Bogotanos, can take great pride in the fact, that a rock musical festival which started back in 1994, and known across the hemisphere as ‘Rock al Parque’ has come of age, turning 20 this month.

Rock al Parque is one of those rare success stories where a big idea was championed by the masses, especially fans of heavy metal.

Then in come the bands. The festival first began in small venues across the city and sought financial support and musical guidance from the large and more established musical entity – the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra (OFB). It seemed for some, a dysfunctional alliance of classically-formed musicians, their administrators, pushing the private sector for funding in order to promote promising rock bands.

When the first Rock al Parque invaded the Media Torta amphitheater, the event quickly became associated with the metropolis. Medellín has its flower parade, Barranquilla its Carnaval, and Cali well…salsa, so why not transform Bogotá into a free rock capital? The then mayoralty championed the cause and a larger venue was required in which to accommodate potentially tens of thousands of fans who would most definitely come out to cheer on their favorite musicians.

Rock al Parque has evolved into an annual musical institution and has “grown up” to host world-class acts. Held every August in the Simón Bolívar Park, the festival appears to have now reached a nostalgic turning point. With no shortage of international bands wanting to play live to a Colombian audience, there are some familiar homegrown names this year, to mark the 20th anniversary of Rock al Parque. The Aterciopelados, La Derecha and ChocQuibTown during the 3-day event, which launches Saturday, August 16th. To celebrate the 20 years, the mayoralty’s Arts and Culture Institute, Ideartes, will provide free streaming from the stage via the rock festival’s official website www.rockalparque.gov.co . Also check their complete listings section for the times and places of each concert.

Musical genres will be wide ranging, especially with metal bands scheduled to hit the stage on opening day, such as American metalcore band Killswitch Engage.

Headlining under ‘International’ Saturday 16th in the main Plaza area of the Simon Bolivar Park are:

5: 05 pm to 6: 05 pm    MEMPHIS MAY FIRE
7: 20 pm to 8: 20 pm   HEADCRUSHER
8: 35 pm to 10: 05 pm  KILLSWITCH ENGAGE
7: 30 pm to 8: 30 pm   NILE
9: 50 pm to 11: 00 pm   EXODUS

On Sunday 17th, some of the international acts which will perform:

3: 10 pm to 4: 10 pm  THE CASUALTIES

5: 10 pm to 6: 10 pm   SLY & ROBBIE
7: 30 pm to 8: 30 pm  FISHBONE
9: 50 pm to 11: 00 pm  MAD PROFESSOR

On holiday Monday 18th, look out for these international acts:

3: 35 pm to 4: 35 pm  ÁGORA
4: 50 pm to 5: 40 pm  EL SIE7E
7: 00 pm to 8: 00 pm  DE LA TIERRA
8: 15 pm to 10: 00 pm  BLACK LABEL SOCIETY
7: 05 pm to 8: 05 pm MOLOTOV
9: 50 pm to 11: 00 pm ANTHRAX

So a congratulations Rock al Parque 2014! May you keep rockin’ through the decades.