Tag Archives: 1969 festivals

1969 Wonderland Pop Festival

1969 Wonderland Pop Festival

August 13 – 14, 1969
Wonderland Gardens, London, Ontario

1969 festival #25

1969 Wonderland Pop Festival

Well, here’s another 1969 festival that is a little one and likely why little is known about it.  Here’s what I’ve found:

1969 Wonderland Pop Festival

Dennis Dunaway’s story

From the Alternative Control siteDennis Dunaway is the bassist from the original Alice Cooper lineup. He has a Wonderland Pop Festival story that includes Woodstock.

On the afternoon of July 26th, 1969, the Alice Cooper group played the Eugene Pop Festival at the University of Oregon with the Doors, the Youngbloods, the Byrds, Them and others. Nearby Creswell was where I spent my childhood, and where my grandparents still had the farm where I had spent the summer of ’64 working to get the money to buy my first bass. So my Grandma came to the show, and afterwards the band followed her back to the farm for a delicious home cooked meal. Then my Grandpa loaded the outrageous looking Alice Cooper group into the back of his pickup and took us around to meet his neighbors. They all asked if we were from the “Hippy Farm,” which we soon found out was a nearby commune owned by Ken Kesey who wrote One Flew Over TheCukoo’s Nest. So after we bid my grandparents farewell, the band went to visit Kesey. But it looked like the few people stirring were recovering from a wild night. One guy sat by a smoldering camp fire with a mic plugged into an amp attached to an orange extension cord that snaked all the way back to the house. Loudly through the microphone, he explained that the bus that the two other hippies were painting psychedelic patterns on was about to be driven across the country to upstate New York for a big music festival. He loudly said it would be the biggest festival of them all. Two weeks later (August 13th), we were opening for The Mothers of Invention at the Wonderland Pop Festival in London, Ontario. Alice and I asked Frank Zappa why we weren’t playing at the big music festival in New York that weekend? Frank said, “Because we don’t want to.”

1969 Wonderland Pop Festival

From the Original Glen Buxton site

Glen Buxton was the Alice Cooper guitarist: Review in the London Free Press, August 15, 1969. The headline reads “Wonderland ‘rocked’ by pop festival”.

The festival ran 13th and 14th Aug. Alice Cooper gets the biggest mention in the review:

“Alice Cooper stomped on a metal satchel, speared the big bass drum, threw microphones and stands on the stage, drummed out all the violent motions of war, and died.

“It was a groovy scene. And it happened in London.

“Alice Cooper–it’s the name of a light-popping, five-man rock group from Arizona–was one of six groups on stage Thursday at Wonderland, wrapping up London’s first pop festival.”

1969 Wonderland Pop Festival

A little bit of help?

Sorry nothing else, but as always let me know if you know something. Thanks.

1969 Wonderland Pop Festival
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1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

1969 festival #17
July 5 and July 11 -12
Spectrum, Philadelphia

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

The Spectrum was an indoor arena that opened in the fall of 1967. Like any modern indoor arena, the venue hosted many things. For Philadelphia it was used for  basketball, ice hockey, arena football, indoor soccer, indoor lacrosse, and, of course, concert events.

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

Festival-filled summer

On July 5 and on July 11 and 12, during that festival-filled summer of 1969, there was a three day event there. It was divided into four shows: one evening show on Saturday 5 July; one evening show on Friday 11 July and two on Saturday 12 July–an afternoon and an evening show.

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

Saturday 5 July

As you can see from the above advertisement,  the first show featured black artists, with the James Brown Show headlining. Chicago’s Young Holt-Unlimited, with their hit Soulful-Strut.

Tyrone Davis, with his hit…

and the comedian Nipsy Russell.

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

Friday 11 July

Friday’s line-up was an impressive one with future Woodstock performers Sly and the Family Stone and Ten Years After along with Jeff Beck, the Mothers of Invention, and Savoy Brown. I would have like to have been there that night!

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

Saturday afternoon 12 July

The Saturday afternoon show only had two bands: Blood, Sweat and Tears and the Hawkins Singers.

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival
from a Led Zeppelin fan site
1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

Saturday evening 12 July

Saturday evening was the stronger line-up: Led Zeppelin, Johnny Winter, Al Kooper, Jethro Tull, and the Buddy Guy Blues Band.

As you may notice, there was a heavy emphasis on soul music and the electric blues whether played by blacks or whites.  Though there were some blues-influenced bands at Woodstock such as Johnny Winter and Ten Years After the following month, the absence of such artists as Buddy Guy and James Brown leave some scratching their heads. Young whites’ interest in the original blues artists had already returned and such artists were regularly featured in many other festivals that summer.

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

So Long Spectrum

A little more than a year after the arena’s final event (a Pearl Jam concert) took place on October 31, 2009.  the Spectrum was demolished (between November 2010 and May 2011) .

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival
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Bullfrog Lake Music Festival

Bullfrog Lake Music Festival

Estacada, Oregon
July 4, 5, and 6, 1969

Bullfrog Lake Music Festival

1969 festival #16!

Yet another!

The more I look, the more I run into when it comes to 1969 festivals and here is another one, albeit, a small one even by small standards.

Bullfrog Lake Music Festival

Jefferson Airplane headline

This festivals site was on private land at Bullfrog Lake Trailer Park about 20 miles south of Portland. Jefferson Airplane was the main band. They play on July 6.

Another band was the Sons of Champlin. (video from 1968):

Bullfrog Lake Music Festival

Ace of Cups

…the Ace of Cups (again a ’68 video)

The Ace of Cups  were one of the first all-female rock bands. The members were Mary Gannon (bass), Marla Hunt (organ, piano), Denise Kaufman (guitar, harmonica), Mary Ellen Simpson (lead guitar), and Diane Vitalich (drums).  All but Vitalich sang lead and  all five sang backup. Songwriting, too, was shared.

Bullfrog Lake Music Festival

Many more

Family Tree may have been a Caribbean band and if so this may be    an example of them. It’s nice stuff…similar to Santana.

Plus the Portland Electric Zoo Band,  Mixed Blood, and other local bands.

Bullfrog Lake Music Festival

Silent film

It wasn’t recorded nor filmed professionally, but below is a silent super-8 film from the event.

While not big by festival standards, it was apparently successful enough to inspire organizers to hold a second Bull Frog festival that same summer. It ran into a few issues and locals cancelled it, but from its ashes that same weekend Bull Frog 3 rose.

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