We hear so much about Woodstock, Monterey, the Isle of White Festivals in the history of rock, but what about our very own moment in the sun, the great Sunbury Pop Festivals, held in Victoria from 1972-1975, signalling the end of long haired hippies and the reign of the pub-rock scene.
Sunbury was a massive show of pride in Australian Rock, most acts were aussie, when Queen appeared in 1972, the first overseas act, aussies booed them off the stage to the sound of:
“Go back to Pommyland, ya pooftahs”
Now you cant get more Aussie than that.
The festival closed in 75 due to losses caused by rain and by the high cost of bringing in Deep Purple (more Pommy bastards).
Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs were the heroes of the first Sunbury, originally a Merseyside-style beat band, they became a hard-rocking blues band with much more to offer than ‘Most People I Know”.
Spectrum (Aussie prog 1969-1972) and Chain (the best blues-rock to ever emerge from Australia ?) were two other highlights of the first festival.
The second Festival, Sunbury ’73 was Mced by none other than Paul Hogan, so not much room for hippy wankers announcing acts like you had at Woodstock !
It featured Band of Light, Bakery, Healing Force, Flying Circus, all names that have become somewhat lost in the history of Aussie Music.
Sunbury ’74 was headlined by Skyhooks, soon to be ANZ’s contribution to Glam, ’75 was a disaster with ACDC headlining but never playing due to rain.
Were you there ? Tell us your own story.
Image: Courtesy Aztec Records