Let’s face it: every year we are on the lookout for the best music festivals to go to – be them small, grand, with varied bands or with newly launched groups, we want to get the first seats in the row and have some fun!

Yet, throughout history, some songs have stood the test of time and remained within the collective memory of the frenetic crowd as eternal symbols of their era. 

Here are the hits that changed music festivals forever!

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen 

Being an immortal symbol of the ’70s rock music, Queen broke the records with the release of their famous ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. And some may even reckon it as one of the best songs to be ever written, for its complex blending of several styles: opera, ballad, and hard rock.

Bohemian Rhapsody’ was also included in the 1985 Live Aid concert, which featured famous names like David Bowie, Madonna, and Elton John, amounting to over 75 performances. Later on, Queen’s act was voted the greatest rock performance in the history of music in a 2005 poll. 

  1. Enter Sandman – Metallica

Being released in 1991, ‘Enter Sandman’ is the first Metallica single. It had an enormous success, with more than 20 million copies purchased over the globe. 

The song has both heavy metal and hard rock influences and secured a place on the US Billboard Hot 100. One of their most reckoned performances was in Moscow’s Monsters of Rock festival, in their debut year, with half a million attendees.

Other names that also performed there include The Rolling Stones, Eurhythmics and U2. This was a festival that promoted independence and freedom just a couple of months away from the Fall of the Soviet Union.

  1. The Final Countdown – Europe

If you’ve ever attended a rock festival, you surely must have jumped on the rhythms of the renowned song ‘The Final Countdown’ by the Swedish band Europe.

Such occasion was the 2017 Wacken Open Air event when the famous band made its grandiose appearance to an overwhelming crowd of over 3000 people. Even though it was packed, it didn’t stop rock fans from screaming the lyrics of one of the most iconic ’80s songs at the top of their lungs.

Speaking of icons, ‘The Final Countdown’ took inspiration from the ’60s hit ‘Space Oddity’, by David Bowie. Up to this day, both of them are still viewed as constant musical references by musicians and growing artists.

  1. Ace of Spades – Motörhead

As you may have already inferred from its name, ‘Ace of Spades’ is an ode to gambling. 

It made history along with other emblematic tunes through its reference to the infamous sheriff Wild Bill Hancock who got killed during a poker game. The story brought Motörhead tremendous success, as the song reached the top positions on UK charts in the ’80s.

The band toured the world with this song and included it in many of their festivals. Their efforts did pay off, gathering immense crowds at reputable events, such as the 2015 EXIT festival.

  1. Dancing Queen – ABBA

We all know the famous pop group for winning the 1974 Eurovision edition with the song ‘Waterloo’. Little did they know back then that, from that point onwards, they would become one of the most renowned and appreciated bands of all time. 

Every song they released became an instant hit, with concerts being programmed all across the globe. And so it happened with the song ‘Dancing Queen’, which remained in the first place in the charts for 2 weeks, in Sweden. One of the most memorable renditions of this song was at the 1979 Wembley Arena concert in London.

  1. Wake Me Up – Avicii

Avicii has remained a symbol of electronic music and will always be remembered for its unique mixes and thought-provoking music videos. His talent quickly brought him on the global charts, with the single ‘Wake Me Up!‘ reaching first place for 4 weeks on Billboard

The song combines multiple music styles together, such as EDM and country, which earned its worldwide acclaim even by the feistiest critics. And Avicii’s fans were quick to give him praise, with hundreds of thousands gathering at Mawazine and Untold music festivals solely to enjoy his music.

  1. In And Out Of Love – Armin van Burren & Sharon den Adel

This top with festival songs wouldn’t be complete without Armin van Burren’s renowned ‘In And Out Of Love’ single.

Being released in 2008, it has become an icon of EDM songs in the 2000s. Its echoes have been heard within some of the most important music festivals throughout the globe, from Miami to Amsterdam. Armin’s talent wasn’t left without public recognition, as he landed first place five times in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll.

  1. Zombie – The Cranberries

If you’re a rock fan, you surely have listened to the single ‘Zombie’ more than once in your lifetime. Released in 1994, its lyrics entail more than meets the eye, as the song has a political underlayer.

Yet, this is not the only aspect that makes the song truly unique. The video aesthetics, along with the distinctive voice of the late lead singer Dolores O’Riordan genuinely create a special vibe. Since her death, many rock artists have been working on covers and remixes of this song as a way to offer a tribute to this marvellous singer.

Also read | Anime: Welcome to the ‘Death Parade’

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