Monsters of Rock

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Monsters of Rock was the most important hard rock - and heavy metal - music festival of the 1980s and early 1990s. It took place from 1980 to 1996 inclusive on the Donington Park racing circuit near Castle Donington in Leicestershire , England and at times had over 100,000 spectators. Due to the success, Monsters Of Rock festivals were later held in other countries.


The first festival was initiated in 1980 by the English organizer Maurice Jones and then took place annually in August. The first festival was intended as the end of the world tour of the band Rainbow and attracted a good 35,000 spectators to the site. In the following years the number of viewers increased steadily. In 1988 the festival reached its peak with 102,000 spectators. When two fans were killed during the Guns n 'Roses performance that afternoon, it had consequences for the event. In 1989 there was no Monsters Of Rock for the first time, in the following years the tickets were then limited to 72,500 each.

The festival was also a kind of dress rehearsal for newcomer bands and their further careers across Europe. If you did well in Donington, the gates to success in Europe were open. The visitors to the festival were notorious. Especially the bands in the afternoon often had to struggle with the sometimes aggressive audience. Plastic bottles filled with urine and mud balls often flew onto the stage, once even a pig's head. Nevertheless, the festival was considered an object of prestige. More or less all the well-known rock and metal bands of the time played in Donington. The festival quickly found imitators across Europe. Most of the time the billing of the mother festival was taken over or changed slightly. The first Monsters Of Rock festival in Germany took place in 1983. From 1988 onwards, Donington's line-up (sometimes slightly modified) was sent on a European tour. This is what happened in 1988, 1990, 1991 and 1992. In 1988 there was also a Monsters Of Rock tour in the USA, which however had nothing to do with the original from Donington. Other monsters-of-rock festivals were held in South American countries such as Argentina and Brazil in the 1990s . They were also in no way related to the original.

In the 1990s, the mother festival in Donington lost some of its popularity, not least because of its more traditional orientation. The rock music landscape had changed permanently, the hard rock of the 1980s was no longer popular and therefore no festivals of this kind. In 1993 the festival did not take place for the first time since 1989 due to the lack of a strong headliner. After the 1996 edition, the end of the Monsters Of Rock had finally come. In 2001, some larger festivals took place on the Donington site for the first time. Bands like Hawkwind , Meat Loaf and UFO played at the Rock & Blues Festival in June and a month later at A Day At The Races and others. a. the Stereophonics and The Black Crowes . In 2002 the Ozzfest took place on the site for the first time . The Download Festival has been taking place at the same venue since 2003, and is now considered the legitimate successor to the Monsters Of Rock.

In 2006, exactly 10 years after the last Monsters Of Rock, the return of the festival was suddenly announced. On June 3rd the festival revived in Milton Keynes. Deep Purple was the headliner on stage, special guest was Alice Cooper .

The original in Castle Donington


The first Monsters Of Rock Festival took place on August 16, 1980. Saxon's appearance later appeared on the live album " Live At Donington ". Polydor then released a sampler with recordings of all bands of that year (excluding Judas Priest ) under the title " Live at the Monsters of Rock ". Rainbow and the Scorpions were in contrast to the rest of the bands with two songs each. There were 35,000 spectators and the following bands were on stage:

plus Neal Kay as a DJ


The festival took place on August 22nd. The following bands were on stage:

plus Tommy Vance as a DJ


The festival took place on August 21st. Saxon were the first band to perform at Monsters Of Rock for the second time. The following bands were on stage:

plus Tommy Vance as a DJ


The festival took place on August 20th. The following bands were on stage:

plus Tommy Vance as a DJ


The festival took place on August 18th in front of around 60,000 spectators. AC / DC were the first band to headline Monsters Of Rock for the second time. For Van Halen , the performance marked the end of their "1984" tour. It is also the fourth last appearance with the singer David Lee Roth, who left a little later. Parts of the Y&T appearance later appeared on the live album " BBC Live In Concert ". The following bands were on stage:

plus Tommy Vance as a DJ


The festival took place on August 17th in front of 80,000 spectators. Ratt performed here for the very first time in Europe. In addition to the typical plastic bottles, a pig's head flew onto the stage when Bon Jovi performed. The following bands stood on it:

