Internationales Essener Pop & Blues Festival

Internationales Essener Festival

Internationales Essener Festival

It’s full title was: Internationales Essener Pop & Blues Festival

In the Grugahalle in Essen, West Germany

October 9-11, 1969
1969 festival #46
 Internationales Essener Pop & Blues Festival
Poster Artist: Georg Boskamp

Bands (listed on the poster): Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation, Cuby & the Blizzards, Keef Hartley Blues Band, Champion Jack Dupree, The Nice, Pink Floyd, Pretty Things, East of Eden, Muddy Waters, Hardin & York, Hard Meat, Taste, Free, Fleetwood Mac.

Bands that performed
  • October 9, 1969: Fashion, Keef Hartley Band, The Pretty Things, Yes, Warm Dust, Fleetwood Mac, Free, Spooky Tooth, Hard Meat.
  • October 10, 1969: Amon Duul II, Hardin & York, Keef Hartley Blues Band, Champion Jack Dupree & Shades, The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation, Alexis Korner & New Church, Steamhammer, Muddy Waters, Taste, Shades.
  • October 11, 1969: Tulliver’s Brain, Taste, Cuby’s Blues Band, Keef Hartley Blues Band, Livin Blues, Deep Purple, Amon Duul II, The Nice, Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd, Ekseption, Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation, Xhol Caravan, Hardin & York.

Tangerine Dream performed at this festival, but is not listed on the poster.

Tangerine Dream’s drummer, Klaus Schulze, also played with Amon Duul II at this festival, when Amon Duul’s drummer couldn’t play after he took some bad LSD.

Internationales Essener Festival

German Music Festivals

The Internationales was not the first German festival and not the first German rock festival in 1969.

Here’s the list with links to posters and the shows’ basic information.

  1. 1967
    1. Non Stop Beat Festival, Bremen, October 20, 21, 22, 25, 27, 28, 29, 1967
    2. Beat-Festival, Essen, November 5, 1967


  2. 1968
    1. 4. Internationales Jazz & Pop Festival Neuss `68, Neuss, September 15, 1968
    2. Internationale Essener Song Tage, Essen, September 25-29, 1968
    3. Internationales Jazz & Pop Festival, Dusseldorf, October 20, 26, 27, 1968


  3. 1969
    1. Teenage Fair `69, Dusseldorf, August 23-31, 1969
    2. The Great Bravo-Gala, Dusseldorf, August 23, 1969
    3. Burg-Waldeck Festival, Koblenz, September 14, 1969
    4. Internationales Essener Pop & Blues Festival, Essen, October 9-11, 1969
    5. Black & White Soul-Pop Festival, Heidelberg, October 18, 1969

It is sometimes a challenging decision whether or not to include a 1969 festival on my list. I tend to include only multi-day festivals (continuous days) or festivals that took place on single days over several weeks.

So I am including this festival as well as the Teenage Fair

Konrad Mallison


Konrad Mallison organized the festival (as well as the 1970 festival).

The October 23, 2020 edition of the It’s Psychedelic Baby magazine interviewed Mallison. Here are some excerpts from that interview

In 1967 he and a friend established a discotheque called Pop-In in Essen, West Germany.

There we played music by groups like Tangerine Dream, Can, Xhol Caravan, but also Canned Heat, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker etc. The underground scene in Germany in 1968 really arose through the influence of flower power from San Francisco, the musical HAIR, and also somewhat through the politicized ’68 movement throughout Europe. People wore longer hair and showed their peaceful inner attitude to the outside. The youth welfare office of the city of Essen even organised the “Essener Song-Tage” in 1968, a first big, but somewhat politicized song festival with top-of-the-bill Mothers Of Invention with Frank Zappa, Alexis Korner, Guru Guru Groove, Soul Caravan, Amon Düül, Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity. Because of the politicization there were unfortunately some small excesses, this song festival was not repeated by the city of Essen.

Poster of the Essen Song Days 1968
Internationales Essener Festival

Bath Festival of Blues

In June 1969, he and his discotheque’s  DJ visited England and whle there saw posters for the Bath Festival of Blues.  In his words, “This festival with its sensational gigs, also with Jethro Tull / Ian Anderson, who were not mentioned on the poster, created a spark in me, so that I decided to do everything to organize a similar festival in the Grugahalle in Essen in October 1969.”

Internationales Essener Festival

Back in Essen

Back home, he received permission from the town to hold the festival in its Grugahalle despite the Lord Mayor’s concerns that there might be issues as happened at a politically-based festival in 1968 that turned out badly. He had to employ a certain number of security guards to ensure peace and order.

Melody Maker Sept. 27, 1969

He organized a staff. Here is a photo of the management team shortly before the start of the festival in the empty Grugahalle, taken by a reporter from WAZ.

He succeeded in getting the WDR television station interested in the festival and signed a contract for recording rights

Internationales Essener Festival


Here’s the excellent hour and a half (!)  colorized concert film, the groups in the film and when/what they played”

  • 00:28 Warm dust – ?
  • 02:37 Taste – I Feel So Good
  • 08:36 Deep Purple – Wring That Neck
  • 15:36 Keef Hartley Blues Band – Sinnin ‘For You
  • 21:00 The Nice – Hang on To A Dream
  • 28:25 Pink Floyd (Careful With That Axe Eugene)
  • 34:39 Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation – Down, Down, and Down
  • 42:18 The Nice – Jazz Improvisation
  • 47:42 The Nice / documentary part
  • 57:28 Deep Purple – Mandrake Root Part 2
  • 01:00:52 Keef Hartley Blues Band – Rock Me Baby
  • 01:08:23 The Nice – Rondo 01:12:40
  • Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation – Let It Ride
  • 01:16:33 Deep Purple – Mandrake Root Part1
  • 01:23:39 Pink Floyd – A Saucerful Of Secrets

In Conclusion

I am happy and satisfied, also a little proud, that I was able to organize the first Pop & Blues Festival in Germany in 1969. The success of this festival was visibly so great that in 1970 a festival euphoria took place nationwide and similar festivals were held in almost every major city.

Next 1969 festival: Raccoon Creek Rock Festival

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