Top 5 Music Events That Made History.

The first ever Glastonbury Festival in 1970.

Whilst there are a smorgasbord of iconic moments in music, there are only handful events that must be recognised as truly shaping the history of the music world. Here are the top 5.


In July 2019, Stormzy monumentally performed at one of the most wold-wide famous festivals, Glastonbury, by being the first British black male to headline. He was also the first grime artist to headline the festival with his own album. During his performance, he played a speech by David Lammy, a Labour MP, on the disproportionate number of black, Asian and minority ethnic people in the criminal justice system. Stormzy, whose real name is Michael Ebenazer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr, was seen wearing stab vest, designed and created by british artist, Banksy. Waves of enormous pride and praise for the artist was unleashed on all social media platforms, with input from millions of fans and celebrities alike. 
This moment in music was particularly significant as it directly combatted diversity, with people from all ethnicities, ages, genders, and regions headlining the festival, most importantly with Stormzy making his mark with regards to race in society and the music industry itself. It made a huge cultural impact on the festival and proved that the rapper had overcome adversity, encouraging others to also do so. He used the opportunity to talk openly about racism, using the platform to voice his beliefs to mass audiences, and vocalising his political stance by singing “Fuck the government, fuck Boris” during his single ‘Vossi Bop’. This was a courageous move on his part, for which he received vast appraisal. 


Following the suicide-bombing terrorism attack at an Ariana Grande concert on the 27 may 2017, which killed 22 concert goes and injured 500, the artist held a benefit concert and television special called ‘One Love Manchester’. The event was held on the 4 June 2017 and saw 55,000 people attend with Guest stars included such as; Justin Bieber, The Black Eyed Peas, Miley Cyrus, Little Mix, Katy Perry, Liam Gallagher and many more. A charity was established by The British Red Cross and they reported it received more than £10 million in donations in the 12 hours following the concert. The event was so important as it stood as a commemoration to those who lost their lives during the first concert, acted as a symbol of solidarity, and a message that no matter what terrorism will not win. It showed people being united, and making something wonderful out of a horrific tragedy. 


Organised in just over a month, the concert quickly became one of the biggest events in history, after the outbreak of SARS earlier in 2003. Intending to aid the Canadian downfall in tourism after the SARS outbreak, ‘Toronto Rocks’ on the 30th June 2003, saw between 450,000 and 500,000 people attending the concert, among some of the most famous musicians of all time. Performing were; The Rolling Stones, ACDC, Rush, Justin Timberlake and a plethora of smaller artists. The event is the largest outdoor ticketed event in Canadian history, and one of the largest in North American history. Tourism quickly picked up for Toronto following the well received concert, and a percentage of the profits went to aiding those still suffering with SARS. The disease quickly diminished and Toronto’s tourism industry was salvaged thanks to the concert. 


32 Major Artists were joined by the 400,000 attendees of arguably the most famous festival to date. Woodstock, on the 15-18 August 1969, was held in Bethel, New York, to increase the feeling of Peace and Love in America during such a war driven period time of the Vietnam war with the US. It was such a pivotal moment for US history, that not only was there a soundtrack made but also a film of and about the festival. The quality of the musicians who played at Woodstock is one of the reasons the festival was so monumental, with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Jefferson Airplane and so many more were the major bands of the underground music scene, something which hasn’t existed for decades, but was a major part of the 60s/hippie movement. Almost half a million people lived in peace for three days without any form of security, they shared shelter, food and valuable memories that came so far and in between during the following years of war. It enabled people to feel a sense of empowerment and spread the message of love. 


Organisers, Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, set out on an ongoing music-based fundraising initiative in order to help  and subsidise the famine crisis in Ethiopia. Two simultaneous concerts occurred on the 13th July 1985, one in Wembley Stadium, London and the other in the John F. Kennedy Stadium, Philadelphia. Both events were attended by an estimated 100,000 people. Several other international concerts were held on the same day in response to the cause, and was perceived as one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time; an estimated audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations, watched the live broadcast, which is nearly 40% of the world population.
The event addressed one of the most important topics through music; it got people talking about famine, donating, understanding and sympathising with the people in Ethiopia. It brought the cause so much attention and publicity, that they managed to raise millions of dollars 

“The bands and music genres spanned all ages, which meant there was something for everyone. And they really did pull out some legendary icons out of the bag. For me the absolute stand out performance of the day was Queen – watching that huge crowd interacting with Freddie and singing along was spine tingling.” Sam Astill, 48, who watched the concert. 

The biggest reason though, why LIVEAID trumps all other music events. is that it is highly unlikely there will be another event of the same calibre, that unites so many different people, not only music fans, but all of the general public, to tune in at the same time. The cause was initiated with only the intention of helping other people and thats why it was so important. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *