|Dates||August 7-August 10, 1970|
|Location(s)||Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada|
|Founded by||John Brower|
The Strawberry Fields Festival was a rock music festival held at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (formerly Mosport Park) in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, about 100 kilometers east of Toronto, between August 7 and the early morning hours of August 10, 1970. Although accounts vary, the audience has been estimated at between 75,000 and 100,000 people.A three-day ticket for the festival sold for $15.00.
Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is a multi-track motorsport venue located north of Bowmanville, in Ontario, Canada. The facility features a 2.459-mile (3.957 km), 10-turn road course; a 2.9 km advance driver and race driver training facility with a quarter-mile skid pad and a 1.5 km kart track. The name "Mosport" is a portmanteau of Motor Sport, came from the enterprise formed to build the track; it is pronounced as the two words actually sound, "Mo-Sport".
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 in 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada's most populous CMA. The city is the anchor of the Golden Horseshoe, an urban agglomeration of 9,245,438 people surrounding the western end of Lake Ontario. Toronto is an international centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.
John Brower along with John Lennon and Yoko Ono had originally planned to host the "Toronto Peace Festival" at Mosport Park in July 1970 but they ran into numerous roadblocks and their plans were dashed when their application for the necessary permits were denied. In de-classified documents released in 2007 it was revealed in an RCMP report dated December 30, 1969, that the Canadian security service began spying on ex-Beatle John and Yoko after they announced their plans for the Peace Festival.
John Winston Ono Lennon was an English singer, songwriter and peace activist who gained worldwide fame as the rhythm guitarist for the Beatles. His songwriting partnership with Paul McCartney remains the most successful in history. In 1969, he started the Plastic Ono Band with his second wife, Yoko Ono. After the Beatles disbanded in 1970, Lennon continued as a solo artist and as a collaborator of Ono's music.
Yoko Ono is a Japanese-American multimedia artist, singer, songwriter and peace activist. Her work also encompasses performance art, which she performs in both English and Japanese and filmmaking. She is known for being the wife of English singer-songwriter John Lennon of the Beatles from 1969 until his murder in 1980.
Without John and Yoko, Brower moved forward with plans to host a festival at Shediac, near Moncton, New Brunswick, named the "Strawberry Fields Festival".Again, local politicians intervened and revoked various permits so Brower shifted the location back to Mosport Park in Ontario only this time he thinly disguised the event as a championship motorcycle race featuring "some contemporary entertainment". The festival was advertised in Canada as the "First Annual Strawberry Cup Trophy Race". To avoid public and political scrutiny, the musical entertainment aspect of the event was downplayed in advertisements and the festival was not promoted heavily in Canada.
Moncton is the largest city in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Situated in the Petitcodiac River Valley, Moncton lies at the geographic centre of the Maritime Provinces. The city has earned the nickname "Hub City" due to its central inland location in the region and its history as a railway and land transportation hub for the Maritimes.
When it was discovered that the primary focus of the event was not motorcycle racing but instead a rock music festival, the Attorney General of Ontario, Arthur Wishart, filed for an injunction to stop the festival from taking place citing health and public safety concerns. On August 6, with only hours to go before the opening act was scheduled to take the stage, Supreme Court Justice D. A. Keith refused to grant the injunction and the festival was allowed to proceed.
Unlike in Canada, the "Strawberry Fields Festival" was promoted heavily in the U.S. as a three-day rock music festival with the slogan, "Love, Sun and Sound". As a result, a large percentage of the attendees were from the American northeast. Others travelled from as far away as California and Florida. In the end, the sanctioning body for the racing series withdrew its drivers from the event so an actual race never occurred although an obligatory lap by a few motorcyclists did occur in order to comply with the local ordinance.
Several thousand more young American music fans were turned back at the Canada–US border by Canadian border agents. The fans were unable to provide proof they had sufficient funds to look after themselves while visiting Canada or produce adequate identification. Forty US dollars were required to be shown to officials (at the Thousand Islands Bridge crossing checkpoint). If one could not show cash they were told they could not enter Canada. Cash was sometimes borrowed from person to person at the lineup. One person turned away at the Canadian border crossing at Prescott, Ontario, drowned while attempting to swim into Canada across the St. Lawrence River near Watertown, New York. Several arrests related to the attempted importation of narcotics and banned substances were made.
The Canada–United States border, officially known as the International Boundary, is the longest international border in the world between two countries. It is shared between Canada and the United States, the second- and fourth- largest countries by area, respectively. The terrestrial boundary is 5,525 miles (8,892 km) long, of which 1,538 miles (2,475 km) is Canada's border with Alaska. Eight Canadian provinces and territories, and thirteen U.S. states are located along the border.
Prescott, Ontario is a small town on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River in the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, Canada. In 2016, the town had a population of 3965. The Ogdensburg–Prescott International Bridge, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) east of Prescott at Johnstown, connects the town with Ogdensburg, New York. The town is about an hour from both Ottawa and Kingston.
Watertown is a city in the U.S. state of New York and the county seat of Jefferson County. It is situated approximately 25 miles (40 km) south of the Thousand Islands, and only about 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Lake Ontario, at the point where the Black River empties into it. It also lies 180 miles (290 km) northwest of Albany, the state capital and 328 miles (530 km) northwest of New York City. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 27,023, an increase of 1.2% since 2000. The U.S. Army post Fort Drum is near the city.
Mosport is a 500-acre (2.0 km2) auto racing venue. Strawberry Fields was the first of three major music festivals held at Mosport Park Raceway, between 1970 and 1980. The other two were Canada Jam held August 26, 1978 and the punk and new wave themed Heatwave Festival held August 23, 1980.
