If You’ve Ever Gone to a Music Festival, You Should Thank George Wein. Wait–Who?

The idea of standing in a field over a weekend to hear music wasn’t always popular. In fact, this sort of behavior is relatively new. NPR has this story on George Wein who many consider the godfather of the modern music festival.

There’s no one person responsible for creating music festivals — or for making them such a huge part of how we witness live performances today. But starting in 1954, one person developed a recipe for their secret sauce.

George Wein still goes to his signature event every year, checking out performances and greeting the artists. These days, he does it on a golf cart which drives him between stages — he’s about to turn 90, after all — but he says he takes his job as producer very seriously.

“If I don’t hear the music, I don’t know what my festival is all about,” Wein says. “So I have to hear the music.”

Read more here (there’s also a nifty video) and then listen to the radio show.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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