Atlanta International Pop Festival (1969)

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Atlanta International Pop Festival
AtlantaPopFestival1969.jpg
Poster for the event
Genre Rock, pop, jazz, blues
DatesJuly 4–5, 1969
Location(s) Atlanta International Raceway, Hampton, Georgia, United States
Founded byChris Cowing, Robin Conant, Alex Cooley and 14 others.
Attendance80,000-150,000 (est.)

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. [1] [2] [3] [4] Crowd estimates ranged from the high tens of thousands to as high as 150,000. [5] 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.

Rock festival Type of music festival

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, Georgia City in Georgia, United States

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 (U.S. state) U.S. state in the United States

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.

Contents

History

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, [6] 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.

Texas International Pop 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.

Atlanta International Pop Festival (1970) American rock festival

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.

Chuck Berry American recording artist; rock-and-roll guitarist, singer, songwriter

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", [7] although Alex Cooley has also described their motivation as simple hippie guilt at making a few-thousand-dollar profit. [8] 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. [9]

Piedmont Park United States historic place

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.

Grateful Dead American rock jam band

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 American rock/blues band

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.

Lineup

Over twenty musical acts performed at the event:

Blood, Sweat & Tears American rock music band

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 R& B/funk band

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 American blues/boogie rock band

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).

See also

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References

  1. Roberts, Scott. (July 2011). "42 Years Ago This Month: The First Atlanta International Pop Festival" Archived 2013-09-03 at the Wayback Machine . Atlanta Magazine.
  2. Haden, Courtney. (July 2, 2009). "Remembering the Atlanta International Pop Festival". Birmingham Weekly.
  3. Beeman, Paul. (July 6, 1969). "Music Fans Stay Orderly Despite Heat, Wine, Drugs". The Atlanta Journal and Constitution .
  4. Santelli, Robert. Aquarius Rising - The Rock Festival Years. 1980. Dell Publishing Co., Inc. pp. 105-109, 266-7.
  5. Beeman, Paul. (July 7, 1969). "Pop's the Thing Despite Heat at Hampton". The Atlanta Journal .
  6. McCabe, Tim. August 1969. "Festival Review". Metro Beat.
  7. Beeman, Paul. (July 6, 1969). "Pop Group List Concert at Park". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  8. Budnick, Dean and Baron, Josh. Ticket Masters. 2011. ECW Press, Toronto.
  9. Mankin, Bill. "We Can All Join In: How Rock Festivals Helped Change America". Like the Dew. 2012.