"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Memories from the Second Atlanta Pop Festival of 1970


Name: Jock Goodman
City/State: Hawaii
Date: March 8, 2013
Writes...

I was living in Houston at the time and got a ride with Mike Kahn and another guy in a VW beetle for the 69 fest. We stopped in some small southern town on the way and the gas attendant wasn’t very open minded to say the least. I remember camping under the pecan trees and will never forget this: It seemed every “family” “group” “clan” etc had someone that would go into the music “arena” and save some room for their friends. So multiply a few thousand “place holders” times the number of their friends and then we all crammed into tighter and tighter spaces. There were no isles or semblance of order or rows so finding friends was a challenge. I’ll always remember sitting on my butt with legs pulled up and anytime anyone next to me moved away an inch, I crept into that inch. There was a half watermelon rind to my left and I NEVER considered leaving my spot to go to take a leak or anything for fear of never getting back. I probably sweat out all of my fluids anyway. SOMEHOW we all survived to tell the tale.

For the 1970 show (I’d have been 22) I drove my blue chevy long van and it only had a small window in one of the side doors that I put in so we opened one of the back doors and tied it open to let air come through, but of course, the exhaust came in too. I had a full van, but was a softy and when an acquaintance we called Goofy (I really don’t remember any other name) begged to come along and only had a couple of bucks on him, I gave in. One pretty gal, Jeanne?  Kalil, is the only other person I remember going with me. I was a photographer and shot a pic of her with hair blowing in the van. MIGHT still have it somewhere. I had photographed Jimi, Janice, etc at concerts in Houston and can barely remember seeing Hendrix W A Y up there on the stage at APF’70. All of my negatives from before 1980 were lost in a move to Hawaii. I’ve come full circle and gotten back into concert and sports photography but of course there is no money to be made shooting concerts today. I used to sell prints to college buddies at U oF H  for extra cash and all I have left are 2 beaten up 20x30 dry mounted prints of Jimi and one of Janice and a few 8x10s of other rockers at Houston concerts. They are actually pretty good for being shot on Tri X developed in ?Accufine or some push developer and shot with a 300mm lens so are just head and shoulders. Today my Nikon D3s can shoot cleaner pics at ISO 6400+ and I was shooting at, maybe ISO 800-1200 then.  I moved to Encinitas Ca in ’71 then to Hawaii in ‘80. If any one that shared the Houston-APF experience with me want to contact me, I’m not hard to find. And I still have most of my brain cells and a grayer moustache that started out red in 1966. Rock On…..


Name: John Taylor
City/State:
Date: March 23, 2012
Writes...

I was still 15 years old when I found out there was going to be a 2nd Atlanta Pop Festival, being held at the Middle Georgia Raceway in Byron, Georgia, which was just south of Macon, and only a little over 100 miles from home. I thought OH MY GOD, I HAVE TO BE THERE!

I had told Mom and Dad I wanted to go, and they said I would have to get a job and earn the money to buy my own ticket. I quickly agreed and took a job at a place called K9, where they sold guard and attack dogs (German Shepherds and Doberman Pincers). My job was to sit down in the kennel with the dogs, and whenever the sales guys would want to bring down buyers, they would call me and I would stir up the dogs, kicking at the cages and screaming at them, until they were all drooling bubbly froth and pissed off as hell! They would put on a hell of a show for any prospective buyers, who were always very impressed.

Afterwards, I would have to calm the dogs down enough to be able to enter the cages, clean up the poop, and feed and water the dogs without getting killed. I kept the job long enough to buy my $14.00 ticket and a carton of cigarettes.

I hitch-hiked to Byron, since there was no room in the car all my buddies were going in. I told them I would just meet up with them in Byron. Of course, I had no idea there would be half a million people there. My Mom packed me 3 paper grocery bags full of food for the trip, and made me take an extra pair of shoes (all Gods chilren’ gots to have shoes, but I didn’t need none cause I was flyin’!). I don’t think I ever ate a bite of my own food,  but I’m sure somebody did, people were burning down vendor stalls because food was so scarce people were charging $5 for a sandwich (which sounds cheap but you may not remember, but a Big Mac sold for $0.55 at the time, and that was “eating out”).

I hitched a ride with a biker who had an old ‘50s pickup. I climbed in back with another long haired dude, and started drinking beer that the biker was passing back to us from the cab. We were moving right along at about ½ mile an hour after getting off I-75, and by the time we got to the festival entrance, I was ready to piss my pants from all the beer I had drunk. I jumped out of the back of the pickup and ran around behind the row of cars parked on the highway across from the main entrance. I started to pee and I heard a voice from right next to me but at about knee level say “Don’t piss on me”.

There were no street lights or any other lights except the headlights from all the cars, so I couldn’t see the guy, but I said “OK, Man”, and at that point I noticed he was smoking a joint. As soon as I zipped up he said “Want a hit?” so I knelt down next to him and we finished the joint. When it was gone, he said, “Oh, well, back to work” and stood up. He looked me in the eye, put on his Georgia State Trooper hat, walked back into the highway, and resumed directing traffic. I almost shit my pants.

I walked past him across the highway to where the truck I rode in on was parked, only about 2 spaces from the highway, and immediately ran into all my buddies (who I had told I would see there). Looking back, the odds of me running into my friends, no more than 10 minutes after I got there, was literally a million to one.

Originally scheduled for July 3 to July 5, 1970, the festival did not finish until near dawn on the 6th of July. Like the Woodstock festival the previous summer, the event was promoted as "Three Days of Peace, Love and Music", and tickets for the festival were priced at $14.00.  An estimated 500,000 people attended. I got to see (and hear) The Allman Brothers Band, who lived right around the corner in Macon and played twice, Johnny Winter, who also played twice, the second time with the Allman Brothers,  B.B. King, Procol Harum, Terry Reid, The Chambers Brothers, Poco, Grand Funk Railroad, Ravi Shankar, Ten Years After, John Sebastian, Mountain, and Spirit. Jimi Hendrix played through a thunderstorm, including his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner during fireworks around midnight on the Fourth of July. I’ll never forget The Allman Brothers playing right at sundown, such a blend of beautiful musical collaboration and the beauty of God’s sunsets.

The crowd was so huge you can’t imagine it – like a sea of people. Everywhere you looked, for as far as you could see, people, people, and more people. I remember guys selling all kinds of dope. ACID, GRASS, MESCALINE, PSYLOSYBIN, HASH, dope dealers hollered out from the tops of Georgia State Patrol Cruisers, the dealers would bang on the roof whenever a buyer showed interest, and the cop would stop to let the deal go down, all the while passing a joint from the State Patrol Officer driving the car, to the passenger (sometimes another cop), up to the drug dealer, and back to the driver. There was a news story that Governor Lester Maddox had sent all these narcs to blend in with the crowd and bust people. I remember looking at my friends and saying, ”We’d better stick with the ACID, I don’t know what the hell that MESCALINE or PSYLOSYBIN shit is, that might fuck us up.” We were so young and innocent, we didn’t even realize ACID was LSD.

It was the 4th of July in Middle Georgia, so it was hot as hell. We heard there was a lake, so we went and everybody was swimmin’ nekkid’! It was so funny, there were dudes and chicks walking up the highway naked, and all these people from small town Georgia driving by at about 1/2 MPH with no air conditioning dressed in their Sunday Best, sweating their asses off with the doors locked and the windows rolled up!

The promoter (Alex) had hired the Hell’s Angels to act as security, which was a huge mistake, and the morning I tried to present my ticket at the front gate, a dude that was seriously fucked up on something tried to climb the fence and sneak in. He should have picked another place than right at the front gate, and one of the Hell’s Angels hollered “Call an Ambulance” before he took out a long length of chain and literally chained the guy down off the fence and then just turned him into what looked like hamburger meat. My friends didn't have tickets, so they snuck in through the old racetrack, and got chased around the track by The Hell's Angels, but they got away and into the festival. Somehow, we hooked up again once inside.

The next day, my friends and I had ridden on cars hoods and trunks back to I-75 in Byron to get something to eat, it was at least an hour ride although it was only about 2 miles back to the Interstate. We went swimming in “The Byron Inn” swimming pool, which we later learned had been basically used as a bathroom for thousands of guys who had jumped in the pool and pissed, and realized later that our buddy Stuart had jumped in with our whole bag of pot and soaked it.

Back across the interstate heading back to the festival, Gary and I stopped at “The Roadrunner”, a trailer set up on the side of the highway serving hotdogs, burgers, and fries. Gary was wearing a Levi jacket with the sleeves cut off, and he hung it on a chair. A biker picked it up with a big knife, held it out in front of Gary's face and asked him where his patches were. Gary was a big muscular guy, only 16 years old but didn't look it, and he was fucked up as hell, and just grinned at the biker and said, “I ain’t got no patches, man”, to which the biker replied, “You better get some patches if you are gonna’ wear this”. He looked Gary over, up and down, and I think he figured out that if he gave Gary any real shit, that Gary would hand him his ass. He kind ‘a looked around and, not seeing any of his “bros”, put Gary's vest down and walked out, leaving us alone.

Later, as I was riding on the trunk of a car coming back from I-75, a Hell’s Angel walked up to me and said “Give me a cigarette”, and as fucked up as I was I tried to get one out of my pack but couldn’t, and as  traffic started to move us away from him, he got mad and started running towards us, but he lost track of us, and by the time he got nearly caught up, he just started dragging people off other cars and pounding on them, demanding his cigarette. I just tried to be invisible and hoped he didn’t recognize me. I guess I skated on that one.

Jimi Hendrix played on Saturday night, through the rain and the lightning and the fireworks and the acid I remember some of it, including a beautiful girl next to me naked from the waist down pissing in an empty beer bottle, and Jimi playing “The Star Spangled Banner”.

Throughout the Festival I was tripping, smoking dope, and drinking wine and beer, pretty much fucked up the whole weekend. By the time it was over, I tried to find a friend to catch a ride back to Atlanta with, and finally ran into someone I knew, who said he had a ride for us, and introduced me to a dude with a VW camper bus. I had been up for 3 or 4 days and told them I needed to crash, and the guy who owned the bus told me I could sleep in the bunk in back. I got up in the bunk and passed out, only to be stirred back awake when I felt my zipper on my Levi’s being unzipped. I looked up to see the dude who owned the camper, and I freaked out, drew back my fist, and he backed off, apologizing and begging me not to tell anyone. I was too tired to kick his ass, and I really wished I had as he was a low life pedophile. I should have told someone, but I just let it slide, and I got back to Atlanta.

All in all, it was a life changing experience, and a wake up call if you will, from what the Hell’s Angels were all about, to the pure beauty of The Allman Brothers playing in the sunset, to Johnny Winter and Jimi Hendrix, naked people with no shame, the greed of vendors trying to fuck people out of money, ($5 for a burger?!?) cops being cool, and rock and roll at its finest.

And people, helping each other in what was basically a disaster situation. That’s what I remember most, the vibe of people helping each other. There was bad, real bad, and there was good, real good, and I guess you remember the good over the bad, but all in all, it was like nothing else I have ever experienced in this world – before or after.


Name: Chris Vinson
City/State: Santa Rosa, CA
Date: January 8, 2012
Writes...

I was fifteen years old in New Orleans. My friend and I decided to run away and hitchhike to the 1970 Atlanta Pop Festival. I didn't wear any shoes and packed no change of clothes. Who cared about shoes when you could get the cute girls without them? I had long brown hair and my friend had a blond afro (Natural).

We got let out in a tiny country town called Grove Hill Alabama. The country folks started parading in their cars past us up and down the street and the parade got longer and longer with each pass. They would disappear for a moment and then come back. It was midday and very hot. Then a dump truck full of armed guys joined in and my friend began to panic. He knew how to hot wire cars and he thought we should steal a car. I tried to talk him out of it over and over again. I kept saying that that is what they would like us to do. They were all staring at us so harshly and we had heard of people being taken as slaves and forced to work on backwoods farms. Pea farms they called them. We kept walking away from the town but the parade followed us all the way. After about an hour there my friend Jeffery  was in almost full panic and then suddenly a traveling salesman picked us up and whala, the problem was over and quickly forgotten. 

We got arrested in Birmingham late at night when we were going to walk under a bridge that went over a ghetto and railroad tracks. The police said we probably would have been killed in that neighborhood. They took us in and called my mom. Thank god she said she knew I was going to the festival. The police said, "Well you can spend the night here if you want to boys." We said no thank you knowing a different shift would come on and we left as quickly as we could. 

We caught a ride in a VW van outside of Birmingham all the way to the festival. We saw Jimi Hendrix from about 30 rows back. He was awesome. The Allman brothers, Chambers Brothers (I met later in life), It's a Beautiful Day (I met later in life), Spirit, the list goes on and on. The heat did not bother me. Now it would probably kill me.

We stayed friends with the man who picked us up, Don ? from Birmingham. We stayed with them through the whole festival. Don had a limp. We visited each other a few times. Don and his friends would stay at my mom's house for Mardi Gras and I went to Birmingham with them once. I lost track of them but would love to hear from those guys again. 

To get home, we searched for license plates from LA and caught a ride to our front door in New Orleans from a couple of Tulane Professors in a VW van (Would love to hear from them too). I also saw a girl who had the most beautiful breasts I had ever seen. (And yes, I would love to hear from her too. Haha on this final parenthesis. I'm taken).


Name: Jim P.
City/State: Virginia Beach
Date: November 1, 2011
Writes...

i lived in cocoa beach at the time was there 2 days before and 2 days after the heat was oppressive heat i was up front and what i've never heard after all these years was what jimi said when he took the stage was "i just came to wish the country a happy birthday and play a little music" anybody else remember? it was poco jimi and lee micheals in that order i have framed potrait of jimi on my wall today that i took during the bannervery cool


Name: Greg Morris
City/State:
Date: September 24, 2011
Writes...

I had been staying with a dude that lived on Peachtree Circle in Atlanta lots of drugs abounded all types. I was an 18 year young country boy from central NC who had been fortunate to go to Woodstock the prior year. I have very fond memories of bathing in the lake and jamming with the Allman Brothers Band who by the way came and jammed at the house I was staying at on Peachtree Circle. Forget the dude's name that owned the house but 2 ladies who stayed there were named Cynthia beautiful long red hair and her sidekick Joan a beautiful blond. The harder I tried to get towards the front when Hendrix came on (I had been at the front when he performed at Woodstock 1969) the more and more people were in my way so I recall going somewhere and laying down and tripping on orange sunshine LSD with Jimi blastin' into the night. From there Cynthia and Joan and myself and my little buddy Billy P. Took a van to Love Valley for their Festival. For anyone who was there and sees this we were right at the entrance laid out on a blanket selling marijuana.


Name: Bob Gilker
City/State: Washington, DC
Date: August 31, 2011 10:40:34 AM
Writes...

In 2010, I bought a lithograph of a poster from the 1970 Festival and decided to find the three guys I went with to get the poster signed. Long story short, I tracked them down, had them sign the poster then included pictures of us then and now. In the middle top of the poster, I included a picture of my car, a Simca (french for "piece of shit") that we used to get from Cincinnati to Byron. It overheated the whole way there and we had to keep the heat on full blast to keep it running. Below is the poster that proudly hangs over the mantlepiece in the bar in my basement. I loved reading the recollections on your website. Thank you.

Bob Gilker's customized Atl. Pop poster

Name: taz delaney
City/State: NYC, NY
Date: August 2, 2011 5:42:26 PM
Writes...

i was sweet 16 and barely been... i rode to the festival with a rich brat in his new MG convertible. we got there real early and i never say him again, but i posted myself right in front of the stage.

i'd been wanting to drop acid since i was 12 but had never found any. i had no idea what was a proper dose and went around buying lots of eery variety, pane, tab, blotter... and eating em all. by the time hendrix came on, was inn another world, naked as a bluejay and barely aware of that fact. being that close to jimi was about as close as i've ever been to the godhead.

i was fortunate to be well cared-for by a fellow who had come from philly mostly to see captain beefheart. i was also crazy about the captain and he and i painted in red paint across the front of the stage 'captain beefheart!' we were both unhappy he didn't appear and that airplane didn't make it either.

i have no idea how i got home to durm, noath calina. do recall taking a shower with an unknown girl in atlanta and sleeping in a room with a lot of folk, had sex in the dark and not sure with what or whom.

been looking to find a video of that event as would very much like to see my naked young self thre which would doubtless be on any vids. got any video or know someone does?


Name: John Williams
City/State: Land O’ Lakes, FL
Date: June 12, 2011 1:22:24 AM
Writes...

My favorite memory was Hendrix & the fireworks! What a treasure he was!  Myself and five others made the trek from Land O’ Lakes Fl, Pasco County, in a blue and white 1966 Dodge van with stained glass side windows (contact paper). We had a huge officers tent borrowed from one of our dads, set up just inside a fence next to the soy bean field.  With a little help from others, including a gang of bikers, (our neighbors) for the entire fest, they actually helped us take the fence posts down and laid the wire down so we could drive over it! After traversing across the rough plowed rows of the field, (a bumpy ride, but worth it!) 

As a budding young musician, this was a moment in history that I’ll never forget, despite all the hardships we faced, weather “the heat!”, Rain, mud, lack of food & water, sanitary facilities, you name it, we survived by helping each other. I believe we all took something meaningful away from that experience. Not bad for a bunch of 17 & 18 year-olds from Pasco and Chamberlin High Schools in Forida!

Thank god we all got home safely, the last thing I remember was getting on the interstate to head home, someone ask me if i was OK to drive, before waking up the next day in my van, in my driveway, at home!  “PEACE”


Name: Jeff Jones
City/State: Detroit, MI
Date: Feb 15, 2011 3:24:35 PM
Writes...

In 2004 someone here asked about Savage Grace (Reprise Records) out of Detroit. I worked as the Production Manager and FOH Mixer for the band.

We flew in by Helicopter from the Byron Holiday Inn...I think because the roads where so blocked...We stayed there with Rare Earth who were friends of ours from Detroit...We were in the same Winnebago as Hendrix, since we were both on Reprise...

The band was Ron Koss, Guitar, now passed...and Al Jacquez, Bass, John Seanor, Keyboards, Larry Zack, Drums... John met a girl at the festival and wrote the song Macon Georgia, for the 2nd Album...Al is still my best friend to this day and he has a band called Measured Chaos based in Detroit and LA, which is great...more here: www/amazingmusic.com

We played at Alex Cooley's Electric Ballroom a few times between 72-75, in a band called Lightnin', and did gigs in Macon at Uncle Sams and a small bar in town...Hung with the Allman B's, ate at this small restaurant up from Capricorn Records Office/Studio...We were almost signed to this company and Atlantic during that time...but the business was in flux and we never penned the deals...unfortunately...


Name: Terry Lehman
City/State: Gainesville, FL
Date: Nov 4, 2010 2:56 PM
Writes...

The one event that I've never seen mentioned, and it was an amazing one for sure, was Jimi Hendryx appearing the morning after his amazing appearance the night of the fourth.  The band, like a number of us, had not gone to sleep.  They came on just after Goose Creek Symphony in the early morning light and did a straight set of blues as I recall.

