Music Festivals: 101 facts you may not have known

You may have attended at least music festival in your life, but did you know that hundreds of them happen all around the world every year and that they come in all shapes and sizes?

There are a whole bunch of festivals that I would like to attend before I die, but attending them all would be nearly impossible (thanks to my limited lifespan and financial budgetary limits), but that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to try to give it a shot. I am a music festival junkie after all…

Music Festivals: 101 facts you may not have known 1

If you are one of those people who are extremely curious about music festivals that happen all the world, you have come to right place…

Here are 101 Interesting Facts that you may not have known about some of the Music Festivals out there:

1. The first edition of Oppikoppi festival (which happens near Northam in the Limpopo province of South Africa) was held in 1994. Only 600 people attended the first edition, but by 1998 the festival attendance figures reached 10,000 (thanks a great line-up of local artists). That figure exceeded 20,000 by 2013.

2. Oppikoppi festival has featured a lot of international artists over the years:

  • Ben Lee (Australia) at the Easter Festival in April 2006.
  • Hothouse Flowers (UK) at the Easter Festival in April 2007.
  • Jimmy Eat World (USA), Violent Femmes (USA) and Groove Armada (UK) in August 2007.
  • Sarah Brettens (from K’s Choice) at the Easter festival in April 2008.
  • Billy Talent (USA) in August 2010.
  • The Used (USA) and Sum 41 (USA) in August 2011.
  • Seether (USA), Eagles of Death Metal (USA), Enter Shakari (UK) and Bullet for my Valentine (UK) in August 2012.
  • Manchester Orchestra (USA), Yellowcard (USA) and Deftones (USA) in August 2013.
  • Rival Sons (USA), Wolfmother (Australia), Cat Power (USA), Willy Mason (USA), The Inspector Cluzo (France), Tatran (Israel) and Editors (UK) in August 2014.
  • Brand New (USA), Gogol Bordello (USA), Tatran (Israel), Livingston (UK), Powersolo (Denmark) and Twin Atlantic (UK) in August 2015.
  • Yelawolf (USA), August Burns Red (USA) and KONGOS (USA) in August 2016.
  • The Naked and Famous (New Zealand), Two Door Cinema Club (UK) and Flume (Australia) in October 2017.

3. South Africa’s oldest music festival is Splashy Fen in the KwaZulu-Natal province of the country. The first festival was held in 1990. +/- 8,000 people attend this festival (which is usually held on the Easter long weekend) every year.

4. Mieliepop festival was first held in 2011 at Tolderia Resort near Lothair in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa.

5. Mieliepop festival has featured a few international artists over the years: Uriah Heep (in 2012), Men Without Hats (in 2014) and DZ Deathrays (in 2018).

6. Up The Creek festival was first held in 1990. This boutique festival (which is held on the banks of the Breede river in the Western Cape province of South Africa) attracts +/- 2700 music lovers (who float on inflatable devices on the river and listen to great artists performing music) every year.

7. The first RAMFest was held in 2007 in Cape Town.

8. RAMFest featured international headliners in 2010 (Pendulum), 2011 (Alkaline Trio & Funeral for a friend), 2012 (Awolnation & In Flames), 2013 (Bring Me The Horizon and Rise Against), 2014 (Biffy Clyro, Foals, Trivium & Killswitch Engaged) and 2019 (Atilla).

9. Rocking The Daisies is held in October every year at Cloof Estate (outside Darling in the Western Cape province of South Africa). The festival attracts +/- 25,000 music lovers and has been held since 2005.

Glastonbury Music Festival

10. The first edition of Glastonbury festival was held on 19 September 1970 near Pilton, Somerset, England. The Kinks were one of the headliners and tickets cost only £1. The first edition of this festival was attended by 1500 people.

11. The 2017 edition of Glastonbury festival was held from 21 to 25 June. The festival was headlined by Radiohead, Foo Fighters and Ed Sheeran and tickets cost £238. This edition was attended by 135,000 people.

12. In 2007, 2,485 miles (3999 kilometres) of toilet roll were on site for the opening day for Glastonbury festival. If you stretch that out and stick it together, you could reach Bagdad from London.

13. Tickets for the 2017 edition of Glastonbury festival were sold out in 50 minutes.

14. After years of people gate-crashing Glastonbury, the organisers finally decided to construct a ‘super-fence’ in 2002 (which cost £1 million). Standing at 12 feet tall, the barrier is virtually impossible to scale, break through or burrow under.

15. Sonisphere festival is a touring rock music festival which takes place across Europe between June and August.

16. Sonisphere festival has not been hosted in the UK since 2014.

17. Rock and Metal acts that have played at Sonisphere festival over the years include Slipknot, Metallica, Korn, Lamb of God, Pendulum, Mastodon, Primal Scream, The Hives and Linkin Park (to name just a few).

18. The first edition of Download Festival was held in 2003.The festival is held every year in June at Donington Park in Leicestershire, England (in the UK).

19. The Download Dog is the official mascot of the Download Festival. His name is Dexter.

The Download Dog at Download Music Festival

20. The first edition of Download Festival France was hosted in Paris in 2016, the first edition of Download Festival Spain was hosted in Madrid in 2017 and the first edition of Download Festival Australia was hosted in Melbourne in 2018.


Henno Kruger

Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant

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