1st International Pop Event, Antwerp, Belgium 1969

1st International Pop Event, Antwerp, Belgium 1969
Authored By John Nicholson

Held on Sat Jun 21, 1969 at  Sporthal Arena, Antwerp in Belgium, while marketed as an international pop event, it was really a pretty much a Belgium-British affair featuring some of the best British blues and jazz boom bands, along with a few Belgium bands and Paul Revere from USA. 

Chicken Shack, Colosseum, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich, Davy Jr. and Guess Who? Fleetwood Mac, Freedom, J. J. Band, Joe Hicks, Paul Revere and The Raiders, Procol Harum, Roland and The Blues Workshop, The Nice, The Pebbles, The Tremeloes, Tomahawk Blues Band, Wallace Collection, Yes

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich couldn't play because their van broke down in Ostend. I’m sure everyone was glad of that! Put that whip away, Dave.

Chicken Shack, The Tremeloes and Procol Harum didn't play. The rather brilliant Colosseum was added to the line-up.

6,000 packed into the hall with 500 turned away. The Nice, Yes and Colosseum were widely reported as the biggest hits of the day. Keith Emerson got busy sticking knives into his Hammond and generally mistreating it to the shock of those who hadn't seen them play before.

The show over-ran by two hours, ending at half past midnight instead of 10.30pm meaning some people missed the last couple of hours as they had to get the train back to France - many had crossed the border for the gig - and thus missed headliners Fleetwood Mac.  

These early European shows in the late 60s were an important launchpad for many British bands and allowed them to expand into their nearest markets.

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