Rock Oz’Arènes is a once-in-lifetime experience. In a gladiator arena built by the Romans 2,000 years ago, the modern gods of rock let loose. For five days in the heat of August every year, the semi-circular outdoor amphitheater becomes the stage for some of the big names in music, a roll call that over the years has included PJ Harvey,Placebo, Iggy Pop, Muse, Massive Attack, Lou Reed, Marilyn Manson, the Cure, Radiohead. Jamiroquai, Sinead O’Connor, Nine Inch Nails, Joe Cocker, Status Quo, Alice Cooper, David Guetta and Amy MacDonald.
Avenches used to be the capital of Helvetia in Roman times with a population of over 20,000 but it’s a tiny place now. So when Rock Oz’Arènes descends upon the village with 40,000 people, it really comes alive. The festival takes pride in catering to audiences of all ages, from young children to the elderly and has a battalion of caring volunteers to look after the massive influx. It’s as much a family affair, as a wild party.
The 2015 edition presents its hallmark mix of rock, pop, rap, reggae, soul, swing and electro with frontliners Shaka Ponk, Paloma Faith, Offspring and Jimmy Cliff.
For the famed Electoz’Arènes night on 14 August, Steve Aoki will be the DJ in command to dance the night away.
But bear in mind, Avenches is not easy to reach by public transportation, so buses are organized from all the large neighboring cities and tickets can be combined with the admission to concerts.