Legends of Rock (Leyendas del Rock), everything you ought to know about this great festival.
Legends of Rock is so much more than a festival, Villena more than just a destination. Fine example of organizing a rock festival accessibility smart, sustainability and global opening. Tips that will make your attendance easier. Memories of past editions and photo gallery of the official bands and crowd …..
As the years pass these large international rock gatherings are multiplying all over the globe. These events have already become a mass phenomenon and a perfect excuse to get to know touristic destinations in many occasions otherwise unknown and surprisingly amazing. There is so much competition that it is sometimes difficult to decide due to ones budget and dates: Wacken, Graspop, Download, Sonisphere, Hellfest, Rock am Ring … If it were up to us, we would be on a continuous festival pilgrimage throughout the whole season, but due to ones own circumstances we find it virtually impossible.
Europe hosts a flood of concerts and festivals during spring and summer. Within this global supply, Spain isnt behind filling the world tours calendars of great bands and consolidated meetings such as BBK, Rock Fest, Resurrection Fest, or on this occasion: Legends of Rock.
Over the years I have been fortunate enough to have enjoyed several editions of Legends and the forthcoming 2016 (21st anniversary), I would like to share with you and from experience, some advice to not hesitate to bookmark it in planning your summer … and of course photos of the atmosphere and the bands … memories of the last edition;)).
In Villena 2015, about 20,000 people gathered together for almost a week, Legends hosting a luxury and honorable line-up of rockers for their charismatic 20th birthday celebration.
Before going on I would like to express my satisfaction with the festivals organising body and production team, Sufriendo and Gozando I equally applaud the work of those responsible for the touristic destination of Villena for its altruistic and professional work in the promotion of resources / tactics of this Alicantine town that day by day and thanks to its benefits, its growing demand to visitors. A team within the City Council that is achieving that this geographical snip in the province of Alicante already has a great brand name and is becoming a highly recommended tourist area suitable for all ages. I will speak more about that later. Highlighting also the work of the staff of Legends, all that human that makes possible each edition of this great musical event possible and impresses each year as it deserves.
Well, having said that, I am Andalusian, I live in Granada, Rock pilgrim, blogger, photographer, writer, I collaborate with some international music publications and as thousands of other rockers we travel to the Legends, nothing that with each edition it gets better and better and is worthy of the same acclaim as any international rock festival for the quality of bands that form the billboard. Not forgetting the meticulous and laborious organization. Festive atmosphere here every year… territory of “metalheads” , rockers or metalheads, a peaceful tribe, a species apart, solidary, hospitable and friendly. Beneath their clothes where black predominates, the chains, piercings, tattoos, patches, leather, boots … you encounter rock loving souls devoted to music: lawyers, architects, students, translators, salesmen, workers, people of all kinds and “creeds” … leaving behind their smocks and daily routines to let themselves be seduced by the music, the crowd and the prevailing brilliant atmosphere.
These days, you can enjoy in a group of friends, as a couple, family or alone accompanied by the crowd … The Legends is a festival open to everyone, with no age restriction to access the site and enjoy the concerts. Love to see kids with their parents wearing their printed shirts with pictures of their favourite bands and the number of people in wheelchairs who are there to enjoy the best music. The enclosure is remarkably adapted to people with disabilities. There is easy wheelchair access (ramps) and a raised platform in front of the stage so there are no visibility problems, where access is permitted with a companion.
The sound quality, logistics and leisure options for attendees, the schedule and distribution of bands on 3 stages, is always impeccable.
The 2015 line up was better than good and was the envy of many other European festivals. Bands like Sepultura, Medina Azahara, Rosendo, Sonata Arctica, Backyard Babies, Amaranthe, Overkill, Sabaton, Gigatron, Tierra Santa,Within Temptation, Gamma Ray, Ed guy, Warcry, Saratoga, Turisas, The Darkness, Doro, Tankard, Epica, Sober, Finntroll, Sodom, Los Suaves, Obus, Satyricon, Kreator, Topo, Blues Pills, Doria, Azrael, Xandria, Van Canto, Alestorm,Bethoven R. … filled the vibrating stands at the Villena Sports Centre with uncapped adrenaline.
And the 2016 line up is taking shape: Helloween, Tarja, Children of Bodom, Eluveitie, Baron Rojo …
Getting animated? See you there;)
The first and foremost step if you want to come this year, is not to be without a ticket…
Season and day tickets buy direct on the festivals web page. Don’t miss out they sell out fast!!!… and its not good to have to pay a higher resale price.Id recommend you to buy the full entrance ticket for the entire festival. It is affordable and is well worth it considering that you get to see a large number of top class bands for a small price.
This ticket will not only allow you to enjoy a live musical experience but also a few days in an open and welcoming city as is Villena, which will open its arms and offers loads of options to occupy yourself when youre not “plugged in” to the guitars.
Tickets and season tickets can be purchased online through this link on the official festival web page and also in the usual ticket offices. The full festival entrance ticket is around 80 Euros. Children under 13 go free however children up to the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult and submit the necessary form which can be downloaded from this link.They are free, though must be accompanied by an adult to 15 years and submit a completed form, which can be downloaded from this link.
Tickets and subscriptions purchased online, are redeemable for the official wristbands at the festival ticket offices. These are located at the entrance of the enclosure. The wristbands will allow you to enter and leave the festival whenever you want. Animals are prohibited. There are medical and emergency health services within the festival grounds. On the other hand, please note that access with professional cameras or photographic equipment is prohibited ( however this is not specified on ticket)
It is permitted to access the festival grounds, pool areas and rest areas with food and water meanwhile the basic rules of social behaviour are respected however glass, cans or similar containers are not permitted.
Within the grounds there are plenty of food and drink stalls where you pay with coins or festival tokens.
The organization in plan environmental friendy and with the iniciative of improving and motivating this encourage festival goers with recycling the plastic glasses used instead of just throwing them onto the ground. Exchanging 30 small glasses and 15 litres ones for 2x 1€ tokens
Villena, is well connected and can be reached perfectly by road bus / car or train. You have the AVE which runs with good frequency to the city. 5 daily departure/arrivals from Madrid Villena at 6.00 hrs, 9.00 hrs. , 13.00 hrs , 16.00 hrs y and 20 hrs.
If you’re going by car or caravan there is ample free parking next to the camping area making things easy for you.
If you do not want to complicate your stay, in the major Spanish cities there are a number of agencies and authorized establishments who are organizing the entire trip to the festival:
For accommodation, you have different options, I try to diversify each year and experiment all options and possibilities.
In total, the area has 11 official accommodation sites (9 accommodations + 2 shelters)
In this latest edition, I chose as “base camp” the municipality of Biar, with a overlooking over the lovely village and is only 9 km from Villena (takes 15 minutes) and 8 km of the concert venue ( Villena Sports Club). From there any of the metalheads who go by car will take you along to the festival and if not, theres a swift local taxi service that runs 24 hours daily all week.
In Villena there are several places but I recommend that you reserve well in advance and additionally there are many privately owned apartments that are rented at a reasonable price. (You’ll find registering on the official festival blog / chat page where people like yourself are willing to invent sharing options e.j costs in transport and accommodation)
The festival also offers parking and a large enclosed camping area to pitch your tent. This area is very well equipped with showers, toilets, lighting and several sandwich and snack bars right next to the concert area for those who want to enjoy the clean immensity of the Alacantine starry sky, lounging in your chair in the festivals camping … will not leave you unmarked.
Prices camping area are: Payment for camping:
€ 5+ costs (online), 8 € if you buy them onsite.. Price of camping in shaded area is € 15 + costs (online) and 18 € onsite.
Useful links Accommodation.
