Revisiting The 1990s H.O.R.D.E. Festivals On ‘The JamBase Podcast’

The Festivals season finale looks back at the traveling festival featuring Blues Traveler, Phish, Widespread Panic, The Spin Doctors, Aquarium Rescue Unit and others.

By Team JamBase Aug 10, 2023 12:43 pm PDT

Season Three of The JamBase Podcast presents a final episode of our music festival-focused season. This episode features a look back at the H.O.R.D.E. Festivals that toured amphitheaters across the United States each summer between 1992 and 1998.

Listen to host Andy Kahn as he recounts the circumstances that led to the first H.O.R.D.E. Tour in 1992. Blues Traveler frontman John Popper and manager Dave Frey (who later co-founded Lockn’) officially co-founded H.O.R.D.E. — an acronym that stands for “Horizons Of Rock Developing Everywhere.” The innovative touring festival served as a precursor of sorts for what’s become the modern music festival landscape.

Joining Blues Traveler on the initial ’92 H.O.R.D.E. roster were Phish, Widespread Panic, Spin Doctors and Col. Bruce Hampton and The Aquarium Rescue Unit, with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones replacing Phish on the tour’s second leg.

Hear the backstory to how the name “H.O.R.D.E.” was conjured and what some of the potential alternatives were, including one suggestion that later became the name of a Phish festival. The episode recaps each of the tours between 1992 and 1998, which featured an ever-growing list of participating musicians. Explore how H.O.R.D.E. expanded to include Dave Matthews Band, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, The Black Crowes and others including legendary acts like The Allman Brothers Band and Neil Young.

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While H.O.R.D.E. is generally considered a friendly affair, the episode touches on the tensions that developed between The Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson and Popper during the 1995 H.O.R.D.E. tour. Though H.O.R.D.E. seemingly ran its course in the 1990s, a one-time only event was held again in 2015, marking the last time the H.O.R.D.E. name topped a billing.

Stream this episode and other past episodes of The JamBase Podcast via all major podcast services including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcast.