Monday, July 14, 2008

Rock Revival's Time Capsule (1969): The Texas and Atlanta International Pop Festivals

Woodstock, August 1969, was the zenith of the hippy music, the festival that took the San Francisco scene and Monterey into the stratosphere. Altamont, held in December, signalled the beginning of the end. Despite the prominence of these two events in the history books two other critical American festivals occured in 1969, ones that certainly deserve alot more attention.

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The first Atlanta International Pop Festival was held at the Atlanta International Raceway on the July Fourth 1969, more than a month before Woodstock. A hundred thousand peope attneded and with temperatures nearing 100 degrees, local fire departments used fire hoses to create "sprinklers" for the crowd to play in and cool off.

Performers included Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter, Johnny Rivers, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Canned Heat, Spirit, Ten Wheel Drive, Joe Cocker, Chicago Transit Authority, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grand Funk Railroad, Sweetwater, Al Kooper, Pacific Gas & Electric, Dave Brubeck, and Led Zeppelin. The Allman Brothers Band were booked by a shonky promoter. They showed up but were not allowed to play.

The second was the Texas International Pop Festival held at Lewisville, Texas, August 30-September 1, 1969, just two weeks after Woodstock (150,000 attended)

Artists were: Led Zeppelin, B.B. King, Canned Heat, Chicago Transit Authority, Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, Freddie King, Grand Funk Railroad, Herbie Mann, Incredible String Band, James Cotton, Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter, Nazz, Ramon and Ramon and the Four Daddios, Rotary Connection, Sam and Dave, Santana, Shiva's Headband, Sly and the Family Stone, Space Opera, Spirit, Sweetwater, Ten Years After and Tony Joe White.

The Merry Pranksters were in attendance, providing a trip tent and free food. For a personal account go Here

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