DJTees Blog — Festivals

This is where I indulge in my passions - VINYL & ROCK 'n' ROLL

Vancouver Trips Festival 1966

Vancouver Trips Festival 1966

Authored By John Nicholson

Held in the Garden Auditorium of the Pacific National Exhibition grounds from July 29-31, 1966, the Trips Festival was a multimedia event spearheaded by artist Sam Perry, a pioneer of psychedelic light shows — which may explain why the event was promoted as a multimedia sensorium of music, film, slides, and moving liquid utilizing over fifty projectors and 25,000 square feet of screen. Performers included Big Brother and the Holding Company (with Janis Joplin), the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Daily Flash, and poet Michael McClure.  Perry was interested in the ability of such a psychedelic gig to transform...

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Krumlin Festival, Barkisland, Yorkshire, England 1970

Krumlin Festival, Barkisland, Yorkshire, England 1970

Authored By John Nicholson

Held in the hills of West Yorkshire, 4 miles from Halifax, it was, even by England’s low standards of festivals, an absolute disaster. If you know this area of Yorkshire, the hills are cold and wet at all times of the year and rain is never far away.  International Times, the UK’s hippie bible wrote of the event "It was the worst organized festival ever. It was a piece of moorland. About 25,000 kids turned up, but the weather turned almost immediately from a mild grey to rain, hail, sleet and rain, blue rain and thunderstorms. This went on for...

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Summer Solstice Festival, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco 1967

Summer Solstice Festival, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco 1967

Authored By John Nicholson

Slap bang in the middle of the summer of love came this gathering which in so many ways was a quintessential hippie happening. It was advertised thus: “During the Sunrise Ceremony spiritual leaders of the community will lead in chanting, and ancient religious ceremonies will be performed. Between 8:00 and 10:00 AM, a pilgrimage will be made into Golden Gate Park, and the day-long festivities will begin throughout the park.  There will be a barbecue picnic celebration East of Polo Fields at noon. The day will be a reaffirmation of our desire to live and share together peacefully and harmoniously...

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Woods of Dartmouth Pop Music Festival, 1970

Woods of Dartmouth Pop Music Festival, 1970

Authored By John Nicholson

With so many students making up much of the regular festival crowds, it was inevitable that college’s would seek to put on their own gigs too, organised by students. Of course, many college principals were against the kids getting their groove on and this led to stand-offs between student entertainment committees and the squares. Inevitably though, there were always some staff who felt the kids should be allowed to celebrate their new and groovy culture and thus one way or another, a show was put on. The fear of a massive drugs freak-out and what there’d be people getting it...

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The Trips Festival And Acid Tests

The Trips Festival And Acid Tests

Authored By John Nicholson

The Trips Festival happened on January 21-23 1966, a time when LSD was still legal. Up to about 18 ‘Acid Tests’ - a term coined by author and Merry Prankster, Ken Kesey - took place from late ‘65 to the Fall of ‘66, initially at Kesey’s ranch. But the most famous was the Trips Festival at Longshoreman’s Hall in San Francisco. Ramon Sender, a composer and artist, co-produced it with Ken Kesey and Stewart Brand. It was a three-day event that, with the help of The Merry Pranksters - a far out group of freaks and outsiders who toured the...

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Vortex I: A Biodegradable Festival of Life

Vortex I: A Biodegradable Festival of Life

Authored By John Nicholson

This is more commonly known as just Vortex and was a remarkable week-long rock festival in Oregon in 1970. It was sponsored by the Portland counterculture community, with help from the state of Oregon in Clackamas County near Portland. It goes down as one of the few events where The Man and The Freaks worked together. It was put together in order to demonstrate the positive side of the anti-War Movement and to prevent violent protests during a planned appearance in the state by President Richard Nixon. To date, it remains the only state-sponsored rock festival in United States history....

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The Mantra-Rock Dance - San Francisco 1967

The Mantra-Rock Dance - San Francisco 1967

Authored By John Nicholson

What was soon known as a rock festival, didn’t really exist until 1967. There were plenty of jazz and folk gatherings but rock n roll freak-outs really only started happening in early 1967 starting in San Francisco with the Human Be-In and also the Mantra-Rock Dance which was what was known as ‘a counterculture music event’ held on January 29, 1967, at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco. It was organized by followers of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) as an opportunity for its founder, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, to address a wider public. It was also...

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Mississippi River Festival

Mississippi River Festival

Authored By John Nicholson

The Mississippi River Festival was a summer outdoor concert series held from 1969-1980 on the campus of Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Illinois. The Festival was notable due to its central midwest location, the natural ambience of its outdoor venue and some of the biggest bands of the day. It wasn’t a festival as such, more a headliner and maybe a support act. It began as a partnership promoting regional cooperation in the realm of the performing arts. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville invited the St. Louis Symphony to establish residence on campus and to offer a summer season. To host...

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Celebration At Big Sur

Celebration At Big Sur

Authored By John Nicholson

Celebration At Big Sur If you’ve ever been to Big Sur, California, it is a very far-out place up in the woods overlooking the Pacific Ocean. So cool is it that me and Dawn once walked past David Crosby coming out of a diner on Pacific Coast Highway, just before the turn off for Big Sur, as he was going in. It has long since been a bit of a hippie central and this was certainly the case back in 1969 when the Celebration at Big Sur festival was held over two days on 13th and 14th September, just a...

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Us Festival 1983

Us Festival 1983

Authored By Johnny Blogger
You'd have thought, after losing upwards of $5million the previous year, Steve Wosniak would have had enough being a festival promoter but far from it. Indeed, his thirst to lose even more money was apparently unquenchable. This Us Festival 83 was born. It was to be a similar format to the previous one, with a [...]
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Miami Pop Festival May 1968

Miami Pop Festival May 1968

Authored By Johnny Blogger
The first rock festival held in Miamiwas a small scale event which was marred by bad weather. An estimated 25,000 people attended. It was promoted by Richard O'Barry and Michael Lang, later famous as the hip, curly-haired, motorbike and horse riding promoter of Woodstock. Bands featured at the festival included The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The [...]
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US Festival 1982

US Festival 1982

Authored By Johnny Blogger
In 1982, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak hatched an ambitious and very expensive musical plan and committed a sizeable chunk of his sizeable fortune to a musical event, billed as the biggest thing since Woodstock, Wozniak staged a three-day concert in the mountains of San Bernardino County, in Southern California, that featured some of the day's [...]
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Altamont Free Festival

Altamont Free Festival

Authored By John Nicholson
Whether the events at Altamont marked the death of the hippy dream, as is often claimed, is open to debate, but coming in December 1969, at literally the end of the 60s, the symbolism is irresistible, especially happening four months after the high of Woodstock. But really, it was all far less prosaic than that. [...]
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The Great Western Festival - Lincoln 1972

The Great Western Festival - Lincoln 1972

Authored By Johnny Blogger
In January 1972, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Underwood, a 33 year old colonel, going on 103, formerly of the Queen's own Cameron Highlanders and owner of a 47 and a half acre estate in the Kent village of Bishopsbourne announced it was to be the site for the Great Western Festival, to take place over the [...]
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Texas International Pop Festival 1969

Texas International Pop Festival 1969

Authored By Johnny Blogger
The Texas International Pop Festival was held at Lewisville, Texas, on Labour Day weekend, August 30 to September 1, 1969, just a couple of weeks after Woodstock. The site for the event was an open field just south and west of the newly opened Dallas International Motor Speedway. It's a festival that has gone down [...]
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