The invitation concert, whose artists could be main Festival guests in new line-ups and / or weel-kent faces drawn from the audience, was always popular.
That popularity came in part from the element of surprise. Who was going to be on, and what would they perform? If, on occasion, the invitees themselves were a bit uncertain, well, that just added to the magic.
Just like the group competitions, however, occasions like this allowed performers to experiment a little bit, as some of the pressure was off from being on the main stage. It also provided opportunities for artist to meet up with and play with others with whom they had wanted to, and this led, from time to time, in new professional connections being created.