plus Tommy Vance as a DJ


The festival took place on August 16 in front of around 60,000 spectators. When Def Leppard appeared, drummer Rick Allen was back behind the kit for the first time , who lost his left arm in a traffic accident in 1985. The band Bad News consisted of the comedians Ade Edmundson , Rik Mayall , Nigel Planer and Peter Richardson , known from the BBC - Comedy series " The Comic Strip Presents ... ". They recorded the episode " More Bad News " at the festival , a sequel to the 1982 episode " Bad News Tour ". Doro Pesch , singer of the band Warlock, was the first of two women to perform at this festival. The following bands were on stage:

plus Tommy Vance as a DJ


On August 22, 1987, Bon Jovi headlined the festival for the first time. In addition to the obligatory fireworks, the show ended with a jam session in which Bon Jovi was supported by Paul Stanley ( KISS ), Bruce Dickinson ( Iron Maiden ) and Dee Snider ( Twisted Sister ). They all played the Creedence Clearwater Revival -Song Travelin 'Band and the Grand Funk -Stück We Are An American Band . Metallica were also invited to this jam session, but refused to participate because Bon Jovi had flown over the audience in a helicopter during the Metallica performance. WASP were not allowed to put on their entire show, which the band commented with the destruction of the equipment at the end of their set. Three destroyed guitars and nine amps resulted in £ 2,000 damage. 1987 was the only year in which only American bands performed in Donington. Despite the bad weather, 97,000 spectators found their way onto the racetrack, a new record. The following bands were on stage:

plus The Bailey Brothers as DJs


The Monsters-Of-Rock-Festival, which was sold out with 102,000 spectators, took place in Donington on August 20, 1988. For the only time in their existence, KISS played as the opening act for Iron Maiden , who once supported them themselves. Lars Ulrich , Metallica's drummer , appeared on stage with the Megadeth addition Anarchy in the UK . During the Guns n 'Roses performance , two fans were crushed in the crowd pouring forward.

plus The Bailey Brothers and Neal Kay as DJs


Because of the two deaths from the previous year, the organization of the festival in 1989 was difficult. Although the approval for an event was given in advance on the condition that no more than 70,000 tickets were issued for sale, the organizers canceled the 1989 festival in May. The following line-up was still under discussion in April of that year: Whitesnake as headliner, plus Mötley Crüe , Poison , Cinderella , Vixen and Femme fatale . An official press release from Aimcarve said: "We are well aware of the difficult task of the North West Leicestershire Council , which has been tasked with formulating the implementing conditions. Unfortunately, some of the conditions are unacceptable to us and we intend to judge them Since a process takes several weeks, we are unable to organize the show accordingly. [...] Aimcarve is confident that the festival will return to Donington Park in 1990 " . Instead, a similarly large festival was held in Milton Keynes, with Bon Jovi headlining. Other bands on the billing were Europe , Cinderella , Skid Row and The Quireboys . During the performance of Bon Jovi came Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith on the stage with the band Aerosmith song Walk This Way to jam .


The festival took place on August 18th. Because of the two deaths in 1988, ticket issuance was limited to 72,500; the tickets were completely sold out. That year the 'Monsters Of Rock' was broadcast live on BBC Radio 1 for the first time . Towards the end of the Aerosmith set, Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page came on stage to jam with the band on Yardbirds classics Train Kept A Rolling and Walk This Way .


The festival took place on August 17th in front of more than 100,000 spectators on the Donington race track. AC / DC were the first and only band to headline the Monsters Of Rock festival three times. The band recorded the performance for their live DVD and VHS AC / DC - Live in Donington . The following bands were on stage:


The festival took place on August 22nd. Iron Maiden recorded the performance for their live CD Live At Donington . WASP's appearance was first made available to fans on the I-Am-One single and later on the re-release of The Crimson Idol CD. The Almighty's performance also found an official publication.


In 1993 there was no festival because the organizers could not hire a strong headliner.


