The H.O.R.D.E. Festival woo began in 1992 as a solution to the dilemma of five east-coast bands that sought to avoid the club circuit in the summertime when other larger bands were playing to sold-out amphitheaters and doing well.

Inspired by the previous summer's success of Perry Farrell's Lollapalooza Festival [which had been organized by Bill Graham Presents, the driving force behind Blues Traveler's record and promotional deal], John Popper and Dave Frey called upon their compatriots in Widespread Panic, the Spin Doctors, Aquarium Rescue Unit and Phish to band together - literally and figuratively - and fill the amphitheaters with the fans of all bands involved. After originally christening the traveling spectacle "Horizons of Rock Developing East Coast", the vision spread to "Everywhere", and so the name was created.

The first year's festival barely broke even but it was such a learning experience for everyone involved that all but one band would play a part in H.O.R.D.E. in the years to come. Included in this section are the contents of several web pages chronicling the latest-breaking news from H.O.R.D.E.s past, as well as anecdotal histories and pictures generously supplied by friends and vendors who saw the festival grow from eight dates in 1992 to over forty in 1998, its last year of existence. Rumors of a 1999 tour circulated, but as John would later say in the January, 2000 issue of Gig Magazine:

I think the festival tour has gone the way of the dodo. Hopefully we'll get rid of all that nonsense. There's this weird factionalism that goes on. I'm waiting for the All-Filipino tour, y'know? If you must make it all women, you're gonna get good women and bad women. Our criteria with the H.O.R.D.E. tour was all live music - good bands that played well live.
Then, there's the fact that people saw the tour last year and they know what it's about so they start getting bored. So they stop selling like they used to. But the key and main reason that festival tours are guaranteed to go the way of the dodo is radio. The KFOG Wacky Weekends-type festival. They buy the best bands with the thing that all bands need, which is air time. No amount of money I could give would be worth more than air time. But young bands especially need to establish something on radio. I think it's a good thing. I think that radio is supposed to do that.
H.O.R.D.E. initially was a way for Blues Traveler to play outside in the summer. That was our objective and we pulled it off the first year. The second year we did it again; the third year we actually made, like, $8,000. The fourth year we started making real money, and then it became this source of income, and I see where you wanna keep it going again. But, y'know what? It's something you should never think has to go on forever. As soon as it doesn't make sense, it should be abandoned. What happened along the way was a lot of people got to interact with each other, some great music was made, a great vibe, and we all had a ball. That was completely accidental, and the best thing about it. I take no responsibility for it, and so I don't feel that stopping doing it ruins that - that great vibe will happen somewhere else.

The Seven Migrations of H.O.R.D.E.

Spin Doctors
Widespread Panic
Aquarium Rescue Unit
Bela Fleck & the Flecktones

Big Head Todd
The Samples
Widespread Panic
Aquarium Rescue Unit

Big Head Todd
Dave Matthews Band

Black Crowes
Ziggy Marley &
the Melody Makers
G-Love and Special Sauce

Lenny Kravitz
Rusted Root
King Crimson
Dave Matthews Band

Neil Young
Leftover Salmon
Toad the Wet Sprocket

Barenaked Ladies
Ben Harper
Alana Davis