It was back on June 20, 1969, that the first ever performance of the festival was held at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra played on the opening of what would last for 12 seasons as an outdoor concert series that drew names like The Who, the Eagles and the Grateful Dead. Here's a look back at some great festival moments.

On May 22, 1981, Mississippi River Festival organizers announced the cancellation of the upcoming season. That spelled the end of the line after 12 seasons of the summer outdoor concert series at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.