During the late 1960′s and early 1970′s Vanderbilt students, faculty, and administrators went to great lengths to increase the amount of contact the school had with the Nashville community. One example of this community outreach was the student-formed “Free University” which offered instruction to Nashville residents in topics ranging from short wave radio to the arts. The “open campus” policy also resulted in many Nashville residents taking part in Vanderbilt campus events such as the implementation of the Rites of Spring Music Festival in 1971.

Rites of Spring Lineups from the Past

NEEDTOBREATHE, Rusko, Miguel, Mat Kearney, Baauer, Delta Spirit, Juvenile, The Apache Relay, The Kicks, Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors and Humming House.

Wiz Khalifa, MUTEMATH, Fitz and the Tantrums, Sleigh Bells, Gloriana,Wick-It the Instigator,Reptar, Caitlin Rose, Tyler Hilton, Chancellor Warhol, Friendly Savages, Beaker Street Blues Band

Kid Cudi, The National, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Public Enemy, Sara Bareilles, Matt & Kim, *Jerrod Niemann, The Features, *Pimps of Joytime, Madi Diaz, *Futurebirds, David Mayfield Parade,  Young Jesus

*denotes canceled due to weather


Ben Harper and Relentless7, Drake, Phoenix, *Passion Pit, Melanie Fiona, Dougie Fresh, Cold War Kids, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, *Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, *The New Mastersounds, *2 Door Cinema Club, *JJ Grey and Mofro, *Alberta Cross
*denotes canceled due to weather

The Flaming Lips, T.I.,Q-Tip,N.E.R.D., Santigold, Grand Ole Party, Okkervil River, Black Joe Lewis, K’NAAN,Sara Watkins, Blueskyreality, Erick Baker, Run With Bull, Stardeath and White Dwarfs, Pico vs. Island Trees

Lil Jon, Spoon, Feist, Colbie Caillat, Lady Antebellum, Old Crow Medicine Show, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Wild Sweet Orange, Jeremy Lister, The Avett Brothers, Cupid, H-Beam, Alana Grace, Lord T and Eloise, Hill Country Revue, Randy Rogers Band

The Roots, Wolfmother, Drive by Truckers, Mat Kearney, Keller Williams, Amos Lee, Rocco DeLuca and the Burden, The Whigs, Brett Dennen, Naughty by Nature, Bang Bang Bang, The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker, Jyspi, Sons of William, The Old Silver Band

Ben Folds, My Morning Jacket, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Govt Mule, Secret Machines, Blue Merle, Ben Lee, Matt Pondpa, Cary Brothers, B Young, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Old Union, Zac Brown Band, Hot Buttered Rum, Hopsing Project, Kate Voegle, Mr. Blotto

Hootie & the Blowfish, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Cake, Yonder Mountain String Band, Julie Roberts, Gomez, Phoenix, Alexi Murdoch, Ingram Hill, Sean Costello, Jason White, Robbers on High Street, SYD, Matt Woods, Josh Kelley, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Van Hunt, Florez, Dave Barnes, Shawn Camp, Dean Fields, Cunninlynguists

Talib Kweli, The Wailers, North Mississippi All Stars, Robert Earl Keen, Flickerstick, Josh Rouse, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, OK Go, Marc Broussard, Jag Star, Jimmy Hall and the Prisoners of Love, Dan Darrah Band, Jedd Hughes, The Someday Tour, Monte Montgomery, Matt Wertz, The Whigs, Mieka Pauley, The Loft, Christopher Robin

Nappy Roots, Pat Green, Keller Williams, Martin Sexton, Derek Trucks Band, Jason Mraz, Alice Peacock, The Recipe, SR-71, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jump Little Children, Will Hoge, Seven Nations, Kill Hannah, Delicious Blues Stew, Mile 8, Hot Action Cop, Austin & Scrap, Melissa Cartoun, Wisechild

Guster, OAR, Black Eyed Peas, Phantom Planet, Matt Nathanson, Gabe Dixon Band, Virginia Coalition, Afroman, Liza and the Sould Stars, Dezeray’s Hammer, Slyletter, Weekend Excursion, Bluestring, Guy Smiley Blues Exchange, Llama, The Great Twitch, Anthony Orlo, Inside Out, Amanda Pearce, Gillespy Road


Cowboy Mouth, G. Love and Special Sauce

Better Than Ezra, The Roots

Run DMC, Third Eye Blind

George Clinton

Violent Femmes, Space Frog, El Dorados, Percy Hill, Soup, David Grisman Quintet

Dave Matthews Band, Jabbering Trout, Harmonica Red & The Kings, El Dorados, Clinically Groovin’, Limpopo, The Charlie Mars Band, Freddy Jones Band

Smashing Pumpkins, Blues Traveler, Yellowjackets, Cycomotogoat, Jackopierce, Goose Creek Symphony, Red Red Meat

311, Crosby and Nash, Allgood, Aquarium Rescue Unit with Colonel Bruce Hampton, New Potato Caboose

Bo Deans and Government Cheese

The Feelies, HR

Bo Diddley, the Nashville Symphony

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mel and the Party Hats

Stan Lassiter, the Dusters

New Grass Revival, Cabo Frio, Stan Lassiter Group, Twenty-First Century Steel Band, Pinkard & Bowden

Manikenz, Jason & The Scorchers, Swimming Pool Q’s