With winter well and truly upon us I thought it would be nice to look back on the festival season and with that the history of Music festivals and where it all started. Music festivals are a rite of passage for any music enthusiast, for whatever reason the idea of live music, dancing amongst nature and enjoying the company of others all under the warmth of the English sun (if you’re lucky) draws in huge crowds all over the country. British summer time brings with it festival season and so many embark on a weekend long trip to enjoy some music and a cold beverage.

But where exactly did it all start, ultimately it began elsewhere in 1967 we saw the first example of what we now consider a music festival which was the Monterey International Pop Festival. More than 25,000 music lovers came together to watch live performances from The Who, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix amongst other artists. This set the scene for what was to come across the world, in the UK the Isle of Wight was announced the following year.

Although the Isle of Wight started off as a moderate sized event it began to attract huge crowds and within three years the festival doubled in size causing Parliament to ban the festival due to concerns for the island. In 2002 it made a comeback only in a new location and under new management, to this day the Isle of Wight is one of the largest and most loved music festivals in the UK seeing audiences return year after year.

1961 saw the start of what would eventually become Reading festival, originally known as the National Jazz and Blues Festival it only started to gain popularity in 1971 once it finally became Reading festival. Soon after its sister festival was launched, both Reading and Leeds quickly become another signature event in the UK’s summer calendar. As with many of the festivals we see today line ups and genres are always criticised with audiences often voicing their opinions, however Reading continues to stick to their roots with their rock and indie line ups being announced each year.

Known now as Glastonbury this music festival launched in the 70’s as The Pilton festival, growing year on year with around 12,000 attendees in its second year it quickly become one of the biggest music festivals in the UK. 2018 saw another memorable year for the event with tickets selling out in minutes, we are sure to see Glastonbury continue to draw in crowds for years to come.

These are only a couple of the best music festivals that paved the way for the kind of events we see today including Bestival, Parklife, Creamfields and many more. Not only did they influence the creation of the larger festivals but also inspired so many other music lovers to launch their own independent festivals, some of which are noted to be the most memorable.

A trend that we continue to see as each year passes is the inclusion of wellness and the appreciation of the environment. Festivals are working with charities and organisations to make their events as environmentally friendly as possible whilst introducing activities such as yoga and arts, as well as family friendly areas. The theme of nature, youth and wellness is becoming extremely strong across the majority of the festivals we attend and I’m sure we are set to see this continue and expand in the following years.