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CONCERTS  AND  MUSIC  FESTIVALS©   

HISTORY OF MUSIC FESTIVALS
Abridged by Hal Davidson.

Enjoy this basic chronological history of music festivals and major festival-like one day concerts. Concert and music festival events were chosen for size or notoriety. Sorry if your fave fest is not listed here.

CHRONOLOGICALLY LISTED AS:   

   DATE         EVENT NAME           LOCATION        ATTENDANCE

The year is either the start date or the only year the music festival was held.

ANCIENT MUSIC FESTIVALS

est. 4500 B.C. Pre-Dynastic Period.  Ancient Egyptian Festivals. Religious rites and ceremonies and political fests featured music and dance.

6th century B.C.  Ancient Greece   Pythian Games  Delphi

Middle Ages   Europe   Competitive music festivals sponsored by guilds (unions)

1897  Irish Music festival Dublin, Ireland

(see other international music festivals after US Fests)

2000     present ALL GOOD, WV 30,000

MODERN ERA- GREAT AMERICAN MUSIC FESTIVALS

Great American Music Festivals  (selected based on size or notoriety)

1934      The Berkshire Festival MA

1924 -    Ole Time Fiddlers and Bluegrass Festival   NC  (in later years est. 100,000)
Present

1949      Aspen Music Festival   Aspen, Colo.

1954      Newport Jazz Festival  RI

1965      Newport Folk Festival

1967      Monterey Int’l. Pop Festival  50,000

1968      Miami Music Festival  Miami, FL  100,000

1968      Newport Pop Fest  CA   100,000

1968      Altamont Speedway- Rolling Stones  CA 120,000

1969.     Woodstock  NY   est. 500,000

1969      New Orleans Pop Festival   LA25,000

1969      Newport Jazz Festival   Newport, RI   78,000

1969      Texas Int’l. Pop Festival   140,000

1969      Denver  Pop Festival   50,000  CO (3 day stadium event)

1969      Atlantic City Pop Festival   Atlantic City Race Course  110,000

1969      Atlanta Pop Festival Atlanta Int’l. Raceway    140,000 

1970      Atlanta Pop Festival Atlanta Int’l. Raceway    200,000

1970      New Orleans Jazz Festival aka  JazzFest since 1971 

1970      Seattle Pop Festival Woodenville, WA  70,0000

1970      Stevens Point Music Festival   Stevens Point, WI   60,000

1970      Kickapoo Creek Rock Festival   Heyworth,  IL   60,000

1972      Mt. Pocono Rock Festival   PA   200,000

1973      Watkins Glen  NY     600,000

1974      Cal Jam  CA    200,000

1974      August Jam   Charlotte Motor Speedway     150,000   Charlotte, NC

1974      Ozark Music Festival  (Beatles reunion rumored) MO   some est. 350,000

1976      Stompin 76   Galax, VA   100,000+

1978      Cal Jam Ontario Motor Speedway   CA 250,000

1978      Summer Jam   Watkins Glen, NY     600,000  

                                    (Promoted as 1 day event. Day before added due to 80,000 early entries)

1979      MUSE Festival (Musicians United for Safe Energy)   5 days at Mad. Sq. Garden

1981 -    Jamboree In The Hills   OH     70,000
Present

1982-83      US Festivals  Glen Helen Park, CA   375,000

1984      JVC International Jazz Festival (now in New York City and Newport)

1985      Farm Aid   1 day  IL   80,000
- 2005

1985      Live Aid   1 million in 10 cites in one day globally
- 2005

1988      Merlefest   NC   4,000
-
present                         78,000

1991      Lollapooza tour
- present

1991     HORDE Fest tour
- 1996

1995     Van’s Warped Tour   500,000  tour
- present

1996     OzzFest  tour
- 2006

1996     Lilith Fair    annual stadium tours
- 1999

1997 - present    All Good,  Thornville OH, 30,000

1997 - present  Electric Daisy Carnival, FL, CA, CO, NV, NJ, TX, PR,  45,000-300,000

1999 - present    Voodoo Experience, New Orleans, LA, 100,000

1999 - present   ULTRA, Miami Beach, FL, 100,000

2001     present Bonnaroo, TN 80,000

2001     present Floydfest, VA 10,000

2007 – present   Stagecoach, Indio, CA, 55,000

2010 -  present   Hangout Music Festival Gulf Shores, AL 35,000

2011 – present   Electric Forest, Rothbury, MI, 25,000

2012                   Made In America, Phila, PA 80,000

 

 

MODERN ERA- GLOBAL MUSIC FESTIVALS

1947     The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod   Wales

             Directly descends from medieval competitive festivals (12th century)

1876     Bayreuth Festival  (operas of Wagner) Germany

1920     Salzburg Festival (Mozart fest) descends from 1877 Salzburg Music Festival  Austria 

1934     Munich and Glyndebourne Festivals (opera)  England

1948     Aldeburgh Festival    England

1958     Osaka Festival of Music and Drama    JAPAN

1958     Spoleto Festival    1977 USA version starts in SC

1968-70 Isle Of Wight Festivals  England   1970 est. 600,000

1969     Toronto Pop Festival  CAN

1971     Glastonbury 71 Festival  England

1977     Religious Festival, India  12.7 million

1977-80 Reading Rock Festival England

1978     Montreal International Jazz Festival Summer

1988     Freedon Fest: Mandela address     Wembley Stadium, London England

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