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According to many historians, the very first music festivals were arguably in Ancient Egypt around 4500 B.C., the Pre-Dynastic Period. This particular music festival consisted of religious ceremonies and political fests which featured music and dancing.The first known music festival to be held in Ancient Greece was during the 6th Century B.C. during The Pythian Games. The games were usually held two years before, and after the Olympic Games. Unlike the mainly sports based Olympics, the Pythian Games also consisted competitions for music and also poetry. Smaller versions of the Pythian Games were celebrated in many other cities of the Levant and Greece.
The first known Music Festival known in the 1800's was the Irish Music Festival back in 1897 in Dublin, Ireland.
The first known music festival of the Modern Era was The Berkshire Festival, also known as Tanglewood. The music venue is also an estate, situated in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and has been home to the annual festival since 1937.
The Woodstock Festival, was held for the very first time on a 600 acre dairy farm in the town of Bethel, New York. The festival ran for three days from August 15th to 18th in the Summer of 1969.
During a sometimes rain-sodden weekend, thirty-two performing artists played in front of an estimated 500,000 concert attendees. Many regard the Woodstock Festival as the greatest and most pivotal moment in popular music history.
Rolling Stone Magazine has listed Woodstock as part of the "50 Moments That Changed The History Of Rock 'n' Roll".
Major artists that featured on the three day billing included The Who, Joan Baez, Santana, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Aeroplane, The Band, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Joe Cocker.
Artists such as The Doors, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, The Byrds and Joni Mitchell were invited to play but they declined for various reasons.
THE HISTORY OF THE WOODSTOCK FESTIVAL
Some will simply remember the Woodstock Festival as, "A Party Of A Lifetime."
"We were ready to rock out and we waited and waited and finally it was our turn... ...there were a half million people asleep.
These people were out. It was sort of like a painting of a Dante scene, just bodies from hell, all intertwined and asleep, covered with mud.And this is the moment I will never forget as long as I live. A quarter mile away in the darkness, on the other edge of this bowl, there was some guy flicking his Bic, and in the night I hear, "Don't worry about it John. We're with you." I played the rest of the show for that guy."
— John Fogerty referring to Creedence Clearwater Revival's 3 a.m. start time at Woodstock.
For more on the on the various Music Festivals that are staged around globe, please continue reading my
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