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Galeen has the reputation of being, perhaps, the most dismal of places in the Netherlands. The town itself is built upon the remains of medieval farm land. Up until the late 1970's the town's main industry was coal mining. Today, those coal mines are closed, but in their place arose chemical plants. There is one bright spot in the town of Geleen, a three day music festival known as the Pinkpop Festival.
The Pinkpop Festival was first held in Geleen in the year 1970, and has been held every year since. For this reason, the Guinness Book of World Records has listed the Pinkpop Festival as the oldest annual festival on record. Every year over 60,000 music lovers come to Galeen to hear music performed on 3 stages. In the 38 years the festival has existed, Galeen has been host to some of the world's most famous rock musicians including U2, Beck, The Foo Fighters, The Smashing Pumpkins and Fleetwood Mac.
Over the course of history, over 1.5 million people have come to Pinkpop; resulting in millions of dollars being added to the economy of Geleen. Indeed, Pinkpop is a stable of the life in Geleen via creating jobs and tourism to the area. Camp sites have been created and open just for the weekend of the Pinkpop Festival. Local delis, restaurants, and shops set up stands among the camp sites in effort to sell their products and goods. The Pinkpop Festival is so popular that it always sells out and forged tickets have become an issue. Legit tickets are sold at official ticket shops and at post offices in and around Geleen. The best way to get around and see all that Geleen has to offer is to rent a car, although public transport is good in the area also.