I can remember seeing people lying all around me sound asleep with only a few thousand of us awake and really appreciating the music.  The concert the night before was one of the most profound experiences of my life but I put that morning concert right up there with some of my best music memories. 

After all these years, I've still not seen mention by anyone of that set being played.  For sure it didn't get recorded but it was a great set and there were a few of us who got to hear it.


Name: Larry T.
City/State: Shelbyville, KY
Date: August 17, 2010 12:44 PM
Writes...

We arrived early Friday after driving all night.  We picked up two hitchers just south of Atlanta.  Those guys were loaded with a tremendous amount of blotter that they shared with us. 

My favorite memory was being just outside the concert area lying on a sleeping bag watching the smoke remnants of the fireworks float by while Jimmy played. Things were looking great with a sufficient mixture of blotter and MDA.  Then, out of nowhere, came this beautiful half clad young lady proclaiming that she would ball anyone for a pack of Kools.  As usual, I only had Marlboros.  

While I have forgotten many things in my life, memories of the Atlanta festival still keep flowing.  I've never experienced anything quite like it again.  Oh yea, the sunset while the Almonds played on was pretty spectacular.


Name: Tom Duncan
City/State: St. Simons Island, GA
Date: August 15, 2010 12:28 PM
Writes...

I had recently turned 15 and Byron was my home town. I had two jobs that summer, one was working at the local par 3 golf course, White Sands, and the other was the bellman at the Byron Inn. I heard very little of the music that weekend, but made several trips to the racetrack (festival site) to sell newspapers (Macon Telegraph) for twenty five cents……yea a little expensive.  Remember having a big biker dude tell me to come into his tent which had about 8 people sitting around, and they were flying. I handed him the newspaper and after he passed all the sections around he asked me how much it was. After telling him what a great deal he was getting for a quarter he tossed a dime to me and said it would be in my best interest to leave…..I did. I also had a chance to ride with the Byron Volunteer Fire Dept. to hose down the masses.  Wow, what an eyeful, and something I will never forget.

For those that have forgotten, the racetrack was about 2 miles east of I75 on hwy 49. The Byron Inn was also located on hwy 49 just on the west side of  the interstate and the traffic was back up all the way past us to the only red light in town about 2 miles west. Interesting thing about this traffic, it was moving about as fast as you could walk. Our pool was located in front of the hotel and made a great restroom to hundreds of people getting out of their cars and wading in. They would get out of their car before the pool, spend quality time there, and catch back up a couple of hundred feet away. You would not believe what we found in that pool when we finally cleaned it a week or so later. Also, as you could image we were sold out and when a couple of  Poco’s  band members went to check in, their room had already been rented, so we put cots in the breezeway and they slept there. 

My mother loved her 8 mm camera and traveled to the Echeconnee Creek to see what all the commotion was about…..she found out. We are still finding 50 foot rolls of film that are pretty interesting. I might try to post some on here if I can get them in the right format.


Name: Gary Werner
City/State: Neenah, Wisconsin
Date: August 9, 2010 7:48 AM
Writes...

We took off from Ft Benning, Ga in my UH-1H helicoptor for Bryon to supply medivac..Somebody new somebody who knew somebody said it was hard for the "bright colared" ambulances to make it to the Macon Hospital. I guess the Authorities didn't like the concert. Evidently the somebody was the daughter of some General. Anyway I got the bird ready and away we went. A harded Vietnam Pilot but very cool. Would have flown to hell and back with him. We called him Mountain Man. A Pilot just out of flight school.( I believe my pilot skills were better than his) A medic; and me, the "Chief" (flight engineer), just back from the Nam myself.

We flew over the crowd around 10pm about 120knots. BoBo (the pilot) did a cyclic climb, hard banked the bird to the left and did another pass. Everyone lite there lighters on the second pass. Very Cool.

We landed the bird on the race track. Everyone stayed in the bird while we shut her down except me. I jumped out with my "tie down" for the blades. The authority arrived. Probabally 15 or 20 Hells Angels circling the chopper like Indians around a wagon. The choppers stopped, circling my bird and a very large man started to walk towards me. I looked at Bo Bo. "Heh, your the chief". I said, "Thanks man"..Soooo, I walked up to this guy and he asked, "Whats the Army doing here anyway". "We got things under control here" I told him the story and that we were there to support and be a medivac. He turned from a "frightening creature" to be a great friend. Helped us alot that weekend. We had them button up the O.D. tents before the fireworks and Jimmy Hendricks. We got a communication radio and he got us ring side seats. It was great.

We only had a few medivacs all weekend. One reporter shot himself in the hand. He climbed a pole. Said someone threatened to rape him.. Ended up shooting himself in the hand. It was amazing because we thought we would fly dozens of missions with the size of the crowd. It was handled incrediblely well.

I slept in my Vietnam hammock, under the tail boom of the chopper. I wok up Sunday to the mass exodus of people passing the bird and going over a hill of the race track. I decided to check it out.. There was a stream below with hundreds, if not thousands of bathers. Incredible.

It was a great weekend and a great experience. If anyone has some "pics" of my helicopter that weekend, please email me.. at tmwerltd@netzero.net


Name: Terry Van Brunt
City/State: Sacramento, CA
Date: April 30, 2010 10:04:30 PM
Writes...

A 2x4 structure holding maybe 4 shower-heads was set up in the pecan grove. There were no sides, and no floor, so the grass soon turned to a muddy mess. Some locals were sitting in a pickup truck about 20 feet from the shower, just watching the naked hippie chicks,,,,,I mean, what else is a good-ol-boy gonna do with this freak show in totally rural Byron?

In a stroke of true '60's style hippie spontaneity and intelligence, some of the naked girls pulled the two guys out of their truck, stripped 'em down, threw them in the mud and slithered all over them.

Now, tell me the so-called-hippies of 2010 would ever think of or actually do such a thing!


Name: Charlie Gunn
City/State: ?
Date: March 14, 2010 11:34:56 AM
Writes...

I didn't realize it until about two years later when I bought my first dyed sacharinne tablet thinking it was orange sunshine.  Then I said, "Wait a minute.  How we gonna change the world if we treat each other like this?" But thanks for the memories.

Atlanta was my first major event away from home.  I was 19. I had already swallowed 4800 pure clinical milligrams of LSD-25 and survived, gotten involved with the anti-war movement, been busted at a protest rally over a park curfew along with the woman I would meet and marry some 10 years later (we're on our way to 30), sat at the same table with Jane Fonda and Rennie Davis.

Now I'm a preety radical patriot when it comes to the Constitution, a Christian(unashamed but not too overt) a grandfather with a grand-son-in-law in Afganistan of whom I could not be prouder. It was all about freedom.  "Do your own thing." What happened?


Name: Dan Evans
City/State: Dunedin, FL
Date: January 18, 2010 11:07:20 PM
Writes...

I was hitchhiking on Cape Cod with a Bud Wedby I met hitching in Virgina Beach. Bud was AWOL and we were hitching all over the east coast. I saw a poster for the Atlanta Pop Festival that was going to happen in 2 weeks. Bud and I hitched to Baltimore where Bud stayed with his girl. I hooked up with a kid from NY and we hitched to Atlanta.

While riding on somebody's hood from I-75 to the festival, I pawned my watch for 5 hits of acid and chased down a hit with some electric Kool-Aid. I lost the kid from NY, but hooked up with a local girl from Macon. I was hanging out with her and her friends smoking some dope. Unfortunately the acid took effect resulting in a bad trip until the sun came up the next day. I was separated from the people from Macon and I missed Hendrix and the rest of the first night's show.

The next day I traded my remaining acid for MDA. I did the MDA and had a great trip. I met a cool guy from Florida and a couple of fun girls from the Atlanta area that tried to convert me. I remember It's a Beautiful Day and Poco both playing some real beautiful music the second night. I met david LaFlame and his bass player in Colorado in 1984 and tried to share my experience with them. My recollection is still pretty hazy. I have no idea what, or if, I ate during that weekend.

In retrospect, I wish I had it together enough then to stay in contact with those I had met at the festival. Oh Well. I got born again 2 1/2 years later.


 
Name: Jim Carlson
City/State: Tampa, FL
Date: October 9, 2009 11:37:12 PM
Writes...

Man what a time it was back then in 1970, Myself Jim Carlson and Tommy Walen packed up some food and water and weed and I remember my Mom helped with the food and they wished us a good trip. maybe thinking i wouldn't be back?

We drove there in a 1955 blue Chevy panel truck with bright Orange strips, anybody remember seeing it?

Right over the Florida line we are from Tampa Florida,The drive shaft let loose and we pushed The Chevy down a exit ramp right into a gas station, and the mechanic fixed it for about $7.OO i think very good deal.

well we got there and found a place to set up camp sort of. and walked to the main gate, Saw allot of people on bad trips and a guy with a big machete waving it around, allot a nude girls and boobs all over the place. there was free food, free pot and free everything. 

We get to the main gate and God answered my prayers, There's my Girlfriend from Knoxville Tennessee. wow, Linda Combs. She was a beauty, met her on Clearwater beach.

we meet up and just walk around checking everything out..We went to the swimming hole and jumped in,watched people take showers.

We saw a cop car get into a crash. Poor old Tommy slept out side, well with Linda with me, we where in Love don't you know.

well we got all burned out as we used to say back then,and after about three day we headed back to Tampa Florida, Your right nothing was ever the same after that summer, nope, never again.

I could write much more, don't want to bore you all.


Name: Karla
City/State: Macon, GA
Date: September 20, 2009 2:18:44 AM
Writes...

My memories are like camera flash-bulbs going off...  Single pictures/events locked into my memory; not one long memory of the trip.  My first memory was driving my van in; there were five of us, coming down from Cleveland, Ohio.  When we got into town, we stopped in a small local dinner.  I remember ordering bacon and eggs.  The waitress must not have like either Hippies, Yankees (or both) because she was really snotty.  She said my breakfast came with grits.  I asked her what grits were and she said ((in the longest, slowest, Southern Drawl I EVER heard --and I've lived down here in Mississippi now for the last 15 years)) "Why people from the South eat'em with salt n buddar, But People from tha NORTH eat-'m with milk n sugar"...  I was laughing so hard about her accent; I had NEVER heard such speech before (I was 18 and VERY sheltered; I was also high as a kite).

My next memory was driving into the grounds for the festival; a LONG dirt road through the fields.  There were hundreds (or so it seemed to me) of kids walking and we gave a lift in, to as many as my van could carry.  When it was totally full, they climbed up onto the roof and it started to cave it in; fortunately they all bailed off quickly.

Next "picture" was of all the drug dealers selling EVERY DRUG UNDER THE SUN, all along that dirt road into the concert.  Card board signs everywhere: "Gold", "Panama Red", "Strawberry", etc.  I even remember a state trooper or policeman standing nearby a guy with a Styrofoam cooler filled with baggies of pot (selling lids); no bust and NO hassles!!!  The cops were GREAT!

Next picture was the HEAT!!!  My god, I had never in my life experienced heat like that!!!  There wasn't enough water, and kids were dropping all over.  The National Guard brought in emergency "Mash" tents, salt pills, and water tankers (God Bless the National Guard)!  I couldn't handle the heat, so I spent the day-light hours down in the river swimming.  Everyone was swimming naked; it was wonderful and so free.  I remember ducking down under the water as a photographer kept running along the bank and yelling at me "Stop! I'm from Time Magazine; don't you want to be IN Time???"  I remember yelling back "NO, my mom will KILL me, she thinks I'm in Toledo..."

I remember watching guys jumping off a concrete bridge over the river.  Girls weren't jumping, just guys.  I kept watching them and counting them; everyone that jumped in came back up, (it seemed 50-feet high to me at the time, but remember I was also very high), after "counting heads" for two days, eventually I climbed out and over to the bridge's center.  I was afraid of jumping because I always went down to deep when I jumped, so I climbed up onto the railing, looked down (it sure looked like 50 feet...), picked the "exact spot" in the river I wanted to hit, took a breath and dove off!  I was flying; it seemed to take forever to get down to "my spot"; I had time to exhale and inhale, straighten out my dive, adjust trajectory", it was just plain flying...  I sliced into the water, and slipped back up to the surface in an instant...  What a rush!

Next picture is of the music (at night) of (I think Edgar) Winters playing.  I was high as a kite (I'll get to that part in a minute) and up by the stage, front & center (you had to look way up).  I was watching him play guitar; (he's an albino, and was so very thin), I kept watching him, and from the blue-jeans up, he GLOWED!  The flood lights made him "translucent"; it was so bazaar.  For the life of me, I could NOT figure out HOW he jumped around on stage, playing his guitar, and kept his LOW hip-hugger jeans from falling down!  I'd never seen jeans worn so low, on such a surreal, glowing, thin, body...  And I remember his electric-white hair flying around in the music; I could see his veins in his body because of the floods behind him.  He was other-world!

On the first day of the concert, (before I found the river), when I was so hot, they (fellow peers and/or hippies) were passing around a jug of Koolaid.  I was so thirsty!  I remember seeing two inches of "sludge" floating in the bottom of the jug, but I didn't care; I was too thirsty.  When the jug came to me, instead of taking a sip like everyone else had, I just "glugged down"; what I didn't know (until AFTER I'd SWALLOWED), it was explained to me that the "sludge" was from pills and gelatin capsules that hadn't yet dissolved away (massive amounts of acid and misc. drugs) it was "ELECTRIC Koolaid"!  Up until then, the only drug I had ever enjoyed was pot!  But NOW I went on a five-day+ acid trip (which explains the "50' bridge", a glowing Edgar Winters, etc.).  I was SO BLESSED to have my four friends with me and to be where I was!  What COULD have been the worst acid trip imaginable, was a wonderful, colorful, beautiful, music-filled, truly psychedelic pop-festival!  I did end up "tripping all the way down to Key West" (post festival), but it was a great trip!

The crowning glory of the festival (for me) was at night when Jimi Hendrix played the Star Spangled Banner!  I was up front, (center again) looking up at him and watching him play; listening to our country's anthem as I had never heard it played before!  For the first time in my life, I could "feel our country's American spirit"; I realized what freedom meant on that magic night --he was incredible!  In hind-sight and 39 years LATER, I wish I'd been straight to watch him so closely for the last time; who would believe he'd be dead so young?  

My last memory of the festival was after it was over, we were short of gas money for the trip down to Key West, and we all went out among the crowd pan-handling (what did I know at 18 back then?).  I remember smiling at strangers (mostly locals) watching "the show" breaking up and leave their sleepy little town.  I would ask "can you spare some change for gas money to go home?"  I came back with over $30. a LOT of change back then (1970) because HUNDREDS of kids were pan handling for change, and too there was a gas war going on, where "regular" gas could be bought for .23 a gallon!!!  

I wish I could add more, but as high as I was after the Electric Koolaid, I'm thrilled I remember this much.  My over all impression of the festival was of love, peace, the kindness of strangers, heat, and wonderful police; no hassles, no rip-offs, just kindness and music!


Name: Mike Vaquer
City/State: Savannah, GA
Date: August 23, 2009 8:52:03 PM
Writes...

This was one of the most incredible concert events ever. We learned about it from the Great Speckled Bird and immediately bought tickets for 6 of us to go. I was 20 at the time and my best friends were 19 and 16. As it worked out the 16 year old wound up driving us from Savannah to Macon where we got lost but eventually found Byron and our motel. Told parents we had two rooms, one for three girlfriends and one for boys....only had one where girls slept in beds and boys on the floor. We weren’t into going to “rough it” camping out, but only had money for one room for the three nights we planned to be there.

As I recall, we arrived the afternoon of the 3rd, checked into the motel and went to the site.  Took a long time to get there with bad traffic and had to negotiate the bikers who were in charge of parking. Car ahead of us got into altercation with someone and he threw a watermelon on their car, so we just followed directions.

Schlepped to site with cooler full of beer and “Grannies Blackberry Wine”, the preferred drink of the day, Ripple Wine, and Champale. My God! Think I remember us going through some sort of gate, there was no one there to collect tickets.

First day was non-descript, and returned on the 4th, after chucking cooler. Found a spot on the dirt road that cut through the field where we sat and enjoyed the music from whoever was playing. Remember announcer constantly saying “OK folks, we need to have everybody get up and move back ten steps to make room”....Well, folks tried to keep some form of order and handle trash, but after five of these “move on back” orders, it was a futile effort. Finally would up laying on a eaten, turned over watermelon rind....there were a lot of folks waling around with hollowed watermelons on their heads. I do not remember what we ate, but we must have eaten something.  

Rain started and we had several plastic tarps that we opened up. We thought the one we hand would cover the six of us, but by the time it was unfolded, there were 30 people under it.....Then the cigar sized doobies began to move through the crowd. You only saw one once and then it was gone forever. When it rained, most folks chanted the Woodstock Rain chant and hollered “no more rain”.

Remember Hendrix arriving by helicopter and making the stage in his red white and blue outfit and the crowd was on their feet. Star Spangled Banner accompanied by a great fireworks display and heat lightening that shamed the fireworks display. When he was finished, we exited to BB King on stage to return to the hotel. I think we got back at about 4 AM and were prepared to return the next day but were too wiped out and returned to Savannah with great stories.


Name: PamP (Old Broad Rock Goddess)
City/State: Aikin, SC
Date: August 17, 2009 10:51:26 PM
Writes...

I was living in Miami & on the spur of the moment decided to go to the 1st Atlanta Pop Festival with 2 of my friends. We drove up in my piss yellow Morris Minor & stayed in the worst hotel I've ever been in - bugs, smelled bad, etc.  But the festival was great and I had such a fabulous time, I went back home afterward, quit my job, packed my car & drove to Atlanta.  Found a new job, fell in love, got married, started a commune (The Bleeding Turnip Tribe - if anyone remembers us....) & my husband knew Alex so we wound up being on the build crew for the 2nd Festival.  My husband helped with the carpentry & I was part of the cooking crew.

I remember the farmers coming by the site with peaches, watermelon, etc. and timing those visits when the women were to take to the outdoor showers in the early evening.  One guy mistakenly brought his wife one day when the guys were showering & turned tail fast as he could drive.  We thought it was a hoot!  One night one of the local farmers stayed after he brought some peaches to sit around the campfire & sample the weed.  Then brought out his guitar & blew us away singing some country songs.  He had a fabulous voice.

Most of us working on staging the show were sleeping in a huge circus tent together, I also remember the ridiculously high heat, the smell of cow manure and, amazingly, not one loud snorer in the bunch!  We went to the car race one night & I had a blast as it was my first time at a race.  I was thinking how much I'd love to become a race car driver.  Didn't happen but I've was known to pretend when I had the chance on the Autobahn....

The show itself was an overwhelmingly intense time.  I was one of the people responsible for the comfort of the performers backstage.  Schlepping water, food & beverages of choice (the Allmans loved their beer) and trying to make people comfortable in the 100 degree heat.  I was backstage near the stairs to the stage when Jimi was on & was just blown away.  I remember BB King being a real gentleman, Ten Years After curious about the accents in GA and Grand Funk being very serious about their music & not interacting with lots of others.  I  went up on stage on Saturday before the acts were ready & couldn't believe the sea of people in front of me. 

