Us Festival 1983

December 29, 2015

Us Festival 1983

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 day dedicated to different music genres across 3 days. Held again in San Bernardino, day one was new wave, day two heavy metal and the third day rock. A fourth day of country was held a week later.

The Clash headlined the new wave day but were fed up that they were receiving a decidedly un-punky $500,000 when the other day's headliners - David Bowie and Van Halen, were trousering a cool and frankly ludicrous $1.5million. These were unprecedented fees and off the scale for 1983, in fact, they'd be off the scale now. After pointing out that they'd sold a lot less records than the other two headliners and fed up with The Clash bitching and moaning, the promoters put images of their contract on the jumbo screens to show the fans how much they were getting for an hour's work, presumably in an attempt to humiliate them. Not that the Clash were punks or new wave by then, anyway.

375,000 turned up for Heavy Metal day ...dude, whose on stage? Err...where's the stage, man?


Over 600,000 people turned up across the four shows but it was day two, heavy metal Sunday that pulled in 375,000 alone. Featuring Quiet Riot, Motley Crue, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, Triumph(metal, are you sure?), Scorpions and Van Halen, it was a stellar line-up and Van Halen were in peak form.

Van Halen top off the metal day with some serious kicking of ass

The rock day was more unfocused with acts like the Pretenders and Quarterflash and Berlin rubbing shoulders with U2, Stevie Nicks and Joe Walsh. Stevie Nicks set is all on youtube and, coming on the heels of the death of her best friend, it's an emotional performance. Waddy Wachtell hammers the living daylights out of the guitar and Russ Kunkel is giving it the full Kunkel throughout. No-one looks particularly sober, and at times during Stop Dragging My Heart Around, it threatens to fall apart - which is why it is so brilliant. It's raw and messy and that's rock n roll - not pristine reproductions of the studio tracks.

Stevie Nicks captivates a few hundred thousand people like a White Winged Dove

Bowie rounds it all off but Nicks was clearly the star of that day.

Weirdly the country day was a week afterwards, headlined by Willie Nelson. Almost a separate one-off festival, really.

Estimates reckon the gig lost up to $15million dollars. But Wosniak had money to burn, though judging by the pictures, not on nice trousers. One magazine dubbed it the most expensive backstage pass in rock history.

The Us Festivals were the first to have video game tents and the first to have huge TV screens too, so their place in history is guaranteed for one reason or another.

Also in DJTees Blog

What Was Your First Record?
What Was Your First Record?

December 25, 2016

It's always something every vinyl addict likes to ask of another collector. If you think about it, this isn't something the current generation of music lovers will be able to do in the future with the same feeling. "What was your first download?" doesn't have an ounce of romance about it, does it? Now, there [...]

View full article →

The Closing of Winterland - 31st December
The Closing of Winterland - 31st December

December 25, 2016

When I was kid in the 70s, growing up in the northeast of England, obsessed with all things west coast and hippie, the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco was one of those almost mythic places that you heard about, like the Fillmore East and West. They were not mere venues for bands to play, they [...]

View full article →

Pride In Collecting Vinyl
Pride In Collecting Vinyl

May 02, 2016

As you'll know, if you come to DJTees often, I'm a vinyl record collector. I love records to an almost unhealthy degree and it's been this way pretty much since I was given Manfred Mann's 'Doo Wah Diddy' single by my parents in 1966. When I bought my first album - The Best of Status [...]

View full article →

T-shirt Size, Quality & Print Info

All of our T-shirts are printed to order using state-of-the-art DTG (direct to garment) machines

We do not use transfers, or digi-cut vinyl

Mens Sizing

Shirt Size Chest Size (inches) Length (inches) Chest Size (cm) Length (cm)
Small 34-36 27 86-92 68
Medium 38-40 28 96-102 71
Large 42-44 29 106-112 73
XL 44-48 31 112-122 78
2XL 50-52 32 127-132 81
3XL 54-56 33 137-142 83
4XL 58-60 34 147-152 86
5XL 62-64 35 157-162 89

Womens Sizing

Shirt Size Chest Size (inches) Length (inches) Chest Size (cm) Length (cm)
6-8 30-32 24 76-81 61
8-10 32-34 25 81-86 63
10-12 34-36 26.5 86-91 67
12-14 36-38 27 91-96 68
14-16 38-40 27.5 96-101 70
16-18 42-44 28 102-112 71

Kids Sizing

Shirt Size Chest Size (inches) Chest Size (cm) Childs Height (CM)
1-2 Years 18-20 45-50 86-91
2-3 Years 20-22 50-55 91-96
3-4 Years 22-24 55-60 101-106
5-6 Years 26-28 66-71 111-116
7-8 Years 30 76 116-121
9-11 Years 32 81 127-132