9 nostalgic summer music festivals that will make you wish you were there

Take a look back at these 9 iconic summer music festivals from past decades. Which one would you relive again?

Who doesn't love a rockin' music festival? It's that time of the year where music festivals are popping up all over the country. There are so many these days it's hard to choose just one! Whether you go for the music, the festival food, the memories, the travel or just the vibes, it's a fun way to spend your summer.

There are many music festivals such as Lollapalooza, Coachella and Summerfest that took influence from the past. Here are nine iconic and memorable summer music festivals that took the world by storm. Which one would you go back in time to relive for the first time, or relive again?

1. Newport Folk Festival


1959, Rhode Island

The Newport Folk Festival originally began in 1959 as a counterpart to the Newport Jazz Festvial. This festival had one goal in mind: put folk music on the map. The festival still continues today. Throughout the decades some major names to grace the stage include: Bob Dylan, Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Allman Brothers Band and Pixies. If you love folk music, this one is for you!

Image credit: NPR

2. Monterey Pop Music Festival


1967, California 

The Monterey Pop Music Festival was a three-day festival in California. The festival is remembered for first major American appearences by Jimi Hendrix, The Who and Ravi Shankar. It was also the first large-scale performance from Janis Joplin and was the introduction to Otis Redding. The festival has a rich history behind it. It also represented counterculture with various groups, such as The Flower Children making their first appearence. It was said to be a templete for Woodstock. We'd travel back in time for this one!

Image credit: Pinterest

3. Miami Pop Festival


1968, Florida

Can you imagine a festival featuring Three Dog Night, Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac and Marvin Gaye? This festival was your dream if you answered yes to all of the above. This festival had two major things in common with Woodstock, which took place the following year. Michael Lang was one of the promoters on both and Jimi Hendrix was the headlining act at each festival. 100,000 people came out to this one. Do you remember this one?

Image Credit: Pinterest

4. Woodstock


1969, New York

Woodstock is one of the most iconic music festivals of all time. Were you lucky enough to have gone? It was billed as "Three Days of Peace & Music." It brought in more than 400,000 people from all over the world. It was the festival most pivotal to music history and counterculture. This festival featured performances by Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Grateful Dead. Woodstock is still celebrated today and its currently in its 50th anniversary. 

Image Credit: CBC

5. Altamont Free Concert


1969, California

The Altamont Speedway Free Concert was a counterculture rock festival held at the Altamont Speedway outside of Livermore, California. 300,000 people attended this event. Many considered it to be the "Woodstock of the West." It featured many favorites such as Santana, Jefferson Airplane and the Rolling Stones. 

Despite many people wanting this show to be the "Woodstock of the West," it was actually remembered for its violence. There was one death, three accidental deaths, one overdose that lead to drowning and two hit-and-runs. 

Image Credit: Pinterest

6. Summer Jam '73


1973, New York

This festival once received a Guiness Book of World Records entry for "largest audience at a pop festival." An estimated 600,000 fans came out to see The Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, The Band and more. Were you one of the 600,000 people in attendance? 

Image Credit: Pinterest

7. Lollapalooza


1991, Chicago

Lollapalooza is still one of the biggest music festivals of the summer. The first ever Lollapalooza took place in 1991 as a touring event through the U.S. and Canada. Lollapalooza doesn't focus on one genre of music in the four-day festival, rather it is a celebration of rap, electronic, rock, alternative, pop and everything in between. The original lineup was: Jane's Addiction, Nine Inch Nails, Ice-T, Violent Femmes and more. Are you going to Lollapalooza this year? Let us know how many years you've been! 

Image Credit: Red Bull


8. Warped Tour


1995, Touring

People in band shirts, emo kids and moshers are at the forefront of Vans Warped Tour. No longer around, Warped Tour started in 1995 and became America's biggest and longest-running music tour festival. It featured bands such as A Day to Remember, AFI, The All-American Rejects, Deftones, Jimmy Eat World and so much more. In 2019, rumors started that Warped Tour would make a comeback. We can only hope! Would you go?

Image Credit: Variety

9. Ozzfest


1996, Touring

Calling all metal heads! The first Ozzfest was a two day festival held in Phoenix, Arizona and Devore, California. It was founded by Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne. It featured many performances by heavy metal and hard rock groups. Ozzy and Black Sabbath played the tour over many years. Did you ever go to Ozzfest?

