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A History of Music Festivals, Part 7: Post-2000 Electronic

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In the new millennium, especially in the last decade, the popularity of electronic dance music (EDM) has increased globally – mostly in the United States and Australia. EDM is an umbrella term for multiple genres such as dance-pop, house, techno, trance, drum and bass, dubstep, trap and footwork. Electronic music in the 1990s was associated with the European rave and club culture. Yet, in the USA, it had limited commercial success and remained underground. Rave parties were especially big in the UK and Germany in the early '90s Using the term EDM to re-brand the American rave scene of the early 2010s...

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A History of Music Festivals, Part 6: The Nineties Scene

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A downward spiral of festival attendance, especially in American pop festivals, was seen in the 1980’s. The change in musical tastes was the cause, which festivals had to adapt to. The US (pronounced like the pronoun) festival of 1983. Reportedly, it made a multi-million dollar loss. Techno: Detroit to Berlin A major influence for Europe’s rave culture was the music genres techno and acid house – which originated from Detroit and Chicago, respectively. In 1989, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a large scene for techno music emerged that was never seen before. The fall of the Berlin Wall triggered a large-scale techno scene...

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A History of Music Festivals, Part 5: UK Rock

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Across the pond in the 1960s, the faltering British jazz scene was soon to be replaced by huge rock festivals inspired by Monterey and Woodstock. Reading Festival Influenced by the Newport Jazz Festival, the first Reading Festival (later Reading and Leeds Festival) was known as the National Jazz Festival. Three years after this 1961 event, its name was changed to the National Jazz and Blues Festival. This reflected the changing musical tastes of the Brits at the time. The 1969 National Jazz and Blues Festival in Plumpton, East Sussex Gradually jazz musicians were relegated to the ‘graveyard slot’ of the festival,...

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A History of Music Festivals, Part 4: Jazz and Rock in the USA

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Early American music festivals, from the late 1800s, where centered on classical music from Europe. Worcester, Massachusetts, home of United States' oldest classical music festival Newport Jazz Festival The creation of jazz festivals in the United States is traced to Elaine and Louis Lorillard, who established the Newport Festival on Rhode Island in 1954. The musicians, including Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, performed on the lawn of Newport Casino. As much as 13,000 people attended over two days. Billie Holiday performed at the first Newport Jazz Festival Newport’s upper-class community had little appreciation of jazz music and opposed future events....

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A History of Music Festivals, Part 3: Classical Music

Authored By Dr Dave 0 Comment(s)

The earliest roots of the modern music festival can be traced to 17th-19th century Europe. In this period, royalty had gained control over their nation's culture and classical music was at the height of its popularity. Classical music was popular with the European elite Typically, up until this time, festivals were joyful celebrations organized by the common folk – so that they could temporarily forget their normal working lives. Festivals in the 17th-19th centuries became exclusive to royal families, elites, their lackeys and the highly educated. In these newly indoor festivals, royal families would sit in their high and mighty...

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