the shelves, but also ‘behind it’. I volunteered there and did my internship there. What I knew for sure: I’m in Pinkpop now, but Pinkpop is also my end goal. Since then I started at the bottom of the ladder. I counted all the shirts, I took the food coupons. In 2013, Jan called to say that a staff member was retiring and if I would like to take over. Only three people worked for Jan Smits at the time, so that was the opportunity. Jan said, “You will have to apply to me on Friday.” I went and later I was able to complete my study International Media and Entertainment Management.

Pinkpop P!  nk
P! NK during a previous visit to the Netherlands: Maliveld in The Hague. Photo: ANP / Paul Bergen

Are 32 and you have already completed your 10 year work anniversary for a boss…

“Yeah, isn’t that cool? However, there are some men who have worked for Pinkpop that have been around longer than I have. But I’m especially proud that I started at the very bottom of that ladder. I have spent a long time in the crew department but since 2019 I have been doing additional work. I felt I was ready for a big step up and then became the festival manager. Shortly after that came Corona. We had to deal with that for a very long time. Don’t mind the timing, but then we had plenty of time to develop Pinkpop further.”

Life without Pinkpop…

Can you imagine life without Pinkpop?

“No, never. Never. That’s what I had to do, I’d be here. I also never had a Plan B, despite everyone telling me it would be wise. Luckily, Plan A worked and was completed.” The Pinkpop team feels like family now, I must say. Pinkpop is not just work. My immediate colleague Nick Murray (Subway Talked to him last year about the first year without Mr. Pinkpop Jan Smeets) I see not only in the office, but often in the evenings or on weekends. We share fun things and less fun things too. Work and personal life are intertwined here and it is going very well. No, I really don’t want a life without Pinkpop. never.”

What an awful Corona and Pinkpop-less year you must have had.

“I have to say I’m having a bit of an identity crisis. We’re always active, always working and doing fun things. When everything calmed down, I wondered who I really am without my work. Good luck Since, as mentioned, we continued to develop Pinkpop for the future during those years. We were able to find peace and space for her. We tried to see the positive in it.

job of a festival manager

Pinkpop only lasts a few days, you might say in the blink of an eye. Can you explain what a festival manager does all year round?

“Haha, that’s the question my friends and family always ask. “So what do you do the rest of the year?” We are building a city which is twice the size of the Landgraf. For that a lot of facilities have to be arranged. In practical terms, for security… it means we always come up with new things and for them make designs and illustrations. And make sure 7000 employees working during those three days know what to do and can give correct answers to visitors. It is also important to look at new festival trends and innovate, Pinkpop With 2.0, as we call it, I like to keep myself busy and a lot. If I am doing well throughout the year, ideally I will have nothing to do during Pinkpop.

Cup to Cup on Pinkpop

When it comes to innovation, sustainability has played a major role at Pinkpop lately. What’s new this weekend?

“This is the most important innovation cup to cup-System. It was rolled out and tested this week with Bruce Springsteen performing at the Pinkpop Grounds. From 2024 it is mandatory for higher percentage from govt. single use Recycle plastic cups. Each visitor receives a coin at the entrance and for it a cup with what you order at the bar. If you don’t want more, keep your cup with you. Or you return it to the bar or recycle zone and get another coin back. That way we make sure we get all the cups back for recycling, too.”

There’s the old image of students spending the entire weekend at a fest browsing cups to score drink coupons…

“Yeah, if it’s good, and he’s no different. What we get in return is a clean, empty field without clutter, which means a lot to us. In any case, it went great with Bruce Springsteen, So he should work on Pinkpop as well.”

pinkpop pinkpop without mr

The name of Jan Smeets (up to and including the last edition from 1970) is mentioned a few times. We ask you for the last time, but do you miss him? How was the first Pinkpop without Jan?

