Montebello Rock

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Montebello Rock
Logo mblw-opt.png
Location(s)Montebello, Quebec, Canada
Years active2005, 2007–present
Founded byAlex Martel

Montebello Rock, formerly known as Amnesia Rockfest and Montebello Rockfest, is an annual outdoor Rock festival that takes place each June in Montebello, Quebec, Canada. Founded in 2005 by then 17-year-old local resident Alex Martel, it claims to be the largest rock music festival in Canada and one of the largest in North America.[1][unreliable source?]

With a local population of 978 residents, the organizers claim the small town of Montebello attracts over 200,000 festival-goers during Rockfest.[1][unreliable source?] The event proposes a diverse lineup with mainstream acts, as well as cult bands, reunions, rarities and emerging talent.[2][unreliable source?] Aside from its lineup, Montebello Rockfest is known for its countryside setting, camping areas, carnival vibe and parties in the village throughout the weekend.[3][unreliable source?]


Amnesia Rockfest was founded in 2005 by then 17-year-old local resident Alex Martel.[4] Tired of having to travel to bigger cities to attend concerts and events, he decided to start his own event in his hometown of Montebello, which he called Petite-Nation Rockfest.[5] The first edition was almost canceled due to a tornado destroying most of the site a few hours before the start of the event.[6][unreliable source?] Three bands played the inaugural edition, which attracted 500 attendees: Martel's former band Deadly Apples opened, followed by local punk band UKKO and headliner GrimSkunk.[5]

After a break in 2006, Rockfest came back in 2007 with the same format as the first edition.[7][unreliable source?] In 2008, the event expanded to a full day of music with two stages and was the first edition to attract attendees from outside the area, garnering press for its lineup which featured every single major Quebec band in the punk, rock and metal scenes, including GrimSkunk, Anonymus, Mononc' Serge, and The Sainte Catherines.[5]

Rockfest 2009 continued in the same format, with a third stage added.[8][unreliable source?] The 2010 edition expanded to two days and featured more international acts such as Anti-Flag, Misfits and Alexisonfire.[9] In 2011, the event was renamed D-TOX Rockfest with the D-TOX clothing retailer chain becoming the title sponsor.[10][unreliable source?] This edition was the first major year for the event, featuring bands such as NOFX, Lamb of God playing their sole 2011 show, Pennywise, Hatebreed and many more.[11][unreliable source?]

Rockfest 2012 continued the expansion of the event with artists such as Korn, Sublime with Rome, Bad Religion and Dream Theater.[12][unreliable source?] Tony Sly played his last show with No Use for a Name at Rockfest 2012, before his death.[13][unreliable source?] Mitch Lucker also played his last Canadian show with Suicide Silence at Rockfest 2012, before his death.[14][unreliable source?] To honour their memories, the event named its two new hardcore and punk stages after the late frontmen.[citation needed]

In 2013, the event was renamed to Amnesia Rockfest, as the Amnesia clothing retailer chain became the new title sponsor, after D-TOX was sold to a new owner.[15][unreliable source?] The 2013 edition expanded to five stages and a larger line-up, but received many complaints because of logistical issues.[16][17] In response, organizers announced major logistical changes, as well as new partnerships.[citation needed] Rockfest partnered with the Quebec City Summer Festival, the Ottawa Bluesfest site coordinator and Gatineau Beerfest organizers Orkestra to handle the production, hospitality, logistics, campgrounds and parking lots.[18]

The 2014 edition was praised by fans and critics for its massive line-up, as well as the top-notch production and logistics.[19] Amnesia Rockfest's 10th anniversary edition took place in Montebello in June 2015.[20][unreliable source?]

In 2016, a member of the Twisted Sister crew claimed that their experience performing at the festival, as part of the Twisted Sister farewell tour, was the "worst festival ever", and urged fans to go elsewhere for subsequent years.[21] Despite the previous year's controversy, Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider returned to perform at Rockfest in 2017 with his solo band.[22]

On June 21, 2018, the organizers of Montebello Rockfest filed for insolvency protection[23] (see Bankruptcy)

On December 21, 2018, the festival organizers officially declared bankruptcy.[24] (see Bankruptcy)

Following the announcement, the original founder, Alex Martel, stated that he planned to start a new festival.[25]

On February 27, 2019, it was announced that Montebello Rockfest would be replaced with a return-to-the-roots type festival called "Montebello Rock", which will take place on June 14 and 15, 2019. Tickets for the new event went on sale on February 28, 2019[26] with the line-up to be announced at a later date in March 2019.[27]

Following media reports detailing new information about the width and breadth of the bankruptcy, the Quebec government announced on March 8, 2019 that it would not be funding the new festival, as it had done in the past.[28][29][30]

On March 31, 2019, Olivier Primeau, co-owner of Montreal's Beachclub, announced that he was joining forces with Montebello Rock as a minority partner assisting with operations.[31][32]


