www.baltimoresun.com/news/all-musikfest-thenvsnow-2008,0,1664996.story

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My, how the festival has grown (2008)

By Kelly Suarez

Of The Morning Call

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Musikfest has grown like a wildflower since the festival premiered in 1984. The laid-back vibe has been replaced by a frenetic buzz -- like an acoustic guitar gone electric. On the 25th anniversary of the fest, here's a brief look at how it was and what it's become.

MUSIKFEST THEN

Platzes and venues: 6

Food: Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine reigned, along with American standards.

Beer: The search for Yuengling led to two places: Liederplatz or Festplatz. And, like today, you drank it from a plastic stein.

One vendor ticket: 25 cents

Concerts: All but the Candlelight Concerts and Bach Choir performances were free.

Who's in charge: Three people, along with the help of 320 volunteers, organized the first Musikfest.

Number of musical acts: 118

Music: The first year focused on local heritage, which resulted in a whole lot of folk, polka and European sounds.

Attendance: 182,000

Musikfest Mugs: Made in England of porcelain and pewter. Cost: $15

Big name performers: Don McLean and Rob Stoneback Big Band

MUSIKFEST NOW

Platzes and venues: 15

Food: The eats have gone global, from Middle Eastern to Mediterranean and Latin American.

Beer: Five platzes serve up your faves. And if you're jivin' for some home brew, you can hit up the Brew Works on Main Street.

One vendor ticket: 50 cents

Concerts: The general platz shows are free, but the 24 big name draws performing at RiverPlace, Zoellner and Moravian's Foy Hall will cost ya.

Who's in charge: ArtsQuest's full-time staff, totaling 59 in the summer, plan and run the festival, with the help of 2,000 volunteers.

Number of musical acts: 304

Music: From Celtic to reggae, from bluegrass to salsa, nearly all genres are now represented .

Attendance: 1,052,000 (2007)

Musikfest Mugs: Plastic mugs that light up. Cost: $12.50.

Big name performers: Stone Temple Pilots and Avril Lavigne

HEADLINERS THROUGH THE YEARS

1984: Don McLean
1985: Blood, Sweat and Tears
1986: Judy Collins
1987: Ray Charles
1988: Tito Puente and the Latin Jazz Ensemble
1989: Johnny Rivers
1990: Marie Osmond
1991: Little River Band
1992: America
1993: Gordon Lightfoot
1994: George Benson
1995: Everly Brothers
1996: All 4 One
1997: Blessid Union of Souls
1998: Savage Garden
1999: Hootie and the Blowfish
2000: Sugar Ray
2001: Fuel
2002: Live
2003: Staind
2004: Clay Aiken
2005: Keith Urban
2006: LL Cool J
2007: Ludacris
2008: Avril Lavigne