After the boom of the party, calm. The balance sheet. Better, analysis. Our vintage Golden Age Rock Festival 2022 is over. It went perfectly and was again praised for its organizational qualities and the originality of its programming. No, the Covid did not kill us. No, two years of misery and frustration have not eroded our will to carry on. The changes between the 2020 and 2022 editions did not please anyone. To adapt is to survive and despite a gloomy but not desperate economic context, we officially announce a third edition of our (your) GARF on September 30 and October 1, 2023.
Everything must change so that nothing changes…
Let’s not be afraid of words: we have made mistakes. Misjudged certain situations. The key is not to persist in error. Therefore, we are still changing crèches. Our censors will point to a lack of stability. We will insist on the tottering state of Liège’s infrastructures and their exorbitant costs. The Cultural Center of Chênée (formerly the Foyer Culturel de Chênée, a suburb of Liège a few kilometers from the city center) is a functional hall with a capacity of 600 souls. Our gauge. With a large parking lot below. This small musical temple from Liège stinks of rock and can be proud of a rich past: trendy rock from the turn of the 70s-80s with the Buzzcocks, a canceled concert by the Sex Pistols, Eddie & The Hot Rods, Ultravox, Fisher Z, XTC, Talking Heads, John Cale… and the mid-eighties hard patina with the Viva, H Bomb, Tokyo Blade, Vengeance… The choice between seats, standing places and relaxation area will be a rare evidence for everyone. The removal of the VIP (everyone will be!) was also in our boxes. It will be effective given the configuration of the premises. Let’s be honest: the concept “very important person” did not fit with our basic precepts.
The amputation of a day (that of Friday) was also desired. We no longer have twenty springs and neither do you. The theme days disappear to offer 14 fire bands (8 on Saturday and 6 on Sunday with a curfew at 10:30 p.m.) for two days where the various trends of classic rock will be well represented. Last point, the change of dates. Many have blamed us for August, the holiday month par excellence. The GARF will stabilize durably at the end of September-beginning of October, with the last jolts of summer and the first dead leaves.
Again and again the same philosophy and too bad for those who do not understand it!
We have now decoded it perfectly: the mass plebiscite will never concern us and that is fine. We have the audience we deserve. Great people of all nationalities. Bring on, enthusiasts and connoisseurs. External participants present at our GARF insisted on the friendliness and correctness of our audience. This is also what castigates us and motivates us to continue, to surpass ourselves.
Two English legends are our headliners:
Ten Years After, hero of Woodstock, and Arthur Brown, UFO freak/psyche. Perfide Albion never ceases to send us its most worthy representatives: Back Street Crawler, the band of Paul Kossoff (Free). Geordie, Brian Johnson University (AC/DC). White Spirit, 1980 nugget from the NWOBHM. Teaze, fresh Canadian, and Legs Diamond, Deep Purple US, will be our (beautiful) singularities from the North American continent. Treat, Satan Jokers and Highway Chile/Helloïse will represent the petulance of the hard eighties. Liège will also be honoured: the returns of SteeLover, Vox Populi and Such A Noise. A deserved tribute to our friend Michel Leclercq.
Thank you for your confidence. Don’t wait to reserve your seats. The Cultural Center of Chênée is not extendable.
The GARF team
Dear friends and rockers,
After the questions and the annoyances, the light is in the end of the tunnel! A return to some form of normality is slowly looming. Even if the resurgence of one variant or the other may happen, the good ventilation of our new room will allow our 2nd edition to be held. 2022 will indeed be liberating year after two unfortunate postponements that upset everyone.
We need to be honest : these postponements have sometimes damaged our confidence and enthusiasm. But a new wind swept away the sinistrosis. We firmly believe to making our 2nd Golden Age Rock Festival a success. Unfortunately, despite our insistence, we were not able to keep the same line-up put together at the end of 2019. New England, Teaze and Killer Dwarfs have decided not to cross the Atlantic ocean. The pandemic and its deleterious effects (complicated flights, cost of plane tickets, diseases,…) got the better of the motivation behind these superb exclusivities that many of you were looking forward to finally seeing. Sweet pulled a Houdini! – favoring Germany and their homeland. That’s life! Joe Lynn Turner assured us that some of his band members were not vaccinated …
Faced with this avalanche of desertions, we decided to roll our sleeves up. Not to succumb to panic. Carefully and in good harmony, we decided on a line-up with little less exclusivities but more unifying. More balanced too. With three full line-up days (no more two days preceded by a warm-up day). Seven bands on Friday and Sunday. Eight bands on Saturday.
