With warmer weather upon us and a jammed packed summer of diverse and interesting music festivals on the horizon, we wanted to look back at some of the bigger music gatherings of our time. Whether you like music festivals or hate them, you can’t deny that they excel at one thing – bringing together a large group of people with common interests and a passion for music big enough to look past the excruciating heat or freezing wind and rain, $9 bottles of water, $14 cups of beer and port-o-potty lines that stretch longer than Yonge Street. Huge festivals can be not only a logistical nightmare but even deadly if not organized correctly. Fortunately, events like what happened at Altamont in 1969 (Hells Angels murdering a fan during the Stones), Roskild in 2000 (9 killed during Pearl Jam set) and the Indiana State Fair Fest in 2011 (stage collapse kills 7) are thankfully, pretty rare. (More after the jump)

While many look at Woodstock as the standard for massive music festivals (drawing close to 500,000 the course of 3 days), some forget that in in 2003 SARStock saw more than 450,000 descend on Downsview Park in Toronto. This was and is still to date not only the largest outdoor ticketed event in Canadian history, and one of the largest in North American history. Although massive, these still pale in comparison to some of the bigger festivals. Brazil’s Rock in Rio has historically been the largest music festival in the world, with 1.5 million people in the first edition, 700,000 in both the second and fourth editions, about 1.2 million in the third, and about 350,000 people in each of the 3 Lisbon editions.

1.5 million people at a concert is big…. But nowhere near the biggest. The largest music gathering ever recorded happened in 2010 in Dirba India where an estimated 4.8 million people watched Punjabi Legend Babbu Maan perform. Coachella’s measly 80,000 people isn’t even a drop in the bucket compared to this one.

Here’s a link to a quick video from the Babbu Mann show. How do you manage a crowd of 4.8 million? With big sticks of course. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjXJXZuGeuY

Incredible stuff here folks. Have a great week.

- Tamarack

Massive crowds at the Michael Jackson concert, Aintree 1988

 

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