WHAT THE FEST?

  • In the beginning...
  • It goes back to the ancient Greeks at Delphi in the 6th Century B.C.: they held multiple-day events that included music and athletic competitions. Throughout the Middle Ages, Celtic and Gaelic cultural fairs promoted music, with a dance competition as the main event. In Europe, large gatherings of the upper class listened to classical music. Throughout the 1960s, music festivals were a way to express countercultural views, meeting grounds for political activism and change. Today, they are a mainstream summer staple, all about connecting people through music, fun and good vibes.
  • Modern-day music festivals share a few common themes that make them different from attending a concert: most importantly, the atmosphere at a music festival is about building community. There is a stage with many bands playing on it over multiple days, all for one price. And the goal is to participate, rather than act as passive receivers: in addition to the music, interactive experiences aimed at building community take place throughout the open-air venue. Plus, there are killer food and drink options available from local favorite eateries.
  • The bottom line: festivals are about bringing people together through music.
  • From Greece to Girardeau.
  • Monterey Pop Festival: California, 1967. Jimi Hendrix sets his guitar on fire. Janis Joplin appears on the scene. Americans meet The Who. It’s the “Summer of Love,” and one of the first music festivals to lay a foundation for how we think of the music festival today.
  • Woodstock: New York, 1969. 200,000 tickets were sold; 500,000 people showed up. They took down the fences and let people join for free, celebrating peace, love and music. The quintessential music festival, this marked a shift in the “countercultural” mission of music festivals, as they became a mainstream industry thanks to Woodstock’s success.
  • Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival: Founded in the Colorado Desert of California in 1999, this is one of the most well-known music festivals in the world today. Coachella set the stage for the modern recurring destination festival, permitting camping and including art installations across the grounds. Taking place over two weekends, Coachella sets the trends in the music and festival industry for the coming year.
  • Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival: This three-day festival in Tennessee began in 2002 as a folk festival and now includes diverse genres of music. With a focus on being an eco-friendly festival, Bonnaroo creates an atmosphere that encourages sustainability and supports nonprofits through community murals and a nonprofit vendor fair. There’s also a silent rave.
  • Shipyard Music Festival: Established at Ivers Square in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in 2018. Like a shipyard that brings together disparate parts and sends them back out into the world more connected, this is a family-friendly festival about bringing people together through song, food, drink and good cheer. In addition to watching 11 bands on the area's largest outdoor stage throughout the two-day event, there are interactive experiences across the open-air venue for you to take part in, such as printing your own Shipyard postcard and participating in a live broadcast of good vibes from festivalgoers. And there’s killer food and drink from local favorite hotspots like mary jane burgers + brew. Plus, you can bring your kiddos; there’s a kids’ activity center and kids 10 and under are free with a ticketed adult.
  • See you in September.

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