On September 2, 2005, Yerevan staged its first international rock festival, Rock 'n People, in the capital's central Republic Square. In a country where most "live" pop music concerts ^ a music genre much preferred over rock ^ are lip-synched, there are many obstacles to overcome. However, the organizers of the festival were convinced that audiences in Armenia would prefer to hear music being played live.
Sound checks, a relatively new phenomenon in the country, can prove problematic. During the middle of a sound check by Empyray, a band typified by heavy bass and drum rhythms as well as searing guitar solos, an official from the nearby Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested that preparations for the concert be put on hold for half an hour while an important diplomatic meeting took place.
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Onnik Krikorian is a freelance journalist and photographer from the United Kingdom based in the Republic of Armenia. He works for a variety of publications and international organizations.