Apr 232021

Earlier today, I fell down an internet rabbit hole while looking at posters for obscure music festivals from the late 60s/early 70s. My question for you is simple: which, if any, of these festivals would justify a trip in RTH’s notoriously vomit-inducing time machine? Note that you would have to live as the locals do upon arrival — camp in the mud, eat bad concert food, politely refuse a nibble of the ‘shrooms being passed around, etc.

I look forward to your responses.



  15 Responses to “The RTH Time Machine: Festivals”

  1. The Atlantic City Pop Festival, which happened a week before Woodstock, was a reportedly well run festival which featured some of the Woodstock lineup, along with a few Philadelphia favorites at the time such as Dr. John, in his original Night Tripper persona, as well as The American Dream. And the Original Mothers of Invention. Oh, and no camping. I’m there.

    Honestly, I’m not a fan of the multi-act outdoor show at this point. I did my time in the Watkins Glen mud to see the Band, the Dead and the Allmans, but now I would much rather see one or two bands at a time in a reasonably sized indoor venue or, better yet, small venue.

  2. cherguevara

    It’s the KFRC one for me, if only to see the Merry Go Round, with a young Emitt Rhodes. PF Sloan, Tim Hardin and Tim Buckley seal the deal. Though it’s tempting to choose the Sly show, I’d travel in time to see them at their peak.

  3. BigSteve

    Bickershaw Festival 1972 is the one for me. http://www.ukrockfestivals.com/bickershaw-dvd.html

    Brinsley Schwartz were there too.

  4. That Powder Ridge Festival in Middlefield CT, 7/31-8/2, 1970 is legendary here where I live in central Connecticut. That line-up is incredible. Imagine – Sly, Van, Delany & Bonnie & Friends, Little Richard, Tull, Janis, Chuck Berry, Fleetwood Mac, Melanie, and so many other!


    Local opposition and who knows what else had it cancelled days before. In the end, 30,000 people came anyway and only Melanie was there.

    Speaking of Melanie, I’ve had this long-standing belief that Brand New Key isn’t really about roller-skating. Agree? Disagree?

    You can read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powder_Ridge_Rock_Festival

  5. Good run of luck for Chicken Shack according to those posters.

  6. I may have posted this here before, but which of the three days would you attend at the 1982 Jamaican World Music festival? If you choose day 3 because of the Clash, beware, Jimmy Buffet is on that day too.


  7. Actually, the more I think about it, I might have seen this originally when someone else posted t here and I’m unjustifiably taking credit.

  8. Headline:

    “Jamaica announces ’82’s oddest line-up”

    True dat!

  9. BigSteve

    Skeeter Davis?

  10. Happiness Stan

    If I had to pick just one of those, I guess it would be the Northern California festival with Hendrix, Zep, the Byrds, Muddy Waters, Sweet (!) et al.

    I’d take day two of the Jamaican one for Black Uhuru and Toots, but only because I’d seen the Clash a few months before. Squeeze have always delivered the goods live, Aretha just to say I’d seen her. Apart from seeing Brian Wilson on a day when he probably shouldn’t have been wheeled our onto a stage, I’ve never seen the Beach Boys, so Saturday would have touched that box too.

    I think three days camping at Pilton, the Glastonbury site, in the second half of September would be brave. It can be fiendishly cold during the night at the end of June over here, and the heavy clay soil swallows wellington boots whole after any sustained period of rain.

    I forget which year it was, but there was one where most of the acts couldn’t get on or off the site. It rained all of Thursday night and a storm brought a tree down across a nearby river, diverting its contents straight across the site.

    The second stage sank just before Catatonia were due to open it on Friday, and had to be abandoned for the rest of the three days. The show, however, had to go on, and artistes who were there filled in for the missing ones during the weekend. I saw Steve Earle at least four times, and Kula Shaker and David Gray three each.

    In front of a burger can on the main drag was what started as a large area of grass but by Friday lunchtime, it was under about a foot of water. Some children got hold of an inflatable dinghy from somewhere and spent Friday and Saturday sailing on it, until the level subsided on Sunday.

    All things considered, I’ve enjoyed the dry ones more, but Glasto is Glasto and after more than ten years off, it was wonderful to get back there in 2019, and they’ve accepted us as traders for the next time and hopefully many more to come.

    After that, and the Reading Festival where it took several days to get everyone out of the site through the mud, I’m reasonably confident in my festival survival skills and would happily do almost all of the above. And I’d have lived to see Robin Gibb, too.

  11. I’ve never been a festival guy, so contemplating any of these festivals gives me the heebie-jeebies. I was leaning toward the Midwest one, because it seemed to have the least bands, bit then I saw the Powder Ridge Festival. Day 1 alone, with Sly & the Family Stone and Eric Burdon & War alone would interest me. Then there’s Van Morrison, Little Richard, Joe Cocker, a few stoopid rock bands, Jethro Tull… I think there would be a sincere mix of hippie stuff I love, dumb rock stuff I could enjoy, oldies, and unintentionally funny acts.

  12. I’m going with the Midwest because of the MC5, Blind Faith, and Bonnie and Delany.

  13. Northern California for Hendrix, Led Zep, and Chuck Berry. But I’m taking the helicopter in and leaving without sleeping on the ground with those dirty hippies.

  14. hrrundivbakshi

    Almost all of these are tempting for some reason. The midwestern shows are chock-a-block with Stoogey goodness, Led Zeppelin and Santana show up all over the place, and (the poster doesn’t give the details, but trust me on this) the show with the special appearance by Robin Gibb was actually New Zealand’s uptight answer to Woodstock, and it featured about 50 super-obscure NZ rock bands of the era, which gives me a big rock boner. But for me, the choice is easy: the Texas International Pop Festival. Sam and Dave alone would make it my number one choice, but when you add Spirit, Sly, Zep, and The Nazz? Come ON. Hand me the Dramamine, close the time machine doors, and let’s get out of here!

  15. 2000 Man

    That Texas one came out on a bootleg CD that was supposed to sound real good 20 years or so ago. I almost bought it but then I figured I’d listen to the whole thing once, then only play one or two CD’s from it ever again.

    If I could go back, I’d do the one in Watkins Glen. My grandma lived there, so I could go home and sleep in a bed and eat real food. I’d just ride a bike to the race track. For a fun fact, my grandma sent me a T-shirt. I was 11 and it was a cool rock show shirt and I was real excited to wear it. In 1973 I was 11 and apparently my mother was 95 because she threw the shirt away before I ever got to wear it because it had a bad word on it. That word was “ball.” It said, “The Great Ball and Boogie with The Allman Bros” and some other stuff on it. I’m sure my grandma bought it from a guy pretty much in her front yard. Mom said, “Ball is a bad word.” Maybe that’s why I can’t stand the Grateful Dead.

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