On June 21, 2018, the organizers (Outaouais Rock) filed for protection under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act citing an accumulated debt of over $5 million dollars.[33] Organizers made the decision hoping it would allow the festival to restructure its operations and ensure its survival. Unable to come to an agreement with its creditors, Outaouais Rock officially declared bankruptcy six months later on December 21, 2018.[25] Of the 120 creditors owed a final total of $6 million dollars, most of the artists of the 2018 edition went unpaid (in part or in whole) for their performances.[34] Of the latter, the official notice of bankruptcy listed the majority of the headline acts as unpaid creditors: Five Finger Death Punch, Prophets of Rage, Weezer, Lamb of God, Stone Temple Pilots and Tenacious D.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Alex Martel Started Amnesia Rockfest When He Was Only 17. This Year, 200,000 Punk Fans Flooded His Hometown". The Plaid Zebra. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  2. ^ "Amnesia Rockfest 2014 : La programmation". Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  3. ^ "Punkpocalypse takes Montebello by storm: A review of Amnesia Rockfest 2014". Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  4. ^ "Interviews: Interview with ROCKFEST founder dude Alex Martel!". Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "Le Rockfest, petite histoire d'un immense succès..." Le Huffington Post. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  6. ^ "Metalship rencontre Alex Martel, fondateur du Rockfest". Retrieved November 3, 2014 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ "Du rock et encore du rock à Montebello". Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  8. ^ "Petite-Nation Rockfest 2009: Ça va rocker plus que jamais en Outaouais!". Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  9. ^ "Voivod, Misfits, Alexisonfire and Anti-Flag to Rock Petite-Nation Rockfest 2010". Exclaim!. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  10. ^ "NOFX confirm, D-TOX devient le partenaire en titre - Petite-Nation Rockfest - Producteur de spectacles". Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  11. ^ " - Nouvelles - D-Tox Rockfest: Descendents et Pennywise confirms pour l'dition 2011!". Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  12. ^ "Korn, Bad Religion et Suicide Silence au D-Tox Rockfest de Montebello!". Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  13. ^ "No Use For a Name's Tony Sly Dead at 41". Billboard. August 2, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  14. ^ "Suicide Silence Frontman Mitch Lucker Killed in Motorcycle Accident". Loudwire. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  15. ^ "Amnesia devient partenaire en titre; 8e édition majeure en vue!". Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  16. ^ "Amnesia Rockfest Announces 2013 Lineup". Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  17. ^ "Is Amnesia Rockfest the best lineup of 2013?". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  18. ^ "Amnesia Rockfest Announces Partnership with Festival d'été de Québec Following 2013 Festival Fallout". Exclaim!. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  19. ^ "Mission accomplie pour l'Amnesia Rockfest". Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  20. ^ "Alex Martel Started Amnesia Rockfest When He Was Only 17. This Year, 200,000 Punk Fans Flooded His Hometown". Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  21. ^ "Twisted Sister crew member slams Amnesia Rockfest". July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  22. ^ "Rockfest 2017: It's Rammstein, mud and mild-mannered mayhem at Montebello's summer festival". June 25, 2017. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  23. ^ "$5M in debt, Montebello Rockfest files for insolvency protection". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. June 21, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  24. ^ "Montebello Rockfest declares bankruptcy". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. December 21, 2018. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  25. ^ a b December 23, Elizabeth Payne Updated:; 2018 (December 21, 2018). "Rockfest declares bankruptcy but founder vows it's not dead | Ottawa Citizen". Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  26. ^ February 27, Lynn Saxberg Updated:; 2019 (February 28, 2019). "Montebello Rock emerges from Rockfest bankruptcy with more 'intimate' plans | Ottawa Citizen". Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  27. ^ Sigler, Gabriel (February 27, 2019). "Montebello Rockfest is reborn as Montebello Rock – returns this June". Bad Feeling Magazine. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  28. ^ "Rockfest bankruptcy leaves Weezer, Sum 41, towns, feds unpaid". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  29. ^ Spears, Tom (March 8, 2019). "Bankrupt Rockfest owed millions to creditors, including Weezer and Sum 41". Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  30. ^ "Le gouvernement du Québec ferme la porte à Montebello Rock et Alex Martel" (in French). CBC/Radio-Canada. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  31. ^ "Alex Martel and Olivier Primeau joins forces for Montebello Rock". Newswire.
  32. ^, Zone Arts-. "Le Beachclub s'associe au Montebello Rock" (in French). CBC/Radio-Canada. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  33. ^ June 21, Taylor Blewett Updated:; 2018 (June 22, 2018). "In the hole for more than $5M, Montebello Rockfest files for bankruptcy protection | Ottawa Citizen". Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  34. ^ Mar 8, CBC News · Posted:; March 9, 2019 12:27 PM ET | Last Updated:. "Rockfest bankruptcy leaves Weezer, Sum 41, towns, feds unpaid | CBC News". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  35. ^ « Outaouais Rock - Official notice of bankruptcy »

External links[edit]