My husband & I had a front page story in the lifestyle section about us in the Atlanta Journal not long after we returned from the Festival.  The reporter naming us as one of the "hip leaders" in Atlanta & wanting to know what it all meant to be a hippie as if we could explain it to him in sound bites.....the same guy did a follow up story about us in the mid 80's & seem to want to blame hippies for all the turmoil of the 70's - he just didn't get it...

For me those years were a glorious & radical time - great friends, great music, great fun and lots of love.  Peace on!


Name: Tim
City/State: Texas
Date: August 17, 2009 8:22:33 PM
Writes...

 I just watched "Woodstock Now and Then" on the History Channel. It brought back tons of memories. In 1969 my younger brother asked me to go to New York with him to a 3 day music festival in New York. He was with a touring band and had time off. I was working with Showco or Concerts West as a roadie and could not get loose that weekend. Blew it . . .

We lived in Dallas, so Labor Day weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Texas International Pop Festival much closer to home. It was promoted by Alex Cooley out of Georgia and he had done a similar event on July 4th weekend near Atlanta with a lot of the same acts. We went, got "pyshcedellicized", listened to the music, got badly sunburned and had a glorious time from what I can remember.

The next summer, I read where Cooley would do a repeat of the First Atlanta Festival. This time it would be better organized and with additional talent, etc. and I had the time off so I decided to go. But my 1947 Willys Jeep decided not to go with me at the last minute, so I hitchhiked to Atlanta (by way of Memphis where I had friends I wanted to go with me). After a couple of days in Memphis and nights on Beal Street, the weekend was getting close so I set out hitch hiking (basically walking most of the way) toward Atlanta. I finally arrived a full day before things were to begin and there were already a LOT of " hippies " there.

The festival was held at the Middle Georgia Raceway Park which was near Byron, Georgia, south of Macon and east of I-75. The raceway was out in the country off a 2 lane farm-to-market road which ran from I-75 east toward I-16. That road was bumper-to-bumper the entire time of the festival. Folks from around there had heard about naked dope-smoking hippies camped out in the woods near there and it seems like every red neck came from miles around to get a glimpse of naked hippie flesh.

Very few people came totally prepared for camping in the hot woods in the terribly dry and dusty underbrush and woods. There were ants and mosquitoes and snakes and bugs of all sorts, but the idea was that if you got high enough none of that would bother you, so everybody got really hammered shitless. I was stoned and tripping on mescaline and psycilocybin for 4 days from the night of the 2nd to the morning of the 6th. Somehow during that evening while I slept, several hundred thousand people disappeared . . .

It was excruciatingly hot. The food and beverage vendors were inadequately stocked and prices were high IF you could get to a stand which had something to eat or drink. The fire department was out and helped cool the crowd down with high arches of water from their pumper trucks. There was also a small river or stream sort of north east of the raceway where most went to wash the dirt and grime off - this was what caused the traffic jam from the sight seers on the 2 lane road above trying to glimpse naked hippie tits and ass in the water.

Apparently the organizers sent out a call which was picked up by the local mayor and an alarm went out loudly enough that the local farmers responded fantastically! On about the 3rd day I was there, flat bed trailers started showing up and farmers were handing out free fruit to all who wanted it. The produce was mostly watermelons, cantaloupe and peaches as I recall, and I gathered up about a bushel or two to last the next couple of days.

I ran into 2 friends from Austin. They had come in their VW bus and were parked alongside the 2 lane road sort of across from the race track entrance. The bus was a Westphalia camper type with an ice box, sink, bunk, pop up top and it had a real good sound system for the day. They let me move in with them and make it my headquarters for three days. I provided the local produce and some toilet paper I stole from the PortaKans before they all ran out.

On the evening of the 4th, between acts, we were in the bus getting stoned. The sliding door was open on the roadway side and traffic was moving at a snail's pace. We had cut up the fruit and were offering it to the passers by. "Canteloupe? Watermelon? Peaches?" we would say between tokes on some primo reefer . . . the rednecks didn't take us up on our offer and we got used to it but it was fun to watch their expressions. Then, about dark, a convertible with an air force guy driving and about 6 good looking young girls came by. We repeated our offer of "Canteloupe? Watermelon? Peaches?" and I threw in ' marijuana ' ? Well, it turned out that one of the girls was the MOTHER of 2 of the others. They actually got out of the car and joined us while this soldier yelled at them to "get back in the right now, dammit !" which they ignored completely. The mother was a beautiful 37 year old southern belle who has 2 very lovely daughters early in life and out of wedlock. The daughters were 19 and 17 and all 3 of them got in the bus and stayed all night with us. WOW - what an interesting night that was . . .

I was really hammered the 4 days I was there but on the evening of the 4th we were all in front of the stage and just before midnight a helicopter approached, circled overhead, hovered and sat down near the stage. Out came Jimi Hendrix in a red-white-n-blue outfit and he plugged in and played his version of the Star Spangled Banner at midnight and with a fireworks show in the background. I never learned if the fireworks were done by the promoter, local folks who had brought their own or if they were just in my head.

I left with my friends on the morning of the 6th and headed back to Texas. They returned me to Dallas and stayed at my place for a week while we got straight and relived the moments we could remember. I still have some vivid recollections of some of the music played. It was a GREAT experience. The Allman Brothers played several times and it was the first time I'd seen Captain Beefheart and Ravi Shankar. There was also 10 Years After, Spirit, Mountain, Johnny Winter and several others. But I will never forget that arrival by Hendrix and the performance he did - WOW . . . If you were there, you know where I am coming from . . .


Name: Fred Morgan Jr.
City/State: Knoxville, TN
Date: August 16, 2009 9:22:22 PM
Writes...

I was 17 years old when I saw the ad in the newspaper for the 2nd Atlanta Pop Festival the summer of 1970. Wow!!! Jimi Hendrix would also be there. This concert almost a year after Woodstock would be like Woodstock for the South. A high school track team buddy and I were going in his grandmother's 1960 Black Studebaker automobile. Or so we thought. 

We were going to leave about 6 p.m. that Friday evening. As the clock crept further and further past 6 and numerous phone calls to my buddy's house my frustration began to escalate. Finally and I do mean finally he showed up about one and half hours late, but he blew me away when he said his parents said he could not go. I said you are here and the car too. Let's take off and worry about it when we get back. Alas, he caved in and said I can't. He got in the car and drove off. 

That was my one and only chance to see Jimi Hendrix perform. Hendrix was dead a few months later. When the Atlanta Pop Festival soundtrack was released later I bought it on 8-track. I still have it. It can still be played on some of my 8-track players. This festival holds bittersweet memories for me.


Name: Steve
City/State: FL
Date: August 16, 2009 3:05:11 PM
Writes...

Was a student from WKU, met some girl ( can't remember her name ) in B Green and we decided to go check this out. It was freking WILD and CRAZY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can remember lots of people going skinny dipping in some pecan farmers pond. The aroma of weed and incense made the hot air thick. Nudity everywhere and purple micro dot while Hendrix played the Star Spangeled Banner.

Now at 60 I reflect on those days and can only say, GREAT TIME!!!!!!!!!!!


Name: Sandy Lavine
City/State: Alameda, CA
Date: August 13, 2009 5:32:37 PM
Writes...

In the summer of 1969 I was living in Atlanta, out of work and looking for a gig. I had worked at a local recording studio and one of my friends there suggested I talk to Alex Cooley. When I arrived at Alex’s office there was a great deal of activity.  Work was underway organizing the second Atlanta Pop Festival. I signed up to work with the sound system.

A few days later I was offered a job which included going down to Byron weeks prior to the festival. Upon arrival I joined in clearing the grounds, building fences and erecting the stage. During the festival itself I worked on the stage and helped with Security.

Sadly I have lost all of my photos from the event but:
I remember having sore ankles from standing on the stage and tapping my foot so much.
I remember Mountain’s great set and a riff between Leslie West and Felix Pappalardi.
I remember the magical performances of the Allman Brothers and the eclectic performance from Hampton Grease Band.
Before his set I escorted Jimi Hendrix up to the stage and feeling a strange sensation. It was sort of an electric buzz, not a shock, but similar to that feeling down your back when you hear a piece of music that really turns you on.

Most of all I met a lot of great people who I sadly have lost touch with, but will always remember. We worked hard, took interesting road trips to Atlanta, and gathered once or twice after the festival.


Name: Ray
City/State: Warner Robins (in 1970)
Date: August 13, 2009 2:04:54 PM
Writes...

I was about 22 and getting ready to leave the Air Force. I was stationed nearby at Robins. I started turning on about a year or two before. I remember going to the festival I believe on a Thursday. I camped in a grove but hiked to another area where there was a free stage.

I dropped something strong and was convinced that I had been put in a clear plastic bag and was hanging from a tree. What a trip that was. When I came out of it I am virtually sure that Frank Zappa was playing although no one seems to mention him being there.

Anyway the next night I waited and waited for Hendrix to play. Just about the time he was to start someone passed a bowl of black opium paste. Everything else from that point is a blur. Actual most the festival was a blur. The drugs were good but I wish now I had more of the memories.

During my 2 years in the area 68-70 I had the opportunity to see the Almond Brother often in and around Macon and the free concerts at Piedmark Park in Alt. I had also gone to what I thought was the first festival but I guess I am wrong. I went to something the year earlier that was in the baseball stadium in Atlanta - lots of good music and my 1st trip. Anyway this is a great site and I am glad I found it. I often wondered if this festival was as great as I remember. Looking at the pictures and reading the comments the answer is obviously yes.


Name: Daryl C.
City/State: Kennedy, NY
Date: August 10, 2009 5:47:30 PM
Writes...

I was 20 at the time. I'd gone three years of college starting in 1966 then dropped-out, turned-on, and tuned-in during the summer between my junior and senior year of college (1969) much of that period is a blur but I do remember three or four of us hopping in a car on the spur of the moment and driving from Melbourne Florida (south of Cape Kennedy) to the Atlanta area. We parked on the side of the road about a mile back and walked into the scene. I never did get into the audience area to view the performers but I heard a lot of it. 

I do remember the days were hot and one afternoon I was sleeping under a Vokswagen bus parked in the field outside the gates. There were some bikers apparently hired to keep control of the gate. Something happened at the gate and all of a sudden someone yelled "they've got a gun". The crowd around the gates panicked and started running away from the gates out across field of and through the parked cars. I got caught up in the panic and ran barefooted through the stubbly corn field.

I also remember that somewhere there was a huge pile of six-packs of Coke cans unloaded from semi-trucks. The deal was you buy a six pack for $1.00 and wander though the crowd and sell them for a quarter each, making $0.50 on each six pack. Cool! Your income depended on how many six packs you could carry. Easy way to get drug money.  And drugs were everywhere. I had my first acid trip there and remember sitting in the cornfield watching a red kite float away after it's string had broken. When the kite got too small to see, the sky suddenly exploded in colored lightning eminating from where the kite had been. Cool!  I remember hearing of the pond where people were skinny dipping but I never made it over there. I was too busy selling cokes. I don't know how much I slept but it wasn't much and I don't remember the trip home but we all made it.

Oh,  I survived the period and eventually (9 years later) did finally graduate with my BS degree in Electrical Engineering.


Name: Flint Hill
City/State: Formerly of Bardstown, Ky
Date: July 28, 2009 12:39:07
Writes...

I too have vague yet beautiful memories of the Fest. I am wondering if anyone remembers after the fence got pulled up at the country club lake some of us took a yellow canoe and put it over our heads and swam or plodded out into the lake  singing, "we all live in a yellow submarine?"

I would love to see more photos and also wonder where the video went? Maybe we can get Oliver Stone to dig it out.

I was layed out under a tarp tent hanging off a 67 Mustng that we came down in and suddenly was awakened by an extremely loud roar. It was the crowd, Jimi was on. I think we made our way back down to the stage. I would like to thank who ever rolled those Florida Cigar sized doobies and passed them throughout the crowd. Beautiful times.


Name: Ed Burchfield
City/State: Birmingham, AL
Date: June 23, 2009 9:15:49 AM
Writes...

I was 19 at the time. We got there from Birmingham a day or so early. We were doing several types of LSD, several types of smoke dope, cocaine, and a few downers. I look back at this period of time and wow what a time. I saw so much, and experienced so much that it still blows my mind.

We laughed, and loved, and danced ( I guess you could call it dancing). I tripped all 3 days and I don’t know how long it took for me to level out. I met thousands of great people, No bad attitudes that I can remember. I was skinny as a bean pole but I skinny dipped just like anybody else.

How awesome a time it was back then. I am glad to say I survived with no harmful side effects. A lot of us that did have seen many that didn’t make it, after all the overdoses, vein rupturing, suicides, and brains fried. I am now high on God filled with love and hope. I am a Pentecostal Evangelist and share with folks what God can do.

I will ever cherish my memories of this festival. Thanks to all you who are keeping this website up, and for the pictures and all.  Hey and by the way I am the 4th person in line on the second photo next to the Volkswagon with the heads on it. I have the blanket on my shoulder. Wow. Love to all you. Eddie Burchfield. You can reach me rev.ed@att.net.


Name: Julie Riddleberger
City/State: Charlottesville, VA
Date: May 30, 2009 12:00:43 PM
Writes...

I was living in Atlanta at the time...hitchhiking one day and was picked up by an old school bus. It was painted pink with bright green windowpane checks on it.  (If anyone from that bus reads this...hi!) They told me they were headed to the festival and asked if I wanted to go...so we went. I can't remember any names, sorry, but they were good people.

We arrived a day before the music started, went to a local store to get some supplies, and the store shelves were almost entirely empty!  I remember seeing one loaf of bread on the bread shelf. I bought some crackers, peanut butter, and jelly, as that was about all that was there.

We parked the bus in the trees across the road from the main stage...near the free stage. The free stage was great and was where I spent most of my evenings. 

It was so hot during the day. I remember one guy standing near the main stage entrance handing out salt tablets. I think he may have saved my life, because I noticed I was getting spots all over me. I started feeling faint. He came up to me and said, "Maybe they don't care if you live or die, but I do," and handed me some salt tablets. I took them and felt so much better. He said I had been drinking too much water with no salt in me. Did I say it was hot?!?  It was so hot!

Anyway, the country club swim...I loved it.  Several thousand of us decided to take over the country club's swimming area. I remember the big slide and the naked couples. It was funny. The governor was flying overhead in a helicopter. Onlookers were gawking from the bridge. It was a great relief from the heat.

Some local people drove through the area during the day selling us lemonade and sandwiches at a very reasonable price. The fire department created a "water park" for us.  The Hog Farm served oatmeal for breakfast.

I wasn't often in condition to get to the main stage, and I don't like to be in the center of large crowds, but I was determined, now matter what, to see Jimi Hendrix.  He played the Star Spangled Banner as fireworks went off in the sky. An altogether great trip.

The festival was a life experience. It felt so safe and peaceful to be surrounded by huge crowds of your own kind. I will never forget it.  And I will never forget the entire Atlanta experience, Piedmont Park, free concerts, the Strip, the community center. What a time it was. What I would give to feel that way again...


Name: Mike Avant
City/State: Macon, GA
Date: April 30, 2009 11:32:57 AM
Writes...

I thought Ten Years After Stole The Show. They were incredible.

Johnny Winter, BB King, Jimi, all were great. I heard that Johnny Winter, Berry Oakley and Jimi Hendrix were jamming together at the free stage at one point.

It was very,very hot.. Must have topped 100 degrees.


Name: Crabneesh
City/State: San Francisco
Date: April 26, 2009 12:21:15 PM
Writes...

I was 20 & lived in Cincinnati. A friend who was about 22 was a pilot & member of the Civil Air Patrol. He borrowed a family friend's 4-seater & 4 of us flew to Byron (or maybe Macon?). We had to stop & refuel on the way. Round trip for fuel & airport fees was $20 each. It was the 1st time I ever flew.

We smoked red & blonde Lebanese all the way. Our pilot, Jay, would take the plane straight up until the engine would die. Then the plane would dive nose first toward the earth & then he would start the engine & away we would go.

We all had tickets but as soon as we got to the Byron airport we met some people with a concession stand inside the festival who gave us a ride. It was the day before the show but we got in early with them. I still have my ticket. Inside that night were very few people. Outside were thousands. All the snakes came in to escape the people. Lots of 6-7' black snakes & others.  We hung around the stage & met people. There was a semi trailer parked without its cab & we set up camp under it. We had shade.

The next day it became a free concert & it was hotter than hell. So many naked people.  So much dope for sale. Still a good time for festivals as the violence was yet to come. People jumping off the bridge into the water. Lots of good vibes. Free food in communal kitchens.

We had a lot of friends camped outside. We found them & they were amazed at our camp under the trailer. The free stage was great. I saw the Allmans several times, I think, & I had seen them before. I had seen most of the bands, Grand Funk, Hendrix, Poco, etc. before & it was great to see them again.

These were some of the best days in my life. I would do it all again.


Name: K G
City/State: Columbia, SC
Date: April 17, 2009 2:07:03 AM
Writes...

I was 20 years old and I was dating the silent partner with Alex Cooley (Fred Lagerquist). Fred had all the contacts and political pull so the festival was sanctioned. Months and months were spent getting this together.

There were alot of investors and during the months leading up to the festival we partied all over Atlanta.  There was alot of money and drugs flowing. My outfit was a long handmade leather vest with tassels that went just above my knees.  I wore that with nothing underneath.

The poster shown on Wikipedia is not the original one.  The original one was simpler, more colorful and more readable.  It was posted nationally to announce the festival.  I have one in my attic.  The one shown on Wikipedia was the final version distributed the day the festival started.

I arrived on my motorcycle, stoned and ready to party.  Susie Greene had made all the costumes for Jimi Hendrix. She was there with my crowd.  We partied with Jimi for days.

Susie made Jimi a floor length cape out of the finest feathers available.  it was breathtaking. He paid close to $12,000.00 for it (60's dollars).  At another concert Jimi tore it off and burned it.

I have quite a few photos of the festival.  Some of the crowds, some from the unique vantage of the stage.   They are in a box somewhere.  I left Georgia and moved to California, New York and Cancun Mexico before returning to my home state of South Carolina. I ended up working for 3 South Carolina Governor's Administrations.

I realize many years later how the festival changed the lives, opinions and shaped the political and cultural landscape of Georgia forever.

I have never been that happy since.

I FELL INTO A DREAM FOR A WEEK-AND I SAW AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE I COULD LIVE IN.


Name: Betty
City/State: Georgia
Date: Mar 27, 2009 12:05 PM
Writes...

I was living in Perry Georgia at the time, just about 15 miles south of Byron. I was a senior in high school. My parents weren't too sure about the festival but agreed to drive me through to check it out.  I remember my mother getting really upset about all the people running around naked.....now for sure I wasn't able to go. I think we went on vacation instead.

In the following months there were mini-festivals and I went to several.  Had a great time but have always felt that I missed out. Remember someone showing me a signature on the stage that was suppose to be Jimi Hendix's.  