“He still walks into our office regularly, haha, so I still see him. Like Bruce Springsteen, he just sits in the front. I have so much respect for Jan Smets, I gotta put that first.” . They literally picked me up from school and gave me the opportunity to gain experience. I would never have been able to do that at any other company. Without the structure you have, Jan throws you into the deep end and you can find out for yourself. As a result, you bump into walls, you make mistakes and that’s certainly not bad. In that regard, I owe a lot to Jan Smets in terms of personal development.

mr pinkpop jan smeets
Jan Smits says goodbye to Pinkpop after 50 years Image: ANP

‘People often said A and then I thought B’

Tirsa Creusen also has a ‘but’. Not serious: “We’re about 45 years apart, that’s clear. Jan often said A and then I’ve already thought B. And explain social media to her, no opening. I like to like and I’ve developed those things.” who I come up with. We often disagreed on that, for January their Pinkpop was almost fully developed. Armin van Buuren went off in 2019 and we had The Cure before that, without any of other shows. I got a little adventurous and then came up with a silent disco for all those people who don’t like The Cure that much and would be bored for two hours. Jan didn’t like it at all. Luckily, he The silent disco was a great success and of course I brought Jane into it. Then she loved it too. We often went to all kinds of performances and we laughed a lot. We have the same liking for fries, so sometimes Sometimes we eat good fries together.

Perfect festive season ahead

What kind of Pinkpop 2023 are we heading towards in your words?

“I expect a very good edition with a good temperature. Last year it was very hot. Now we get good sunshine and no rain. I like that too and that way you can come to Pinkpop wearing nice clothes Also, I think we have three very good headliners. I myself am very curious about P!NK. I myself saw him once as a Pinkpop visitor. I don’t really remember the year, but Then she flew over the audience. I also want to point out step 4. It includes lesser known names, but I really like it. In short, I hope it’s fun for everyone with lots of good people Will be a great party.

old man bands

P! NK is a good exception, but even the biggest festivals in Europe are still dominated by men in terms of headlining, not to mention ‘Old Man Bands’. Is it just a matter of supply and what do you think about it?

“You know what I think? In Pinkpop you just see the biggest acts. Whether it’s a man or a woman, it doesn’t really matter to me personally. The fact that three days in that area To have 70,000 people is much more important to me. And those people enjoy. There were many more male artists in the past, we should not forget that. Who knows, in the future it will be with names like Taylor Swift or Billie Eilish. may change.

Speaking of those 70,000: If I look at it properly, I can still buy tickets for all three days of the festival. Other festivals sometimes completely sell out within 5 minutes. Is Pinkpop worried about this? Or is it more frequent and business as usual?

“That last one. I hear it often and I have to laugh. I don’t think many people know that Pinkpop sold out in a jiffy when it debuted in 2014. And that was under the Rolling Stones. Pinkpop has a lot of space.” So it’s normal. Or rather: this year all three days will be busy, so we don’t really need to worry. It often happens that one day falls short, but that’s not the case now.”

Pinkpop Tips from Tirsa

Would you mind creating a timetable for Pinkpop visitors with the five things Tirsa Krusen thinks we must see?

“Then I immediately say P! nk, because I have good memories of it. I think she’s just going to hit it. OneRepublic sounds great to me. Then I’m also curious about Maddoux, who plays in our Limburg Will open the tent stage as Gaurav. I’ll definitely go see that one. Fourth, it’s again, silent disco. We’re going to turn it completely upside down and this is one area you must have been in. My own background is pop punk and punk rock, so my last tip is electric callboys: good hard guitars.

Lastly, which is your favorite festival? Pinkpop is not allowed!

“Haha ok. I’m a loyal visitor to Zwarte Kraus.

For the latest news about Pinkpop (or the latest tickets), visit the website of the Netherlands’ oldest festival.

One Kiss Goodbye or Countless Farewells for a Legendary Rock Quartet?

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Tirsa started as an intern at Pinkpop and is now Festival Manager: ‘A Life Without Pinkpop… Never’

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