The arena rock era can be traced to the late 1960s, when bands such as The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and The Who garnered audiences large enough to fill stadiums. Those bands set the stage for huge live performances in stadiums and arenas around the globe. Some popular act often associated as premier performers of the arena rock era include; Boston, Styx, Foreigner, Journey and Kansas. Those hard rock bands would go on to sell-out the world’s largest venues throughout most of the 1970s.
In the 1980s many acts were at the zenith of their popularity and leading tours of the world's largest stadiums. Eventually, however, the financial and logistical strains of producing elaborate arena rock concerts would limit the growth of the size of rock concerts. In the 1990s, festivals became a more popular concert format, including such notable events as Monsters of Rock, Lollapollooza, and the Lilith Fair. These concerts often provided the audience a greater range of performances, often including multi-band collaborations and musical improvisations, without the pretense of a staged spectacle.