Name: Jack
City/State: Greensboro, NC
Date: Mar 26, 2009 10:15:59 PM
Writes...

This is the first time I thought about that summer in a long while, and also the first time I ever tried to look it up on the web, but it’s pretty cool that this is here so here goes.

I was 17 years old, growing up in Phila. PA. and had gone down to Florida for the summer to work construction in Hollywood. Since you had to be 18 to legally work, I had forged my driver’s license to say I was born in 52.

While working I meet some guys on the crew that told me they were going up to GA. To a rock festival, and asked if I wanted to go? When I heard who was going to be there, and how cheap it was, of course I was going!

I remember driving straight through the night, driving someone else’s car, while they all slept. Arriving Friday morning in traffic that backed up for hours. There were four of us, and I can’t remember any of the guys I was with anymore, but we all went in together to a spot in the middle of the field about a city block from the stage. The people around us were all nice enough; passing joints, wine, and beer between us all while we listened to the bands. I also remember a motorcycle gang trying to keep the peace (yea right) and the breaking down of the fence that first night making it a free concert from there on. We all crashed right there in the middle of the field that night, not waking till sometime in the hot sun the next afternoon. I remember getting separated from the rest of the guys, so I went to the front gate at the left of the stage, figuring one or all of them would pass that way going back and forth to the car. Sitting there in the hot sun against the wall for shade I was getting pretty hungry when the folks next to me offered me a drink from a half a bottle of Bally High wine, I took a couple of slugs, and went to hand it back when they said, “go on keep it we got plenty” showing me the contents of their cooler. Well between that and some weed that got passed, all I remember was trying to get up to look for my friends, but passing out and not waking up till the music started again that night. I stayed pretty much where I was, wandering off once in a while to get a better look at who was on stage. I really only remember the night Hendrix played, and knowing who he was, folks like the Allman Brothers, hell being from Philly I had no Idea who they were.

The next morning hanging out at the entrance finally paid off, one of the guys I came with passed by, showed me where the other guys were, and informed me that they had procured a job working in a hamburger trailer, (good thing too cause I was starving, and had run out of money) Free hamburgers and drinks went down real easy by then. They shut down before the night's concert cause they had run out of food, so at least we got to hang out for the show that night, instead of working through it, and the four of us stuck close together that night so as not to get separated again. We tried leaving on Monday, but we had gotten there so early that we were deep in, and it took all day just to get back to the interstate.

I don’t remember the ride back to Florida so I obviously wasn’t the one driving. But I do remember that being the first taste of freedom I ever had, the under age drinking, the drugs, (only smoke for me) the music, and all the crazy people. That was some summer! I thank God for having kept me safe, and hope everyone else had as good a time as I did!!!!


Name: Jack
City/State: Kentucky
Date: Feb 18, 2009 9:30:11 AM
Writes...

It was hot as we drove from Columbia, S.C. to Byron, GA and it stayed hot throughout the weekend. I was traveling with a woman with whom I was madly in love and her son. We all slept in her huge Chevrolet on an incline to the left of the main stage. I had been to the first Atlanta and expected the same sort of experience. 1970 however, was a very different event. Due to the crush of the crowds, the gate collapsed and everything was conducted in an easy-going chaos. Fortunately we had brought enough to eat because everything was in short supply.

I remember Bob Seger, Ten Years After, the Allman Brothers, Mountain, Johnny Winter and so many others. My pinnacle experience was lying on my bunk and listening to Jimi Hendrix struggle with the Star Spangled Banner. I felt sorry for him and realized he was not doing well as a person.

I also remember when the bikers showed up. They were loud, aggressive and ended up hurting a bunch of folks. My girlfriend got us into a group and we smoked some weed that turned out to be laced with opium. All I remember that afternoon was wandering aimlessly for hours in a dream-state and getting chased by the bikers for accidentally wandering into their camp.

All in all, an interesting experience.


Name: David
City/State: Statesboro, GA
Date: Jan 31, 2009 12:04:22 PM
Writes...
Nice to see all these remembrances..

 I was 17 at the time. I came up from Savannah in the back of a pickup truck with about 6-7 people. I know where one of them is now.

We got there on Fri I believe and parked in what I thought was a pine tree grove. I remember the minute I got out of the truck, some guys from Ohio were selling purple microdot, which I bought and took right away.

I was tripping my brains out for the rest of the day and night. I remember the heat, and one of the guys went to get water, when he got back I grabbed it and poured it all over myself, it felt great, but didnt make my bud too happy.

That afternoon I sat on the front of a car with a cardboard sign that said "smile" and talked to just about everyone coming down the road from the interstate. People gave me drugs, fruit, drinks and whatever else I can't remember.

I remember the free stage in the woods, the creek with all the swimmers in the nude, me included.

Music wise I remember the Allmans, Grand Funk, Jimi, Poco, Ten Years After...all great.

I remember the night Ten Yrs After played I was smoking a joint when a cameraman and reporter came up to me and asked me what was the attraction, what did I find fascinating, etc. etc. For some reason I seem to recall the CBS logo on the camera. I never saw anything or heard anything about it though. Maybe it was part of the movie that never was.

I went to West Palm Beach fest later that yr...Stones were the headliner  Those were the days, glad I'm still here to tell about it.


Name: Mark Sullivan
City/State: Port Charlotte, FL
Date: Dec 27, 2008 5:44:49 PM
Writes...
Players: Myself, Bill Clement, Don Tubbs, Mike Keonig and Donny Ross traveled from Port Charlotte, Florida to Byron Georgia, in Bill's VW Micro. Arrived early and was able to get in and get a place. Lined up to go to the concert - we all paid the $21 fee for the 3-day pass - and while waiting to get in - the crowd pushed forward and toppled the plywood fences - even though motorcycle thugs were beating the folks who were storming the gates. The police released tear gas to break up the throng. We became separated but eventually hooked up. Donny was sick from the tear gas.

Conditions: Awfully hot and awfully crowded - not enough toilets - so you had to be careful where you put your feet as people were going everywhere. Some folks had it really rough - however the motorcycle gang - hired to protect the site - the "gallopin gooses"  was foremost - spent the entire three days drinking beer and partying. Also there was a buzz in the crowd as allegedly Lester Maddox, Georgia Govenor, was seen riding in a cadillac - inspecting the peanut field where the music was at night, declaring later that it was the worst days for Georgia since "Sherman burnt Atlanta ".

It was hot, hot and hot - we left very early - had to get back to work - remember the gas station on left right before I-75 exit was completely trashed -the toilet was sitting out on the tarmac.

The police immediately started fanning out and arresting anybody they could who was leaving on foot. Two of my friends, who were awaiting induction, were arrested for walking on the interstate. One friend was delivered directly to the MEPS, the military entrance processing station.

Lucky for us - Bill had brought a collapsible 5 gallon jug of water - there were drugs being openly peddled throughout the crowd - the police were powerless - as there were just too many people.

Music: I remember most the Chamber Brothers; Procol Harum; and Jimi Hendrix playing the Star Spangled Banner at midnight on July 4 - there were many other groups but it was almost 40 years ago.

Summary: No one thought that as big a crowd that showed up would be at the Atlanta Pop Festival. It became a logistics nightmare as after the first day - you couldn't drive in or out. This was the last Free for All music festival.


Name: Tom Brenner
City/State: Henderson, NV
Date: Dec 24, 2008 3:19:28 PM
Writes...
By the time Byron rolled around, I was a veteran of several huge fests including Atl#1 & Woodstock. But Byron was an incredible, unique and awesome slice of life. So many people in this world have no real concept of near total freedom. We are so lucky to have touched it, even if only for those moments so long ago.

My girlfriend and I came down to Byron separately. She didn't arrive until just before the fest opened and the mass of humanity was such that it was nearly impossible to find her. After about 24 hours of frustrating search, punctuated by interludes of magical music, I had almost decided to give up. But, a little voice inside said, "No, just keep on givin". So I did. I took a dollar out of my jeans pocket and gave it to a hippy who needed to get something to eat. The minute I gave it to him, I looked up and saw her running to me throught the crowd. Instant karma. Janet Planet never looked better. Wow, that girl could really fill up a pair of jeans! Magic was alive and love was everywhere. Explaining it to someone who didn't live it cannot be done with words. God bless you all my brothers and sisters. Love is as real today as it has always been. Wear it like a coat to keep you warm and like a shield to keep you safe.


Name: Jeff Redding
City/State: Atlanta, GA
Date: Nov 3, 2008 6:11:57 AM
Writes...
Two of my buddies had rented a Winnebago and asked me to come along to share the expenses of food and gas.  We drove down to Byron from Atlanta on the Tuesday morning before the event. Early that afternoon we arrived to find little traffic and relatively few people. We drove half way around the Festival grounds and entered through a large pecan orchard. We could see a long wooden fence, the entrance gates, the tops of the sound and light towers, and as I recall, off to the right was a small race track and grandstands. Everything was tranquil, but oh so hot. No hint of the anarchy that was to follow over the next five days.

At the time of the Festival I was what I have often termed a middle class hippie. Smoking reefer, dabbling in psychedelics, heavily into acid rock...  but certainly neither as idealistic or opportunistic as others. The guys I rode down with were recent acquaintances who had but one motive -- selling drugs. Being a bit naive for my age, I wasn't aware of their agenda until after we had parked in that pecan grove. I've heard and read other accounts of drug sales at Byron.  But these guys were big time. They eventually put up large conspicuous signs outside the Winnebago to advertise their wares -- acid, mescaline, speed, coke, psylocybin -- some at discounted prices with the purchase of 10,000 hits or more. They never even wasted time with pot or hash. For days there would be a constant stream of buyers, traders and samplers coming and going from that RV.  Never was really sure why they had invited me to come along, but I was certain that at this point there was no turning back...   

We positioned our RV in a shady site between two pecan trees and barely 100 feet from the Festival gates. At the same time, there was an 18-wheeler maneuvering itself into a similar spot even closer to the entrance. I remember thinking that it must be a group of Roadies delivering a truck-load of musical equipment. They were dressed in leather, bandanas, chains and looked like people you might see backstage at a rock concert. I forgot about it and we went on about our business setting up the sun-awning off the side of the Winnie. A few minutes later we noticed that a bad-ass looking group had gathered outside the rear of that semi and the doors were being swung open. Much to our surprise the next sound we heard had nothing to do with music, but was instead that unmistakable, pulsating sound of many Harleys. One by one the choppers started rolling down a ramp from the back of the trailer. Then it hit me. Our grove mates were indeed the neighbors from Hell -- Angels from some regional chapter.

I can't remember if it was Thursday or Friday when the opening acts began to crank it up. What a long awaited sound it was!  Live rock and roll music blasting away from the other side of that imposing wooden fence. I stopped whatever it was I wasn't doing and hurried over to the entrance gates. Our "campsite" was so close that I was one of the first ones in line. There I was, front and center in an orderly fashion, waving my ticket at one of the Angels who in turn was waving a shotgun back and forth towards the crowd (seems I was one of the few who had actually bought a ticket). But a crowd, tens of thousands strong, had amassed behind me and was pushing everyone forward. My gaze was fixed on that shotgun, now just about right under my nose, trying not to imagine what might happen next. Then at that very moment, miraculously, I saw the fence crashing down on both sides of me. Trampled down to the cry of "Free Festival." Next thing I knew I was standing on the other side, unscathed, surveying the Festival stage.

I didn't stay inside the music venue very long that first afternoon.  It was so hot. No shade. There were some bands playing that I either didn't recognize or wasn't interested in seeing. So I made my way back to the tree line and to enjoy the confines around our leisure home -- a pattern I would follow during many of the daytime performances. Given the proximity of our camp site to the venue, we hardly needed to be inside the Festival to hear the music. But, with the evening hours that music in the air became so alluring, almost intoxicating. It conjured up a sense of child-like excitement, and hanging around that Winnebago was the last place I wanted to be...

I do not take drugs nor do I advocate their use, but at Byron you more or less had no choice. Keeping oneself hydrated in that heat was difficult. Within a day or two we had exhausted whatever fluids we had packed in with us, and drink vendors were few and far between. When I got really thirsty, I would take a walk around in the music venue or across the highway to the camps in the pine forest. There was no doubt that eventually I would be offered a drink of something, by somebody. Most often it would be served from a converted one-gallon milk jug. Whenever handed one of those plastic containers, I would take a few deep gulps. It was cool, and wet and it was given freely. Unwittingly, I had been introduced to "electric water" and would partake of it many times again over the course of the event. As if the basic elements that characterize a pop festival weren't intense enough, those liquid concoctions elevated them to an even more extreme level. The incredible combination of sounds, visuals, smells, people, drugs... together, produced an atmosphere of surrealism to which only those who have shared the Pop Festival phenomenon, as I did, could relate.


Name: Brad Wender
City/State: Roswell GA
Date: Dec 3, 2008 8:45:23 PM
Writes...
I was 17, and besides all the music what I remember most was the recreational lake down the road. A very large group of us pulled the chainlink fence up from the ground like a banana, and then dropped our clothes, and hit the water. There was a long slide that dumped into the lake water, and I remember a lady that was naked, and would 69 down the slide with any guy, and she did it many times.

I also remember a road with a bridge that many folks were jumping off of, and down into the river below. I jumped a couple of times, and then the crowd egged me on with cheers to dive off the bridge. I remember diving while wearing a pair of cutoff blue jeans. When I hit the water, I busted the button, and zipper that kept my pants up.

What great memories.


Name: David Buchanan
City/State: Jasper, GA
Date: Nov 15, 2008 4:31:31 PM
Writes...
I was 15. I had been to the 1st Atlanta festival a year before, so I sorta knew what to expect......or thought I did. It was actually totally different than the first one.....3-4 times as many people.....out in the country.....much more nudity.....a free stage.....cops who weren't hassling people (still haven't figured out how that happened, but it did).

I took off with a couple of older guys that were in a band I played in; sometime around Wednesday. By the time we got within 20 miles of the Byron exit, traffic was already slowed down. I heard it got much, much worse toward Friday.

My favorite memories are of the free stage. I don't think most of the crowd ever found out about it because there was never a huge crowd there. It was a real casual, small stage back in the woods on the opposite side of the road from the main stage area. I probably saw the Allman Bros five or six times there. And then saw all sorts of groups that were better than most that played at the big stage. When we got out of the car to set up camp we heard a band playing from the freestage....playing all Little Richard songs....I mean GOOD too. By the time we made the hike to the stage, they were done. As far as I know it was Little Richard, and that was way before they cranked up the music at the main stage. The whole festival became free by Saturday, but everybody still called it the Free Stage. Lots of good things happened there.

I went back through there a couple of years ago and cruised all through the area. There was a mobile home neighborhood where the free stage had been. The giant field where the main stage had been was still there. We had to hike through a pine thicket to get there, but after we crossed this big gulley...the trees opened up and there it was. I could still sense the festival atmosphere. I don't think it was just me because my wife said she could definitely sense that something huge had happened there. It was sorta spooky.

The funny thing is that at the festival, I never noticed the racetrack. But when we revisited the place, there it was looming back to the side of where the music had been....a big figure 8 race track. We drove down to the next road and found the entrance to the track and even took a few spins around it. While we were doing that, another car came onto the track and started driving around too, like nothing was out of the ordinary....just the sort of weird thing that happened there back in 1970....just no telling what you might see. 


Name: Keith Shaddix
City/State: Amory, Mississippi
Date: Sept 21, 2008 8:55:32 AM
Writes...
My first memory was being in the longest line of vehicles imaginable, with the heat being so oppressive you could barely breathe...seems like we were told it was 104. I'm sure that being on the asphalt with all the vehicles so close, it had to be much hotter.  Of course, what do we do? Eat the biggest hit of mescaline we had ever seen...some guy was passing them out. By the time we got parked, we were all peaking our brains out. Setting up camp never completely happened. It's a wonder we lived. I remember how thirsty I was, and, I was so fucked up, I couldn't make it anywhere to get something to drink.

As far as the music, nothing was so memorable as The Allman Brothers Band...the music itself, and, the lightening popping over the stage.

Unfortunately, my most vivid memory was one of cruelty. I remember the bikers standing on top of the cattle chutes, telling people if they wanted in for free they had to pass under them. They were whipping people with these heavy belts. I remember seeing this beautiful chick running through there, and, they were whipping her the same as the guys. I saw her shortly after that, and, she had a nasty red welt on her cheek. I was 17 years old...I believed in the power of love, and, after seeing that, I was completely disillusioned.

On the last day, many were already gone, and, Danny & me were trying to hitch a ride to Montreal...we were going there to play with a band. Three chicks from Toronto picked us up...needless to say, there were many adventures to follow...


Name: John C.
City/State: Arcadia, FL
Date: Aug 22, 2008 12:49:22 PM
Writes...
Like so many, I wish I could remember more about the bands and the music - but I started off stoned and stayed that way.  It was great, really, but it could have been greater - or at least different.

I hitched there all by myself.  I couldn't find anybody willing to go - I was from Jackson, Ms and nobody wanted just to take off.  I remember walking a long way to get to the camping area.  There were people everywhere - tents, sleeping bags, all kinds of people, long hair short hair, hippies, straights - kinda the way heaven should be.

 - God it was hot but I didn't care. I slept on the ground if I slept at all.  I remember dope stands with topless chicks and freaks manning them - layed out like a counter at TG&Y.  Everybody seemed to do what they wanted to and everybody else was kool about it.  I had some cheap speed I had brought and just stuck my head it a guy and a girls tent and asked if I could get off - no problem.  FREEDOM.

The main things I remember about the bands was Goose Creek Symphony (I had no idea who they were) but they were rocking with that country rock sound.  GREAT !!  And I remember Jimi Hendrix - It was late, late, late and I was totally wasted - I was wandering back to the trees to lay down when I heard his rift - The Star Spangled Banner with Boom, Boom going off in the background - SURREAL.

Afterward I hitched back to my brothers place in Atlanta.  WIPED OUT

I have never experienced a place like that before nor will I ever again.  Kinda SAD.

But I was there - and the memory is pure JOY!!! 

Name: Anne Darden
City/State: Salisbury, CT
Date: Aug 22, 2008 9:17:01 AM
Writes...
A bunch of friends from Atlanta went down together to Byron. Nine of us lived at Juniper and 4th in Atlanta in a huge house converted to apts.  Several other groups lived in houses in other places of the city.  We used to party together all the time.  Most of this group went to GA Tech and lived off campus.  I don’t know how they managed to get through school in the middle of all of this partying.

I had the most amazing moment of my life at that festival which I have never forgotten. It was really the high point in my whole life in terms of an experience –

Just before John Sebastian came on, there was a terrific rain storm – during which the Allman Brothers were playing.  My group of friends had all taken something psychedelic I don’t remember what now.   But during the Allman Brothers performance I recall I was looking at the band as they were holding up a tarp to keep the rain off themselves and equipment.  I remember something that looked like lightening flashing off the tarp.  And in that instant I thought “OMG the Allman Brothers are being electrocuted!”  That flash of adrenalin accelerated my trip way out there and the crowd seemed to be really wild, lots of pandemonium.

