Originally it was meant to be a one-off. Back in 1985 some of the greatest acts of their era – including U2, Chris de Burgh and Marius Müller-Westernhagen – performed at the Nürburgring, the Formula 1 racetrack in the Eifel hills of Rhineland-Palatinate. To everyone's surprise, some 75,000 spectators streamed into this woody region, so the event became an annual fixture from that point on.
After three more years, it seemed to have run its course. But then, after a two-year break, Rock am Ring rose like a phoenix from the ashes. Today, without a shadow of a doubt, it's the classic among Germany's open-air rock festivals. That pause for thought led to a new concept: to give newcomers greater exposure alongside the big bands. You only have to look at the visitor figures and the list of artists who have graced the stage here over the years to see what a phenomenally successful festival this is. With names like David Bowie, Bryan Adams, Supertramp, Metallica, Marilyn Manson and Gossip, it reads like a who's who of rock music. INXS and Alanis Morissette first tasted stardom here too before their international careers took off.
Until 1995 there was just one stage but now the Alternatent, which was added in 1996, is almost as big as the main stage and has hosted established bands as well for many years. The Talent Forum was founded for newcomers in 1999 and the Club Stage arrived in 2006.
Bands play from 2pm to 3am. Many festival-goers camp on site so as not to miss a minute, making this festival a round-the-clock experience.
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