307,000 Rock On Volga

Rock On Volga broke its attendance record big time when more than 307,000 turned up to see a bill that included Limp Bizkit, Garbage, Zaz and a full supporting cast of Russian acts.

The annual free-entry, one-day gathering in southern Russia is now in its fourth year and the previous attendances were 160,000 in 2009, 200,000 in 2010, and a little more than 250,000 last year.

Rock On Volga, or Rock nad Volgoy as it’s locally known, was created to celebrate June 12 – which is Russia Day – and provide a full day’s showcase of national talent. The local authority is prepared to put a lot of funding into it.

Michael Shurygin of St. Petersburg-based NCA, which promotes the huge event about 20 miles outside of Samara at Etra-Dubrava Field, says that each year he’s been able to increase the international talent.

The event still celebrates Russia Day, which marks the founding of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and the dissolution of the old Soviet Union in 1990, and still starts as close to June 12 as the availability of international acts will allow.

The show opens at 11 a.m. and it’s non-stop live music for 12 hours. There’s only one stage, which this year was constructed by rapidly expanding Russian stage-builders Install Profi. Continuity is no problem as it’s more than 50 metres wide.

Although Russia has never developed a festival culture, Maxidrom has now been running since it started with an entirely Russian lineup in 2000. International acts first appeared on the bill in 2003, and headliners have since included HIM, Placebo, Franz Ferdinand, Lenny Kravitz, The Prodigy and Linkin Park.

The festival takes place at Tushino Airfield, a former military base just outside Moscow and once home to the city’s Krilya Festival.

On June 10-11 it attracted more than 30,000 punters for a bill that included Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Rasmus, Clawfinger, Therapy? and Everlast.