When we find our eyes drawn to a live music performance, amongst the marvel is the sheer number of people there. Often, a crowd of just a few thousand can look like tens of thousands. A crowd of a hundred thousand could look like millions. Some people, though, have literally played to crowds of over a million. Quite a few over, in fact, and on quite a few occasions in history.
Want to see some of the most popular and highly rated concerts of all time in terms of size? Here are a few:
Rod Stewart, 1994
The largest we could find, alongside Jean Michel Jarre in 1997 when he played the at the Moscow State University on the 850th anniversary of Moscow. Rod played in Brazil via a beach concert in a bid to help give to the poverty-stricken people of Rio de Janeiro. The concert brought out over 3.5m Brazilians to the crowd, with them all bringing in the New Year together. A truly symbolic moment, and one that really should get more of an airing than it does.
AD/DC, Metallica, The Black Crowes and Pantera, 1991.
An absolute fairytale gig for most rocks, the Monsters of Rock event was a truly special moment for the entire genre. With well over 1.5m people there, this Moscow-based event took in one of the largest attendances ever seen at a musical event. Needs to be seen to be believed, in truth.
NY Philharmonic, 1986.
With a crowd of around 800,000 at this one, the people of New York were able to celebrate in some style over Statue of Liberty Weekend. They played to this massive crowd under the wonderful management of Zubin Mehta, and is well worth looking up.
Garth Brookes, 1997.
Garth Brooks, broadcast live on HBO, and free to anyone who came along at Central Park, took in the best part of 750,000 people. Don McLean and Billy Joel also came out, making it one of those special nights that only New York seems to be able to hold.
Jimi Hendrix, 1970.
This took in around 600,000, and was the final act of the great man. Taking place on Isle of Wight there were many logistical problems with the event. Eventually, it led to the passing of the “Isle of Wight Act” in 1971, which stopped special gatherings of over 5,000 without a special license. Not like the Government to want to ruin a bit of run, is it?
While Woodstock is one of those that looks like there’s several million, “just” 500,000 were there. This festival was held in New York in 1969, and it seen everyone from Janis Joplin and Joe Cocker to The Who, Santana and, of course, Hendrix himself, perform. The 1970 movie named after the event is well worth your time if you’d like an idea of what it must have all been like.
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