In the midst of this chaos, I remember John Sebastian came out and sat down on the stage and I thought “this is perfect, he is going to calm us all down and make everything ok”.  He sang a song which I still to this day don’t know what it was - but what I “heard” was  something about “sharing the beads” - beads meaning all the good things in life, and then lyrics like “all of the people were playing together and all of the people were singing together” … something like that.

Well I had this moment of feeling, experiencing total union with all the people there and all the people on earth, total oneness and from that came such ecstasy which lasted for ??? Maybe only an instant.  I was in a state after that.  I don’t remember who came on after John. I do remember PHarum coming on and playing eventually when it was very late.

Anyway I thought I would share this with anyone who was there too.  After that weekend I remember walking around Atlanta just staring at people and feeling so incredible.  I even started talking to the Hari Krishnas and wondered for a day if I shouldn’t give up everything and join them to work on that oneness possibility.  That feeling lasted for a while.   I still think about it and it is a goal of mine to continue on with that experience in whatever way I can.

Thank god for the Atlanta Pop Festival and Byron, GA and John Sebastian.  I wish I could tell John Sebastian what he did and how it changed my life.

Other than that it was a really good time….all those days were in the late 60’s early 70’s. Fun and freedom and love.


Name: Debra Q
City/State: Fairfax, VA
Date: Aug 15, 2008 8:23:57 AM
Writes...
Hey, I was there however I don't remember much except for the experience of seeing Jimi Hendrix perform the Star Spangle Banner. I have never felt the way I did on that night about any performance. It was the most marvelous physical and emotional event that I have had the opportunity to experience.

Also, there was many of us that were jumping off of a bridge into the water to cool off. I had bib overalls on and I would not advise anyone to do this because they became very heavy when wet and I could barely swim.  WOW what wonderful memories.


Name: James Timmins
City/State: Lancaster, PA
Date: Aug 14, 2008 9:50:46 PM
Writes...
I was fortunate to be on leave from the U.S. Army at the time. Having just returned from Vietnam in Jan. 1970 I, along with several other  "Vets", made a beeline to Macon for the event. On the way to Macon some drunk hillbilly smacked our car, a 1969 Chevy. The responding cop was Extremely gracious and allowed our acid swallowing selves to go unmolested. Thank You Georgia patrol you did well that night!
Name: Ken Cook
City/State: Akron, OH
Date: Sat July 19, 2008 3:06:10 PM
Writes...
Read alot of the messages.  There was a question posted by Hank Grebe in November of 2004 regarding Jethro Tull.  The question was "Did they ever perform?"  Hank the answer is NO.  I was there with 3 friends,  we stayed in the pecan grove,  had a gret time, there was no trouble, everyone shared everything, but the answer to your question is definetly NO.  They were on the flyer, and poster but they never took the stage.  It was the biggest disappointment of the weekend.  But, there were enough great performers that did take the stage that in the end, it didn't really matter.
Name: Rob Aceto
City/State: West Palm Beach, FL
Date: Mon July 2, 2008 7:00:23 PM
Writes...
This Friday I will be playing the Hendrix video I have of Jimi Live at Atlanta Pop. I wish I had video of other live acts. I wish there was a movie like  Woodstock. Why in the hell not? It was a significant event, damn it!  Every one of you who attended it should be proud. You got to see Jimi in one of his last shows and the Allman Brothers right in their peak. Man, I wish I had been there! Please, powers that be - release the footage!
Name: R Henderson
City/State: ?
Date: Mon May 19, 2008 5:19:45 PM
Writes...
I just came across your site while following some Great Speckled Bird links.  I was there at the festival, 18 years old, very inexperienced in so many ways, and it was such a blast and such an eye-opener.  I remember during a break in the music due to a rain shower, thousands of us banging on sticks, beer cans, etc., singing "give Peace a Chance."  There was a swimming pool that had been commandeered, and by them time it was all over the pool was literally dark brown from folks using it to cool off and bathe, and people continued to jump in.  I'm going to dig up some more of those old memories and get back in touch.  I am so glad someone is doing this.  Hey, did you ever hear the album that was made from a combination of this festival and the Isle of Wight festival?  The Allman Brothers had the best version ever of "Statesboro Blues" on the Atlanta Pop Festival part of that disk.  I also remember how B.B. King had all of us enthralled that night, everyone trying to get as close to the stage as possible.  Wow, it's all gonna come back to me now.  Thanks!
Name: Mike Childress
City/State: Oak Ridge, Tennessee (then)
Date: Mon May 19, 2008 7:18:32 AM
Writes...
These are some incredible reminiscences. When you read statements such as *best time I ever had* and *I will never forget those three days,* and you consider that you are reading the recollections of folks that have a pretty good idea of what a fun time is, then you might begin to understand the depth of experience that was the Second Atlanta International Pop Festival. Now, almost forty years later, I am still blown away by my memories of it. I can only believe that the event had spiritual influences on us, that we were somehow indescribably changed by it and that it changed forever the way we see the world for good or bad.

Yeah, we were stoned to the max and tripping our young asses off, but we had done those things before July 1970. Yeah, we witnessed a massive demonstration of nakedness and otherwise unbridled lack of inhibition, but it wasn*t the only time in our lives for that, either. What we had never done was to experience these things in such a humongous, collective manner as if by our mere participation would the universe warp to our liking. What we had never felt before might have been a validation of our selves as young social revolutionaries, participating in this event with our hearts full of hope for change in the world. In some way it was a celebration that gave us the opportunity to demonstrate that we had not given up on the idea of peaceful coexistence, even if it did take hallucinogens to achieve that state of mind. We believed.

We came from East Tennessee without the slightest inkling of what to expect, even to the point of not knowing where the festival was until after we landed at Hartsfield (not sure they called it that in 1970). Not the least bit deterred, the six of us walked to an I-75 on-ramp and stuck out our thumbs. Unbelievably, two girls picked us up. I guess maybe they were ready for anything and I am sure we didn*t look at all harmful compared some of the real-deal hippies we knew from small town Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The girls agreed to take us the ninety miles to Byron. They dropped us at the Byron off-ramp and disappeared. We were about two miles from the main gate.  We walked those two, very memorable miles.

I can only liken the experience of arriving at the main gate to what I have since witnessed in my life. The air was electric with anticipation. No one, producers, sponsors and organizers alike, could have known what to expect. Here you are walking, your numbers increasing many-fold in your approach and the music is rolling across the sky. Even that was a near religious experience. We were so naturally high we were almost running as we got closer. What trepidation any of us had fell away and the Allman Brother*s *Trouble No More* seemed to symbolize the end for any practical concern for the reality of our actually coming to Georgia in the first place. This was the real thing. This was heaven to us. It was a gigantic, drug-fed, carnival of a musical exposition, perhaps destined to eclipse the numbers of our gathering-of-the-tribes in Woodstock only months before. The drums thudded against your ribs, the sweet herb was alight, and thousands on thousands of the young and young-hearted prepared themselves for the ultimate weekend of fun.

My personal experience of those next days just runs together in a blur of sensations: treats for the mind and treats for the ears. I could only digest the immediate pleasures at the time * the herb, the mescaline, and the amazing experience of being among so many naked girls, quite a treat for a seventeen year-old boy from the hills. I was not able to develop the idea that this was a spiritual event until well after it happened. It was as if day and night didn*t matter, just that you knew it was hot during the day and that things really got going after the sun went down, even though the party was non-stop. We spent hours just scuffing around stoned to oblivion. We were dirty and sunburned and happy as hell. Whatever nourishment we could find was given to us freely. Our nights were primarily spent watching the performances. Mountain was particularly amazing as I recall: Leslie West just incredible and huge and hung with braids of leather, and the sinewy Felix Pappalardi simply taken over by his bass. They played *Mississippi Queen* at least twice, and Corky Laing made real thunder come up out of his drum set. Even though the crowd had swelled by many thousands, this steaming mass of humanity was rendered silent by West*s solo in *Silver Paper.* I recall seeing Procol Harum and B.B. King and Poco up close. Jimi was a quarter mile away in the wee hours of the next night. A UCLA student named Randy Newman played at the *free* stage in the woods where a smallish crowd rested on blankets, sort of recovering from the day*s heat.

The amazingly uninhibited events at Vinson*s Lake were the stuff of legend. The lake was a short distance from the Festival and the revelers had taken it over. A tall slide into the water became the scene of the most hilarious and spontaneous sexual hijinks I ever witnessed: couples sliding down in all the Kama Sutra variations to the applause of an admiring crowd. It was equally funny watching all the old men gawk at the bouncy, little, naked white girls, running around so obliviously carefree. Clearly, if you were there you were enjoying yourself, no matter where you came from.

Of course, the weekend had to come to a close. On July 6th we split up into two groups and pointed ourselves out to I-75 in a virtual stupor. We didn*t find as much luck hitchhiking North as we had coming South just three days before. We all wore the sly grins of festival veterans. It would take each of us many years to fully understand the importance of what we had experienced. Once back in Tennessee, we were arrested for hitchhiking. Spending a night in the Bradley County Jail outside Chattanooga did nothing but more firmly affix our memories of the 2nd Atlanta Festival. I turned eighteen the morning a friend bailed us out, but I had already grown unimaginably in the four days prior to that.


Name: Steve Millard
City/State: Yancey Co., NC
Date: Mon. April 7, 2008 7:41:07 AM
Writes...
...I was stationed at Fort Benning / bought a used 1965 BSA Shooting Star motorcycle / packed up my sleeping bag / headed out /.  Had been writing anti-war articles for Rap in Columbia, and got busted during the Black Arm Band protest the week before on base.  FTA!  Rode thru several small Georgia towns and held my head up high in the wind / really enjoying the ride.  Got to Byron on a Thursday afternoon to find huge lines of cars and kids lumbering toward the woods and racetrack.  Tried pulling up a small hill on my BSA, only to have it stall out / took my shirt off (I was lean and handsome in those days) and sweating, tried to start my bike - to no avail. 

Hippies all around / a beautiful young girl walked up to me with handfulls of ice and began rubbing my body down - obviously sympathetic to my attempts.  I got off / let the bike breath / had a few tokes / bike started soon after.  Pulled under pines (it was HOT!!!) and chilled for a couple hours /.  As others have mentioned, most of the festival was a 'blurr' /. 

Met my buddies in the festival grounds with a parked VW bus - great location!- handing out apples / spend most of the music time on top of the bus / top 'caved in' a bit to fit my countours.  Loved the Allman Brothers - loong jams - I would zone out and come too in the middle of Duane / Greg's dual guitar jams! Tried to help some seriously 'stoned out' young guys crawling on the ground / lots of bad drugs in those days.

My future wife, who I had met at East Carolina in '66 was there - but we never connected / too many people!!!  It was very hot.  I remember on my birthday (7/28/47) a fire truck stopping near my pine camp area / stripped down (nearly) and joined a half naked crowed under the hose-down from the truck... nice locals / never forget the feeling!  Enjoyed rubbing against those firm, young women ;-)  Woke up in the middle of a zonked out crowd on some morning - can't remember - to the strumming of Richie Havens -- saying "...Byyyrooon Georgia?  Where the hell is Byyyrooon Georgia?"  He was great.

  Made it back to Fort Benning.  Joined the Infantry Chorus.  Stayed stoned for the rest of my 'time'.  Hated the Army... but remember my buds.  Some never made it. 

Ah... those were the days ('glad they're over, tho -- too damn intense!).

Am now married to my college love - the one I couldn't find in that crowd - for over 35 years.  Survived college / survived Vietnam / survived Byron, Ga. ... BSA was stolen from the base shortly after and found in a ditch in Florida / let it go.  

Am now a Graphic Designer / old-time fiddler / anti-war activist (still!).


Name: Steve Lyle
City/State: Jonesboro, GA
Date: Thurs March 30, 2008 1:14:55 PM
Wrote...
I was at the first Atlanta Pop Fest.. at Atlanta Int. Raceway in 69 and the second in Byron, Ga., was a must.

Music/Artist wise, it's hard to say which I enjoyed most, but both events left me with memories I'll keep till the day I die.  At the first festival, Zep, Grand Funk, Winters were absolutely fabulous.  The most memorable artist at the second one was Jimi Hendrix.  I sat in that cow pasture from 10pm 'till about 1-am listening to him pound his guitar.  I then found my way back to our tent and fell a sleep and when I woke up at around am I could hear that Hendrix was still wound up down on that stage near a quarter mile away.  I wanted a shower after I woke up, but I just couldn't bring myself to shower naked in the middle of 3-4 hundred thousand people.  Later in the day we caught the flat bed truck that was hauling folks to and from the river and at the river I got my bath along with many-many more happy people. :)  I remember Procol Harum seemed to be a bit irritable on stage and I've read since then that they were indeed miserable in Ga. July heat.


Name: Richard Walker
City/State: Boston, MA
Date: Thurs January 24, 2008 7:54:32 AM
Wrote...
In 1970 I was seventeen and living and working in Ocean City Maryland. I ended up in Ocean City because I was hitchhiking south from my hometown of New Haven Ct. and a Delaware State Trooper picked me up and brought me to a bus station and put me on a bus to Ocean City. He figured he and I'd be better off if I were out of his state. In Ocean City I met a great group of people and someone heard of a large concert that was going to happen in Byron Georgia, called The Atlanta Pop Festival. Nine of us crammed into an old Chevy wagon and headed south. I was very close with two college girls, Christine Wiencke, from Annapolis MD and her roomate Debby. My side kick was a guy named Gene Crabtree, who was from the south. I put a few old friends names in as you suggested. It just might be a way to find old friends who shared this grand experience.

We stopped off in Atlanta on the way to Byron and went to the wild part of town, Peachtree and 10th St. It was crowded with young people who were on their way to the festival. I was standing on that corner with my friends and there was the British band, Terry Reid, standing next to me. I was a big fan of this band and I still play their 1st album often. I said, "Hey Terry Reid, Have you ever ridden horses through a rainstorm?" That is a great song from their first album. I think the song is "Without Expression." I welcomed them to America and they said they were playing at the festival.

On the way down to Byron our old Chevy wagon overheated and my pal Gene Crabtree and I were elected to empty out our cooler and go find water for the Chevy's steaming radiator. We found an old farmhouse and the people were great. They were very poor, but offered us dinner as well as water. It was a long trudge back to the Chevy with the two of us carrying a large cooler filled with water.

We then proceeded down to Byron and had no problem with the massive traffic jam because we arrived early enough to get a good spot. Just outside Byron we stopped at a gas station at about 3 AM. I went into the bathroom and the walls were moving with more exotic bugs than I've ever seen. When I came out there was a black male about my age and I asked him," Is it always this hot in Georgia?" He responded, "It's always this nice in Georgia."

Coming from New Haven I had never experienced such heat, even at 3 AM! We set up camp and the festival started with a shock. The Allman Brothers opened the show and I had never heard of them before. They were known well in the Macon area, but not up in New Haven. They blew me away. I was amazed wondering who on earth are these guys! Just wonderful rock and roll with a large helping of blues. They were the big discovery that year. I never understood the tag, "Southern Rock." It is just great rock and roll. Do we call a rock band from Maine northeastern rock? For the next 37 years I've been going to see them every chance I get. My wife and I couldn't estimate how many times we have seen them. I've lived in Boston Ma for almost 30 years and the Allman Brothers love playing Boston because it is such a wild, rowdy, welcoming crowd. They recorded a live CD here.

The Allman Brothers put out a new CD filled with great new songs 2 or 3 years ago. If I continue to awake drawing a breath, I'll continue to go to their shows. Even if I'm limping and on a cane, for to miss an Allman's show is insane. Now Butch Trucks son Derek is playing a mean slide guitar with the Allman Brothers. How could anyone ever fall out of love with music...

My all time favorite has always been Jimi Hendrix. He was wonderful at Atlanta Pop with the fireworks going off over his head, on the 4th of July doing Voodoo Chile. I was lucky to see Jimi 4 times. The first when I was about 13 and their first album, "Are You Experienced", came out. That first time was at Kennedy Stadium in Bridgeport CT. The Moody Blues opened the show with their first American hit, "Go Now." Sadly we all know Jimi died 2 months after Atlanta Pop.

On the Atlanta Pop web site I enjoyed seeing the list of bands that were there. Three days of music and 37 years can cause memory lapse of who exactly we saw. Some other things that were there can also cause memory lapse, but as Rosanna Rosanadana used to say on SNL in it's early and best days, "Never mind..."

While the Allman Brothers were the big discovery that year, Grand Funk Railroad were the big discovery at the 1969 Atlanta Pop. I read some of the memories people had of the 1970 festival, but I didn't see one of the high points of the 1970 Festival was when Grand Funk Railroad flew in by helicopter to an incredible welcome from the 400,000 freaks and then played a great set.

It was soooo hot during the days I was one of the many who went down to the river to seek the cooling waters. The local sheriff was posted on the bridge letting one at a time go to the edge and jump down into the water. The local sheriff was very friendly. I was not a fan of heights and when it was my turn I perched on the edge and looked down and froze. He was laughing and coaxing me saying, "Come on boy. I gotta lotta people waiting here!" Down in the river the hippies were yelling "Jump!" I did and the second jump was much easier than the first. I read with amusement somewhere on the Atlanta Pop website that the sheriff said all those naked hippies flushed the gators out of the river. Coming from up north I thought gators were only in south Florida, not in south Georgia! I had no clue I was swimming in a gator habitat!

I recently used Google Earth on the internet and zoomed in on the bridge we jumped off. Before it became a free concert there was a motorcycle club working security and riding around the perimeter of the fence. Late at night I was wandering around and we didn't have tickets. I became curious and walked up to someone who looked like they had a clue and asked him, "Am I inside the festival grounds or outside?" He said, "Man, your inside!" I'll never know how I got by security. I went back out to rejoin my friends and it became a free concert anyway.

I've been all over America and sometimes folks talk about America, like it is a collection of buildings, mountains etc., or even worse, just a market of consumers. To me it is the people that make this Republic great. I found that southern hospitality is not just a phrase, but for real.

All the Best to all of you who shared that great, very hot time. If any of the other eight folks who rode down from Ocean City Md. in that old Chevy wagon stumble on this recollection, I'd love to hear from you.


Name: Donald Wood
City/State: Cleveland, Ohio
Date: Fri November 30, 2007 8:44:37 PM
Wrote...
I was 26. I was stationed at Fort Benning in a Headquarters Company (on hold waiting for a port call, I was sent to Korea). My fellow heads and I saw the posters in The Great Speckled Bird. Two buddies and me took off in my Pontiac Grand Prix on Friday afternoon for a three-day pass. We were road blocked on I-75 by the Georgia Highway Patrol and directed away from the Byron. We made a left when we were directed right and ended up parked 600 feet from the stage with a trunk full of grass (there was several wild fields growing at Fort McClellan, Alabama), booze, sleeping bags, clothes, tents, food, cassettes and tape players.

Once we got through the Hell’s Angles and entered the field in front of the stage we went looking for good acid. We scored some good stuff (the weather was so hot that some of the tabs melted in my blue jeans pocket). Later when the heat of the day was over; we had air mattresses to lie down on and we listened to the music until it got cold and wet and we returned to the car to sleep that first night and listened to cassettes.

