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Rock al Parque, Spanish for Rock at the Park, is a rock music festival that takes place in Bogot√°, Colombiamarker, since 1995. The festival is considered the largest of its kind in Latin America.

'Rock al Parque' is part of "Festivals at the Park", a series of festivals organized by Bogot√°'s Secretariat of Culture, Recreation and Sport. It is the oldest and most famous of these festivals. Several festivals emulated 'Rock al Parque' and adapted its template to accommodate different artistic genres, such as Salsa, Jazz, Hip Hop, Opera, Ballet, Ranchera, and Zarzuela. There are also special festivals, such as 'Colombia al Parque', which showcases Colombia's unique folklore and music; and 'Boys and Girls at the Park', which is made specifically for children.

'Rock al Parque' is also part of the program called 'The Youth Season', itself part of Bogot√°'s "Cycle of Urban Music Concerts".

History

The first edition of the festival was held in 1995. Its origins can be traced to the Youth Music meetings that were held at the city Planetarium since 1992. The people responsible for these meetings were Mario Duarte, member of the defunct band 'La Derecha', whose objective was to garner support from Bogota's Institute of Culture and Tourism; and Julio Correal, an entrepeneur and concert promoter who ran several youth-oriented community programs within the city. The first edition of the festival was held between May 26th and May 29th, 1995, in different venues, such as the 'Media Torta' (Spanish for 'Half Cake', an outdoor theater named because its general shape resembles that of a cake that has been cut in half), Simón Bolívar Park, Olaya Herrera Stadium, and the Santa María Bullfighting Ring. This last venue was the only one to charge admission; however, after 1996, the festival did not employ the second stage at the Santa María Bullfighting Ring, thus making the festival completely free.

In 1998, 'Rock al Parque' was in danger of disappearing due to the Institute of Culture and Tourism, who did not consider the festival to be a priority for the cultural development of the city. This decision was highly unpopular with the city's inhabitants, and several protests were carried out by the city's youth, who supported the festival. The City Council of Bogot√°, the legislative body of the city, later declared the festival to be part of the city's cultural heritage, and 'Rock al Parque' was allowed to continue.

Soon after, 'Rock al Parque' developed several offshoots, such as seminars, workshops, conferences, and lectures hosted by academics and other important guests.

The festival, which originally only hosted acts that played rock music, was gradually opened up to include other genres, such as punk, reggae, ska and blues. Due to this increase in diversity, the festival's organizers started scheduling bands so that different types of music could play alongside one another, as opposed to grouping acts by genre.

Nowadays the festival takes place over three days at Bogotá's Simon Bolivar Park. Two bands that belong to different genres play simultaneously on two different stages; the festival is broadcasted live over Bogotá's local news channel, 'Canal Capital', and there is a simultaneous live broadcast on 'Radiónica', a radio station that also conducts interviews with participating bands.

Participants

The festival features national and international bands of different genres. After 1997, artists were selected by a jury after an open multi-stage process (pre-selection, presentation and live auditions). As an incentive, the chosen bands win prizes, as well as the opportunity to share the stage with international bands. Sometimes, acts are invited by the organizing committee directly.

Security Measures taken at 'Rock al Parque'

The sale of alcohol at Rock al Parque is prohibited, as is smoking, despite the fact that the event takes place outdoors. Concertgoers are not allowed entry if they are wearing belts with metallic buckles, as these can be used as weapons. Furthermore, all concertgoers have to go through a routine security inspection before entering the concert grounds, and may even be asked to remove their shoes and socks if need be. Concerts are scheduled between 1:00 and 10:00 p.m. No one is allowed to keep playing after 10:00 p.m. for security reasons.

Lineup of Local Bands by Year

Rock al Parque has played host to several local bands during its 14-year history. Below is a listing of some of these bands.

Year Band Lineup
1995 1280 Almas, Aterciopelados, Catedral, La Derecha, Marlohabil, Morfonia
1996 Agony, Dogma, La Pestilencia, Polikarpa y Sus Viciosas, Sagrada Escritura, Una tal Sofía.
1997 Cancerbero Death Metal, Kraken
1998 Superlitio, Tenebrarum, Ultr√°geno
2000 Aterciopelados, Dr. Kr√°pula, Koyi K Utho, Los De Adentro, Pornomotora, Vulgarxito
2003 1280 Almas, Diva Gash, La Pestilencia
2005 Adhesivo, Ataque en Contra, Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra, Cuerpo Meridiano, Estados Alterados, I.R.A., Kraken, Nawal, Neurosis, R.A.I.Z., Sustancias Psicotrópicas, The Black Cat Bone, Tráfico, Visor
2007 Aterciopelados, Chucho Merch√°n, Koyi K Utho, Ultr√°geno
2008 1280 Almas, Andr√©s Osorio's Band, Awaken, Barriosanto, Ciegosordomudos, Deeptrip, Delavil, Doctor Kr√°pula, El Hombre Lim√≥n, El Sie7e, El Sinsentido, Enepei, Entropy, Ethereal, Fractal Flesh, F-Mac, Heartless, Kronos, Loathsome Faith, Massacre, Mmodcats, Monojet, No Importa, Odio a Botero, Popcorn, Pornomotora, Profetas, Santafuma, Se√Īores Usuarios, Smoking Underdog, Solokarina, The Swingers, Thunderblast, Tio Cabeza, Velandia y la Tigra


