A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise, also known as simply Lowlands, is a music festival, held annually in the Netherlands in August. Lowlands is, together with Pinkpop, one of the biggest and most popular music festivals in the country, with about 60,000 visitors, 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 Dutch climate - with the main stage's tent, Alpha, being approximately the size of a premiership football team's pitch.
The festival is held in Biddinghuizen, very close to the Walibi World amusement park.
Besides music (alternative music, pop, rock, dance, hip hop), there is also an indoor and an outdoor cinema, stand-up comedy, street theatre and theatre.
Lowlands began as 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 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 the 28 December, 1968 the festival was held a second time, postponed by a month from its original date of 23 November to try and get Jimi Hendrix to attend the event. This could not be arranged, and other large acts such as Jeff Beck and Jethro Tull were canceled. 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 began another 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