During the 1970s, stadiums became the preferred venue for concert performances. From rock and country music artists to traditional singers like Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra, they liked performing at stadiums because they can attract an audience as big as 20,000 to 100,000 people in one night. Nowadays, stadium concerts are pretty common, but have you ever wondered who the first artist ever to perform in a stadium was? If you do, then lucky you, because we are here to discuss the first big stadium concert and who started the trend.
Who Performed the First Stadium Concert?
The first-ever stadium concert was held in 1965 when the Beatles performed in New York’s Shea Stadium in front of 55,000 screaming fans. The stadium concert of the Beatles in Shea Stadium was also captured in a film where they also showed the events leading up to the concert, and the preparation of the band in the dressing room. The concert also featured other acts such as Brenda Holloway, Sounds Incorporated, King Curtis, and the Young Rascals.
Even though The Beatles could not hear themselves play, because there were no monitor speakers during that time, and the sound was just being relayed through a tannoy system that is regularly used for baseball announcements, the legendary musicians still performed in sync throughout the show. In fact, Ringo Starr once said in an interview that he was able to keep in time of what is happening in the show by watching other musicians’ bottoms as they move.
The Shea Stadium concert was promoted by Sid Bernstein and allowed the Beatles to earn a whopping $160,000 for just 28 minutes of work. The show was a big hit that the organizers had to hire over 2,000 security personnel to stop the screaming fans from running towards the stage. The Shea Stadium Concert in 1965 foreshadowed rock’s commercial power. That is why by 1967, outdoor rock festivals became a thing, and it attracted audiences on an even larger scale than the Beatles’ concert. The iconic Monterey Pop Festival was first held in 1967, and it attracted about 50,000 people. And in 1969, the legendary Woodstock festival happened, and it attracted a whopping 400,000 people.
What Did The Beatles Performed During the First Stadium Concert?
The Beatles performed their greatest hits during the iconic stadium concert, and these are:
- “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby”
- “Can’t Buy Me Love”
- “Baby’s in Black”
- “Act Naturally”
- “A Hard Day’s Night”
- “I’m Down”
- “Twist and Shout”
- “She’s a Woman”
- “I Feel Fine”
- “Dizzy Miss Lizzy”
- “Ticket to Ride”
The concert is considered as a milestone in the music industry. The Beatles members like Ringo Starr and John Lennon described the show as one of their career highlights.