Links of interest:
I’m not going to write about the cuisine of Villena or its good artisan wine from its wineries or I’d need a separate post ;-)) (in preparation, by the way). All local dishes are delicious and the relation between: quality, quantity, price. You will not be disappointed. For those staying in flats you have plenty of bars, restaurants and supermarkets where they will be happy to attend you late into the early morning hours.
Wine and Gastronomy : http://www.turismovillena.com/enoturismoygastronomia
Day to day at the festival …
In the morning, it is vital relax and enjoy a day in the Festivals pool (the Municipal pool Villena) or even in the pool in the neighbouring village of Biar, if you didn’t get your official rockpool pass. After a full lunch and a beer to recharge batteries and give you enough energy to hold get through the festivals session and ready to get in “line of fire”. The concerts start at 16 hrs until 2/3 am … those who want to continue enjoying the night can do so in the “Raves” improvised Disco / Rock tents at the festival, in bars on campsite or even in the pubs of Villena and Biar that hold special Rock sessions during the nights of the festival …
This pass allows you access to the pool and rest area 10: 30h. to 20.00h. (The three days of the festival). The pool area is a grassed relaxing space, wooded area, bar serving food and drink and chairs to lounge on. The area has showers, changing rooms, lockers and a toy library for children. If you do not want to take sandwiches, you’ll be surprised by the price / quality offered in the restaurant.
Another interesting must, within the festival site is the availability of lockers enabled with security guards, allowing you to free yourself from your backpack or any items that you have purchased at the market stalls. The lockers will allow you to enjoy a the festival day without having to carry the extra weight around. The number of lockers is limited so it is important that you book online in advance and directly from the festivals web page.
The festival concert area is large and very well set up.
As I’ve said above, it is perfectly adapted and accessible to people with disabilities. As for the food, it has a variety of establishments / tents and stalls to suit all tastes and palates … ..Also its great to highlight its ongoing market during festival hours, full of all kinds stalls where you can buy all kinds of band and rock merchandise… .t-shirts, patches, flags, belts, bags … etc
Another issue to highlight is to seeing how the people of Villena, each year have gradually adapted to the different rock “tribes” and is an exceptional host to the metal community at all levels … .restaurants, shops, supermarkets are open and available with flexible opening hours which coincide with the breaks in the festivals timetable.
Local public transport is also outstanding with an established route that goes from the village to the concert area and expands its schedule operating as a shuttle bus, so you wont miss any of the action. The buses connect the campus to the town of Villena and train station. There are also several mega cordial municipal taxi drivers who will be providing a 24-hour service with reasonable prices.
U want more ?……..
When ones body has lived many festivals and “activity” with various organizations and responsibles for the communication of such events, you take into account the different degrees of professionalism in each of the festivalsand I have to say that the timing and the internal structure backstage of “Sufriendo y Gozando” was very respectable.
Within the press area it was vital a “ momentous” relay of the festival by the second on the waves and following every moment fellow TNT RADIO, responsible for covering the event in pictures and radio and responsible for bringing us closer to the stars of the bands present at its stand, where they signed autographs, chatted and exchanged impressions and smiles with all attendees that wanted to approach the autograph stand of the Legends of Rock. In an orderly fashion, the “metalhead” fans of Legends who wanted a signature of their idols methodically queued to achieve the rubric of Doro,Turisas, Within Temptation, Epica, Xandria, Orphaned land … and many others who melted down dozens of markers at metal pace. Do not miss the festivals podcasts performances and interviews on its official website: http://www.tntradiorock.com/
They also had time for interviews, people of EMP, magazine and online page, a leader in rock merchandising with its photocall where the main band leaders present at the festival left their graphic testimony, audio and written of their latest news and impressions.
We loved to once again enjoy the eternal presence of our dear Mariskal Romero one of the principal activists and operatives of Rock in our country and through the ages, keeps us up to date on everything that happens on stage nationally and internationally with the well-known monthly publication La Heavy Rock by “Mariskal Rock”.
