Photo of the week: Metalhead mod


Flanders’s biggest metal festival kicked off yesterday, but there’s an awful lot of cuddly among those devil horns

Thrash with the best

The Graspop music festival kicked off yesterday in Dessel, in the eastern wilds of Antwerp province. Non-metalheads love to pour over pictures from Flanders’s biggest heavy metal festival, ostensibly poking fun at the wash of black denim and shiny studs – though secretly intimidated by it all.

But Graspop is one of the friendliest, most progressive music festivals in Flanders. Newbies are often amazed at the comradery and general feel-good atmosphere, which extends to the less black-clad among us.

It appears that devil worshipping and ritual sacrifices are kept to a minimum, in favour of a visit to the on-site salon, metal market or the hook-a duck stall (no, not real ducks).

Headbanging there was aplenty yesterday, as Guns N’ Roses headlined an evening of hardcore, punk, power metal and good old fashioned heavy metal. Today continues, with dozens of bands, including Iron Maiden, while tomorrow and Sunday find Megadeth, Marilyn Manson, Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne taking the stage.

This year Graspop extended its usual three days to four. All combi and day tickets are sold out.

Photos by Yorick Jansens/BELGA