This summer, singer Sharon de Adel will be playing tons of festivals together with her band Within Temptation. In the Festival Resumé we’ll be talking about the highlights of her festival life. Where would she like to perform? And what is her greatest festival experience?
“One of my earliest festival memories is the first time I visited Pinkpop for a weekend 1993. I went together with a group of friends. I remember Lenny Kravitz playing, while the sun slowly set. At a certain point I sat on one of my friend’s shoulders, enjoying the music. I experienced so much freedom; I will remember that for a long time.”
“Of all the festivals we played, I think I have the best recollection of our first shows at Pinkpop 2001 and Dynamo Open Air 1997. I used to go to Pinkpop lots of times, and the boys (the other band members) used to go to Dynamo. The fact that we got the chance to play there as a band was so special. It truly felt like a milestone.”
“Right now, ‘The Reckoning’ and ‘Raise Your Banner’ my favorite songs to play. Both tracks are from the new record, so they still feel fresh. They are also really energetic songs, so the audience always gives a really great reaction. We actually noticed that the new material is really well received by our audience, so that’s nice.”
“How much wine I drink in a day? It depends. I’ll have a glass if I have a show later on the day, otherwise I won’t. I wouldn’t feel comfortable if I drank more. It also differs after a show. We like to celebrate after a gig, but sometimes I have to drive. Then I don’t drink.
This summer we’ll also be playing at the royal palace at Soestdijk, which is basically in my backyard. So you better believe we’ll be partying at my place afterwards.”
Indoor or outdoor stage?
“Outdoor stage. I think both options have pros and cons. At the end of the day, however, I feel like an outdoor show gives you more of that summer festival feeling. On top of that: outdoor venues are generally restricting when it comes to the production. You can pull out all the bells and whistles. I do have to admit that most of the production – like light shows and pyrotechnics – doesn’t really show in the afternoon, because it’s still too light out. Indoor everything is always clearly visible.”
Going to bed at 11 pm every day or staying awake for the whole festival weekend?
“I think I could really use my nights rest during a festival weekend. But if I had to choose, I would rather stay awake for the whole weekend; 11 pm is just too early.”
Burning sun or pouring rain?
“Burning sun, 100%. If I have to look at a show in the pouring rain, I would rather check out another show in a tent. In that respect, I might be a bit of a princess. Some people may think that rain can add a dramatic atmosphere to a performance, but in that case I say: get lost with your dramatic effect (laughs).”
“That’s a good question, I think we have been almost everywhere. It may not be a bucket list item, but one festival I would like to do again is Roskilde. It is a wonderful festival, but the only time that we performed there (in 2004), we weren’t really feeling it. Fortunately the audience was very enthusiastic, that’s the most important thing for us.”
“Yet we were not completely satisfied ourselves, so there was less connection with the audience. And that is what you try to work towards during a performance; that the band and the audience, as it were, come together and have a shared experience. Therefore, Roskilde is definitely worth a second chance.”
“The Prodigy’s performance at Rock’n Coke 2013, a festival in Turkey, has really stuck in my mind. We played earlier that day and went to the show of The Prodigy in the evening. I stood halfway through the field, on my flip-flops, waiting for it to start. And really, I didn’t know what happened to me. Those guys had so much energy, the audience lost it. That was a fantastic show to see. It’s truly a shame that we can no longer experience that.”
“We have just completed a tour in America. We liked it very much, although it was very cold (laughs). The shows during the European tour this summer will be slightly different. We are currently busy planning. We would like to try new things, also with the help of the new album (Resist), with which we have taken a fairly new path in terms of sound with many modern influences. On the other hand it will also be a traditional Within Temptation show.
In terms of production, you can now choose from all kinds of cool techniques that were not even possible five years ago. In that respect, setting up the show is sometimes just like being in a candy store. We already have many plans, but not everything is certain. In addition, we also want to save certain elements as a surprise!
We usually play different shows at festivals than at concerts. On the one hand you want to be able to put on a special show for your loyal fans that has something new to offer compared to previous shows. On the other hand, you also want it to be a fun performance for the general public that doesn’t knows us that well. This of course also varies per festival; on Appelpop you’re playing for a different kind of audience than on Graspop.”
“There isn’t necessarily one festival we look forward to the most; the great thing about festival shows is that each one has something special. Some festivals attract a more general audience, such as Appelpop. It’s a free festival, so all kinds of people come there. We have been coming to Graspop for years. This summer will be the eighth time. This year we will headline the festival for the first time, which is a real milestone for us. That will undoubtedly be a special show, too.
We also play Paaspop regularly. The backstage is very nice there. It is super nice and everything is thought of. That’s something you will remember after all the different festivals that we have visited. We also keep coming back to M’era Luna Festival in Germany with great pleasure. The audience there is very special: everyone is dressed very cool, with the most diverse, extravagant outfits. During performances, however, they are very calm and watch the stage with full attention.”