The next morning I woke up early and took some plastic milk jugs to score some water at the faucets at the bathrooms at the raceway. I ran into a speed freak who was trying to score some black beauties and had a non-stop rap about nobody would be up that early unless they had some speed. The water was more useful for the next two days than any speed would have been.

During Saturday, the LSD melted in my blue jeans pocket, I found out if you take acid more than 24-hours straight that the effects begin to wear off – I switched to some srooms that made everything just right. I got burned for the first time in my life on a drug deal when I bought oregano from a beautiful topless hippie chick with a distinctly southern drawl.

Someone went through the crowd at lunch selling "clinical peanut butter and jelly sandwiches". Someone was selling firecrackers with the pitch…stick it in you ear and take a trip. When girls asked about our military buzz cuts we stated we just got out of jail…it was obvious with all the olive drab stuff we had that we must have been from the Army.

The day went on and on like that until the Jimmy Hendrix wow at dusk when we were at the perfect sport to catch the stage, the light show on the screen, the fireworks in back of the screen. There was some rumor in the crowd, that started when the fireworks went off, that governor Lester Maddox had sent in the Georgia Highway Patrol to shoot down the hippies and the massacre had started. Soon after that we returned to the car to crash and listen to cassettes.

Sunday was one buddy fainting from the heat. A trip to the creek and a naked swim. I needed to get straight for the trip back to Fort Benning. Scoring for some stuff to take back to our fellow heads in the outpost gang. I was worried that we would not be able to leave with all the cars parked along the road but we picked up two girl hitchhikers and slowly drove away from one of the best times in my life.


Name: Tommy
City/State: Metairie, LA
Date: Wed November 7, 2007 6:47:10 PM
Wrote...
I don't remember how my friend & I found out about it. But I was 17, he was 19 and we drove to Atlanta Thursday. Spent the night there and left for the fest. early Friday morning. We didn't get in very much traffic. Parked the car in the pecan orchard and bought our tickets. I didn't see the creek or any free stage. We spent all three days we were awake inside listing to the bands.

First day a guy with a grocery bag of lids was walking around selling for $10.00. Second day after a shower from the firetrucks bought some purple haze for $1.00. (for Hendrix that night). For some reason that didn't kick in until the next morning around 6 am. It was all about the music for me.


Name: Jerry Wall
City/State: Augusta, GA at that time
Date: Mon October 29, 2007 9:10:45 PM
Wrote...
I was 18 at the time and drove up to Byron with a van load of people from a coffeehouse in Augusta called "the Glass Onion" Was blown away with the throngs of people. Seemed to loose my friends everyday because of the crowds but somehow found our tent at night. A friend had made me some cool watermelon bellbottom pants (Green tie dyed) and I was definitely hippy-fied with my long hair, headband, beads and garb. 

I remember one incident when this beautiful nude girl came up to me in the crowd and wanted to have sex. She was pretty stoned but just then an ambulance came by and parted the crowd like the red sea and I never saw her after that.

I was a drummer in a band called "Spread" so was really into the music. Hearing the Allman Bros and BB King and Spirit and all the great groups was incredible. I loved it when the Chambers Brothers did "Time. That was about as close as I could get to the stage that weekend. I heard Hendrix from tent because I was exhausted that night from all the activity and heat. Them were some days!.


Name: Guido in Houston
Date: Fri October 18, 2007 2:24:55 PM
Wrote...
I finally noticed it in another post, after wondering if I was maybe too OD'd to have remembered it right....Jimi was not only THERE, he was not only most awesome, and it was not just Saturday night surrounded by hundreds of thousands of beautiful people, but....IT WAS THE FOURTH OF JULY!!!!!!!!!!! The SSB not only was beyond description, as was the rest of his magnificent concert, but it could not have been more perfect, and a more fitting tribute.......

 OK, I was only 14, I was totally fried the entire time, but nevertheless, it was the absolutely most memorable part of my life to date....

 Jimi, RIP, you were sooo far ahead of your time. You'll be remembered with the likes of Mozart, Beethoven, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, etc......


Name: Russell Bentley
City/State: Stockbridge, GA
Date: Sun September 2, 2007 6:27:05 PM
Wrote about the first Pop Festival...
Wow.....In July of 1969 I was 16 years old, lived around the East side of Atlanta (Glenwood Rd. at Candler) and had some friends that were wanting to go to something called a Pop Festival.  Well I didn't really know what was going to happen when I got there...but I went to the "Seats" ticket outlet at Belvedere Plaza and purchased a $9.00 ticket.  After talking my Aunt into letting me borrow her 1960 Ford Fairlane...I headed south to the Atlanta International Speedway.  The day the music was supposed to start, me and my buddies went down to the front of the stage and sat down around 10:00 am ( the music was supposed to start at 12:00 noon... if I remember correctly) , the temp. was to be around 104 degrees......Well around 4:00pm the first band took the stage...They were called "Ten Wheel Drive" a horn band with a female vocalist (Gena Raven)...the next couple of days kinda changed my life.....after seeing such great groups as Led Zeppelin, Canned Heat, Chicago Transit, Johnny Winter, Blood Sweat and Tears, Grand Funk, Spirit and on and on.......I new that I wanted to play in a group (even if we never made it big).....So when I got back home, with my 2nd and 3rd degree sunburn...I picked up a cheap bass guitar at Park Hall music store and began to practice as much as I could.....by 1970 I played in a local Atlanta band called "Stillbrooke" and for about three years played every weekend.....Our agent was Steve Cole (Discovery Inc.) and he booked us in some great places including opening for Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes...Wow... all I can say is those were great times.

ps. A great moment at the festival was during a power failure at night (around 10:00 pm) they got a small generator to furnish enough power for “Johnny Rivers” to come out and play one of the greatest sets I've ever heard.

Russell Bentley
http://www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/r/russell


Name: Bob from Atlanta
Date: Tues August 21, 2007 2:01:42 PM
Reminisces about the old Atlanta Municipal Auditorium, Hendrix and Ted Nugent ...
I saw many shows in that place. And in those days, the 60's at least, concert security was all but non-existent, so I frequently was able to slip backstage and get autographs. If the other acts were waiting to go on, or just catching another band's set, they were usually approachable, and I rarely got thrown out. And if the performer had finished a set, and left the building, the private parking area was on the north side of the hall, behind Duane and Berry, and to the left. (Bob is referring to THIS PHOTO.) The fence securing it wasn't fully attached to the building, and I slipped through the gap more than once, and approached the acts as they went to their limos. On one occasion, I got to share a joint with Jimi Hendrix, while he and Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell signed my scrap of paper from their limo.

The headline...I SMOKED A JOINT WITH JIMI...is better than the story. Kind of a hippie Weekly World News banner where the story is a bit of a letdown. No, he didn't call and say "Hey, Bob, I've got some good reefer, why don't you come to the show tonight." I was just a 15 year old fan who got lucky.

The show that day was a multi-act package, with Hendrix, Vanilla Fudge, Amboy Dukes, Soft Machine and Eire Apparent, doing 2 shows, matinee and evening, which was fairly common in those days. Hard to imagine going to see a Hendrix 5-act package at 3 in the afternoon, but that was the case. (FYI--Eire Apparent was a Hendrix protege band. He produced their one album.)

(At this point I asked Bob about a rumor of another band showing up Hendrix that day.)

I heard the story about Hendrix being pissed too. The Amboy Dukes were the act that showed him up. They went waaaaay over the allotted time for their set in the afternoon show, over an hour as I recall. They didn't play the evening show, and word was that they were off the bill for whatever the remainder of their booking was.

I did a radio interview with Nugent in the mid-70's, and asked him about the incident, and he basically confirmed the details. He claimed he just wanted to show the world who was the better player, and it was worth it. He was very pleased that someone remembered.

There was one other legendary Nugent show, at Richards', when he arranged for a naked groupie to go down on him during the feedback drenched solo for "Papa's Will," the show closer at the time. Which she did, and when she...and Ted and the solo...had finished, and Nugent attempted to leave the stage, he slipped, fell, and knocked himself unconscious for a few seconds...while the band was still playing!

That was one of those stories I had heard from someone who "was there," but never believed. Turned out it was true, and Young Ted supplied a few more juicy details. This was before the album with Stranglehold, and he was basically still playing club dates, but he was a madman on stage. And convinced more than ever that he was going to be a star, since he had a couple of concert legends floating around Atlanta.

During the interview, Ted provided a few more details that only he, and not an audience member, would have known. And I can't IMAGINE that Ted would have made up a story! Actually my memory is that he was having a good time recalling road warrior stories, so they may be completely true.

As he told it, the band was playing 2 sets, and during the first, there had been a streaking. (Remember streaking?) Between sets, the (female) streaker had come backstage, looking for approval, and he decided to have some fun.

Big deal, he told her, everyone runs around naked these days. You wanta really do something outrageous? (Picture the lear!) Whadda you mean, she said. Here's the deal, quoth Ted. "During 'Papa's Will' you'll come on wearing nothing but a cape, the light guy will drop the lights and I'll go down on one knee, you'll drop the cape and straddle my shoulders from the front. The spotlight'll go back on, I'll stand up and carry you off while you're sitting on my face. It'll be great." She informed him he was dreaming...I think pig was the word...and left.

But she was back a few minutes later, and Ted knew she was hooked, so he made an alternate suggestion. Which she accepted, and which was, he said, how it happened...the low lights, the cape, the bj, the fall, etc. His only other comment that I recall was that she was a great actor, because he couldn't even come close to getting it up, but you'd never have known from the performance she gave.


Name: Lea(h)
City/State: ?
Date: Sat August 11, 2007 2:44:32 PM
Wrote...
I went to one day and night of the second Atlanta Pop Festival with my ex-husband Terry, my 7 month old daughter Hillary, Donnie, and Roger Curtis and Dennis (cannot remember the last name). It was amazing .

Hey Michael Waldrip... noticed your message. Remember me? Leah (I added the h then it is actually Lea).... I worked at Middle Earth too I do not believe I actually got any money for that though. I have not seen you in a long time.... . I know my kids have seen your son... I think I have a picture of him somewhere when he is older in Ellijay.

I do have a picture of all the babies... Hillary , Michael , Joshua (Creel). It is hard to believe that we were in Atlanta 40 years ago. Hillary is 37 now . But they were good times. I remember Donnie and I were hanging onto each other walking around the festival because we were so stoned.

Hi to anyone else I know... or who knew Terry and I then. Hope they have a reunion.... I have met people everywhere who were living in Atlanta then.


Name: Jennie B.
City/State: Sarasota, Florida
Date: Mon July 9, 2007 7:56:26 PM
Wrote...
Well, it's 37 years later to the day that I saw Hendrix. This, permanently burned into my memory. I seem to recall (and tell this story) that he was wearing shining yellow satin. One of your responders said he had on red satin. Could have been, but that is my memory and I am sticking to it. I was 18 years old having graduated from Riverview High School in Sarasota, Florida in 1969. Had moved to Ft. Myers, Fl and was working in hippie clothing store. Someone came into the store selling $14 tickets -- I hitched a ride with a friend going north (who was kind enough to impart a lovely down filled sleeping bag) and arrived the morning of the first day. By the time we got there, tickets were unnecessary -- people were making holes in the fences and encouraging everyone to come on in.

Ran into some High School chums from Sarasota (Mike Sweeting, Mike Brock, John Albritton and others) and hung with them for most of the festival. We had a space right in front of the first line of trees to the right of the stage (if your were facing it). Turned out to be a great place to watch the show - musicians AND people. Drugs were everywhere -- some being sold from what looked like lemonade stands. People being carried to the OD tents. Hell Angels. Salt tablet. Porto-lets. We had some guy sitting in front of us selling acid and grass. As people walked by he would call "acid!","grass!". It rained one evening and one of my compadres (Mike S.) started calling out "Wet acid!", "Wet grass!" This, I found hilarious.

The music was incredible, the crowd awesome, and the vibe was like nothing I had ever experience up until then or after. It was the solidarity of being with others who believed that music could change the world -- a very "heady" exercise. I rode on car hoods and car roofs back and forth to the only bathroom we knew of located across I75 at a 2 story motel. Remember seeing 10 or so Georgia Highway Patrol men lined up on the side of one of the on-ramps -- all they could do was watch us ride by -- there were too many of us to enforce anything -- we were a nation -- a very empowering moment. Lots of naked (or half-naked) people around, too -- anything went.

The music I remember most was Spirit with the drummer's overhead duel kettle drums, It's a Beautiful Day singing "White Bird", The Allman Brothers singing every song I love, The Chambers Brothers singing "Time" and most especially Jimi Hendrix playing the "Star Spangled Banner" on July 4 -- teeth to guitar strings -- what a thrilling moment. I also remember that one of the MC's was the woman who played Goldie on Laugh-in's "A Little Tea with Goldie." She was funny. I remember her giving a lecture encouraging people to poop in the woods like a bear does -- hilarious. Helicopters landing at the Speedway to drop off and pick-up musicians is etched in this brain, as well.

By the end of the festival we had become a real freak show as I remember lots of "regular" people coming in with cameras around their necks and taking lots of pictures (especially of the naked people in the river.) We had become a shortlived tourist attraction! Caught a ride back to Sarasota with my old buddies and lived to tell this tale.

I really appreciate your Website and the great look back. Thank you for rekindling the memories.


Name: Sam Jenesky
City/State: Pittsburgh, PA
Date: Weds July 4, 2007 11:59:55 AM
Wrote...
Hi..
I was in the Army at the time, stationed in Fort Gordon, Georgia.

A buddy and myself had the 3rd, 4th and 5th off so we decided to go to Byron for the festival. His name was Jeff Hamilton. We both worked at the hospital on post. We brought a case of Ripple wine and other goodies and drove out there in his ’48 Chevy. I remember Hendrix at night, the Chamber Brothers and BB King and all of the people. It was a fantastic time.

When I got back to Ft. Gordon I got orders for Vietnam.


Name: Scott Lewis
City/State: Atlanta, GA
Date: Weds July 4, 2007 9:33:40 AM
Wrote...
I went down to the festival with my brother Ken Lewis, and some other guys from Chamblee High. Several of our buddies who were Marines just back from 'Nam went with us, including Greg Dettmer and Ronnie Baker. We drove down in my 1962 VW Bus. We had a bunch of 2x4s and plywood tied to the roof. We camped in a pecan grove, where many of the festival goers were camping, and we built a tree hut in the pecan tree next to our camp. That was a nice shady place to hang out.

Two days before the festival, someone came into town from California with thousands of hits of Brown Owsley acid. These were little brown capsules. I scored a hundred hits of it down at Peachtree and Tenth the day before the festival.

This turned out to be the best acid at the festival. We were selling it where we were sitting in that big field, listening to the music. We just made a sign, like at the grocery store, "Brown Owsley $3." Then, a guy would come up and say, "I gotta have some of that Brown Owsley, but I have no money. I will trade you seven purple microdot for one Brown Owsley." We did the deal. Then we would write on our sign, "Special, while they last, Purple Microdot, $1."

I remember two uniformed Ga. State Troopers walking up and looking at our sign, and shaking their heads. They didn't want to make an arrest because they were outnumbered 300,000 to one.

But, the troopers did take pictures of our sign. The next year, they went to the legislature with pictures of the Byron festival, and it was bye-bye to any future rock festivals.

I remember wallking down the road to the creek to go swimming. You walked past a big country club to get to that creek. There were about fifteen guys guarding that country club with shotguns. There was a six foot high chain link fence around the country club.

On the second day of the festival, about 5,000 hippies charged the fence, knocked it down, and we just took over the country club. Fortunately the guards decided not to fire.

I will never forget, there was a pond there in front of the big mansion/clubhouse. About 5,000 of us were wading in the pond, the cool water felt so good. There was a big water slide, about 20 feet high, where you could slide down into the pond.

What was unforgettable was a kind of sex Olympics began on that slide. A naked guy would climb to the top of the slide. He would lie down on his back, holding on the the rails so he wouldn't go down into the pond. Then his naked girlfriend would climb on top of him, and they would be screwing away. The guy would let go of the rails, and they would slide down into the pond.

The hundreds of people at the bottom of the slide were splashing the water. Viewed from a hundred feet away, you saw the couple having sex slide down into a mist, and disappear.

Then, everyone in the pond would applaud, and the loudness of the applause was the "score." I watched this go on for an hour, one of the most incredible things I have ever seen. One couple would go doggie style, the next missionary. I saw one guy link up with two girls, boy, that took some imagination. They got the highest score of the day. Wish I had had a camera.


Name: Bobby Dutcher
City/State: Atlanta, GA
Date: Thurs May 3, 2007 1:45:01 PM
Wrote...
I was 14 at the time.  I lived in the little town of Centerville just a few miles away from the Middle GA Racetrack.  I rode my Yamaha (70cc) Maverick to the festival.  My folks were ok with it at long as I came home at night.  I took that as meaning before the sun came back up.   Most of the hippies that I can remember were pretty cool, especially by letting a 14 year old kid hang around with them.  I remember the music, the drugs (which I didn’t do, well maybe a toke or two) and all the naked girls.  Damn, wish I had been just a couple of years older then.  I will never forget all the fun I had.  Too bad today’s kids will never experience something like that.  Unless millions of dollars can be made by somebody, it won’t happen. 

Today, that little stretch of Highway 41 (in the song Ramblin Man by the Brothers) still has the pecan orchards.  And the old racetrack is still there, but not in use, except for little golf driving range between it and the highway.  The river where everyone jumped from the bridge is still milky brown.  I am surprised that no one got bit by a copper head or water moccasin on their naked ass.  That area is full snakes.  With all the drugs, hell, maybe they (the snakes) were high too and didn’t care.

I live in Atlanta now, and I go through Byron when I visit my mom.  Every time I pass that track, I think back to those wonderful days, all the fun I had, and the great friends I made. 

Not a bad experience at all for a 14 year old kid.
Name: Dr. William Alpert
City/State: Savannah, GA
Date: Thurs Feb 22, 2007 1:13:14 PM
Wrote...
I currently own a 1961 Gibson Les Paul that was owned by Ga. Music Hall of Famer, the late Johnny Jenkins.  At one of the festivals Jenkins gave the guitar to Hendrix and reportedly he used the guitar and then broke the neck across a chair. 

Johnny Jenkins, who lived and died in Macon, GA, was the guy who discovered Otis Redding. He was a guitar influence of Hendrix and jammed with him most notably at The Scene, a rock club in NYC owned by Steve Paul. It is possible that Jenkins let Hendrix use the guitar there so who knows.

So far, I have been unable to find anyone who remembers seeing Hendrix play this guitar, and have not found any photos as well.  At this point I will pay a nice amount for any photograph of Hendrix using this guitar at one of the festivals.

Any help would surely be appreciated,  
Dr. William Alpert
Name: Lynn Berry Stroud
City/State: Atlanta, GA
Date: Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:13:18 PM
Wrote...
...doesn't anyone have anything (photos, stories, documentation just to ensure me that I am not crazy) on the FIRST Atlanta Pop Festival at the Atlanta International Raceway? It was held July 4 & 5 just before Woodstock. In fact, I remember them announcing Woodstock at this festival. But interestingly enough, I can't find a thing on it anywhere...it's as though I imagined it all...but I know I was there!

