|Atlanta International Pop Festival|
Poster for the event
|Genre||Rock, pop, jazz, blues|
|Dates||July 4–5, 1969|
|Location(s)||Atlanta International Raceway, Hampton, Georgia, United States|
|Founded by||Chris Cowing, Robin Conant, Alex Cooley and 14 others.|
The first Atlanta International Pop Festival was a rock festival held at the Atlanta International Raceway in Hampton, Georgia, twenty miles south of Atlanta, on the July Fourth (Friday) weekend, 1969, more than a month before Woodstock.Crowd estimates ranged from the high tens of thousands to as high as 150,000. With temperatures nearing a hundred degrees, local fire departments used fire hoses to create "sprinklers" for the crowd to play in and cool off. It was a peaceful, energetic, hot and loud festival with few (if any) problems other than heat related. Concession stands were woefully inadequate. Attendees frequently stood in line for an hour to get a soft drink.
A rock festival is a large-scale rock music concert, featuring multiple acts performing an often diverse range of rock music including heavy metal, alternative, folk, and related genres.
Hampton is a city in southwestern Henry County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 6,987, up from 3,857 at the 2000 census. By 2018 the estimated population was 7,922. "Hampton" mailing addresses outside the city limits reach into rural parts of eastern Clayton County and northern Spalding County. It is a southeastern suburb in the Atlanta metropolitan area.
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Georgia is the 24th largest in area and 8th-most populous of the 50 United States. Georgia is bordered to the north by Tennessee and North Carolina, to the northeast by South Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Florida, and to the west by Alabama. The state's nicknames include the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. Atlanta, a "beta(+)" global city, is both the state's capital and largest city. The Atlanta metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 5,949,951 in 2018, is the 9th most populous metropolitan area in the United States and contains about 60% of the entire state population.
The festival was organized by a seventeen-member promotional team that included Chris Cowing, Robin Conant and Alex Cooley. Cooley was also one of the organizers of the Texas International Pop Festival a few weeks later on Labor Day weekend, as well as the second, and last, Atlanta International Pop Festival the following summer, and the Mar Y Sol Pop Festival in Puerto Rico from April 1–3, 1972. The sound system for the 1969 Atlanta festival was supplied by Hanley Sound of Medford, Massachusetts, and the light show was provided by The Electric Collage of Atlanta,both of which would return for the second Atlanta Pop Festival. Although his name appeared on the promotional poster, Chuck Berry did not perform at the festival.
The Texas International Pop Festival was a music festival held at Lewisville, Texas, on Labor Day weekend, August 30 to September 1, 1969. It occurred two weeks after Woodstock. The site for the event was an open field just south and west of the newly opened Dallas International Motor Speedway, located on the east side of Interstate Highway 35E, across from the Round Grove Road intersection.
The second Atlanta International Pop Festival was a rock festival held in a soybean field adjacent to the Middle Georgia Raceway in Byron, Georgia, from July 3–5, 1970, although it did not finish until after dawn on the 6th. It was the only successor to the first Atlanta Pop Festival, which had been held the previous summer near Hampton, Georgia. The event was promoted by Alex Cooley, who had helped organize the '69 Atlanta festival as well as the '69 Texas International Pop Festival, and two years later would promote the Mar Y Sol Pop Festival in Puerto Rico from April 1–3, 1972.
Charles Edward Anderson Berry was an American singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive. Writing lyrics that focused on teen life and consumerism, and developing a music style that included guitar solos and showmanship, Berry was a major influence on subsequent rock music.
On the Monday following the festival, July 7, the festival promoters gave Atlanta's music fans a gift: a free concert in Atlanta's Piedmont Park featuring Chicago Transit Authority, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, and Spirit, all of whom had played at the festival, and Grateful Dead, who had not. According to the Atlanta Journal and Constitution , the free event was the promoters' way of showing "their appreciation for the overwhelming success of the festival",although Alex Cooley has also described their motivation as simple hippie guilt at making a few-thousand-dollar profit. Piedmont Park had by then become the location of regular, free, and often impromptu rock concerts by mostly local Atlanta bands, and, beginning in mid-May 1969, by Macon's new Allman Brothers Band.
