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OFFICIAL SITE FOR THE ORIGINAL CONCERT PROMOTIONS BOOK

& CONCERT AND FESTIVAL PROMOTIONS MANUAL

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)

 

 

1934

The Berkshire Festival MA

1924 -  Present

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- Present

 Jamboree In The Hills   OH     70,000 Present

1982 -83

US Festivals  CA   375,000

1984

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

1985- 2005

Farm Aid   1 day  IL   80,000

1985- 2005

Live Aid   1 million in 10 cites in one day globally

1988 - present

Merlefest   NC   4,000 - present 78,000

1991- present

Lollapooza tour

1991- 1996

HORDE Fest tour - 1996

1996  - 2006

OzzFest  tour - 2006

1996 - 1999

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

Phish New Years Festival   Seminole Reservation   S. Florida   90,000 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

 

 

ISBN  978-0-615-38033-9

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