H.O.R.D.E. - History


The H.O.R.D.E. Festival began in 1992 as a solution to the dilemma of five East Coast bands that sought to avoid the club circuit in the summertime when other larger bands were playing to sold out amphitheaters .

Inspired by the previous summer's success of Perry Farrell's Lollapalooza Festival (which had been organized by Bill Graham Presents, the driving force behind Blues Traveler's record and promotional deal), John Popper and Dave Frey called upon their compatriots Widespread Panic, The Samples, the Spin Doctors, the Aquarium Rescue Unit and Phish to join them in a nation-wide, summer, amphitheater tour. After originally christening the traveling spectacle "Horizons of Rock Developing East Coast", the vision spread to "Everywhere", and so the name was created. It is rumored that John Popper came up with the idea of the H.O.R.D.E. tour at the Arrowhead Ranch, a Deadhead-managed dude ranch in Parksville, NY that Phish, Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, Widespread Panic and Aquarium Rescue Unit among others all played at 1991.

The H.O.R.D.E. tour can be viewed as the beginnings of the second incarnation of jam band music, as well as the improvisation, community of fans, and diversity of music that became trademarks of the genre. The initial incarnation of 'jam' music, led and epitomized by bands like the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers Band, sparked a love for improvisational rock and jazz that was fostered by both the musicians and fans associated with the second wave of 'jam' music. The H.O.R.D.E. tour, featuring such new 'jam' icons as the Spin Doctors, Phish, Widespread Panic, the Aquarium Rescue Unit (and subsequent Col. Bruce Hampton projects), including the Dave Matthews Band, allowed for a new generation of experimental improvisation and progressive music to hit a national audience. The festival was able to bring together a group of musicians with a similar approach to live performance, and thus consolidate fans of the music; hence, a 'scene' was created around the developing genre.

After seven successful years, the final H.O.R.D.E. Tour concert took place on September 5, 1998 at Portland Meadows in Portland, Oregon.

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