Category Archives: Festivals

Miami Rock Festival

Miami Rock Festival

December 27, 28, & 29
International Speedway, Hollywood, Florida
Last rock festival of 1969
“Last rock festival of the 60’s”

Miami Rock Festival

1969: a Year of Festivals

And so we come to the end of 1969 and the many festivals of that year besides the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. 

Back on May 23 we had the first one of 1969: the Aquarian Family Festival in San Jose, California.  By the end of June and the Denver Pop Festival there had already been eight American festivals and on June 28 there would be the Bath Festival of Blues in England. 

By the end of July, we'd have the Midwest Pop Festival in Milwaukee and it marked the 17th American festival.

By the end of August the Isle of Wight Festival of Music marked the twenty-fourth festival of 1969.

There were many other festivals as well during 1969 that I have not covered. They all fall under the category as "minor" but of course to those who organized them or to those who attended them, a festival is a festival.

I have not excluded any large American festival as far as I know. I know I have not included some of those so-called minor festivals, particularly in Michigan which seemed to have many local ones that summer.

Miami Rock Festival

The Miami Rock Festival was the twenty-ninth American festival that year. I have mentioned the two UK festivals. And at the same time that the Miami Rock Festival was going on, the Mid Winter Pop Festival was not.

I include the Mid Winter because it seems (not much information about it other than its poster) like it would have been an amazing event--had it happened.

Interestingly, the Miami Rock Festival has nearly as little about it. Setlist.fm seems to show who played on certain days, but it is obviously incomplete since some of the bands listed below are not on the poster above and some of the bands named on the poster are not listed below:

Sat 27 December

  • Canned Heat*
  • Vanilla Fudge

Sun 28 Dec

  • Biff Rose
  • Cold Blood
  • Grateful Dead*
  • Johnny Winter*
  • Sweetwater*
  • The Amboy Dukes
  • Paul Butterfield Blues Band*
  • The Turtles

Mon 29 Dec

  • Santana*
  • The Band*
  • Tony Joe White

Woodstock?

The amazing thing is that at least seven of the Woodstock artists were there. I have asterisked them.

Grateful Dead

Despite the fact the above breakdown comes from Setlist.fm, the only band whose link has a set list is the Dead. No surprise there. And, of course, we have a link to a soundboard recording of their show: Grateful Dead on December 28, 1969.  What that recording showsis that they played: 
  • Black Peter
  • Me And My Uncle
  • China Cat Sunflower ->
  • Jam ->
  • I Know You Rider ->
  • High Time
  • Cumberland Blues
  • Good Lovin’ ->
  • Drums ->
  • Good Lovin’
  • Cold Rain And Snow
  • Hard To Handle
  • Mason’s Children
  • Turn On Your Love Light
The Internet Archive site has the following comments:

It is possible that this is not the complete show, though it would be likely 
 that only one or two songs may have preceded Black Peter. There are 
 definitely some rough spots that vary throughout the recording (especially Black Peter), but it is overall very listenable for a show from a cassette master. Mason's Children was patched in from an alternate source (unknown lineage bootleg) as the primary source suffered from tape warble during this song. It is apparent that noise reduction was performed digitally on this song at some point on the secondary source, though the integrity of the sound does not suffer greatly. The pitch from the primary master was corrected using Sound Forge.

Black Peter comes in before the lyric "...just then the wind..." and is 
 therefore missing a couple minutes or so. Good Lovin' cuts out just over a 
 minute into the drum solo, obliterating several minutes at least. The 
 first half of Cold Rain is missing as well. 

This is a loud and very rowdy show, prompting some priceless banter from the band.

Contact me!

The only information I could find written about the festival was from the Miami Herald: Inspired by Woodstock the summer before, The Miami Rock Festival of December, 1969, drew thousands of young people determined to have fun and avoid paying admission, if they could. It wasn't in Miami. It took place at the Miami-Hollywood Speedway, then 15 long miles west of Hollywood, but now a housing development in the middle of Pembroke Pines. Performers included Mother Lode, Sweetwater, Canned Heat, Johnny Winter, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Vanilla Fudge and the Amboy Dukes. Fans were searched by police, lashed by cold winds and encouraged to "turn on to God" by Billy Graham. Graham said he appreciated the respectful welcome he got, but police made at least 47 arrests and one young man died in a fall from a spotlight tower.

If anyone has any other information or link to that information about this festival, please comment or let me know. Much appreciated.

Mid Winter Pop Festival

Mid Winter Pop Festival

Mid Winter Pop Festival

December 27, 28, and 29, 1969
Blythe, California
According to the Desert USA site: Blythe, California is agriculturally based but heavily influenced by tourism, Blythe is located on the California-Arizona border where Interstate 10 crosses the Colorado River. Blythe's population more than triples during the winter months with the arrival of visitors seeking relief from their cold climate home states during that season.