Image Credit: Pinterest

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CouchPotato19 6 months ago
I'm 56 and sick of concerts, now. Been there done that.
DannyZ 15 months ago
Let's not forget the Seattle Pop Festival July 1969

Led Zeppelin

The Doors

Chuck Berry

And more . . .
BenSobeleone 17 months ago
"To get back to the warning that I've received, you might take it with however many grains of salt you wish, that the brown acid that is circulating around us is not specifically too good. It's suggested that you do stay away from that. Of course it's your own trip, so be my guest. But be advised that there is a warning on that, okay?" - Chip Monck - August 16, 1969, Yasgur's Farm, Bethel, NY
SheriHeffner 17 months ago
I wouldn't have been caught dead at any of those concerts. And NO I don't remember them.
Snickers 24 months ago
Would have loved to have been at Woodstock but I was only 12 years old at the time. God it would have been great to hear Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix live.
MichaelVegas 24 months ago
There was one I use to go to all the time in San Francisco in the late 90's (I think) it was a radio station that put it on with many of the bands there would be famous at that time, they even sold cassettes with each groups #1 song that was played on the radio. The food of course was expensive and they did not have to many bathrooms, a girlfriend of mine would go to the show with me and when the line was too long for the bathroom, people were going into the trees bushes to go to the bathroom, so I had to look out for her when she went, then it became another bathroom as more women would go.
Big3Fan 24 months ago
I have multiple Monterey and Woodstock DVDs that I've enjoyed over the years. Love the music. hate crowds.
327053 24 months ago
Wow Newport Folk Festival 1959 pic looks like it was taken yesterday 🤪
Would loved to have seen The Doors or Beatles in concert!😊
Pongo1958 24 months ago
I Would Like To Go Back To 1985 And See Live Aid In London Or Philadephia
327053 Pongo1958 24 months ago
Yes!!! Totally agree 😳
mojomoonjo 24 months ago
Inrodwetrust 24 months ago
Went to a few warp tours and ozzfests and the two Woodstock’s in the 90’s. Why no mention of the Tibetan freedom festival? That was great
Katret 24 months ago
There's a Christian worship gathering coming thats gonna be the end all to music festivals. Enteries have all been paid. If you believe that, accept yours & I'll see you there
Sally 24 months ago
I remember asking my parents if I could go to Woodstock. I was 16. Answer was a definite no! My dad said it would be a bunch of long-haired crazy hippies, HA,HA! He was right. But actually we had NO idea at the time that Woodstock would end up being as large as it was!
SheriHeffner Sally 17 months ago
I had a co worker tell me when she was sixteen she wanted to go to Woodstock. She said her parents told her there would be " No way in Hell they would let her go." Crazy hippies, drugs, alcohol, overdoses. She said she's glad they wouldn't let her go.
PaulTakeo 24 months ago
Hawaii had the "Sunshine Music Festival" in Diamond Head Crater. A one day festival held every Jan. 1, New Years Day. I think it ran from 1969-75. Some of the acts over the years were Jimi Hendrix, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Santana and many more.
dangler1907 24 months ago
Where would most girls go? As a young teen in the 60s, girls were far more important to me than "bands" and "music" so where girls went, I went. ;)
Dfblooz 24 months ago
Then there was the largely forgotten Goose Lake Rock Festival, which was held August 7-9 1970 in Leoni Township, Michigan... It was reputed to be the second largest (in terms of attendance) rock festival in history after Woodstock. I had just turned 18 and went with three other friends from Hudson, Ohio.

Katret 24 months ago
Cornerstone! I actually did go to that one. It was great
andyp777 24 months ago
No mention of several Christian music festivals over the years - Cornerstone (near Chicago), Creation (main one in PA, NW in Washington for a while), AtlantaFest, Explo '72, and a number of others. Some of these are still going.... Sadly was never able to attend any of the main ones, but did go to a few here in FL.
dangler1907 andyp777 24 months ago
It would almost be impossible to describe a "Christian music festival" as "iconic", except to Christians. The population at large is much, much bigger than that.
nd1irish dangler1907 24 months ago
As of the year 2020, Christianity had approximately 2.6 billion+ adherents out of a worldwide population of about 7.8 billion people. Um, 2.6 billion is pretty big. Just saying…
Katret 24 months ago
Avoid regrets! Catch "Hobipalooza" July 31,2022 in Chicago
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