From dream to reality – about the “Armenia in Rock” festival

Vardan Grigoryan

It’s been 10 days since the festival, but I couldn’t gather my thoughts, concentrate and write about how it all happened and why….


A few months ago I told my closest friends (I mean DOGMA) about my final decision: to tell the whole world about our Armenian rock bands, to tell it in the form of a documentary that will be something lasting, a true and professionally done story and will be from the “first hand”. That’s why I decided to bring together and revive the fragmented and elemental scene of rock in Armenia. It was necessary to gather rock musicians around an idea, which became the “Armenia in Rock” festival. I didn’t want this festival to be “for” anything or “against” anything. I wanted this to be rock for rock’s sake, music for music’s sake, a festival creating a real celebration for the musician and the listener, like all the festivals that take place abroad, and which we look at from afar with envy and longing; why don’t we have that one day in the year, which the listeners will look forward to all year long, for which our groups will prepare enthusiastically, for which famous bands invited from different countries will be hosted, for which the old bands, which are dying one by one unless there is a platform for self-expression, will wake up from a long hiatus…

I wanted this to be rock for rock’s sake, music for music’s sake, a real celebration for the musician and the listener.


And in Armenia, unfortunately, those questions have their objective answers – the infrastructures in the music sector do not work, the bands do not have serious platforms for self-expression, Armenia is small, technically in a sad state, everything is concentrated only in Yerevan, leaving the country is not available for most of the bands, by and large, the bands do not have stimulus, prospects and conditions to operate in Armenia and carry out primary activities … And to keep the band’s creative power, powerful incentives, inspiring events are needed….

Rozen Tal

That is the reason why, since 2003, my friends and I have tried to keep the industry alive from time to time with our efforts and personal funds, organizing many concerts and festivals and supporting newly created bands. By the way, most of those concerts took place in the Puppet Theater, which was always ready to help the foundation of the industry together with us, and that is the reason why the Puppet Theater became the most dear and beloved place of the Armenian rock scene, and many bands, Armenian rock bands, many of which are quite famous today, have performed here for the first time. 

Vostan Hayots

If you remember, in 2017 we held the three-day international “Music Drive” festival, and before that we organized a three-day international outdoor festival with a large number of bands in 2011 –  “Yerevan Summer Music Festival”. Unfortunately, both festivals did not continue due to lack of funds.

Anyone who has even once been involved in organizing a live concert knows how difficult, time-consuming and financially demanding it is to organize a two-hour concert. So, one can imagine how much financial, physical and time investment is needed to organize a two-day, open-air, 10-hour technically high-level festival with the participation of 18 bands.

And yet, we did it!

Mik Aelian

We express our great human gratitude to all the bands excited by the idea of the festival and to all our friends who supported it. And those who counted the defects, who knew better what should have been done, but did not say or did in advance, we will ask to contact us before next year’s festival, as we will need your advice and selfless help.