Lake Riviera Pop Festival, France 1970

Lake Riviera Pop Festival, France 1970
Authored By John Nicholson

France has a bit of a checkered history with rock festivals. With the riots of 1968 still reverberating through society, the authorities were not keen on festivals at all, fearing it was a gathering of the masses against authority, when really, it was hairy people wanting to get stoned and get their groove on. They didn’t dig that in any way whatsoever and badly judged what was really going on. 

This festival was held Thursday Jul 23, 1970 - Saturday Jul 25, 1970 in Valbonne but from the get-go struggled against the authorities. By mid-July they came up with a reason to ban the gig: forest fires. They kids would all start fires and burn the whole area down. Therefore it was banned. 

But organiser Claude Rousseau wasn’t keen to lie down and give in and put the show on anyway. But the trouble was, most people had been scared off going, meaning the crowd was small, little money was taken and bands didn’t get paid. 

That being said, Zappa turned up on stage with Jean Luc Ponty and apparently delivered a mesmeric set which is widely available as a bootleg. 

The full line- up was Ame Son, Amon Düül II, Brigitte Fontaine, Daevid Allen, Frank Zappa, Gong, Ihre Kinder, Iron Butterfly, Jean-Luc Ponty, King Harvest, Moving Gelatine Plates, Red Noise, Swegas, The Mothers of Invention, Warm Dust

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