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The 10 Most Important Music Festivals in U.S. History

Music festivals have become such a big part of our culture, but that didn’t happen overnight.  Here are 10 of the most important music festivals in U.S. history, in chronological order:

 

1.  Newport Folk Festival, 1965 . . . It was the moment Bob Dylan stunned and angered fans by going ELECTRIC.

 

2.  Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival, 1967 . . . It was the first rock and roll festival in America.  It included Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, and The Byrds.

 

3.  Monterey Pop Festival, 1967 . . . It was larger and more structured than Fantasy Fair.  It included Simon & Garfunkel, The Mamas and the Papas, Otis Redding, and The Who.

 

4.  Woodstock, 1969 . . . Three days of peace and music, need I say more?  There were over 500,000 people in attendance with 32 musical acts.  These included Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, and The Grateful Dead.

 

5.  Summer Jam at Watkins Glen, 1973 . . . This was even larger than Woodstock with more than 600,000 people, even though only 150,000 tickets were sold.  There were only three bands in the lineup:  The Allman Brothers Band, The Grateful Dead, and The Band.

 

6.  Ozark Music Festival, 1974 . . . It was notorious for debauchery in terms of drugs and public sex acts.  The lineup had Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jeff Beck, Eagles, and Blue Oyster Cult.

 

7.  Us Festival, 1982 . . . It was put on by Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak.  It included Oingo Boingo, The Ramones, Talking Heads, The Cars, The Police, and Fleetwood Mac.

 

8.  Farm Aid, 1985 . . . It was organized by Neil Young, Willie Nelson, and John Mellencamp to help family growers throughout the U.S.  It included Bob Dylan, Foreigner, The Beach Boys, and Johnny Cash.

 

9.  Lollapalooza, 1991 . . . It was created by Jane’s Addiction singer Perry Farrell and is still around today.  The first ever lineup included Nine Inch Nails, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Violent Femmes.

 

10.  Coachella, 1999 . . . It helped shape modern day festivals.  The lineup included Tool, Rage Against the Machine, Beck, and Morrissey.



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