In 1994 the festival took place for the first time on two stages and not in August but on June 4th. With 72,500 spectators it was sold out again. Before the first band appeared, a couple was married on stage by a priest. Biohazard were turned off after a good 20 minutes of playing time after they had brought about 50 fans from the audience onto the stage. The security and the organizer were not impressed by the idea, which ended in fights between the band and security and the cancellation of the band's concert. The following bands played on the main stage:

The following acts could be seen on the second stage:


The festival took place on August 26th. The organizers returned to a single stage. Once again the festival was sold out with 72,500 spectators. The Metallica appearance - their first as headliner of the festival - was titled Escape From The Studio '95 , as the band was recording their album Load at the time . Metallica were also the only band to have performed four times in Donington. Therapy? however, was the first band to play in Donington for two consecutive years. The following bands were on stage:


In 1996, on August 17th, the last festival to date took place in Castle Donington under the Monsters-Of-Rock banner. The disappointing number of 50,000 spectators compared to the previous festivals as well as the increasingly difficult search for a strong headliner should have had a decisive influence on the end of the festival. KISS and Ozzy Osbourne shared a double headlining slot. Sepultura played their gig as a trio without singer Max Cavalera , who had left after the death of Dana Wells, his wife's 21-year-old son and band manager Gloria. Guitarist Andreas Kisser took over the vocals. The main stage bands were:

The following acts could be seen on the second stage:


In 2006 the return of the festival was surprisingly announced. For the first time a Monsters Of Rock took place not in Donington, but in the National Bowl in Milton Keynes. The festival took place on June 3rd and tickets were £ 38.50. About 30,000 spectators came.

The following bands performed:

"Monsters Of Rock" in Europe

From 1988 onwards the line-up (sometimes slightly changed) from the English mother festival was sent on a European tour. Monsters of Rock festivals took place in the following countries:

"Monsters Of Rock" in Germany


1983 saw the first German edition of the Monsters Of Rock Festival with a total of 69,000 spectators. On September 2nd in the Westfalenhalle in Dortmund in front of 11,000 spectators, on September 3rd in the VFR Stadium on the Erbsenberg in Kaiserslautern in front of 30,000 spectators and on September 4th on the Zeppelin Field in Nuremberg in front of 28,000 spectators. The program differed a little in the different cities. In total, the following bands were on stage:

Survivor and Krokus were listed on the festival poster , which, like Ozzy Osbourne, did not appear.

Meat Loaf , Krokus and Survivor weren't there in Dortmund . Survivors and crocuses were missing in Nuremberg.


In 1984, two Monsters Of Rock festivals took place in Germany in front of a total of 95,000 spectators: on September 1st in the Wildpark Stadium in Karlsruhe in front of 45,000 spectators and on September 2nd in the Nuremberg Municipal Stadium in front of 50,000 spectators. 16 trucks, each with 30 tons of loading power, were required for the PA alone. The lighting system weighed ten tons. The stages were each 63 meters wide and 20 meters deep. The following bands were there:


In 1986 there were two Monsters Of Rock festivals in Germany. A total of 80,000 spectators in Nuremberg and Mannheim witnessed the German monster Of Rock. The tickets cost 48  DM . The following bands were on stage:


In 1987, two Monsters Of Rock festivals took place in Germany: one on August 29th at the exhibition grounds in Nuremberg in front of 60,000 spectators and the other on August 30th in the FCP stadium in Pforzheim in front of 40,000 spectators. The tickets cost 44 DM in advance and 49 DM at the box office. The stage was 55 m wide, 18 m deep and 15 m high. The system produced an output of 180,000 watts, the lighting system 1,400 kilowatts. The first band took the stage at 11 a.m., the headliner Deep Purple played from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. In Pforzheim, the body of a French fan who was murdered outside the festival area was fished out of the river Enz . The press also reported riots and riots by some fans. The Pretty Maids appearance in Pforzheim was canceled due to a delay due to the PA setup. The following bands were on stage:


