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Sunday Stories: Bill Graham and the History of the Music Festival

The large-scale benefit rock concert found its beginnings in the 1980s. The first of these, Live Aid, had an estimated global audience of 1.9 billion across 150 nations who tuned into the live broadcast. Bill Graham, concert promoter and Holocaust survivor, produced this massive undertaking--and in doing so, set the stage for the large-scale music festivals we know today. Watch this Sunday Story to dive into the legacy of Bill Graham and the history of the music festival.

This video was originally published on The CJM's Facebook Live on July 26, 2020.

ABout Sunday Stories

During The CJM's temporary closure, we're providing weekly live video presentations that explore Jewish culture, history, art, and ideas. Sit back, relax, and discover new stories every week!

For more content you can engage with from home, check out our Jewseum from Home  page.

About the Exhibition

Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution, on view at The CJM Mar 17–July 5, 2016, explored the life of Bill Graham (1931–1991) from his childhood as a German Jewish refugee to his pivotal role in making rock music a multi-billion dollar global industry. The exhibition looked at his immense success as a rock promoter and his pioneering work behind the scenes to use rock music to raise consciousness and deliver aid to those in need. Organized by the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.

Creative inspiration from Herb Greene's photograph, Bill Graham in front of Hieroglyphic Wall, Haight-Ashbury district, San Francisco, 1966.

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