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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Edwardsville in Madison County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Mississippi River Festival

 
 
The Mississippi River Festival Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, January 6, 2020
1. The Mississippi River Festival Marker
Inscription.  The once world-renowned concert venue Mississippi River Festival ("MRF") began as a pioneering experiment in regional cooperation between Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and the St. Louis Symphony. The Symphony was invited to establish residence on the university campus and offer a summer series of concerts and cultural programs in an outdoor amphitheatre constructed on this site. From June 1969 through August 1980, nearly 1.5 million people attending concerts here performed by some of the best artists of the day, including: The Who, Elton John, Judy Collins, Bob Hope, B.B. King, Tina Turner, the Allman Brothers, James Taylor, The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, The Beach Boys, Henry Mancini, Gordon Lightfoot, The Grateful Dead, the National Dance Troupe of Zambia, Jean Luc Ponty, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago, Chick Corea, Joni Mitchell, Barry Manilow, Bob Dylan, EmmyLou Harris, Smokey Robinson, Stanley Clark, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Ella Fitzgerald, Yes, Itzhak Perlman, Van Cliburn, Willie Nelson, and the Eagles. Crowds found their seats on the grass or sat beneath the spacious "MRF" tent.
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The excellence of the performances, the unique charm of the setting, and the enjoyment shared by the diversity of the attendees elevated the MRF to legendary status among artists and fans.

SIU-Edwardsville also utilized this site from 1963 to 1982 for commencement exercises, involving nearly 35,000 SIUE graduates, who, along with their family and friends, experienced an event here bearing powerful personal historical significance.
 
Erected 2009 by The SIUE Alumni Association, the SIUE Foundation, the MRF Commemorative Committee, and the Illinois State Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicEducationEntertainmentWomen. In addition, it is included in the Illinois State Historical Society series list. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1969.
 
Location. 38° 48.616′ N, 89° 59.444′ W. Marker is near Edwardsville, Illinois, in Madison County. Marker is on North University Drive, 0.3 miles south of New Poag Trail, on the right when traveling south. Marker is located in front of an open field, on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 Hairpin Drive, Edwardsville IL 62025, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles
The Mississippi River Festival Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, January 6, 2020
2. The Mississippi River Festival Marker
In front of an open field near the north end of SIUE campus
of this marker, measured as the crow flies. West End Service Station (approx. 1.4 miles away); Edwardsville, Illinois (approx. 1˝ miles away); First Cemetery in the City of Edwardsville (approx. 1˝ miles away); The Pogue Store (approx. 1˝ miles away); Lincoln School (approx. 1.6 miles away); Governor Coles and Slavery (approx. 1.6 miles away); The Weir House (approx. 1.6 miles away); Ninian Edwards (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Edwardsville.
 
More about this marker. Marker was dedicated on June 13, 2009, one week shy from the 40th anniversary of the festival's first concert on June 20, 1969 (by the St. Louis Symphony).
 
Also see . . .
1. Mississippi River Festival remembered. An article from the Edwardsville Intelligencer (published on May 3, 2009) that features memories of concertgoers, the acts that played at the festival, as well as the then-upcoming dedication to the marker. (Submitted on January 9, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.) 

2. Mississippi River Festival. A "virtual exhibit" from SIUE Lovejoy Library's historian Stephen Kerber. Stories and rare photographs from the festival are featured. (Submitted on January 9, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.) 

3. Mississippi River Festival on Wikipedia. (Submitted on January 9, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.)
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Additional keywords. LGBT, LGBTQ
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 10, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 9, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 1,316 times since then and 196 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 9, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 16, 2024