Piedmont Park is an urban park in Atlanta, Georgia, located about 1 mile (1.6 km) northeast of Downtown, between the Midtown and Virginia Highland neighborhoods. Originally the land was owned by Dr. Benjamin Walker, who used it as his out-of-town gentleman's farm and residence. He sold the land in 1887 to the Gentlemen's Driving Club, who wanted to establish an exclusive club and racing ground for horse enthusiasts. The Driving Club entered an agreement with the Piedmont Exposition Company, headed by prominent Atlantan Charles A. Collier, to use the land for fairs and expositions and later gave the park its name.
The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California. The band is known for its eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, country, jazz, bluegrass, blues, gospel, and psychedelic rock; for live performances of lengthy instrumental jams; and for its devoted fan base, known as "Deadheads". "Their music", writes Lenny Kaye, "touches on ground that most other groups don't even know exists". These various influences were distilled into a diverse and psychedelic whole that made the Grateful Dead "the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world". The band was ranked 57th by Rolling Stone magazine in its The Greatest Artists of All Time issue. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and a recording of their May 8, 1977, performance at Cornell University's Barton Hall was added to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2012. The Grateful Dead have sold more than 35 million albums worldwide.
The Allman Brothers Band was an American rock band formed in Jacksonville, Florida in 1969 by brothers Duane Allman and Gregg Allman, as well as Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks (drums), and Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson (drums). The band incorporated elements of blues, jazz, and country music, and their live shows featured jam band-style improvisation and instrumentals.
Over twenty musical acts performed at the event:
Blood, Sweat & Tears is a jazz-rock Canadian-American music group. They are noted for their combination of brass and rock band instrumentation. The group recorded songs by rock/folk songwriters such as Laura Nyro, James Taylor, the Band and the Rolling Stones as well as Billie Holiday and Erik Satie. They also incorporated music from Thelonious Monk and Sergei Prokofiev into their arrangements.
Booker T. & the M.G.'s are an American instrumental R&B/funk band that was influential in shaping the sound of Southern soul and Memphis soul. The original members of the group were Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper (guitar), Lewie Steinberg (bass), and Al Jackson Jr. (drums). In the 1960s, as members of the house band of Stax Records, they played on hundreds of recordings by artists including Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Bill Withers, Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor and Albert King. They also released instrumental records under their own name, including the 1962 hit single "Green Onions". As originators of the unique Stax sound, the group was one of the most prolific, respected, and imitated of its era. By the mid-1960s, bands on both sides of the Atlantic were trying to sound like Booker T. & the M.G.'s.
Canned Heat is an American rock band that was formed in Los Angeles in 1965. The group has been noted for its interpretations of blues material and for its efforts to promote interest in this type of music and its original artists. It was launched by two blues enthusiasts, Alan Wilson and Bob Hite, who took the name from Tommy Johnson's 1928 "Canned Heat Blues", a song about an alcoholic who had desperately turned to drinking Sterno, generically called "canned heat", from the original 1914 product name Sterno Canned Heat, After appearances at the Monterey and Woodstock festivals at the end of the 1960s, the band acquired worldwide fame with a lineup consisting of Hite (vocals), Wilson, Henry Vestine and later Harvey Mandel, Larry Taylor (bass), and Adolfo de la Parra (drums).
Blind Faith were an English supergroup featuring Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Ric Grech. The band was eagerly anticipated by the music press as a continuation of Clapton and Baker's former group Cream and Winwood's former group Traffic, but they split after one album and tour.
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Midtown Atlanta, or Midtown, is a high-density commercial and residential neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. The exact geographical extent of the area is ill-defined due to differing definitions used by the city, residents, and local business groups. However, the commercial core of the area is anchored by a series of high-rise office buildings, condominiums, hotels, and high-end retail along Peachtree Street between North Avenue and 17th Street. Midtown, situated between Downtown to the south and Buckhead to the north, is the second-largest business district in Metro Atlanta. In 2011, Midtown had a resident population of 41,681 and a business population of 81,418.