When we arrived on Saturday, the crowd was not that big, whatever time it was that day...maybe around noon? So we sat down at the back of the crowd and could see the stage very well, well enough to see the performer's faces. I remember these guys sat down behind us and were trippin on LSD and so since it was so hot they started rubbing our backs with ice cubes and trippin out on the visuals of it. We felt we had hit pay dirt lining up with such easily entertained servants. It was sweltering hot...that black race track around us was reflecting the heat into the center and holding it in.

A couple of hours after arriving, I stood up to find my way to the port-a-johnny and when I turned around and looked behind me, there were people as far as I could see....I had to mark my return spot to my blanket by eye-balling its approximate distance between the two light towers and also judge its proximity between the light towers and stage. That was not easy in a sea of blankets! Good thing I was still a bit too young to possess any heavy drugs or I surely would never have seen my older brother , who was our chaperone, again. It took great pioneering and concentration to find the way back to our lonely blanket each time. We did not attempt it at night.

I saw Janis Joplin there who insisted on going on ahead of the act that was supposed to preceed her (she was supposed to be the closer of the night) because it was already 1am and they were way behind schedule. I remember Grand Funk coming out to introduce their new song that would "soon" be on the radio (time machine) I remember Spirit doing a hand/knee slap rhythm intro on chairs on stage and Ten Wheel Drive throwing about a thousand frisbees into the crowd from the stage.

There was Johnny Winter, Johnny Rivers, Dulaney Bonnie and friends, and, uh, well there was more... See, I couldn't have dreamed that up now could I? I was 17 at the time and remember the guards having to succumb to the crowd letting it become a free concert on Saturday and the firetrucks pulling in every 45 minutes with 500 gallons of water to wet us down since the heat from the racetrack surrounding us was pretty intense.
Name: David Buchanan
City/State: Conyers, GA at that time
Date: Wed Mar 7, 2007 3:16:01 PM
Wrote...
In answer to Lynn Berry Stroud: Yes, the 1st  Atlanta Pop Festival did happen……….you aren’t crazy. I was there for the whole amazing thing. In some ways, it was better than the second festival in 1970………...suddenly, the world went from listening to teeny bopper, beat-nick, light duty stuff, straight on to Led Zeppelin, Johnny Winter, Grand Funk and the like……….all in one weekend.

One huge memory for me: I was only 14 at the time and had gone to the festival on Thursday with some older friends, who could drive. By Saturday, my parents had seen the shocking, mass hippie chaos on the news and wanted me home (they sent word with another friend to tell me to come home immediately………..as if that was EVEN a possibility). I decided to go looking for a pay phone and call them………but I’d wait until some crummy band was playing, so I wouldn’t miss anything amazing. I figured that since some mellow dude or chick, who was obviously going to sit on a stool and sing war protests, was coming up next……….that this would be the most strategic time to go.

I figured with a name like Led Zeppelin, he or she had to be another one of those boring type things that gave everyone the opportunity to kick back for a while. Well, I got about half-way across the huge parking lot when THEY started playing. It had taken me about 45 minutes to get as far as I was, so I figured it was useless to go back. But they were so good……I’d turn around and walk towards the festival, then change my mind and go the other way, looking for a payphone. So anyway, I got to hear ‘Dazed and Confused’, ‘How Many More Times’ and probably the entire first album from the steaming hot parking lot of the Atlanta Raceway parking lot. Even from where I was at, I could tell that the days of wimpy music were over………thank God. I’ve always heard that this was their first performance in front of a large concert crowd.

I guess that was true for most of the performers. I’ve always thought of Woodstock as the second big festival………….the intermission between the two that really counted: the 1st and 2nd  Atlanta International Pop Festivals.


Name: Alan Ford
City/State: Formerly of Ft. Walton Beach, Florida
Date: Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:32:32 PM
Wrote...
Great to see the pictures and read the stories. Hope more photos will find there way to your website.  I was 17 when I attended the festival, and safe to say, it changed my life.  Not long after the festival, I decided to pursue a career in music which ultimately led me to a career in architecture.  Memories of the heat, nudity, drugs being sold in front of the police, the Allman Brothers Band playing seemingly nonstop, Jimi Hendrix on the 4th and a wonderful set of music by Its a Beautiful Day are all still there in my memory banks.  But there were also the yogis giving midday talks on meditation and the quiet times trying to comprehend just what was going on there, the struggle to find a restroom and the challenge of trying to stay awake while driving home from the festival with 10 sleeping exhausted friends in the back of my van. 

A few years ago, a writer for the Allman Brothers Band somehow found me and wanted me to comment on the festival for their website.  I found it, other than the obvious, difficult to capture in words.  One question I had for him was - will they ever release that film they promised us?  Until such time, it is nice to know that some half a million people, or so, are carrying around some pretty special experiences of those few days in the summer of 1970.


Name: Alex Raskin
City/State: Atlanta, GA
Date: Wed Jan 4 18:10:14 2007
Wrote...
1966-67 i was living in a group house (think commune, we did) at inman circle and 16 st. the center of the action was 14 st then.. the mandorla and the coffee house below the catacombs, the work of david braden, was the locus of the hippy scene at that time.. but.. there were only a few of us.. being a freak was like a well kept secret.. that was in 67

when i got back to atlanta in 68 some time 10 st was full of freaks.. it happened that fast..some names..i recall.. pat and woody and stanley.. chip pinner.. charlie costigans runs to sf for pounds of 4th rate pot.. purple owsley.. a teacher named david.. a blonde girl named ga..


Name: Alan H.
City/State: Baltimore, MD
Date: Wed Dec 27 12:45:14 2006
Wrote...
My friend Bruce and I were reminiscing about the festival over a couple beers recently and I said to him how much I'd love to have a festival poster to frame and hang in my Rec Room along with other of my life's memorabilia. I suddenly realized that this is the age of the Internet and I'd probably find one which I did and also stumbled onto your site. Many of the memories posted jogged my recollections but it so true that so much is a haze (purple) maybe because it was so long ago or the drugs, probably both.

Barely 2 weeks had passed since my release from bondage by the US military and our odyssey to Bryron and not quite a year since I had returned from Vietnam, I was twenty years old and embarrassed by my short hair. I remember the throngs of people, a huge love fest where you felt completely safe and connected. You can imagine what a culture shock this was for me but a great orientation back into my generation.

I don't remember the heat being that weird? But I remember the path through the woods that most people called acid alley because of the many dealers selling there wares. They called out like barkers "purple micro dot" windowpane , etc. I remember drugs being sold on the hood of a completely surrounded state trooper's car, no one seemed to worry. I was constantly stoned or tripping and it seemed everyone else was also.

I remember the river and the nudity and I still couldn't get laid, I blamed it on my short hair. I was standing in the river watching a couple go at it like rabbits under a tree while many stared and looked for a partner for themselves. The Georgia State police gawked and laughed from the bridge, they seemed to be having as much fun as anyone. I remember the electric koolade. If you asked for a sip of someone's drink it was prudent to ask if it were electric (laced with LSD) unless of course you didn't care.

The main topic of interest was how many people were in attendance and if we beat Woodstock. I heard we had surpassed the 500,000 person mark which meant victory but in the end it didn't carry any particular historical weight. I remember the Hell's Angels and Outlaws guarding the gates and their vicious attempt to stop the stampede through the gates and torn down walls. I remember running through the gate laughing and hell I had a ticket.

I remember the night it rained, I stood there like a magician saying "Mother Nature's Light Show 25 cents" and people would come up to me and hand me a quarter and I"d say just wait and sure enough there would be lighting. Most just said Wow! and ambled off. One way to make a few bucks, it came in handy with the price of a coke being sky high.

I remember very little of the music except Hendrix playing the star spangled banner while I was trying to find my friends amongst a sea of blankets while tripping my brains out. I inadvertently tripped over one of my buddies, the chances of that had to be 200,000 to 1. I remember Richie Havens singing "Here comes the Sun" while the Sun was rising, how cool was that? What an amazing once in a lifetime experience.


Name: Ray Thomas
City/State: Roanoke, VA
Date: Mon Dec 26 1:47 2006
Wrote...
I attended this event and have the original program that was handed out at the gate (before the fenses came down!).  I would like to get an idea of what, if anything, this program is worth?  Does anyone have any idea?

Thanks, Ray (RHT4321@aol.com)


Name: Danny Sorrells
City/State: Senoia, GA
Date: Mon Dec 18 6:28 2006
Wrote...
My name is Danny. I didn't even know the festival had taken place until about a year ago. To find out that an event of this magnitude had taken place right here in my home state of Georgia is awesome. I just wish that I had been old enough to have experienced it (I was eleven at the time). I was downloading some Hendrix stuff from Limewire and discovered his performance at the festival. I have tried several times to download this show without success. I understand that a VHS and/or DVD of this show exists. Any leads as to where I can obtain a copy would be greatly appreciated! Also, leads to obtaining any other memorabilia (posters, photos, etc.) would be appreciated too. I did purchase the Allman Brothers CD and it smokes!

I did a search for the festival and found your site. I would like to commend you on a job well done! Even though I wasn't there, just reading about it and seeing the photos makes me feel like I was. All of your hard work and effort reflect to me that you are a person that takes pride in what they do. I want to personally thank you for allowing me the pleasure to share these memories with you and those that contributed to your site. Have you ever thought of publishing a book about this festival? If you do, please send me a copy.


Name: Paul Harrison
City/State: Macon, GA (at the time)
Date: Fri Dec 7 7:02:57 2006
Wrote...
It was really fun reading all the recollections of the festival…..makes it seem like it just happened. I went to the festival with my buddy Jim Thomas. We had just graduated from high school and were 18. We were lucky because my grandparents lived in Macon and had a lake house outside Macon in the country. We went there late at night or early in the mornings to crash and had showers and plenty of water, a/c etc. It was our first exposure to a world we had not been exposed to and it blew us away.

Driving into the concert we got our first sniff of this kind of freedom when we glanced to the right from the highway and saw naked people everywhere jumping in the river, up in trees, etc. Our first reaction was to laugh our asses off….fuckin’ fun-time crazies I thought…..We knew instantly there was a different paradigm at hand and I remember feeling an immediate sense of excitement about what it was going to be like. When we saw the Hell’s Angel’s and Outlaws kind of pushing their weight around at the entrance, we were not so sure that the new establishment was going to be much better than the old, but when we walked by the pecan grove and saw different people serving the function of Eckerd’s, CVS, Walgreen’s, etc, complete with signage and full blown marketing campaigns in force with products being openly displayed in cigar boxes, we knew we were in a totally different culture…..and were intrigued. The spirit of revolution, independence, peace, love and free thinking was prevalent and captivating.

After a “hard sell” to my buddy about the virtues of this venue being the place to try our first smoke, based on the argument that if you can openly advertise, display and sell it, certainly you could smoke it, we filled our prescription with a beautiful, young free-bird with long blonde braided hair, added some strawberry papers…..and a new era was on!! The new air of brotherhood….and the new air around us…..made the musical experiences of hearing the Allman Brothers and Jimi Hendrix something that has remained vivid in my mind.

To this day when I hear some of their music I can close my eyes and drift off to the beauty of that memorable and great time. It was very special…..and VERY cool!!


Name: Gary Champion
City/State: Burlington,NC (at the time)
Date: Fri Dec 1 7:25:25 2006
Wrote...
I remember the crowds, the heat, there were lots of drug vendors selling pot, acid, and whatever right there in the open. I remember being shocked to see huge jars of pills on their homemade counters and cops ignored the drugs completely. I remember Goldie Hawn(I'm pretty sure thats who she was) introducing the acts for a while and warning people to avoid a certain type of acid that was giving some people problems.

I was pretty out of it but I remember Hendrix giving us a great show (although it seemed like the same show he did at Woodstock). There were so many people that it was almost impossible to move. There was some cute red haired girl who streaked naked across the stage before the stage crew could stop her.

The thing that seemed strange and refreshing at the time was when BB King played. I remember a cool rain in the evening had just slowed to a stop and he and his band came out wearing tuxedos. So strange after seeing nothing but dirty, half naked hippies for two days and all the acts being dressed like rock stars ... here comes this old blues legend being so polite and respectful in a tux... but he sounded great. The APF was one of the two strangest things I've witnessed in my life (the other being Mardi Gras).

It was great.


Name: Jim Bruce
City/State: Lyman, South Carolina
Date: Sun Nov 5 6:48:42 2006
Wrote...
I guess I most remember the HEAT.  Food & water were precious to all but everyone seemed willing to share.  There was probably a feeling of unity togetherness that I don't think will ever happen again.

I was a student at the University of South Carolina at the time and came to Byron early to help a friend set up a "booth" and sell "head shop" items.  I remember being amazed at how friendly everyone was and how safe it seemed.  It seemed someone would help no matter what.

I got to hear some of the best music ever and become part of an event that probably will never be repeated.

I did get very sick, had to be evacuated to have emergency intestinal surgery, but I survived and returned to school to become a pharmacist.  What an interesting and educational beginning to a career in pharmacy!!!


Name: David Buchanan
City/State: Conyers, GA (at the time)
Date: Thu Oct 19 13:34:48 2006
Wrote...
I remember hearing about the riot at Piedmont Park. Also remember watching from about 5 feet away as Duane Allman jumped up in the air to end a song, but forgot to put his feet back under him and came down flat on his butt. I know it hurt. He just got right back up and started playing again. Also remember all the concerts at the Atlanta Auditorium, including the Amboy Dukes, several times. What great times.

I went back to the Byron Site a couple of years ago, on the way home from Florida. Everything looked about the same except the fields were grown up with pines etc. You know, the funny thing is that the entire time I was there at the festival, all those years ago(and I was there for four days)......I never even noticed the race track down below the field where the stage was. Of course, you couldn't miss the track at the first festival in 69.......you were in the middle section of it, but I never even saw the Byron race track. Either I didn't see it or didn't care to remember it.

Boy, it's easy to see now. I guess all I cared about, at the time was the music, people and getting high. And there was plenty of all that. When I went back........I actually took the family Suburban for a spin around the racetrack, which was deserted.........sitting back behind a few homes. No one seemed to care. I actually saw a couple of other cars make a few rounds while I was there, also.

I haven't seen very much mention of the free stage down in the woods, across the street from the main stage. Does anyone remember that? My biggest memories from the Byron festival are from the free stage. The word was that, as the bands would roll in........if they were cool enough, they would play free down there. Of course the Allman Bros played there. I remember sitting on the stage with them. It was a very relaxed atmosphere with less than 100 people, usually. Saw lots of very good bands there, up close and informal.......only to see them later at the big stage amidst the throngs of cool people. There was a huge contrast between the free stage and the main stage..............does anyone remember the free stage?


Name: michael waldrip
City/State: basel, switzerland
Date: Thu Oct 19 13:34:48 2006
Wrote...
Does any one remember the riot in piedmont park? Does anybody remember trish? worked at the head shop with me on 8 th street, she had a white german she dog and was from decatur,ga.
Name: Michael Waldrip
City/State: Savannah, Ga
Date: Tue Oct 17 13:35:05 2006
Wrote...
It was something new, the first concert was Jimi Hendrix and the Amboy Dukes at the old auditorium downtown Atl, use to work at the Middle Earth, only head shop in Atlanta on 8th street, just wanted to know is there any more of you left? Would love to contact some old friends. Greatest time of my life ( would do it all over again if I could) take care everyone.
Name: Llyn Thompson
City/State: Baton Rouge, La.
Date: Mon Oct 9 17:03:26 2006
Wrote...
I was 15 at the time, living down the road in Perry, Ga. Myself and my buddy Randy C. went on Sat afternoon, and my Dad took us their in our 66 Pontiac Catalina. I remember us getting close to the festival site, and all the freaks jumping on the hood and trunk for a ride. At first my Dad was like, hey you bastards get off my car!, and i remember saying we don't have far too go, let em ride. So my Dad didn't really like it agreed.

Once inside i remember walking down the dirt trail and seeing this chick walking topless behind us, and my buddy Randy kept turning around to stare, and i kept saying hey man quit staring, i guess i was trying to be cool, like i see this all the time! Anyway don't remember too much about anything else ( good weed!! )

I do remember getting down to the front of the stage Sat. night, hearing Rare Earth (of all groups), there was this huge eyeball painted on the fence in front of the stage! It must have started raining late Sat. nite, because i remember getting a ride back to Perry, standing on the back bumper of a old Volkswagen, with my fingers in the air vents trying to hold on!!!!

And oh yea, the fellow Ballard from New Orleans who wrote in, I believe i use to go in your Grandpa's store, wasn;t it right at the end of 41 and whatever the road was that went down to Vinsons Valley (swam there plenty times!!)? Hey I would like to chat about the old times, e-mail me. (Address removed by Carter after Ballard was notified.)


Name: Cindy
City/State: Atlanta, GA
Date: Sun Sep 24 13:10:51 2006
Wrote...
I was 20 at the time and don't really remember the trip there...we stayed high on weed and acid most of the time. But I do remember one night, I guess Saturday night, when I suddenly felt the most amazing feeling of oneness with all the 200,000 or however many were there listening to all those fantastic performers. I've never forgotten that feeling and have never felt it again.

Most of the time we all just wandered through the crowds smiling at each other knowing this was a truly unique experience. Later that night, about 4 am, when Hendrix played the Star Spangled Banner, I was on my cot under the pecan trees in a total state of Nirvana...actually coming down from the acid.

It was hot but that's not what I remember the most. Guess I had a really good trip.

I had a funky antique shop after that and Duane Allman used to come in with his girlfriend. He's was very quiet and sweet and always bought gifts for her and for Greg. And then he was gone not too long after that. What a loss.


Name: Homeboy
City/State: Centerville, Georgia
Date: Thu Sep 21 07:22:28 2006
Wrote...
What a memory! Was 14, folks around here had never seen anything like it. Local farmers started calling the house after waking up in the mornings seeing folks sleeping in the cow pasture. Heck, Byron only had about 200 people in the whole town. The largest city close by was Warner Robins and it didn't have but about 30,000 people in the whole area.

I remember about two weeks before the festival, I went with a group of folks from my church to visit the place where they'd all said it was about to take place. We meet a guy that had been sleeping in a box covered with plastic at the gate. Low and behold everything he said was soon to come to be.

Ended up carrying peanut butter sandwiches on one of the first Honda 50cc minibikes that came out that year to all the hungery folks. Saw more naked folks than folks with clothes on. All the locals started the anti-hippie stuff in a hurry. Actually, the area never got over it.

With an estimated 350,000 people it really hit the fan. One could sit on the front porch at home late in the evening and hear all the music very well. Sounded like a great army just over the hill there. But, after it was over ....it was over.

