What Was the First Music Festival? 

What was the first music festival (Americana festival)? This question has many answers. You might think of Lollapalooza, Monterey Pop Festival, or Woodstock. But did you know that Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival were music festivals? You may even be surprised to learn that both of these were founded by members of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle club. This group had been around for 20 years before 1967, but the festival’s connections to the counterculture were firmly established after the events took place. 


In 1991, Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell launched Lollapalooza. Inspired by Bill Graham, Farrell brought the band’s fans to a small, free outdoor concert. Despite its modest success, the festival eventually shifted to mainstream artists and venues, disappointing some early fans. Since then, the festival has become one of Chicago’s most profitable festivals. This article examines some of the history and legacy of the music festival. 

In the beginning, Lollapalooza was a two-day event but soon grew to three days, bringing in international acts and attracting tens of thousands of attendees. In 2011, it expanded to South America, where it played in Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, and Santiago. In 2014, the festival moved to Berlin and began its fifth year. During the festival’s history, it has become a central part of the culture of Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Germany. 

Monterey Pop Festival 

Monterey Pop Festival, a three-day music festival that was organized in 1967, was a groundbreaking event that marked the beginning of a new era in popular music. Organizers John Phillips, the founder of The Mamas & the Papas, Alan Pariser, and Derek Taylor wanted to showcase the diverse talents of rock music and establish it as a viable art form. The festival’s diverse lineup included artists from many genres, including blues and jazz. 

The first Monterey Pop Festival was in 1967 and was a breakthrough for artists like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Organized by Clive Davis of Columbia Records, the event was the first American exposure for many artists. The festival’s groovy atmosphere and renowned lineup brought music lovers from all walks of life and created a worldwide phenomenon. However, Monterey Pop Festival was not without its controversy. 


The Woodstock Music Festival was a massive success. However, organizers soon faced difficulties getting the bands to sign up. They eventually signed up Creedence Clearwater Revival for a $10,000 show at 3 am, which drastically altered the lineup of acts. Despite the lack of security, other bands were soon added to the lineup. The music festival became a phenomenon that has endured in the minds of many for over 50 years. 

The lineup of artists at Woodstock was a who’s who of rock and roll. The lineup included artists such as Santana, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, and The Who. Despite the lack of security, Woodstock was a huge success. It sold out the grounds in a matter of days, with a crowd of over 70,000 people. However, the lineup was cut short due to the late arrival of Jimi Hendrix. As a result, many of the festival attendees had to leave early. 

Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival 

The first Fantasy Fair and Music Festival took place in 1967 at the 4,000-seat Sidney B. Cushing Memorial Amphitheatre on the south face of Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, California. The first festival was organized by the KFRC (Kapalos For Resident Culture) and was held for three days, June 10-11. Throughout the following year, the festival has grown to include more than a dozen acts, and the event is now one of the oldest festivals in the world. 

The first big concert of the Doors occurred at the Fantasy Fair and was the group’s first major U.S. appearance. The festival was also a fundraiser for the Hunters Point Child Care Center, and the proceeds were donated to this cause. The festival was originally scheduled for June 3 and 4, but the inclement weather forced the event to be postponed, and several acts were canceled. However, the festival continues to be an annual favorite at the Marin County Fair.