In 1988 there were two Monsters Of Rock festivals in Germany: On the Mainwiesen in Schweinfurt on August 27th in front of 45,000 spectators and in the Ruhrstadion in Bochum on August 28th in front of 20,000 visitors. In advance sales, the tickets cost DM 44 plus DM 4.40 advance booking fee. The stages had a width of 80 meters and a depth of 20 meters. The PA towers reached a height of 17 meters. The output of the sound system reached 160,000 watts. The lighting system consisted of 1,500 lamps with an output of 1,000 watts each. Megadeth were listed as the third band in the billing, but canceled at short notice. As a substitute, Testament slipped into the line-up, but swapped positions with Great White . In Schweinfurt there were massive riots by fans on the eve of the festival, which were caused by young people who were mostly under the influence of alcohol and other drugs and who were extremely prone to violence. The event was only able to take place the next day thanks to the intervention of strong police forces. Even during the day of the concert there were rumors that there were already several deaths (the deaths from Donington were reported as new in Schweinfurt), which is why Iron Maiden did not want to play. It was later wrongly claimed that this mood was deliberately provoked so that no more Monsters Of Rock festival could take place in the Free State of Bavaria in the future. Even in the evening news in the ARD reported on the riots. At the time, parts of the festival were broadcast on RTL plus in the terrestrial television magazine " Mosh ", which had only recently been received .

The following bands played at both German festivals:


Because of the riots in Schweinfurt in 1988, this festival operated under the name "Superrock". It took place in three German cities. On August 23rd at the Berlin Waldbühne (where only Whitesnake, Aerosmith and Poison played), on August 25th in the Westfalenhalle in Dortmund and on September 1st on the Maimarkt area in Mannheim . Ticket prices in advance sales ranged between DM 45 and DM 46. The following bands were on stage:


The Monsters of Rock tour stopped in Germany seven times this year: on August 24th at the Daglfing racecourse in Munich , on August 27th and 28th in the Waldbühne amphitheater in Berlin and on August 31st in the Niedersachsenstadion in Hanover . The festival was originally planned for September 8 in Oldenburg, but was brought forward to August 31 and then moved to the Lower Saxony Stadium in Hanover due to high demand. There were also events on September 7th at the military air base in Mainz and on September 17th and 18th in the Westfalenhalle in Dortmund . The concert in Dortmund was initially planned for Gelsenkirchen and was postponed due to a threatened lawsuit by a citizen. 30,000 tickets sold in advance had to be refunded. The line-up was identical to the English mother festival:

Mötley Crüe were no longer in Dortmund because the band had to fulfill tour obligations in Japan.


As already two years before, the event operated under the name "Superrock". The festival took place on August 15, 1992 on the Maimarkt site in Mannheim in front of 41,200 spectators. The tickets cost 55 DM, and the following bands were on the billing:

"Monsters Of Rock" in the Soviet Union

On September 28, 1991, the largest monsters of rock festival of all time took place at the Tuschino military airfield in Moscow in front of an estimated 1,600,000 spectators. It was declared a benefit concert because of the failed military coup against the government. Entry was free. Because of the large crowds, several thousand police forces or military policemen and normal soldiers (who were overwhelmed for this task) were on duty. a. also acted rather brutally towards the fans because of a lack of experience with such events. In the press there was later talk of 14 deaths. The Russian band EST released several live CDs from this concert. Cutouts are also u. A. can be seen on the Metallica video " A Year And A Half " and the 3 Vulgar Videos From Hell DVD by Pantera. There is also an official VHS / DVD of this festival called For those about to Rock . The billing was largely taken over from the mother festival in Donington, but Mötley Crüe and Queensryche were not there, instead Pantera and EST:

"Monsters Of Rock" in the USA

In 1988, a two-month Monsters-Of-Rock festival tour took place in the United States in June and July. The line-up had nothing to do with the English original. The following bands were there:

"Monsters Of Rock" in South America

Like the North American festival, the events in South America were not related to the English mother festival. The festivals didn't take place until after the original Monsters Of Rock had ended.


On December 12, 1998 the following bands played at the Velez Sarsfield Stadium in Buenos Aires :


On August 24, 1996 the following bands played in the Estádio do Pacaembu in São Paulo :

On October 19 and 20, 2013 the following bands played in the Arena Anhembi in Sao Paulo:

Web links