The First Rock Concert
1952Cleveland stakes a claim on rock history when the Moondog Coronation Ball is held at the Cleveland Arena. Organized by the WJW DJ Alan Freed ("Moondog" on the air), it is widely considered the first rock concert. It may also be one of the shortest, as it is shut down after one song.
Over 25,000 people turn up for the show, prepared to hear bands such as The Dominoes and Tiny Grimes and the Rocking Highlanders. The problem is that the capacity of the arena is only 10,000. As the overflow crowd tries to bust through the barriers, Paul Williams and his Hucklebuckers are not even able to make it through one song before the Cleveland Police Department, supported by firefighters bearing fire hoses, bring the show to a halt.
Despite the fact that the show never really gets off the ground, it is considered the first rock and roll concert. Cleveland has had a revival of the show every year since 1992, featuring classic rock and R&B artists of the 1960s and 1970s.