The festival’s 21st edition will witness the legendary rock band The Soundtrack Of Our Lives back together again
As part of the free programming, venerated Chuck Prophet will perform live in the Plaza de La Virgen Blanca
Azkena Rock Festival‘s flame is reignited by the addition of new names to its ranks for the 21st edition taking place on June 15, 16, and 17, 2023. The concerts in the Mendizabala enclosure and on the streets of the Green Capital, Vitoria-Gasteiz, are not to be missed as they will let us enjoy rock that maintains its essence, yet also ceaselessly surprises.
The wildest side of ARF is undoubtedly Trashville, a tent within the festival where the line between audience and stage is blurred and where you can experience the rawest live shows with bands devoted to rock and roll’s cause. Garage, surf, rockabilly, sweat, and decibels are part of Trashville’s DNA, which grows a little every year and this year has the most powerful programming in its history. Rock and roll legend and myth Billy Childish, poet, painter, photographer, and prolific musician has more than 100 released albums full of sharp lyrics and dirty, vintage sounds. He’s a renowned artist, having been named as an influence by artists as diverse as Mudhoney and Kylie Minogue. He is coming to ARF with his Wild Billy Childish & CTMF project to lead off the first names at this stage. They will be followed by The Kaisers, a hard-to-see live, mythical 90s band, Steel Beans, a multi-instrumentalist whose popularity skyrocketed this year after going viral jamming on Instagram, and The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, who are bringing the redneck spirit straight from the USA, where they are cultural icons.
King Salami And The Cumberland Three are set to raise the roof of the tent with their explosive and fun combination of rockabilly, rock and roll, and soul, and the Danes Hola Ghost, lovers of Spaghetti Western and self-described as the “Copenhagen gringos”, will present their mix of Mexican mariachi, rockabilly, and surf. With their intimidating live shows and strange masks, the Catalan band Los Tiki Phantoms is not to be left out, nor the young multi-instrumentalist Nestter Donuts who will add the most bizarre vibe, if there is such a thing at Trashville, with a unique project that combines flamenco and punk.
For yet another year, Trashville has a poster so uniquely its own, which represents its individuality on stage. The poster has been created by the renowned cartoonist, illustrator, and painter Pablo Gallo, who perfectly highlights the event’s characteristic classic and rebellious tones. Born in A Coruña and settled in Bilbao, the artist has spent his career navigating different creative fields. He is responsible for the entire image of the 2023 Azkena Rock Festival.
The exclusive reunion of The Soundtrack of Our Lives
This will feature artists such as Iggy Pop, The Pretenders, Rancid, Lucinda Williams, Incubus, Melvins, Alter Bridge, El Drogas, and many more. Azkena Rock Festival has its most eclectic lineup, which practically reflects all aspects of rock and roll such as folk, punk, punk-rock, classic rockabilly, metal, and borderline and unclassifiable sounds from the most open-minded musical genre. A gourmet lineup filled with very special names that you rarely have the opportunity to see live in Spain. It is not strange that some of the most iconic rock artists stop by Azkena on their way through Europe or simply come to the continent only for this festival; offering us special and unique moments on the Mendizabala stages.
Today we have the pleasure of being able to add to the lineup a group we thought we would no longer be able to see live. In June at the festival, in the wake of legendary reunions such as Gluecifer, The Jayhawks, and the Hellacopters we will be able to experience a reunion only ARF can create. Fans will be very pleased. Creators of one of the most valued and remembered concerts at the 2009 edition, The Soundtrack Of Our Lives are back together for 2023. After a decade of inactivity, they are here to offer a small number of shows, including ARF, their only concert date in Spain. The figureheads of Swedish psychedelia emerged in Gothenburg, but their influences hail far from their country of origin, in bands such as The Doors, The Stooges, R.E.M. and The Smashing Pumpkins. They have kept up with the times while carrying 60s inspiration through unexplored paths. This has brought them great recognition, driven in part by their songs appearing in some television series such as Californication and the highly applauded Six Feet Under.
The North American artist Amanda Shires is also part of the Azkena Rock lineup, where musical genres such as country, rock, and folk are featured. The songwriter won a Grammy Award for Best Americana Album as part of the group headed by her husband, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. She is also a member of the supergroup The Highwomen alongside Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, and Natalie Hemby. Also confirmed to be attending is Cordovas, whose discography is fundamentally based on the Americana and country-rock genres.
La Virgen Blanca: music in the heart of the city
The emblematic Plaza de la Virgen Blanca is the place where the festival meets the city, impregnating it with live music and bringing the public closer to the local hospitality and gastronomy industries, hallmark features in Vitoria-Gasteiz. Today we are presenting the first of the planned artists for the ARF free programming in the square at “vermouth time”[around 12pm in Spain]: Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express, a renowned artist who was forced to cancel his performance at Mendizabala in 2022 for health reasons. He is highly demanded by this year’s audience and now his music can finally be enjoyed by the whole world. With a voice that resembles Tom Petty, a lyrical attitude inspired by Bob Dylan, and instrumental talent on par with Eric Clapton and Keith Richards, Chuck Prophet is one of rock’s leading guitarists and songwriters. On Saturday morning, the American will visit the Plaza de la Virgen Blanca accompanied by his band The Mission Express, which includes his wife Stephanie Finch.
Azkena Rock Festival carries on in 2023, making itself an inevitable meeting point for live music lovers. Undoubtedly, part of the magic of Azkena is the connection between loyal audience members, festival first-timers, and the newly incorporating younger generations. To this end, the organisation facilitates access to all events and provides free entrance for children 14 years and under, and reduced entry for young people aged 15 to 23 years, with the Gaztea Pass. The biggest fans will be able to purchase the special XX Anniversary Pack which includes a book with stories of central figures who have passed through the festival over the last 20 years, a t-shirt, a poster, and a deluxe tote bag. In addition, day tickets are already on sale at azkenarockfestival.com and seetickets.com/es.
Good music is not the only festival ingredient that attracts thousands of people from all corners. The city’s gastronomy and the atmosphere permeating the streets of the Green Capital are also part of the appeal. Thus, ARF is the most anticipated festival of the year for rock lovers, as more and more people join the audience looking for originality and authenticity. And these things can be assured at Azkena because, in its 21 years of life, it has maintained its essence without ceasing to surprise in each new edition.
|AZKENA ROCK FESTIVAL
June 15, 16, and 17, 2023
THE PRETENDERS – INCUBUS
IGGY POP – LUCINDA WILLIAMS
and many more TBA
Gaztea Pass (for people 15 to 23 years old): €100
XX Anniversary Special Pack (pass + book + t-shirt + poster + totebag): €175
Thursday Ticket: €50
Friday Ticket: €70
Saturday Ticket: €70
Free admission for kids 14 and under
4 nights: starting at €20