Upon hearing “Woodstock,” often the images in one’s mind’s eye are of sweaty young folk clad in bell bottoms and flower crowns. Today, the word “Coachella” is as much about Spring's Californian music festival as it is the fashion trends it has inspired.
A brief look at the history of musical festivals reveals that, while many of us would like to trace their origins to Woodstock, which was held from August 15 -18, 1969, on a dairy farm in New York, these gatherings actually date back to the Pythian Games in ancient Greece, where musical competitions and acts were the highlight of entertainment for the wealthy upper class. Through the years festivals continued throughout Europe, finally catching on in America in the 1950’s via the Newport Jazz Festival - think Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Nina Simone. Interestingly, what started out as an older, wealthy crowd was overtaken by youth who camped out in tents to enjoy the music. Sound familiar? 1967’s Monterey Pop Festival, headlining the likes of Janis Joplin, The Who, Simon & Garfunkel and the Mamas & the Papas, was a prelude to Woodstock. Fun fact: it was there that Jimi Hendrix famously lit his guitar on fire.
While it may not have been the first, Woodstock remains the festival that kindled all others - setting the bar for not only great music but, perhaps more important, a spirit of camaraderie, acceptance, and free expression of self. The bohemian vibes conjured on Yasgur’s farm thread their way through the fashion choices of today’s festival goers: joining the still-present bell bottoms and flower crowns are feathers, vintage tees, earthy tones, lace, and lots of artisan jewelry. The look has become so popular it now serves up style inspo outside of the concert crowds. Check out our inspired examples on these pages, and visit www.b-metro.com for photos of style icons frolicking at this summer’s Sloss Fest.
More than 32 million people* attend at least one music festival each year.
Here are some of the most popular offerings around the US:
SXSW: Austin, TX (March)
Ultra: Miami, FL (March)
Coachella: Indio, CA (April)
Hangout: Gulf Shores, AL (May)
Governor’s Ball: New York, NY (June)
Bonnaroo: Manchester, TN (June)
Sloss Fest: Birmingham, AL (July)
Lollapalooza: Chicago, IL (August)
Outside Lands: San Francisco, CA (August)
Burning Man: Black Rock, NV (August/Sept)
Written & Styled by Tracy James
Clothing & Accessories from fab’rik Homewood
Photography by Chuck St. John
Hair: Billy Halliday of Forecast Salon
Makeup: Ashley Bush of Forecast Salon
Model: Sydney Fiddler of Red Models
Shot on Location at Sloss Fest 2017