Rock Werchter Festival takes place at Werchter, Belgium
Rock Werchter Festival 2013 dates – 4th to 7th July
The History of Rock Werchter Festival
Rock Werchter is a Belgian annual music festival held in the village of Werchter, near Brussels, since 1974. It is one of the four biggest annual rock music festivals in Europe (the other three being the Sziget Festival, the Glastonbury Festival and Roskilde Festival). The 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007 festivals received the Arthur award for best festival in the world at International Live Music Conference (ILMC). It can host 80.000 guests, of which 69.000 combine all four days, to add up to a total of 113.000 different attendees.
The festival started in 1974 as a one-day event with performances from Banzai and Kandahar, but over the years it has evolved to become Belgium’s largest music festival. Originally it was a double-festival, called “Torhout-Werchter”, with two festival areas at different sites in Belgium: one in Werchter and one in Torhout. In 1999, the festival dropped the Torhout site and since then has taken place only in Werchter. Since 2003 Werchter has been a 4-day festival, as it was sold by owner Herman Schueremans to American organizers Live Nation. Schueremans however remains the main organiser of the event.
In recent years, there has been controversy about rising ticket prices. Because of this, Schueremans was heckled during an appearance on HUMO’s Pop Poll, a Belgian alternative award show. At 169€ for four days (17€ extra to include camping) in 2008 it is considered a relatively inexpensive music festival
The festival started off as a one-day event, became a two-day festival in 1996, a 3-day festival in 2000, and has been a 4-day festival since 2003.
Before 1995, when the festival was still a double-festival, it had one stage with 8 or 9 bands performing twice, once in Torhout and once in Werchter. Since 1995 the Main stage was accompanied by a second stage. This stage was an open air stage until 1999 when it was made a tent named ‘Pyramid Marquee’, with a capacity of 6,000 people. The performers in Pyramid Marquee are usually lesser-known or aimed at a specific audience. Sometimes groups that do well in Pyramid Marquee are expected to have a hard time taking the step to the Main stage, especially when they are seen as an act needing intimate, smaller venues. Sigur Rós is the most famous example of this, when they were programmed on Main Stage in 2008 after their 2006 performance in Pyramid Marquee, but they managed the transition and were hailed as one the best performances of the festival.
Inside Pyramid Marquee
The bands presented at Rock Werchter are traditionally a balanced mix of large well known artists, popular crowd-pleasing acts and local Belgian coming acts. Belgian band dEUS in 2008 was the first local band to close the Main Stage on the last day since several years. The days usually start around noon, expect for the first day, which starts around 4pm. Most performances last from 30 minutes to an hour and a half. The days end around 1am, but when the last act is a dance act they sometimes last until 3am or later. At the end of the last day there is a big fireworks show
Rock Werchter Festival – Line Up 2012
Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Justice, Florence + The Machine, The Cure, Elbow, Snow Patrol, Deus, Blink-182, Kasabian, Deadmau5, Skrillex, Garbage, Katy B, Beirut, Dj Fresh Presents Fresh/Live, Wolfmother, Wiz Khalifa, Katzenjammer, X, Mumford & Sons, Incubus, Gossip, Milow, Selah Sue, The Kooks, Dropkick Murphys, Calvin Harris, Black Box Revelation, Skream Ft. Sgt Pokes, James Morrison, My Morning Jacket, Rise Against, Mastodon, Birdy Nam Nam, Noah & The Whale, Mac Miller, Bat For Lashes, Anna Calvi, Amon Tobin, Miles Kane, The All-American Rejects, The Maccabees, Other Lives, Nneka, James Vincent Mcmorrow, Jack White, Chase & Status, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Vaccines, Paul Kalkbrenner, Steve Aoki, Ed Sheeran, Netsky, Kitty Daisy & Lewis, Ben Howard, M83, Kreayshawn, Azealia Banks, Die Antwoord, Editors, t Hof Van Commerce, The Hickey Underworld, The Temper Trap, The XX, Within Temptation, Regina Spektor, Cypress Hill, Agnes Obel, Lana Del Rey, Simple Minds, Knife Party, Michael Kiwanuka, Azari & Iii, Bombay Bicycle Club, M Ward, Alabama Shakes, School Is Cool, Perfume Genius, Eastern Conference Champions, Isbells, Metric
Rock Werchter Festival – Line Up 2011
The Chemical Brothers, Linkin Park, Queens of the Stone Age, Anouk, The Hives, Seasick Steve, OFWGKTA, Hurts, Beady Eye, Eels, James Blake, Aloe Blacc, TV on The Radio, Warpaint, Arsenal, Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, The National, White Lies, Triggerfinger, My Chemical Romance, Mona, The Subs, Goose, Chase & Status, Ozark Henry, Jimmy Eat World, Ke$sh, Lissie, Grouplove, Coldplay, Portished, PJ Harvey, Elbow, Bruno Mars, The Gaslight Anthem, Rival Sons, Underworld, Magnetic Man, Selah Sue, Bright Eyes, I Blame Coco, Jenny & Johnny, The Pretty Reckless, Evaline, The Black Eyed Peas, A-Trax, Iron Maiden, Grinderman, Kaiser Chiefs, Kasabian, Social Distortion, All Time Low, Digitalism, Robyn, Fleet Foxes, Brandon Flowers, Two Door Cinema Club, Tame Impala, The Vaccines, Everything Everything
Rock Werchter Festival – Line Up 2010
Faithless, Muse, Stereophonics, Phoenix, Skunk Anansie, De Jeudg Van tegenwoordig, Crookers, Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77 (live), La Roux, The XX, Midlake, Kyteman’s Hip Hop Orchestra, Green Day, Editors, 30 Seconds To Mars, Paramore, Rise Against, Coheed & Cambria, Customs, LCD Soundsystem, The Specials, Jack Johnson, Corrine Bailey Rae, The Gaslight Anthem, The Morning Benders, Balthazar, Rammstein, Pink, The Ting Tings, Gossip, Channel Zero, Das Pop, Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders, Booka Shade, Empire of the Sun, Florence + The Machine, Porcupine Tree, Yeasayer, The Temper Trap, Delphic, Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire, Them Crooked Vultures, Vampire Weekend, Alice in Chains, The Black Keys, The Van Jets, Vitalic – V, The Black Box Revelation, Absynthe Minded, Dirty Projectors, Gomez, Shamboy, Sweet Coffee