Every year, at the end of June, 152,000 metal lovers from all over the world travel to Dessel. In this small Belgian village, they can see their favourite bands play during one of Europe’s biggest metal festivals: Graspop Metal Meeting. As well as striking a chord with Iron Maiden fans, this event also has a fun fair with Ferris wheel and vegan food trucks for the subtly hard core. Once a year, ever since the festival started in 1996, Dessel turns into a metal Mecca. “We even have a metal village now,” says Graspop promoter assistant Delphine Deconinck. She is already preparing for this year’s edition, which will include bands such as Volbeat, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden.

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