Festival Express is a 2003 documentary film about the 1970 train tour of the same name across Canada taken by some of North America's most popular rock bands, including Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band, Buddy Guy, Flying Burrito Bros, Ian & Sylvia's Great Speckled Bird, and Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. The film combines live footage shot during the 1970 concerts, as well as footage aboard the train itself, interspersed with present-day interviews with tour participants sharing their often humorous recollections of the events.
The Erie Canal Soda Pop Festival was a rock festival held on the Labor Day weekend of 1972 near Griffin, Indiana on Bull Island, a strip of land in Illinois but on the Indiana side of the Wabash River. A crowd estimated at 200,000 to 300,000 attended the concert, four times what the promoters estimated. Food and water were in short supply, and the gathering descended into relative anarchy. After the show was finished, remnants of the crowd members burned the main stage.
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The Summer Jam at Watkins Glen was a 1973 rock festival which once received the Guinness Book of World Records entry for "Largest audience at a pop festival." An estimated 600,000 rock fans came to the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Raceway outside Watkins Glen, New York on July 28, 1973, to see the Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead and The Band perform.
The Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music was a counterculture era music festival held at the Royal Bath and West Showground in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England on 27–29 June 1970. Bands such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin performed, and the festival was widely bootlegged. An 'alternative festival' was staged in an adjoining field where the Pink Fairies, Yes, Genesis, and Hawkwind played on the back of a flatbed truck. Michael Eavis was attendant at the festival and was inspired to hold later that year the first event of what would become the Glastonbury festival of contemporary performing arts.
The Atlantic City Pop Festival took place in 1969 on August 1, 2 and 3rd at the Atlantic City race track, two weeks before Woodstock Festival. It actually took place in Hamilton Township at the Atlantic City Race Course. There was heavy security at the festival, and the stage the acts performed on was created by Buckminster Fuller. A ticket for the entire 3-day weekend was $15.00 to see all of the performers listed. Attended by some 100,000+ people.
The Schaefer Music Festival was a recurring music festival held in the summer between 1967 and 1976 at Wollman Rink in New York City's Central Park. It featured a number of notable performances. The location of the festival was later moved to Pier 84 under several different sponsors.
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The Newport Pop Festival, held in Costa Mesa, California, on August 3–4, 1968, was the first music concert ever to have more than 100,000 paid attendees. Its sequel, billed as Newport 69, was held in Northridge, California, on June 20–22, 1969, and had a total attendance estimated at 200,000.
The Cry of Love Tour was a 1970 concert tour by American rock guitarist and singer Jimi Hendrix. It began April 25, 1970, at the Forum in Inglewood, California and ended September 6, 1970, at the Love & Peace Festival in Fehmarn, an island off the Baltic coast of Germany. The majority of the 37 shows were in the United States, with two each in Sweden, Denmark, and Germany, and one in England, where Hendrix was the final act at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970.
The Midwest Rock Festival was a music festival held at the State Fair Park in West Allis, Wisconsin, on the July 25-27, 1969.
Alex Cooley's Electric Ballroom was a music venue located in Atlanta, Georgia that existed between 1974 and 1979. The original owners were Alex Cooley and Mark Golob. It was located in the Grand Ballroom of the Georgian Terrace Hotel at 663 Peachtree Street NE. It became the Agora Ballroom before closing in 1983. The structure burned down in 1987.
The Stones in the Park was a free outdoor festival held in Hyde Park on 5 July 1969, headlined by The Rolling Stones and featuring Third Ear Band, King Crimson, Screw, Alexis Korner's New Church, Family and the Battered Ornaments, in front of a crowd estimated at between 250,000 and 500,000 fans.
The New Orleans Pop Festival was a rock festival held on Labor Day weekend, two weeks after the Woodstock Festival. It was held at the Louisiana International Speedway in Prairieville, Louisiana, about 65 miles up the Mississippi River from New Orleans and 15 miles south of Baton Rouge. Over 26 bands performed during the three days of the festival, including seven veterans of Woodstock. It had a peak attendance of 25,000–30,000 people.