In the summer, in spite of extreme high Sonoran Desert temperatures, Blythe is a center for water sports along the Colorado River. Blythe is a small town and the people are very warm and friendly. Blythe's educational system offers students facilities from pre-school through community college.

Poster says…

The Mid Winter Pop Festival was the BIGGEST and BEST of '69. At least that is what its poster proclaimed. Attendees were going to "See and Hear Dozens of GREAT STARS in Person!

It was going to be...

A MUSICAL HAPPENING FOR LOVERS OF ROCK AND SOUL....

SET IN THE DRY, WARM DESERT SOUTHWEST - ALONG THE BEAUTIFUL COLORADO RIVER SOUTH OF 

BLYTHE, CALIFORNIA

There would be no less than 14 HOURS OF FABULOUS ENTERTAINMENT EACH DAY !!!

100,000 ACRES WITH PLENTY OF WATER, SANITATION AND MEDICAL FACILITIES. CAMPING AREAS PROVIDED.

REASONABLY PRICED FOOD AND BEVERAGES

Who would be there?
  • Rotary Connection
  • Young Rascals
  • Bicycle
  • Linda Rohstad
  • Laura Nyro
  • Eric Mercury
  • Chambers Brothers
  • Chicago Transit Authority
  • The Youngbloods
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • Country Joe & the Fish
  • Pacific Gas & Electric
  • Steve Miller Band
  • Janis Joplin
  • Jefferson Airplane
  • Iron Butterfly
  • Neil Diamond
  • Buffy Sainte-Marie
  • …and many others

Mid Winter Pop Festival

Tickets on sale at:
  • Jim Salle’s
  • Fahrenheit
  • Gay’s Men’s Shop
According to the poster, 

TO RECEIVE YOUR TICKETS TO THIS FESTIVAL

BY RETURN MAIL, FILL IN THE COUPON AND MAIL TO:
MID-WINTER POPS FESTIVAL, INC.

2818 St Louis St.

New Orleans, La 70119

or
MID-WINTER POPS FESTIVAL

PO Box 47846

Atlanta, Ga. 30340

Tickets were $21 each or $30 at the gate.

There was a limited quantity available so Mid Winter Pops Festival, Inc encouraged fans to buy early and save.

Mid-Winter Pops Festival, Inc of 2818 St Louis St, New Orleans, LA sponsored the event.
Oh yea...

The event never happened and if you know why let me know. I cannot find anything.

 

Raccoon Creek Rock Festival

Raccoon Creek Rock Festival

at Livingston Gymnasium indoor track

November 6, 7, & 8

Raccoon Creek Rock Festival

Presented by the Denison Campus Government Association, the Racoon Creek Rock Festival was one of the smaller festivals of 1969, but a festival nonetheless.  Held indoors at the school's Livingston Gymnasium indoor track (it was November and it was Ohio, after all).

This is one of those festivals about which not much is known. I've tried to contact the Denison newspaper, but received no response. I did find school newspaper  edition from just before the event. It's humorous to me how the article's headline described the event as featuring "Six Name Groups."

It's also interesting to me that the newspaper spells Raccoon with the two "c"s as it is normally spelled, but I find several spots where the second "c" is omitted. 

Raccoon Creek Rock Festival

 

The newspaper article also fails to say specifically who would play on Friday, yet one of the posters does specify.

The Who and Owen B were scheduled for Thursday. The article also notes that "The English group has produced many hit singles including "Magic Bus," "Pinball Wizard," and "I'm Free."

The article then states that The Spirit (I have only seen them referred to as simply Spirit) and The Dust (ditto) would play on Saturday.  The day is a typo and should read Friday as the article continues and states that Johnny Winter, Lycidas, and The Dust would appear on Saturday (also) to complete the 3-day festival.

Winter, it is noted, "performs a variety of interpretations of black vernacular and a wide range of black instrumental approaches." 

Good to know.

Raccoon Creek Rock Festival

Concerns

The writer seems to be somewhat unfamiliar with the line-up, but has the same worries expressed by all who would be in the range of a 1969 festival. After mentioning that there had been outside interest in the event ("as far away as upstate New York") they go on to say: "We're expecting to turn people away, but we hope the Denison campus will still be one peaceful community during the festival."

Raccoon Creek Rock Festival

The Who on Thursday cost a ticket-buyer $3.50.  The lesser known Spirit only $2.50, but back up a touch for Johnny Winter's Saturday appearance to $3.00. Student could purchase all three nights for $8.00, a savings of $1.

If anyone has any information about the festival, I'd love to hear from you.