Romero, presented the main performances of the festival with his metallic empathy, irony and affection towards the audience in tandem with another classic: the indefatigable “Pirata”.
A piece of heaven…..
The opportunity to approach and talk to the charismatic Sharon den Adel, lead singer of Within Temptation, also with one of the greatest international female rock metal figures and regular visitor to our country, Doro Pesch, the sympathetic and loving redhead Simone Simons of Epica and current lead singer of Xandria, the Dutch Dianne van Giersbergen …. In the near distance you could see the temperance and closeness of these great “goddesses” of todays metal with their people and the affection manifested by their fans over the years.
They appeared delighted with the organization and of course that they can to enjoy a few days and sometimes only hours of destination Spain. “The Villena audience is incredible, warm and embracing … |”Spain is passion” … said Sharon den Adel, sheltered by her horde of followers.
Misterbackstage with Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation)
With Doro and Xandria inda backstage …..
PHOTO GALLERY OF THE OFFICIAL BANDS OF LEGENDS
AMARANTHE en Leyendas del Rock por Misterbackstage
WITHIN TEMPTATION (SHARON DEN…) en Leyendas del Rock por Misterbackstage
ED GUY (AVANTASIA) en Leyendas del Rock por Misterbackstage
DORO en Leyendas del Rock Festival por Misterbackstage
THE DARKNESS en Leyendas del Rock Festival por Misterbackstage
KREATOR en Leyendas del Rock Festival por Misterbackstage
ÉPICA (SIMONE SIMONS) en Leyendas del Rock por Misterbackstage
XANDRIA en Leyendas del Rock por Misterbackstage
BACKYARD BABIES en Leyendas del Rock por Misterbackstage
SONATA ARCTICA en Leyendas del Rock por Misterbackstage
EL AMBIENTE Y LA GENTE en Leyendas del Rock Festival por Misterbackstage
Villena, more than a municipality, it’s a model city:
Villena, is a municipality in the province of Alicante, very well located and well connected by road and train. Throughout time it has inherited the custody of two castles, several churches, chapels and palaces. Its history, dating back to 50,000 years ago with its paleolithic culture to Iberian and Roman settlements … but its crucial splendor comes from the Bronze Age, which bequeathed the municipality with the Golden Treasury, serving as an inspiration to generations of local craftsmen to work the much appreciated and recognized “Villena type goldsmith”.
Villena in all its glory (Tourism Villena)
Today and making the most of its own signs of identity, the city mastered and has a very successful marketing strategy, Villena, branded with the intention of unifying all the strengths of his legacy: history, culture,gastronomy, industry, commerce, agriculture, tourism and sports in order to increase their visibility in these sectors and attract a greater number of visiting tourists and investors.
“The tourist office Villena thrives during the Legends of Rock”, read the flyer that Villena tourism distributed free with logistic tips for the festival:
Make the most of your stay in Villena to discover its treasures such as the Atalaya Castle, the Villena Treasury (exposed in the Archaeological Museum), the Church of Santiago, the Festero Museum, the Museum of sculptor Navarro Santafé and the Sanctuary of Virtues. Do not forget to try our wines and of course taste our rich local cuisine blending traditional Mediterranean and Manchego ….
I think in a nutshell, this text invites the visitor and introduces him into a parallel world of shared experiences with the same threadmarks …. music, entertainment destination, people and culture.
Rock Legends official website: http://www.leyendasdelrockfestival.com/
Tourism Villena: www.turismovillena.com
Biar Tourism: www.turismobiar.com/#
Jesus Martinez, a great friend and lover of Villena: www.jesusmartinezgimenez.com
I hope this post has been exemplary and I have nailed the Legends sting if you’re thinking of attending this year or I brought a little nostalgia, good memories and healthy jealousy if you have already been and cant make the next edition. ¡¡¡
Whatever the case …. See you around ‘
And of course …. You’ve got me here at your disposal ‘
Good music that always accompany !!! Keep on Rockin’¡¡