Lowlands is attended by around 55,000 visitors, spread over 200 acts and more than ten stages every year which are named according to the NATO phonetic alphabet apart from the Grolsch stage (named after the beer brewer Grolsch who has been the main sponsor of the festival for the last few years). The majority of stages are inside huge tents - insurance against the Netherlands climate - with the main stage's tent, Alpha, being approximately the size of a regulation football pitch.
The festival is held 68 kilometres (42 mi) east of Amsterdam in Biddinghuizen, Flevoland province; at Spijk en Bremerberg, which is adjacent to the Walibi Holland amusement park.
19, 20 and 21 August 2016, Lowlands festival, Biddinghuizen, NL
The festival, which has been held in Biddinghuizen since 1993, is a successor to one of the very first Dutch pop festivals: A Flight to Lowlands Paradise that was organised in November 1967 by the Utrecht-based artist and painter Bunk Bessel. This festival took place in the Margriethal of Jaarbeurs Utrecht. The entry fee was 10 Dutch guilders (approximately 4.50 euros), including breakfast. This 18-hour-long event had no top acts but included experimental theatre, dancing, poetry, films, body painting and massage. The Utrecht municipality did not pay up the promised subsidy of 8,000 guilders after the event.
On 28 December 1968, this festival was held a second time, postponed by a month from its original date of 23 November to try to get Jimi Hendrix to attend the event. This could not be arranged, and other large acts such as Jeff Beck and Jethro Tull were cancelled. However, Pink Floyd remained on the bill. In the end, the show was sold out to its capacity of 18,000 visitors, and for many people it was a cold and disappointing experience as they were unable to get inside. Inevitably, there was unrest and the police had to be involved.
In 1993, organizer Willem Venema revived this festival under the name A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise.
Life of Agony released a CD of their unplugged set from the Lowlands Festival in 1997, entitled Unplugged at the Lowlands Festival '97.