Azkena Rock Festival

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The Azkena Rock Festival (a.k.a. ARF) is one of the most relevant Spanish rock festivals. It is celebrated in Vitoria-Gasteiz (Álava) organized by Last Tour International. ARF is notorious due to its diverse cartel of groups and for the submerse 'chill' environment of the festival. It is aimed to underground public, escaping commercial mainstream agenda.

In 2006, the festival sold over 44,000 tickets, the most in its history, due to the presence of Pearl Jam. Some other bands included Iggy & The Stooges, Wilco, Alice Cooper, Social Distortion, Tool, Queens of the Stone Age, Ray Davies, Bad Religion, Sex Pistols, Deep Purple, The Black Crowes, Hanoi Rocks, Fun Lovin Criminals, Kiss, Slash, Imelda May or Bad Brains. In 2011 the festival celebrated the 10th year anniversary with the "rocker" topic: Las Vegas.


2002 edition

The inaugural festival was celebrated in the Azkena Gasteiz and was organized by Muskerra (an organization of the Basque Country).The duration was of three days:12–14 September 2002.

First edition of the ARF
12 de septiembre 13 de septiembre 14 de septiembre
Backyard Babies Supersuckers Mudhoney
The Revolvers The Bellrays Five Horse Johnson
Sex Museum Racing Slabs Diamond Dogs
Federation X Bonzos


The second edition of the festival was the big jump it needed to become as good as it was planned to be. Three new things made the festival a great rock place where people could enjoy very different things always with this rock music. The first one was that took plaze in Mendizorroza, Vitoria-Gasteiz. The best point of that year was that there were two different stages and all the concerts took place one after other with little gap between performances. The Stooges were chosen as the headline act that year. In total 12,000 fans attended to the little city of Vitoria so they could enjoy the Azkena Rock Festival. This made money and they used that for the next editions.

Second edition of the ARF
12 September 13 September
Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 1 Stage 2
Fireballs Of Freedom The Dictators
Iggy & The Stooges Ray Davies
Cracker The Hellacopters
The Cramps Steve Earle & The Dukes
The Jayhawks Teenage Fanclub
Ben Vaughn Hermano
Jason Ringenberg & The Nashville Allstars The Jeevas
La Secta Cherry Valence
Zein? Jet Lag
Paniks Petti & Etxeko Utza


This was the most accidented edition in the history of the festival.Some names were known in may of 2004 that were: Urge Overkill, Redd Kross, The Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies, Turbonegro, The Soundtrack Of Our Lives, Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart, Josh Rouse Band, Hoodoo Gurus. In the most important or the heads was the group from NY, DKT/MC which were the heads of the first edition in Spain. In late June it was confirmed the rest groups which were: Velvet Revolver,[1] Bide Ertzean, Five Horse Johnson, Jonny Kaplan & The Lazy Stars, Mark Lanegan Band, Matthew Sweet, The Mooney Suzuki which finally did not attend.

On 12 July it was said on the radio that the New York Dolls were coming and this made the festival even more attractive. This was confirmed in the news and newspapers. The festival took place over four days rather than the previous two. The first day was 9 September, with performances by the New York Dolls, Five Horse Johnson and Urge Overkill.

Third edition of the ARF
9 September 10 September 11 September 12 September
Carpa Mondosonoro Stage San Miguel Stage Azkena Stage San Miguel Stage Azkena Carpa Mondosonoro
New York Dolls Radio Birdman Turbonegro Roger McGuinn
Five Horse Johnson DKT/MC5 Flamin' Groovies Mike Farris
Urge Overkill Ryan Adams Violent Femmes Walter Salas Humara
Fun Lovin' Criminals Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies
Mark Lanegan The Wildhearts
Urge Overkill Matthew Sweet
Josh Rouse Obligaciones
Mother Superior Backyard Babies
Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart The Silos
Bide Ertzean Jonny Kaplan & The Lazy Stars


