PATTI SMITH AND BAND, THE OFFSPRING, BRIAN WILSON, EMMYLOU HARRIS, SOCIAL DISTORTION, SUZI QUATRO, L7, FU MANCHU, DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS and DANIEL ROMANO are only some of the legendary artists that will be on the Mendizabala stage in its 20th Anniversary which, additionally, will be a special 3-day edition.
The festival announces the first artists who will join us at Mendizabala on June 16th, 17th, and 18th. The festival celebrates its 20th anniversary with artists the likes of PATTI SMITH, THE OFFSPRING, BRIAN WILSON, SOCIAL DISTORTION, country legend EMMYLOU HARRIS, and rock pioneer SUZI QUATRO, as well as beloved bands of the festival audience such as L7, DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS, FU MANCHU, and DANIEL ROMANO. These are only a few of the long list of rock stars that will come, most of whom will offer a single performance in Spain, for a special edition spanning 3 days of music where we will return to the roots of the festival.
BURNING SINCE 2002 – This is the motto of the Azkena Rock Festival. An idea that may seem simple, but it includes many milestones: the festivals 20th birthday, remaining, and more than that, consolidating their presence in a setting where many fall away. Organisers are aware that making rock’n’roll history for twenty years straight and being a place where bands feel at home, where those who’ve come are dying to return and those who haven’t are attempting to, ARF isn’t your average festival!
It is such a big birthday for Azkena Rock Festival that it will be hosted by presenter PATTI SMITH herself. Actively performing since the 60s, she is one of the most important and respected names both in the history of rock as well as in popular culture at large, given the close ties between her music and her role as poet and activist. A reference for the generations after her, the ‘godmother of punk’ (and now presenter of ARF 22) will invite us at Mendizabala to join our voice in an act of freedom and urgent protest.
And along with their outstanding godmother, organisers introduce a godfather who measures up: BRIAN WILSON, a key figure in popular music, the soul of the Beach Boys and the one who elevated pop in the sixties to levels hard to attain by any artist today, will bring his Good Vibrations Tour with an exclusive performance at Vitoria-Gasteiz that promises to be memorable.
Among the most relevant bands that worked the miracle of making punk a genre with millions of followers around the globe is THE OFFSPRING, who consolidated their success in the 90s with ‘Smash’, the album that made them world-famous. Their legend has only grown since then and a few months ago they released ‘Let The Bad Times Roll’ which is exactly what we are going to do next year at Mendizabala. This will be the only chance to see them performing live.
The festival organisers have made a huge effort to keep the 2021 lineup as well as add new names worthy of this anniversary. EMMYLOU HARRIS stands out among these additions. With one of the best voices in country, she is admired by the likes of Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Her performance at ARF 22 will be her only concert in Spain and it promises to be one of the biggest music events in our country.
SOCIAL DISTORTION is also having a birthday. The band is celebrating 40 years together and after a decade of absence from Spain, their attendance is highly anticipated by the Azkanera community and by all fans of Californian punk.
Another mythical artist we will enjoy is SUZI QUATRO. The first woman to become a front woman in the seventies, she served as a reference for those who followed her such as Joan Jett, who considered her a mentor, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Chrissie Hynde and Donita Sparks, who will also join the line up at Mendizabala with L7, a key band in the history of rock thanks to their role in grunge and in the Riot Grrrrl movement, celebrating their 30th anniversary with their legendary album, ‘Bricks Are Heavy’.
The sound of heavy guitars and carefree lyrics of FU MANCHU have also confirmed their attendance. They are celebrating 30 years in music with a live performance that will blow the minds of more than one audience member. Talking about mind-blowing, nothing like the psychedelic rock of BLACK MOUNTAIN, possibly the most lysergic experience we will witness this edition.
American rock is always one of the star genres of the festival and in its 20th anniversary, Azkena will have first-rate ambassadors starting with the extraordinary DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS, a band that is already an institution, who have chosen our festival to return to Spain after an eight-year absence. We are also pleased to announce the presence of the prodigious MARCUS KING, a young Southern rock talent with his guitar and pure soul of a voice, as he so excellently demonstrated with his latest album produced by Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys. The restless DANIEL ROMANO will be there too. During the lockdown, he worked on nine albums that he released in 2020. Now he’s back in Spain to prove that he is the new Bob Dylan. Country and folk antihero SHOOTER JENNINGS (son of the mythic Waylon) will accompany us, as will the great CHUCK PROPHET, who has continued creating extraordinary albums since he started his solo career after redefining the American scene in the 80s with his band, Green On Red. They will all offer exclusive performances at Azkena in 2022.
And many more, the iconic REVEREND HORTON HEAT and his “country-fed punkabilly, the metal of the local Vistoria-Gasteiz band THE FAITHLESS or the pungent stoner sound of the Basque WICKED WIZARD. Many more bands and artists complete this first round of confirmations for the 20th Anniversary of the Azkena Rock Festival with a community of rock’n’rollers who have been with us for two decades with a loyalty and a dedication that is bomb-proof (and pandemic-proof), but also a legion of youngsters who love rock and are eager to see the live performances of genre legends for the first time.