Still rockin’ on the Ring after 25 years

Still rockin' on the Ring after 25 years
KISS opens the festival. Photo: DPA
Germany’s largest music festival Rock am Ring kicked off this week in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate with organisers expecting 85,000 fans to celebrate the event’s 25th anniversary.

Tickets for the open-air event running from Thursday through Sunday at the famous Nürburgring race track sold out months ago, a spokesperson said.

“We have never had such beautiful weather at Rock am Ring,” he added, referring to the event’s past tendency to be cursed by rain. “Naturally that means the mood among the people is equally good.”

Ninety bands including headliners KISS, Rage Against the Machine, Jay-Z, Gossip, Slayer, Rammstein, and Muse are scheduled to perform, in addition to a special anniversary video exhibition of the festival’s 25-year history.


In its first year Rock am Ring featured 18 bands including Joe Cocker, U2 and Chris de Burgh to a sold out crowd of 75,000. So many people showed up that local radio stations advised latecomers not to attempt the drive to the Eifel region.

There was a two year pause in the festival in 1989 and 1990 when organisers said they had trouble finding leading acts, but they managed to draw some 51,000 fans the following year with INXS, Toto, and Fury In The Slaughterhouse.

In 1995 organisers created a simultaneous sister event called Rock am Park in Munich for more high-decibel fun. Now located in Nuremberg, 75,000 rock ‘n’ roll nuts are expected this year.

In 2008 the festival broke a visitor record, welcoming some 85,000 rockers onto the grounds – a feat they expect to match again this year.

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