Music festival veterans share some of their favorite moments, from Monterey Pop to Rock the Bells.
“Rock the Bells was always like hip-hop summer camp: You go every year, see your old friends.”
— Talib Kweli? on performing at the annual rap festival
“Tom Waits was hanging out with Bill Graham and Perry Farrell [backstage], so I’m like, ‘I want in on this. This is the rare air.’ Lollapalooza had those raw moments.”
— Henry Rollins remembers the first Lollapalooza tour in 1991
“[Janis Joplin] came onstage absolutely vibrating, full of incredible emotion. I’ve never seen a performer like that since. I realized I had to sign her.”
— Clive Davis on 1967’s Monterey Pop Festival
“It was extraordinary going onstage there. Across this flat plain, as far as the eye can see, was a sea of people. It didn’t stop. I’ve never seen so many people, ever.”
— Gang of Four founder Andy Gill on performing in front of 200,000 people at Steve Wozniak’s 1982 US Festival
This story originally appeared in the April 4th issue of Billboard.