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7 Most Crowded Music Concerts In History

Music can bring an unusually diverse crowd together under one common interest. We blast our music through our headphones, our portable radios, and even our car speakers. But nothing beats the experience of seeing a band or artist perform live. People from all walks of life attend concerts, and at times it has become crowded.

Throughout history, some of the world’s most popular artists have seen crowds that helped artists reach legendary status for the amounts of people they draw to their shows. Here are some of the most crowded concerts in history:


1. Woodstock (1969)

Woodstock was like a haven for those of who subscribed to the hippie lifestyle and those who were all about the “free love” mentality. The year the show was held, the concert drew a crowd of 400,000 people. This was especially surprising, considering the entire show was held outdoors. People camped out in the field before the stage where artists would perform.

Big name performers like Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Janis Joplin, and the Who are just a few of the performers to have made an appearance at the show.

2. Toronto SARS Benefit (2003)

There’s nothing like using one’s celebrity to reach far-off places to help provide aid. At the Toronto SARS Benefit, the show drew a crowd of 450,000 people.

Justin Timberlake, Rolling Stones, and AC/DC were just a few of the performers that made an appearance at the benefit show.

3. Simon and Garfunkel in Central Park (1981)

The pair of music geniuses were known for their folksy tone and best known for their track “Sound of Silence,” which was featured in the popular film Trolls.

What makes this concert amazing isn’t even the fact that it drew 500,000 people to it. The American folk rock duo helps a free concert in New York’s Central Park and it was all televised by HBO.

4. Summer Jam at Watkins Glen (1973)

Held at the Grand Prix Raceway outside of Watkins Glen, New York, about 600,000 fans of rock music made their way to the show on July 28, 1973. This concert was once in the Guinness Book of World Records for “Largest audience at a pop festival.”

Those lucky enough to end got to see performances from the Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, and The Band.

There were so many people trying to attend the concert that a traffic jam on the route to the show became chaotic, causing many to simply make the 5 to 8-mile trek all the way to the venue.

It is said that the sea of people at the show was so large, a number of fans couldn’t even see the stage. But special speakers allowed even those the furthest from the stage the opportunity to hear the same music.

5. Isle of Wight Festival (1970)

The festival was held on the county island known as the Isle of Wight and drew a crowd of 600,000 people. The crowd in attendance was so large, it forced the council to add an entirely new section to the Isle of Wight County Council Act 1971. It prevents any overnight open-air gathering of more than 5,000 people on the island without a special license issued by the council itself.

There were over 50 performers in attendance for the show including names like The Who, Lighthouse, Miles Davis, and The Doors. Hendrix was also a performer, but it was unforeseen that this would be the last show he ever performed.

6. New York Philharmonic in Central Park (1986)

The New York philharmonics are one of the most popular orchestras in the world and people from different corners of the globe jump at the chance to see one of their shows live.

Their show in 1986 saw a crowd of 800,000 people in attendance. The purpose of the concert was to celebrate a re-dedication for the statue of Liberty.

7. Rod Stewart at Copacabana Beach (1994)

This was a free concert staged by the superstar Rod Steward, as a gift to those who could not afford to go to a rock concert. Thanks to the lack of admission prices, more than 4,500,000 people attended, giving it the number one spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for “Largest Free Rock Concert Attendance.”

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