Festival Tour Tickets

Music festivals are a huge aspect of modern day live entertainment. These festivals are typically large gatherings which feature a number of musical acts as well as food, various forms of entertainment, merchandise, performance art, and social activities. Most often, these festivals are held outdoors in large open spaces and see large crowds of people. To learn more about music festivals, their history, prevalence, and significance as well as where to get all the best festival tickets, click here.

Music festivals are held all over the world at different times during the year. There are some festivals which take place annually while others take place several times a year. Some festivals are held for specific causes, some celebrate specific themes, and some may be held as for-profit concerts in order to raise funds for a specific cause.

A History of Music Festivals

Music festivals today are considered as an important experience by most music fans. They are so prevalent and diverse that there is no shortage of music festivals for people to enjoy.

But how did these festivals come to be? Are they a recent edition to our enjoyment of music or have they been around for many years?

Records show that music festivals are in fact something which has been taking place for thousands of years.

There is evidence that in the 6th century BCE, during the Pythian Games, music was a very important feature. In fact, the artistic and dance competitions which were part of the games actually predated most of the athletic games. During the games, live music was an integral feature. There would be a number of different musicians all playing various instruments and singing.

Fast forward to the medieval ages, and music festivals morphed into competitions. Various artists were brought together and asked to perform. Their performances would then be judged in order to crown one musician as the winner of the competition.

The Rise of Western Music Festivals

Modern day music festivals as we know them in the West saw their origins in the middle of the 20th century. The festival that is often credited with officially kicking off festival culture in the United States was The Newport Jazz Festival held in 1952. This festival was held in Rhode Island and saw 13,000 people show up. During the day, academic panels were held while at night there were performances by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Dizzy Gillespie.

Festivals have historically been associated with countercultural youth movements. These social gatherings have been important catalyst for a variety of different movements.

In 1959, the Newport Folk Festival was launched. This festival was where Bob Dylan introduced rock music to folk audiences. He was famously booed for going electric during his set.

Then in 1967, the first festival which launched a festival culture similar to the ones which exist today was held. The Monterey Pop Festival in California was one of the most celebrated cultural phenomena in rock music. At this festival, Jimi Hendrix set his guitar aflame and audiences were introduced to the likes of The Who and Ravi Shankar. Monterey is still widely attended, with audience numbers ranging from 25,000-90,000. This was a festival which championed the rejection of many dominant western cultural norms such as patriarchy and capitalism. Music became the vehicle around which people could mobilize.

Popular Music Festivals

Throughout the years, there have emerged certain music festivals which have now become institutions in and of themselves. Some of the most popular music festivals throughout history have included:


The original Woodstock Music & Art Fair took place in 1969. It is arguably the most famous music festival ever. In its first year, the festival featured 32 acts that performed in front of over 500,000 people.

Isle of Wight Festival

This festival is held on the Isle of Wight in England. In 1970, attendance approached over 700,000 people. This is one of the largest gatherings a festival has ever seen. It also included a diverse array of musicians such as Leonard Cohen, Jimi Hendrix, and The Who.

Glastonbury Festival

Glastonbury is a huge annual festival held every year in England. A number of acts perform and the festival is typically connected with a number of charitable causes.  



Lollapalooza was started by the front man of Jane’s Addiction, Perry Farrell. This was the first touring alternative music festival and helped to popularize alternative music. It was a touring festival until 1997 after which it was held annually at a single location over a weekend.