It Happened In Music: Record-breaking concerts

Rod Stewart at CopacabanaOn April 30, 1977, Led Zeppelin broke the then-world attendance record for a solo indoor attraction when they played to a 76,229 person crowd at the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan. The Who held the record prior to this show at the same venue with 75,962 people.

While these iconic bands brought in the crowds in the 70’s, concert attendance has sky-rocketed over the past few decades by roping in crowds in the millions. The Guinness World Records credits the largest live concert to Rod Stewart who drew in 3.5 million for a New Year’s Eve 1994 performance at Copacabana Beach. To honor these record breaking crowds, we compiled a playlist of some of the most-attended live shows in history. Subscribe on Spotify to listen on Sonos, or create your own version of the mix using the track list below.

  1. “The Real Me” – The Who (75,962 people, Pontiac Silverdome)
  2. “Maggie May” – Rod Stewart (3.5 million people, Copacabana Beach, 1994)
  3. “Aero” – John Michel Jarre (3.5 million people, Moscow, 1997)
  4. “Friends in Low Places” – Garth Brooks (750,000 people, New York Central Park, 1997)
  5. “Bookends” – Simon & Garfunkel (500,000 people, New York Central Park, 1981)
  6. “One Headlight” – The Wallflowers (385,000 people, Blockbuster Rockfest, 1997)
  7. “Round Here” – Counting Crows (385,000 people, Blockbuster Rockfest, 1997)
  8. “Who will Save Your Soul” – Jewel (385,000 people, Blockbuster Rockfest, 1997)
  9. “Proud Mary” – Tina Turner (180,000 people, Maracana Stadium in Brazil, 1988)
  10. “Shut Up and Drive” – Widespread Panic (100,000 people, Athens, GA, 1998)
  11. “Symphony No.2 in C Minor, Resurrection” – New York Philharmonic (800,000 people, New York Central Park, 1986)