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Rock'n Solex have been around for close to 50 years, and is the oldest student festival in France. It is organised every year in May by volunteers from the INSA school in Rennes, and is held in all its noise and glory at the Beaulieu campus.
1967, somewhere on a campus in Rennes, students from the INSA school thought or organising a motorbike race. The engineering school had just celebrated its first anniversary and the inauguration race only included a dozen drivers. These pioneers were far from imagining that they had just created what was going to become the biggest Solex gathering in Europe, as well as the very first free student festival.
20,000 FESTIVAL-GOERS AND 400 DRIVERS
All year, volunteers from the INSA school in Rennes work hard to organised the Rock'n Solex festival. Every year, they welcome close to 20,000 festival-goers in May, as well as 400 drivers for the Solex races. The festival has adopted a sustainable approach and compensates the motorbikes' emissions through a number of activities and workshops to do with environmental protection (tree planting, bird feeder making), ongoing throughout the 5 festival days.
FEST-NOZ FOR A TRADITIONAL OPENING CEREMONY
Rock'n Solex has never forgotten its Breton roots and always begins with the traditional Bombard and Breton bagpipes. Since 2007, this traditional Breton celebration has been held within the INSA premises. A fantastic night out to learn some Breton dances.
Contrary to what its name may lead you to think, the festival offers a variety of electronic music concerts. Various styles intertwine, giving the festival a student vibe thanks to the great line-up. Some of the big international names and campus regulars that have performed at the Festival are Le Peuple de l’Herbe, Franck Black, De La Soul, Mass Hysteria, Ska-P, Asian Dub Foundation, Skip the Use, Alpha Blondy, Abd-El-Malik or even Etienne de Crécy, scheduled for the 2016 edition...
Solex races are the trademark and original starting point of the Festival. More than 400 drivers fight out three challenges: the technical one (relay slalom), the long team one (endurance, with a relay that lasts 6 hours) and the queen of speed one. This last race, held at the very end of the festival on Sunday afternoon, is a face-off between, original machines and prototypes. These Solex models, specially prepared for the race, can reach up to 80 km/h. Thrills and amazement guaranteed! A prize for the best costume is also awarded to the drivers with the nicest outfit.
MECHANICAL WORKSHOP: AN ENGINEER'S TOUCH
The 49th edition of the Rock'n Solex festival innovated with a beginner's Solex workshop led by engineers who explained how the machine works. A nod to the subject matters taught at the engineering school that initially created the festival. After nearly 50 years, Rock'n Solex has not aged one bit.