What to Wear When Rocking out at a Music Festival

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Jet-setting across the seven seas, or simply swapping neighborhood spots, What To Wear When is your weekly column for shopping inspiration.

Festival season is officially here. Beginning next week, the U.S. alone will see thousands of live music fans flock to cities like Napa, Austin, Manchester, Chicago, and more for BottleRock, ACL, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza, respectively. Across the globe, countries like Ireland, Spain, Denmark, England, and the Netherlands will host their very own musical gatherings. Whatever the genre, there’s a festival out there with a lineup catered to every palate, no matter how niche. And while for some, the mere thought of such an affair conjures up an eye roll-inducing image of floppy hat- and crochet-clad models sprawled out on a giant lawn taking selfies (ahem, Coachella), music festivals have quite a rich and storied history.

Contrary to popular belief, Woodstock wasn’t actually the first music festival, though the communal, peace-oriented spirit of the famous 1969 counterculture-rooted event has arguably bled over into today’s festivals. While the actual origins of music festivals are murky, the phenomenon can be stretched all the way back to the 19th century, when throngs of people gathered in cathedrals England to enjoy the works of Mozart, Rossini, and Beethoven. Fast forward to 1954, when icons like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald performed for more than 11,000 fans in Newport, Rhode Island, and the rest, as they say, is history. Should you find yourself tempted to book a long weekend in an unfamiliar city (or country) to jam out to some live music, be sure to peruse CR’s festival shopping guide to do so in style—aka sans the obligatory feathers or fringe.

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