Diversity was the key ingredient at Rock im Park 2023

By Chris Sparham

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The original Rock im Park festival was only meant to be a one-off. Back in 1985, 75 thousand fans came to see the likes of Chris De Burgh, U2 and Joe Cocker at the first-ever event. Now, Rock im Park and its twin, Rock am Ring, are established as two of the hottest festivals in Germany. 

So hot that over 150,000 attendees descended on the festivals this June to see the incredible 2023 line-ups. Under blue Nuremberg skies, the sun-drenched crowds gathered to watch an eclectic mix of performers, which included German staples and numerous international greats. Among those who performed were the Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, Machine Gun Kelly, Apache 207, and German punk legends Die Toten Hosen, celebrating their 40th anniversary. 

Such was the diversity of the 72-strong line-up that this was arguably the festivals’ most versatile year yet. Metalheads got to see Bullet for my Valentine and Arch Enemy, and alternative fans saw Evanescence, and Tenacious D brought the laughs. Add the likes of energetic pop-rock starlet Yungblud, soulful singer-songwriter Lauren Sanderson, and German rapper Badmómzjay, and it’s easy to see why the early bird tickets sold in less than 24 hours. 

© Marius Kempf

This year was also a tale of goodbyes and hellos. While attendees saw farewell concerts by punk legends NOFX and Sum 41, they were also introduced to a host of new acts. Among the up-and-coming artists acquainting themselves with the audience were German indie acts Giant Rooks and Provinz. 

Allowing new bands to perform in front of big crowds is something of a tradition for the festivals. In 1991, organisers relaunched Rock am Ring with a new concept: to focus on introducing newcomers to the audience. As a result, now legendary acts like INXS and Alanis Morissette got the chance to show their talent on a grander scale, helping to grow their fanbase and penetrate the European market. 

Speaking of legendary acts, on Sunday night rock royalty Foo Fighters gave a show-stopping performance on the Rock im Park Utopia Stage. The performance included a special appearance by Dave Grohl’s 17-year-old daughter Violet, who showed that music runs in the family by singing with her dad on “Shame Shame”. Germany’s biggest hip-hop artist Apache 207 and Swedish metal band Meshuggah ended on the Mandora and Orbit stages, respectively. 

Artists aside, the Rock im team gave special mention to the fans, whose energy created a special atmosphere around the stages and campsites. The organisers, ARGO Konzerte, DreamHaus, and eventimpresents, also expressed satisfaction with the seamless execution of the festivals and were delighted to receive positive feedback from the attendees. 

“Once again, visitors from numerous nations have proven in 2023 that Rock im Park is a top destination for music enthusiasts from Europe and beyond,” said Peter Pracht of ARGO Konzerte. “Together, they celebrated three days of cultural understanding and diversity with over 70 acts on these historically significant grounds – an even more meaningful example could hardly be made!”

Dr. Frithjof Pils, CEO of eventimpresents, added, “From the outside, it’s hard to comprehend the herculean planning and logistical challenges behind organizing festivals like Rock im Park and Rock am Ring. Therefore, our sincere thanks go to our fantastic team and all those involved behind the scenes.”

Rock im Park and Rock am Ring will be back in 2024.

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Cover photo: Yungblud by Sven Mandel