Friday August 19 : hard eighties day, Baron Rojo becomes our headliner. Spain’s No.1 hard rockers are on a farewell tour and have not performed in our country since the Heavy Sound Festival editions 1983 at Olympia Park in Bruges and 1984 in Poperinge. With Diamond Head, we agreed on a special set which revolves around the period of their first album : Lightning To The Nations, their 1980 masterpiece that so inspired Metallica. Another good idea: Victory. The Hanover band has completely revitalized and reinvented itself with a new singer from Switzerland in the line-up. We also considered Belgian bands : Lions Pride, Killer, SteeLover and Ostrogoth who shook the microcosm in the 80’s. They are cult bands !
Saturday August 20 : magical seventies day, if the French band Ocean joins the first four groups planned (Froidebise Trio, Epitaph, Stray and Heavy Metal Kids) the headlining places are turned upside down but we won’t lose out ! Due to the overwhelming excitement Angel generated during his memorable 2019 performance at our festival, we gave in to popular demand and are reprogramming them to headlining this time with a full show and extended set. It is only happiness. Mother’s Finest didn’t get into the habit of pouring out her tons of funky hard rock groove in our lands. It is now done !As for the third acolyte, it will be Russ Ballard, a prestigious hit maker who invented hard FM with his sidekick Rod Argent within Argent in the early seventies. How blessed we are.
Sunday August 21 : pomp melodic day, following the death of our friend Michel Leclercq, we chose the band Vacation from Charleroi to open the day. Pugnacious rockers. If Robby Valentine, Grand Slam, Prophet and Alcatrazz are still in the game, we have opted for a 100% female group in the person of Girlschool. The four Londoners will amaze you with a set focused on their singles hits. The headliner was supposed to be British but after much palaver, it will finally be Belgian and French-speaking! Machiavel is a legend in Belgium and we have decided to place our trust in a band that has the courage to reinvent itself without forgetting its very beautiful past.
The change in the location of the Golden Age of Rock Festival must have surprised you, challenged you. It was no longer possible for us to keep the Manège Fonck site because of work in the interior courtyard of the area, which had been the breath of fresh air of the 2019 edition. No sooner said than done, we agreed on the best: the Palais des Congrès, a few minute’s walk from the Liège TGV railway station, on the banks of the Meuse, our river, and on the edge of the most prestigious gardens of the Cité Ardente. With a beautiful wood flooring concert hall and a VIP space being rooted in both an interior audience in close connection with the stage and a terrace overlooking the Meuse. In the purest tradition of classic US rock, held in luxury hotels or vast casinos. Not enough rock n roll for you ? Yes, but we have the feeling that you are looking for the best, in a word : comfort. So the 4-star Hotel Van der Valk in front of the Golden Age Rock Festival should finally convince you.
Don’t Stop Believin ’! Sol Lucet Omnibus (the sun shines for everyone) and come to our Golden Age Rock Festival 2022 with a smile from ear to ear.
The Golden Age Rock Festival Team
2019-2020-2021 editorial :
The temptation of creating a ‘different’ kind of festival basically won, but not without difficulty. Between looming scepticism and complicated negotiations, the Golden Age Rock Festival acts like a true UFO at the heart of a summer of conventional festivals. We believe that new groups or ones that aren’t often in our neck of the woods, special concepts and surprises are what makes us different. Fortes fortuna juvat – Fortune favours the bold !
We are obviously counting on you: on people who are tired of seeing the same old acts , who will not balk at giving a crowd of connoisseurs and fans a chance. We know the groups invited like the back of our hands because we have seen them perform recently and they will surprise you, enthral you and win you over for ever.
If 1970s or 1980s rock brings back good memories for you, then this new festival of classics is a must. As organisers, if we are often disappointed by a relentless commercial thirst or an evolving multiplication of various festivals, our GARF must essentially revolve around an old school theme: the single stage. Breathers between shows. Adapted schedules. Camaraderie among all parties.
Liège is a nice, ebullient and welcoming city with a Latin spirit, a fervent city full of contrasts. And at the end of August, it will become the Mecca for classic rock fans. Of course, the wonderful former riding school of the Caserne Fonck will be a beacon of musical passion. An elixir of authentic friendliness.
Keep on rocking brothers & sisters and let’s be part of it !