Not Taylor Swift, Not Karol G: These Are the Five Most Attended Concerts in Music History

When we think of great concerts, certain iconic moments come to mind

Going to a concert is a special experience. It’s a chance to connect with other people who feel the same way about the music. There’s something magical about it.

When we think of great concerts, certain iconic moments come to mind. Like the Woodstock festival in 1969, during the height of the hippie movement, where nearly half a million people enjoyed performances by Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Joe Cocker, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Santana, Neil Young, and others. Or Queen’s unforgettable performance at Live Aid at Wembley in 1985, which many consider one of the best ever.

Taylor Swift Seattle
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As memorable and huge as those concerts were, they don’t rank among the most attended of all time. For that, we need to look at places like the exotic Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, the always inspiring Paris, or even the massive Russian capital, Moscow. Here are the five concerts that drew the biggest crowds.

Garth Brooks in Central Park (New York), 1997

In the United States, Garth Brooks was a colossal celebrity. In fact, he is the best-selling solo artist in history, even surpassing Elvis Presley. That’s why his performance in New York’s iconic Central Park in 1997 was one of the events of the year. Over 700,000 people attended, many of whom, we imagine, could only see his iconic hat from afar.

The Rolling Stones in Copacabana (Rio de Janeiro), 2006

Finding a spot on a popular beach like Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro can be tricky. But that’s nothing compared to the challenge of securing a place to see the Rolling Stones when they performed there for free in 2006. As with many large events, it’s nearly impossible to determine the exact number of attendees: some reports mentioned a million people, while others estimated over two million. Regardless, the images speak for themselves.

Jean-Michel Jarre in Paris (1990)

The French are very proud of their heritage. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Revolution that inspired the world in 1789, France decided to put on an incredible show. La Défense in Paris, the financial heart of the capital, hosted a huge concert by electronic music composer and performer Jean-Michel Jarre. For years, this concert held the record for the most attendees in history. Even today, it continues to impress with its grand scale on every level.

Rod Stewart in Rio de Janeiro (1994)

At 79 years old, Rod Stewart still shows he’s in great shape every time he steps on stage. In 1994, the British rocker was on a high after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He kicked off that year in grand style, celebrating New Year’s Eve on the iconic Copacabana beach in Brazil.

«Do Ya Think I’m Sexy,» «Sailing,» «Maggie May»… None of his many hits were missing. And yes, the Rolling Stones might have felt a bit jealous, which is why they repeated the event 12 years later, although with slightly fewer attendees. There’s some debate about whether this was the most attended concert in history. How about we call it a tie with the next one?

Jean-Michel Jarre in Moscow (1997)

In 1997, six years after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia was going through a tough time. Its leader, Boris Yeltsin, had heart problems, but his poor health didn’t stop him from launching a massive privatization campaign. The whole country seemed up for sale, and almost anything, no matter how excessive, seemed possible.

To celebrate the 850th anniversary of the capital, Jean-Michel Jarre returned to break another record: 3.5 million people watched him perform in front of the main entrance of the Stalinist skyscraper at Lomonosov Moscow State University, where he staged his ‘Oxygen’ show. It’s said that at certain points, the crowd reached up to 5 million people. Half of Moscow was there. Literally.

Will any of these concerts ever be surpassed?

Original article in Spanish by LOS40 Spain.