MixFest 1997 Flashback

Andrew Celani -- Mix1041.com

We’re counting down all the MixFests dating back to its inception in 1993, in preparation for next month’s show at the DCR Hatch Shell. So strap on your seat belts and enjoy this blast from the past as we relive MixFest 1997!

MixFest ’97 was held for the first time ever at City Hall Plaza. From 1993 up until the ’97 show, MixFest was always held on the Boston Common — but Mayor Menino asked the station to bring the annual fall tradition to City Hall, close enough where he could hear the show from his office!

The two-day event took place on Columbus Day weekend, from Saturday, October 11th to Sunday, October 12th. Like all the ones before and most of the ones since, MixFest ’97 was a free concert. A limited amount of Golden Circle tickets were sold for $50 each, with all the proceeds benefiting the Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County. Donating to the noble cause got you right up close to the stage, front and center!

The artists for MixFest 1997 included:

Saturday 10/11/97

  • Duncan Sheik
  • Third Eye Blind
  • 10,000 Maniacs
  • The Monkees

Third Eye Blind had just released their self-titled debut album, which produced blockbuster hits such as “Semi Charmed Life,” “Jumper,” and “How’s It Going To Be.” Fronted by Davy Jones and touring without Michael Nesmith, The Monkees headlined the Saturday night festivities, performing such classics as “Daydream Believer,” Last Train To Clarksville,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and “I’m A Believer.”

We were able to uncover some footage of The Monkees’ ’97 MixFest performance on the internet. The following clip comes from the WHDH newscast that very night.

Sunday 10/12/97

  • Paula Cole
  • Lisa Loeb
  • Barenaked Ladies
  • Sarah McLachlan

Paula Cole rose to popularity in 1997, even winning a Grammy for Best New Artist the following year based on the success of her hit single, “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?”.

MixFest 1997 also featured the very popular Barenaked Ladies, who would go on to play MixFest 5 more times in ’98, ’00, ’01, ’03 and ’06! MixFest would undergo a makeover in the years following MixFest 1997. With attendance figures escalating year after year, the city of Boston could barely accommodate concerts of that magnitude anymore.

MixFest ’98 was the tipping point, so in 1999 MixFest was split into two separate shows: one in City Hall Plaza, the other at Foxboro Stadium. MixFest has seen a number of different venues throughout the years, but it’s been held mostly at large, outdoor facilities.

Question For You: Do you have any favorite MixFest memories? Tell us in the comments section!

Andrew Celani — Mix1041.com


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