International Guest Bands

Throughout the last 14 years this festival has played host to a number of groups of different nationalities, including:

Country Invited Bands
Argentina A.N.I.M.A.L. , Botafogo, Carajo, Catupecu Machu, Divididos, Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas, Auténticos Decadentes , Karamelo Santo, Todos tus Muertos, Luis Alberto Spinetta, Miranda!, Babasónicos, Turf, Los Pericos, Azafata, Horcas, la Mosca Tse tse, Capri
Chile Dracma, Gangas, Guiso, Los Bunkers, Los Tetas, Lucybell, los Mox!, Gondwana, Chancho en Piedra
Bolivia Octavia
Puerto Rico Puya, Robi Draco Rosa
Uruguay Cuarteto De Nos
United States Brujería, Coheed And Cambria, Earth Crisis, Fear Factory, Have Heart, Suicidal Tendencies, VHS or BETA, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Volumen Cero, Agent Steel, Death by Stereo, Día de los Muertos
Mexico Café Tacvba, Fobia, Jaguares, Maldita Vecindad, Molotov, Panda, Resorte, Telefunka, Kinky, Austin TV, Riesgo de Contagio, Los Concorde, Panteón Rococó, Division Minuscula, Zoé, Plastilina Mosh, Control Machete, Julieta Venegas, Thermo, La Lupita, Guillotina, Ely Guerra, Víctimas del Doctor cerebro, Finde, Quiero Club, El Gran Silencio, Volován, Nortec, Dildo
Ecuador Rocola Bacalao, Muscaria, SIQ, Cruks en Karnak
Finland Apocalyptica
France Manu Chao , Sargento Garcia
Netherlands Agresión, Laberinto
Panama Cienfue, Filtro Medusa
Brazil Eminence, Ratos de porao, Lenine
Venezuela Amigos Invisibles, Desorden P√ļblico, King Chang√≥, Papashanty, Spias, Zapato 3, Chuck Norris, Candy66
United Kingdom Paradise Lost, Carcass, Bloc Party
Spain La Kinky Beat, Seguridad Social, Fritanga
El salvador Adhesivo
Jamaica The Skatalites
Peru Noize, La Sarita, Líbido, Zopilotes, Huelga de Hambre
Germany Ni√Īos con bombas (with Venezuelan members)


Trivia

The third edition of the festival in 1997, had the largest number of participants, with 87 bands. On the other hand, the eighth edition, in 2002, had the fewest, with only 25. On average, 51.6 bands have performed annually at 'Rock al Parque'.


The 2004 edition, which marked the festival's 10th anniversary, had over 400,000 spectators.


All editions of the festival have been held at Simón Bolívar Park. On nine occasions, bands have played at the Media Torta theater. There have been bands at Olaya Herrera Park on two separate occasions. The 'Parque el Tunal', the 'Parque el Renacimiento' and the Santa María Bullfighting Ring have had bands on one occasion each.


There have been 668 presentations throughout the festival, performed by 406 different bands (counting a solo presentation by Andrea Echeverry, lead singer of Aterciopelados, who performed separately on one occasion).


A total of 127 bands have had repeat performances; 80 twice, 28 three times , 7 four times, 7 five times, 3 (La Pestilencia, La Severa Matacera, Vertigo) six times, and two (Ingrand and Morfonia) on seven occasions. A.N.I.M.A.L. is the international band that has been present in more editions with four, along with Catupecu Machu.


There hass always been at least one guest band from Mexico.


'Rock al Parque' has changed its motto 5 times since 1998:1995-1998: This is your race 'Rock al Parque'2000: It's up to us to make sure that the music never stops2003: Because good things remain2004-2007: Days of extreme coexistence2008: Highest respect for life


Ever since 2005, 'Rock al Parque' has an area devoted to productivity and entrepreneurship, known as 'Carpa Distrito Rock', Spanish for 'Rock District Tent'. This is a place that is dedicated to all those industry players involved in activities related to the rock industry in Colombia: Paraphernalia Manufacturers (shirts, buttons, posters, etc.) Independent record labels, managers, technicians, engineers, recording studios, rehearsal rooms and the like. The tent's purpose is to allow these people to interact with people within industry and promote their products or services.


The festival does not accept commercial sponsorships on behalf of brands or companies related to alcohol or tobacco, and the festival is the most significant effort made by the cultural authorities of the city with a specific objective to young people.


As of 2004, 'Rock al Parque' is the largest Spanish-language festival of its kind in the world.

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