Strawberry Festival acts included (not in order of appearance):
Led Zeppelin and Leonard Cohen were listed on the bill but did not appear.The festival concluded at 5:30 am on Monday morning, August 10 with a performance by Woodstock alumni Sly & the Family Stone, playing, "I Wanna Take You Higher", as the sun came up. Other performers who also appeared at the 1969 Woodstock Festival in Bethel, New York included Melanie, Ten Years After and Mountain. Chip Monck, who designed the stage lighting for Woodstock and became the impromptu emcee of that event, had planned to emcee Strawberry Fields, but the various changes in dates and venues pushed the festival into August and Monck was bound to honour a previous commitment to work the Rolling Stones European tour at that time.
Woodstock was a music festival held August 15–18, 1969, at Max Yasgur's 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York, 43 miles (70 km) southwest of Woodstock. Billed as "an Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music", it attracted an audience of more than 400,000. It was alternatively referred to as the Bethel Rock Festival or the Aquarian Music Festival. Thirty-two acts performed outdoors despite sporadic rain.
Strawberry Fields may refer to:
Clarington is a lower-tier municipality in the Regional Municipality of Durham in Ontario, Canada. It was incorporated in 1973 as the town of Newcastle with the merging of the town of Bowmanville and the townships of Clarke and Darlington. In 1994, the town was renamed Clarington, a portmanteau of the names of the two former townships. Bowmanville is the largest community in the municipality and is the home of the municipal offices.
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.
Postmedia News is a national news agency with correspondents in Canada, Europe, and the United States and is part of the Canadian newspaper chain owned by Postmedia Network Inc.
Live Peace in Toronto 1969 is a live album by the Plastic Ono Band, released December 1969 on Apple. Recorded at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival, it was the first live album released by any member of the Beatles separately or together. John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono received a phone call from the festival's promoters John Brower and Kenny Walker, and then assembled a band in a very short space of time to play at the festival, which was due to start the following day. The band included Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann, and drummer Alan White. The group had brief rehearsals before appearing on the stage to perform several songs; one of which, "Cold Turkey", was first performed live at said festival. Eventually returning home, Lennon mixed the album in a day.
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.
Torstar Corporation is a Canadian media and publishing company. The company is primarily a publisher of daily and community newspapers, including its flagship and namesake, the Toronto Star.
The Powder Ridge Rock Festival was scheduled to be held July 31, August 1 and August 2, 1970 at Powder Ridge Ski Area in Middlefield, Connecticut. A legal injunction forced the event to be canceled, keeping the musicians away; but a crowd of 30,000 attendees arrived anyway, to find no food, no entertainment, no adequate plumbing, and at least seventy drug dealers. William Manchester wrote: "Powder Ridge was an accident waiting to happen, and it happened." Volunteer doctor William Abruzzi declared a drug "crisis" on 1 August and said "Woodstock was a pale pot scene. This is a heavy hallucinogens scene."
The St. Catharines Standard is a daily newspaper of the city of St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
Blaine Thurier is a Canadian musician and film producer. He plays synthesizer with the Canadian indie pop supergroup The New Pornographers. His videos for The New Pornographers have been critically well received. Thurier has written and directed feature films which have been screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), South by Southwest Film Festival, Slamdance and other festivals. Thurier served as a 2011 panelist for the TIFF.
Metroland Media Group, is a large media, publishing and distribution company operating in the southern part of the Canadian province of Ontario. It publishes more than 80 local newspapers. Six of these are daily papers, and the rest are weekly community newspapers. Metroland has a substantial market presence in its geographic area, but has considerable competition from other large media and publishing organisations. In addition to printing most of its own publications, Metroland is a commercial printer of flyers and magazines. Metroland Media Group is owned by Torstar Corporation of Toronto, which also owns the Toronto Star newspaper.
Heatwave was a rock festival held on August 23, 1980 at Mosport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario. The slogans used to promote the show were variously the "Punk Woodstock", the "New Wave Woodstock", or "The 1980s Big Beat Rock and Roll Party". The festival was noteworthy because of the importance of the headliner bands that played and the timing in the evolution of new wave music, and from the size of the crowd.
The hippie subculture began its development as a youth movement in the United States during the early 1960s and then developed around the world.
The Toronto Rock and Roll Revival was a one-day, twelve-hour music festival held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on September 13, 1969. It featured a number of popular musical acts from the 1950s and 1960s. The festival is particularly notable as featuring an appearance by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, as the Plastic Ono Band, which resulted in the release of their Live Peace in Toronto 1969 album. The festival was also the subject of the D.A. Pennebaker film, Sweet Toronto.
Ritchie Yorke was an Australian-born author, broadcaster, historian and music journalist, whose work was widely published in the U.S., UK, Canada and elsewhere.
Canada Jam was a rock music festival concert held at Mosport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario Canada, about 100 kilometres east of Toronto, on August 26, 1978. The festival was produced by Sandy Feldman and Leonard Stogel, who produced California Jam and California Jam II, and was sponsored by Carling O'Keefe. It attracted over 110,000 fans, making it the largest paying rock event in Canadian history at that time. The Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto a.k.a. "SARSfest" featuring the Rolling Stones and AC/DC eclipsed that mark with an audience of 450,000 people on July 30, 2003.
Postmedia Network Canada Corporation is a Canadian media company consisting of the publishing properties of the former Canwest, with primary operations in newspaper publishing, news gathering and Internet operations.