4th edition of the ARF
1 September 2 September 3 September
Stage Heineken Stage Azkena Stage Heineken Stage Azkena Stage Heineken Stage Azkena
Wilco The Dwarves Monster Magnet
The Steepwater Band Deep Purple Queens of the Stone Age
Los Deltonos Social Distortion The Pogues
The Soulbreaker Company Wilco Bad Religion
Gov't Mule Television
Drive-By Truckers Beasts of Bourbon
Masters of Reality Juliette & The Licks
Rose Hill Drive Electric Six
Towers of London Brant Bjork & The Bros
Split 77 Hash


5th edition of the ARF
31 August 1 September 2 September
Stage Heineken Stage Azkena Stage Heineken Stage Azkena Stage Heineken Stage Azkena
The Misfits New York Dolls Nick Oliveri and the Mondo Generator
Iggy & The Stooges Buckcherry Pearl Jam
Green On Red Redd Kross My Morning Jacket
The Waterboys Big Star Wolfmother
Young Fresh Fellows Eagles of Death Metal Supagroup
Guarro Gang Of Four The Nomads
Sharon Stoner The Bottle Rockets Kim Salmon & The Surrealists
Marah Berri Txarrak
Uzzhuaia Kriston


The 6th edition of the ARF
31 August 1 September
StageHeineken Carpa Rock Heineken Stage Heineken Carpa Rock Heineken
Heavy Trash The Answer
Tool DKT/MC5
Diamond Dogs & The Silver Cats Horns Hoodoo Gurus
Roky Erickson & The Explosives The Mooney Suzuki
Giant Sand The Cynics
Brant Bjork & The Bross Quique González y la Aristocracia del Barrio
Two Gallants Super 400
Josele Santiago Clawfinger
Los Coronas Sexty Sexers
Las Furias Hoey & The Mussels

This year was considered to be a transition year because of the many rumors of the abolishment of the festival. But finally 40,000 people attended over the three days duration. It was not until summer that it was decided that the headline act was Tool. It was not as successful as it was supposed it was going to be.


This year was again rumored that the Azkena was lost because the bad organization of the festival and also because of the constant changes they made with the choices.But this year the Ayuntamientoof Vitoria-Gastiz made an effort and paid €500.000 so it would last three days. The first groups were known before the local government had given approval to do the Azkena for these days. The headliner was Dinosaur Jr. and that was the reason why lots of people attended this year.

7th edition of the ARF
4 September 5 September 6 September
Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 1 Stage 2
The Lemonheads The Quireboys The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Marky Ramone Blind Melon Los Lobos
The BossHoss Sex Pistols Dinosaur Jr.
Radio Moscow Ray Davies The Jayhawks
Hayseed Dixie Danko Jones The Gutter Twins
Yawning Man The Sonics Duff McKagan's Loaded
Lagartija Nick Blue Cheer Orange Goblin
Hanoi Rocks John Cale & Band
Truly Sex Museum
Animal Alpha Baby Woodrose
Sorkun The Royal Cream
Viaje a 800 Las Culebras


In 2009 the Azkena Rock again gaining strength with one of his best posters in years thanks to the introduction of big-name legends like The Black Crowes or Alice Cooper. The performance of the band of brothers Robinson was one of the most anticipated and did not disappoint, giving a real lesson in excellence. Electric Eel Shock were perhaps the only band that could have followed such a show and close the main stage in outstanding fashion. Alice Cooper's concert was full of old tricks and classic, leaving a big smile on her fans old and new.

8th edition of the ARF Line Up [2]
14 May 15 May 16 May
Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 1 Stage 2
Hardcore Superstar Electric Eel Shock The Toy Dolls
Juliette & The New Romantics The Zombies TSOOL
The Breeders The Black Crowes Alice Cooper
The Freaks Soul Asylum Fun Lovin Criminals
White Denim El Paperboy Reed Mike Farris & TRRR
Burning Bad Brains Molly Hatchet
The Inspector Cluzo Dr Dog Woven Hand
Jenny Dee & The Deelinquents The Fabulous Thunderbirds The New Christs
Howlin Rain Jonny Kaplan and The Lazy Stars
Elliot Blood Dan Auerbach
Jon Ulecia & Cantina Bizarro Reverend Parker


  1. ^ Velvet Revolver, finalmente, no actuaron. Cf. crónica de Rockdelux.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2013-09-20. 

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