This news will change your travel plans for August 2010. Sibiu is a must go to in the 13-15th weekend because ARTmania Festival 2010 presents Serj Tankian. Classical and electrical instruments will be heard on Saturday in the Large Square of Sibiu surrounding the voice of the artist who revolutionized rock music.

One of the most unconventional front men in rock, System Of A Down singer Serj Tankian emerges as a solo artist with his debut album Elect The Dead. System Of A Down, whose five genre-bending studio albums have sold over 16 million copies, went on an extended hiatus in August 2006. Since then, Tankian has been holed up in his home studio in Los Angeles writing, recording, and producing Elect The Dead. It is an album that showcases the writing and arranging prowess of a man best known for his inimitable vocals, incisive lyrics, and unwavering dedication to humanitarian causes.

“Making Elect The Dead, I felt the exact same energy as I did recording System’s debut in 1998, that sense of open experimentation, the idea that ‘Wow, I’m actually doing this…’ I was living, eating, and shitting this music every day. I’d wake up in the morning and the thought of working on a song was so powerful I couldn’t focus on anything else.”

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1967 to Armenian parents during tumultuous political times, Tankian lived in Beirut until 1975 when his family immigrated to Los Angeles. A graduate of Marketing & Business from California State University, Tankian was running his own business developing Propriety Vertical Industry Modular Accounting Software (surely a first for a budding rock star?) when in 1995 he co-founded System Of A Down with three friends from the Armenian-American community.

Over the next ten years, System rose to become one of the most inventive hard rock bands of their generation — a band with a conscience, a message, and a desire to constantly evolve. Tankian’s contributions included not only the confrontational and often cryptic lyrics, but also a unique singing voice heavily inspired by growing up listening to his father sing traditional Armenian music. Tankian sings in a cadence like no other: An abrasive, paint-stripping, pulpit-bashing roar one moment, a maudlin lament the next.

Having achieved their goals, the members of System Of A Down decided to pursue their own projects. Tankian continued his work with Axis Of Justice — the grass-roots activist organization he launched with Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello — and nurtured his own Serjical Strike Records. He also lent his vocal and remix skills to a number of artists, ranging from Tool and Deftones to Wu Tang Clan and Notorious B.I.G., and published a book of poetry, Cool Gardens (2002), which remains a best-selling poetry collection. In 2003, he recorded a pan-international sounding album with acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Arto Tunçboyac–yan, under the name SerArt.

It should, by now, be pretty obvious that Serj Tankian is not your typical front man.

ARTmania Festival 2010 is presenting six concerts in The Large Square on Friday and Saturday and other alternative events during the 13-15th August weekend where the access is permitted with tickets or passes for the Large Square. Tickets and passes are available at Carturesti, Diverta, Germanos and Vodafone Shops and online on and Outside Romania tickets are available on the Eventim European network.


Presale I: 1-30April – 70RON/day 110/pass (~18/29€)

Presale II: 1-31May – 80RON/day 140RON/pass (~21/37€)

Presale III: 1 June – 12 August – 90RON/day 160RON/pass (~24/42€)

Sale inside the festival: 110RON/day 180RON/pass (~29/47€)


The Sibiu Local Council through the Sibiu Town Hall and the Sibiu House of Culture and the Sibiu County Council co finances ARTmania Festival.  Main hotel partner is Continental Hotel Chain.

Various metal bands played at the festival in the past years: Nightwish, HIM, Opeth, Amorphis, Anathema, Lacrimosa, Tiamat, My Dying Bride or Within Temptation. ARTmania Festival is focused on two days concerts in the center of the city, but also on art exhibitions, club parties and many other cultural projects organized in the medieval fortress of Sibiu.

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