The music festival is hardly a recent creation. People have been gathering in fields to hear music for centuries. In some cases, those original festivals are still happening.
Ever hear of Fiera Della Frecagnola? It started in the village of Cannalonga up in the mountains in the South of Italy. As far as anyone has been able to tell, the villagers staged their first festival in 1450–and it’s still happening today. And there are other long-time festivals in Germany, India and Latvia. So this isn’t a new thing. Not by a long shot.
The first modern music festival, the kind of event that would be recognizable today, was probably Monterey Pop, which was held in San Francisco in the summer of 1967. That lead to Woodstock, Glastonbury, and Roskilde and a ton of others.
But the 1990s was the decade when the festival really came into its own with a series of regular events that reappeared year after year in the same sport. They were augmented by festivals that moved from place to place.
Europeans were pretty used to standing in fields in the mud and the rain and the heat. But here in North America, we were late to the party. There was no tradition of us doing anything like that. We’d go to the occasional outdoor gig, but it was far from the lifestyle thing and rite of passage that it had become in other parts of the world.
But by the time the decade was over, we had embraced the summer festival. We had our own events and traditions and rites of passage. And it couldn’t have happened without the 90s alt-rock nation.
This the ninth and final chapter on the alt-rock 90s.
Songs heard on this show:
Chemical Brothers, Block Rockin’ Beats (Live)
Oasis, What’s the Story Morning Glory (Live)
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Give It Away (Live)
Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Impression That I Get (Live)
Tragically Hip, 38 Years Old (Live)
Morrissey, November Spawned a Monster (Live)
Strokes, Last Nite
Here’s a playlist to go with everything courtesy of Eric Wilhile
And here’s a summary playlist that includes tracks from all nine episodes from this series on the 90s.
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