16 / APRIL / 2020

First posters from Music Festivals

This is our homage to music festivals that started the movement in music events as we have known it until this point. Times are almost certain to change, so we compiled an archive of the first music festival posters to remember all the great artwork and musicians who graced the music scene.

Navigate through the slideshows and see all the old posters from each festival.

Let’s start the journey in the history of vintage posters with the first modern type festival, Monterey Pop Festival (1967). This was the first major [commercial] festival, and many, including Woodstock, would follow its lead. The festival was planned in 7 weeks and featured acts such as Jimmi Henndrix, Janis Joplin and The Who, being the only edition.


Next is none other but the one festival that was number 19 of the 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll from Rolling Stone Magazine, Woodstock, the summer of 1969. The one festival everyone knows about.


First [commercial] music festival in UK was Isle of Wight Festival (1968). Known as “Woodstock of Europe during 1968-1970, the festival took a break for several years and was not allowed to take place on the island anymore, but it was revived in 2002 and still going at Seaclose Park.


Visiting Isle of Wight Festival is the reason co-founder Andrew Kerrs of the next festival decided to make Glastonbury Festival (1970) on the farm of co-creator Michael Eavis, where the tickets were only 1 pound and you could drink all the milk you wanted.


Pinkpop (1970) is known as the longest running pop music festival and takes place in The Netherlands. Out of their 49 editions 28 of them have been sold out and they had to impose a capacity limit of 60.000 people in 1994 to avoid overcrowding due to how popular they were.


Known initially as the National Jazz Festival, between 1958 and 1970, it soon after changed its name into Reading Festival (1971) and dropped all the jazz, having modern music take over the stages.


AWAKE’s role model when it comes to music festivals has always been Roskilde (1971). Named Sound Festival for the first edition, the festival was taken over in 1972 by Roskilde Foundation, had the name changed and since has been running as a non-profit organization and festival that promotes sustainability and humanity.


Pukkelpop (1985) was started as a one-day festival in The Netherland with the first edition gathering around 3000 attendees. Probably a combination of their sense of humor (Pukkel means pimple in Dutch) and great line-ups (1991 edition of the festival featured the Rammones and Nirvana on the same poster) that got them to an attendee rate of 180.000 on their recent editions.


While this festival might not have the focus on music as much as the rest of the ones included in the list,  Burning Man (1986) couldn’t have been left out. It is widely known that Burning Man operates under 10 main principles of respect and selfishness, being one of the few festivals that managed to create an authentic subculture. They even have a glossary with certain terms that define anything outside the sacred Black Rock City (Default World being the actual term for the rest of the world that is not Burning Man).


Marked in history as a political movement on it’s first “edition”, Love Parade (1989) is considered to be the first electronic music festival. Taking the world by storm, it was a strong peaceful movement, unfortunately the Love Parade had its last edition in 2010 due to various accidents.


Meant to be a farewell tour for Jane’s Addiction, Perry Farrel’s band, Lollapalooza (1991) transformed into one of the most known festivals globally. It takes places in 5 cities annually now, even though it had a break from 1997 to 2003.


The festival that most Romanians knew about and wanted to reach was Sziget (1993). Named Pepsi Sziget because of the main sponsor, it changed in 2002 to Sziget Festival, being know in Europe as one of the biggest festivals of that time.


Dubbed a European Instituation, Sónar Festival (1994) has established itself as one of the most respected music, art and technology festivals in the world. To get a sense of how advanced in the cool department Sónar Festival is, for the 25th anniversary of the festival they sent 33 pieces of music to Luytens Star b, a potentially habitable exo-planet located 12.4 light years from Earth.


The festival where most young people strive to reach is none other but famous, Coachella (1999). A Pearl Jam concert that took place in 1993 at the Empire Polo Club, in Indio, California, is the reason Coachella was created. The venue was scouted by Paul Pollett, the founder of Coachella, for the Pearl Jam concert and later decided tot create a festival there.


Hard not to mention the one festival that defies all music festival rules Tomorrowland (2005). Spread over two weekends with a schedule that ends by midnight, you’d think this electronic music festival wouldn’t have reached its second edition. Tomorrowland would like you to know that they are sold out almost instantaneously every time.