Metallica – Monsters Of Rock, Moscow 1991

Metallica – Monsters Of Rock

Apparently, there were over 1.5 million people in the crowd of Metallica – Monsters of rock concert which probably makes it the biggest in music history. It happened only a few months after the fall of the Soviet Union on the 28th of September in 1991. Because of the Soviet Union’s isolation from the world, no one really knew about the big metal and rock fan base in the USSR. However, everything changed when the organizers of the Monsters of Rock tour included Moscow in their repertoire. No one expected such a big crowd in Moscow. Even the military had to be included to avoid bigger incidents and choppers were flying over the stage all the time. But in the end, even the soldiers couldn’t resist but bang their heads!

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Early History of Monsters of Rock

Monsters of Rock was an annual hard rock and heavy metal music festival from 1980 to 1996. At first held only in Castle Donington, England but later it was expanded to other countries. Such as The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Brazil, the United States, France, Sweden, Argentina, Germany, and of course the former Soviet Union.

The famous promoter Paul Loasby, together with Maurice Jones, planned a one-day festival for hard rock and heavy metal bands. They made a great duo working together. On one hand, as a promoter of Rainbow‘s UK tour for that year, Loasby managed to put the famous British band on the repertoire of the festival. Which gave them the first big name and a nice start. On the other hand Maurice, knew the owner of the Donington Park race track and that’s how they got their location. A fairly unknown place for such events but its location next to the M1, A42, and A50 motorway allowed better transportation.

The first Monsters of Rock festival held in 1980 had a mix of British and international bands with an attendance of over 35,000 fans. As the years went by, the attendance of the festival only continued to grow. In 1988 it reached a record breaking-attendance of 107,000 fans when two fans died during Guns N’ Roses performance. Because of this the next year they limited the attendance to 75,000, to avoid bigger incidents.
In meantime, the festival expanded to more European countries.

Later History of Monsters of Rock

Since heavy metal as a genre lost its popularity in the early 1990s and the organizers couldn’t find a big name to headline the event. That’s why they had to cancel the festival until 1995 when Metallica agreed to play and revive the it. But only under their condition – to have control over the name of the festival. They named it “Escape from the Studio”.

Afterward, they struggled to find a strong headliner again, and the Donington Park remained event-less until 2001.

The famous heavy metal and hard rock festival Monsters of Rock stayed dormant until 2006 when it was revived and held at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes, England under its original name. Deep Purple and Alice Cooper headlined the event.

May interest you: Metal Bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Featured image by: Kreepin Deth