I forget how many tons of litter had to be cleaned up. Cadillac Brown, was the guy's name that had the idea, to have that festival to begin with. Alex Cooley, just came in and put it all together. What a memory---And what an experience being from here and having it right in my back yard. ...............Let's Do it again the area needs another wake up call....
Name: Rudy
City/State: Birmingham, Al
Date: Mon Sep 18 23:43:42 2006
Wrote...
Hey if you have memories you weren't there. hehe But, I do have some nice pictures. I traded a watermelon and 5 dollars for a lid(ounce) of some good smoke. The dealer had a duffle bag full. Whew! I do remember the people next to us in the pecan grove came in with a tent they had stolen from a cemetary, The pigs came in and took it. One bearded dude rolled a huge joint in a Georgia roadmap (prophetic huh?), and freaks were in line toking hard to keep it lit. ( I have picture ) Purple Microdot Ruled 1970 Festival
Name: ballard
City/State: New Orleans
Date: Mon Sep 4 19:54:24 2006
Wrote...
I was 13 years old and living in south Macon at the time. My grandparents owned and ran a small general store located on Business Highway 41.

Hippies started coming to the store to buy provisions. They very quickly purchased all the rolling papers, then they bought all the rolling tobacco- just to get the papers that were in the pouch. My Grandfather made a special trip down to the wholesale house to get more rolling papers and more of all the other stuff they were buying.

My cousin was visiting us from New Orleans for the summer, so he and I coaxed our Grandpa to take us out to Byron to see what it was like. The festival was being held at Middle Georgia Raceway- a local stock car track (Google it, there's a facinating story about how a moonshine still was found there... excuse the digression) where we regular attended the races.

Grandaddy told us he would take us but only if we drove in his dumptruck, we said- what the hell! and we took off out there. By time we got by Vinson's Valley, a swimming hole with bathrooms, everything became very interesting. Chicks and guys were naked everywhere! The traffic was moving at a turtle's pace. People were walking by the hot asphalt road if they could ride on the truck. Grandy said it was okay- they all hopped on, a bunch of them- but then they realized how hot the damn steel dumptruck body was and they jumped off. The cab inside where we were sitting was hot too. It was a very hot day.

When we finally got up the road to the back entrance to the racetrack- the entrance we always had used to get into the stock car races- grandpa turned in, not realizing the promotors had closed that entrance, and he ran right over the fence, knocking it down. I remember a bunch of bikers jumping it afterwards. We backed out into the highway. Everybody thanked us. I don't know what happened after that, if the promoters put the fence back up or not, we left.

IF ANYONE HAS A PHOTO OF A RED 1967 CHEVY DUMPTRUCK AT THE ATLANTA POP FESTIVAL, please post it.

Ballard
Name: randolph a peek
City/State: w. nyack,ny
Date: Sun Aug 20 21:37:39 2006
Wrote...
i remember it being very hot and i was even from florida. it was so damn hot i left around when the show started though i spent the day and the night there before the festival started.

i remember security had 2 plywood walls around the perimeter. i had no tickets, so i wasn't sure if i was going to get in, though later it became free. i did find the free stage in the woods across the street from the main stage and i saw the allmans with 2 girls dancing naked on the sides. it felt like it was a quarter of a mile back in the woods. lots of tents and campers on the north side of the road.

i went swimming in the river just east of the festival site and the georgia state troopers were great, just watching all the naked swimmers in the river. they didn't hassle anyone that i saw.

i also saw a truck FULL of watermellons somehow get on the main road next to the festival and kids just climbed on the back and completely emptyed his truck. they must have taken hundreds of watermellons and the driver could only sit there and watch which is exactually what he did.

i really reget leaving the festival and missing all those bands, but it was HOT!!!

randy peek


Name: Charlie
City/State: Sugar Land Tx
Date: Fri Aug 18 17:53:18 2006
Wrote...
I got there just as the Allman Bros started and couldn't understand what all these people were asking me. Have you heard the Allman Bros? I thought it was a crazy sounding name like the candy bar.

I took super 8 movies of the event and I've been waiting for yrs. for someone to release that footage they were recording. Some of the bands I remember was Ball'n Jack from California, they were a jazzier Chicago & released 3 albums. Also the 3rd nite Grand Funk did play cause I was 20 ft from the stage all night.

How I got there still amazes me. When all hell started breaking loose with the cars, I just walked all the way from the back right up to the front & didn't leave till morning.

That last nite was unreal. One great band after another. Ten Years After, Johnny Winter, Grand Funk, Allmans and ending up with the production of Hair.


Name: Anne Brown
City/State: Knoxville TN
Date: Tue Jul 18 03:57:29 2006
Wrote...
I told my mother this elaborate lie and hitched with this guy Russell to the festival. We were between Chattanooga and Atlanta at dusk and some guy in a big truck like a U Haul picked us up. He had picked up a lot of other people and had food and bedding in the back. It was around midnight when we got to the grove and got settled. Russell was stoned by then so I dumped him and set off on my own.

I was not then or ever a drug user but I don't ever remember feeling as high on life and music as I did that weekend. I remember them chasing some naked guy across the stage several times or in front of it and of course, Jimi Hendricks. I was so in love with him and was fortunate to be fairly close to the stage when he performed.

When it was time to go I ran across Russell again and we hitched home together. I had worn a croched shirt the last day and when I took it off my sunburn looked like I had slept on a waffle iron. Even my scalp in the part of my hair was sunburned really bad. I hadn't brushed my hair in three days and I was filthy.

The festival had been all over the news and when my mom saw me she put it all together and said "don't bother lying,I know where you have been"! Busted, lol! I sometimes wonder how many of those there turned out to be responsible citizens or yuppies in the burbs.

I wouldn't trade those days for anything. So sorry my grandchildren will never experience life the way we did.
Name: Bethany Maloney
City/State: Sedona AZ
Date: Sun Jul 9 12:42:40 2006
Wrote...
I was a 16 year old runaway from Arizona. My boyfriend and I were living in Atlanta at the time, and actually bought tickets. Everyone talks about the heat, but the outside temperature didn't register with me. Probably because I was so bloody high! We arrived with pot, which turned out to be the most lucrative bartering tool, there. We traded joints for food, acid, you name it.

I never made it to the stage, there were too many freaks between me and there. During Jimi's performance, we did go to the fringe of the crowd, and I was jumping up and down, trying to catch a glimpse. Suddenly, I felt myself lifted. I looked down into the face of a smiling Voodoo prince! The man must have been almost 7 feet tall. I sat like a parrot on his shoulder for the Star Spangled Banner, then he gently returned me to the ground, smiled, and wandered away without a word.

Robin Williams said if you remember the 60's you probably weren't there. I don't remember a lot of the festival, but that magic moment stuck with me. If the tall man, with the ribbons, and bones, is out there, I'd love to thank him for the view!
Name: greg
City/State: clearwater
Date: Sat Jul 8 06:58:05 2006
Wrote...
i was going to a military school in barnesville..a few of my old hippie buddies came up in their VW microbus and picked me up..we had lots of ripple and boones farm...got there late thurday and found a camp site between free stage and main road..brown owsley..orange barrels..elect koolaid

mishamikan...grand funk..procol harum..jimmy doing the star s b..canned beef stew and beany-weenies..naked chicks..hot and steamy in those pine woods..just set the tone for the 70's for me

what an experience king crimson was my epiphany...then poco and lee michaels...after it was all over i went back to school..and now i'm an eye surgeon..it just shows to go you..we are what we eat??? peace...
Name: Pat
City/State: Charlotte NC
Date: Fri Jun 30 14:43:38 2006
Wrote...
I was fourteen years old and had runaway from home. I went to the festival with a draft dodger named Mike and a bunch of other people who I don't remember.

I remember eating corn on the cob that some girl was grilling at the camp site. She was charging 50 cents so I could only afford one piece. People were skinny dipping in a little creek but I was only 14 and embarrassed to be naked so I wore my shirt and underwear.

I remember taking some purple microdot acid and going over to the grounds to hear Jimi Hendrix play. Of course, we couldn't see much because we were so far away, but it sounded awesome and the special effects (courtesy of the microdot) were pretty amazing, too.

Now, I'm writing a novel and am going to include a scene of a girl going to the Festival with her hippie dad. I'm trying to find out the exact line up because I only really remember Hendrix.


Name: Tom Brahler
City/State: Canton Ohio
Date: Sun Jun 25 09:36:24 2006
Remembers...
last night I ran into one of the girls that I went with she told me to check out the Atlanta Pop Fes. Web Site. I am glad I did!!!! ITS always hard for me to tell anybody about the experience YOU HAD TO BE THERE!!!!!!!

I remember going swimming in between music! At this lake there were secuirty people there with Big Dogs! There were a lot of people trying to get in {There was a chain link fence} as more freaks came the fence came down! The dogs and the security ran away. People got naked and jumped in.

To all the people who were there: Thanks for a good time my life has been changed forever!!!

Nameste & Peace Love&Aloha

Tom
Name: jane s.
City/State: Ft Lauderdale, Fla.
Date: Wed May 24 10:13:14 2006
Wrote...
Hey! I REALLY wish I could remember that festival!!!!!! I hitched a ride with some people from fort Lauderdale to Byron. Somehow we got separated,(wonder how that happened) and I wound up in a sleeping bag the next morning. My last 20 dollars was missing, but, thankfully, no one stole my Gibson 12 string guitar. Caught a ride with some people going to Miami in a Nice rv, so I gave them my last two dollars for gas(imagine that) and they took me to my door! Boy, that wouldn't happen today in this world.
Name: donato
City/State: Boston, MA
Date: Sun May 21 12:18:05 2006
Sez...
Memories are pretty dim after all these years. I saw a poster for the festival tacked on a tree in Grant Park (or was it Lincoln Park?) in Chicago. When I saw who was playing it was an easy decision to go. I arrived at the big gates with the Allman's set in progress Friday evening. By the end of the set the gates opened and I got in free.

I had been to a number of festivals that summer, including Goose Lake which was large (Stooges were memorable), but was awed by the scale of the physical production in the raceway. Was fairly near the stage the whole time. Didn't bother with a tent or sleeping bag (though I had them in the car), just slept on the ground when necessary through the weekend. Missed some acts on account of sleeping. Don't remember the intense heat that people talk about. Do remember walking with some nudists to a watering hole--or was it a river?

There seems to be a debate about whether or not Grand Funk played. I would swear they did. The reason is that I hated their records, but was amazed to hear them live. Not that I became a fan though.

Hendrix was the highlight for me, and probably most people. The effect of his show and the fireworks during Star Spangled Banner were undoubtedly enhanced by an excellent purple micro dot. I can still see his helicopter taking off--it seemed sad.

People say the Allmans closed the show on Sunday. Hardly. I was still there along with maybe 3-4 hundred other stragglers on Monday when the Memphis cast of Hair wrapped the festival around 1 in the afternoon.

On the way back north I stopped in Atlanta and picked up a poster, like the one I saw on the tree, in a head shop. This prized possession later got ripped off. I'd love to replace it. Interestingly, the poster currently being sold is not the one I had. Mine had a big exploding firecracker with the names of the bands in little pieces of fallout. I'd be delighted to have even a color copy. Any help?

All in all the 1970 Atlanta Pop Festival is one of the most memorable events of my life time. Be great if somebody edited the film, that is supposedly in a vault in Philadelphia, and put out a highlight DVD. I'd be first in line to buy one.
Name: william harris
City/State: palm harbor, florida
Date: Wed May 10 11:01:12 2006
Remembers...
rolled in early (thursday p.m.) to get jump on masses, scope out lay of land, pick good site, etc. from previous experience knew once the "hordes" descend everything becomes freeform. set up in back yard of brick house with permission of owners. basically struck a deal where we got to use and we would keep everybody else out.

there was a tractor trailer cab w/ sleeper parked back in trees which became my bunk. doctor/buddy had scripted me 100 hits speed so I traveled legal & had swapping material. came to get & stay hi & soak in the experience so don't have a coherant narrative, more like images.

I remember: a pathway into the speedway lined both sides w/ dealers, some w/ tables set up, hawking wares just like a flea market & I was right in there w/ them (having legit pharm speed a definate plus); the stream down the road a ways where the obligatory nude bathing occured; the "MDA lady" who appeared out of nowhere, took me back to that sleeper and taught me what "the love drug" was all about; the mafia daughter from new jersey who spent a night in the sleeper telling me how her dad had had her uncle "offed" and she couldn't talk to anyone about what she knew; the heat which really cameon on sat/sun, the water trucks that came in and sprayed, the awful porta toilets which gave rise to the dehydration crisis which goes like this: on saturday (well I'm pretty sure it was sat./might have been sunday, hi on some really clean acid,) the group I was with became convinced everybody was suffering from dehydration because water was in short supply. so we raced off the byron in my car,bought something like 8 cases soda & ice, turned trunk into huge cooler, drove back and gave the soft drinks away, firstcome/need/first serve.

Would like to say remember alot 'bout music, think example hendrix did anthem sunday morning but that may have been at Miami pop. I have no regrets about my days in the counter-culture. As a 'Nam infantry officer (67-68) I came back with a good dose of repressed ptsd and with GI bill proceeded finish college. Took me about 9 months to tune in, turn on, drop out. Proved very cathartic tho' you had to know, like an orchid appearing overnight, it couldn't last. As a retired engineer I'm bout half off the grid and harbor sweet longings we will turn away with our obsession with materialism and adopt more of the hope & joy those days carried. If anyone remembers the gold pontiac lemans convertable giving away soda, the mack truck in the back yard or other of these tales would enjoy hearing.


Name: Charlotte
City/State: Atlanta, Ga
Date: Tue May 2 02:45:09 2006
Remembers...
I was a twenty year old college sophomore and went with a guy named Larry from Ga. Tech to see what this was all about. It was simply a mass of half naked humanity who were hot as hell mingled amongst the mountains of garbage and all the drugs you wanted.

The most memorable moment was losing my virginity during Jimi Hendrix's Star Spangled Banner as we fucked for "Old Glory".


Name: Egon
City/State: Warner Vegas
Date: Thu Apr 20 01:17:29 2006
Remembers...
Missed it, but I have partied at the speedway. Lost a 12 pack of the beast, a zippo, some brain cells, and good bit of tire there....Nice place
Name: Lulu
City/State: Bow, New Hampshire
Date: Sat Apr 15 08:42:20 2006
Remembers...
I grew up in Atlanta and went to a private school in Buckhead. I really wanted to go to the festival but none of my friends were allowed to go. My mother offered me a deal--partly for my protection and also because she wanted to check it out, too. She said I could go if she went with me. I don't remember exactly how I felt about that arrangement but I agreed. She was a dancer and wore her long hair up in a bun most of the time, but for the trip she combed it down over her shoulders and put on blue jeans. We let everybody think she was my sister.

We parked a good distance away and rode in on the hood of someone's car. It was thrilling to be part of such a crowd. In the festival, we watched people camping under the trees and hanging out. As it got dark we were in front of the stage, talking with people. Everyone was friendly and they were passing around jugs of something, which my mother would not let me touch.

The next day we met up with some boys I'd gone to school with since third grade. Amazingly my mom let me stay with them and she headed home. My father and grandparents about killed her when she returned without me, but I was fine. I didn't really do drugs much but I smoked a little pot. The problem was staying awake. I had a sleeping bag and I crawled inside exhausted, but the boy I was with kept trying to wake me up for Jimi Hendrix. I just couldn't sit up but I did listen from inside that bag and can still hear that great, pounding music.

The next morning the sun was in my face and someone was already talking from the stage and the music started again. I don't remember bringing food or eating at all but we must have. I suppose my friends gave me a ride home. It was a great adventure and I'll always remember (although not very clearly) being part of such a huge gathering and a type of event that was unique to that era and will not come again.

In Atlanta, my mid-town neighborhood was sandwiched between Piedmont Park and the strip of Peachtree near 10th Street where the hippies gathered. I went with my friends to watch them and sometimes buy pot, but we were really voyeurs into that culture. I also remember the Great Speckled Bird anti-war newspaper and particpating in anti-war protest at my school, which was tolerated but not very well received. Thanks for the opportunity to remember those days.
Name: Guy Tucker
City/State: Atlanta, GA
Date: Thu Apr 13 15:55:11 2006
Remembers...
I was a freshman at the University of Georgia in 1970 (oh, and 1971 and 72 as well) when Jerry Newman and I drove to Byron.

I'd gone to the 1st Pop Festival the year before, but wasn't prepeared for the numbers of people, the openness of the lifestyle and the sheer joy of sharing the music with so many like-minded folks in Byron.

My strongest memory (some cells went into remission for various reasons) was of Richie Havens playing "Here comes the Sun" as the sun was indeed coming up.
Name: John Heinsohn
City/State: Charleston, SC
Date: Wed Apr 12 15:15:49 2006
Asks...
I was not at this festival because I had the misfortune of being born 14 years after it took place. I can only imagine what it must have been like. Everyone's stories that i have read are awesome and make me wish i had been born a couple decades earlier.

I would like to inquire about rumors i've heard that Duane and Jimi jammed onstage together at some point during this festival. Can anyone who was there verify these rumors? Because if they are true, then wow! Those are two of the greatest souls whose fingers ever graced a fretboard and thinking about them being in the same place at the same time and making music, sweet music together, well, that just sends ice up my backbone.

If there's anyone that could let me know, I would much appreciate it. Peace and love...
Name: Don Jeffcoat
City/State: Beaumont, Texas
Date: Mon Apr 10 00:23:56 2006
Remembers...
My girlfriend left Texas to live with her aunt in Atlanta. She sent me a newspaper clipping advertising the Atlanta Pop Festival in June. Two other guys and I left on Thursday before the festival. We drove to Atlanta, picked up my girlfriend and drove to the festival site. We parked somewhere on the side of the road, packed up our sleeping gear and followed the crowd on foot. We spread our blanket somewhere near the stage.

The next 3 days were a blur. I have never seen so many people in mass. Drugs were rampant. Georgia State Police just turned their backs on it. It was my first contact with real hippies. The heat was unbearable. I do remember Hendrix playing, John Sebastian, BB King. We were college kids from Texas and were awestruck by the sights and sounds we experienced.

When we got back to Texas we found out that another group of kids who we did not know had also been there. I married that girlfriend and moved to Atlanta in the fall of 1970 and stayed for a year.

Years later and two ex-wives, I was playing in a band with one of the guys who was in that other Texas group who went to the Atlanta Pop Festival in 1970.


Name: fletcher holmes
City/State: brunswick ga.
Date: Fri Apr 7 13:06:03 2006
Remembers...
my older neighbors(i was 12) went and when they described it(the 2nd festival) i made plans for the 3rd. oh well, i did make the august jam and it was the best weekend of my life, what i remember. i was wondering if any readers out there remember a southern band called Flood? used to play a lot around here...
Name: Terrell Davis
City/State: LaVergne, TN
Date: Wed Mar 22 08:21:52 2006
Remembers...
I had gone to the first Atlanta Festival in Hampton, so I invited a couple of friends, Pat Jaros and Barb Dill, to ride along with me to Bryron.

When we got to the festival there were people everywhere. We parked and walked a long, long way but it was so cool because we talked with so many people on our way into the area. I remember one area being like a drug supermarket, but there weren't any hassle from cops. We made our way down to a lake, striped and jumped in for a cool splash.

When we left, I decided not to put my jeans and shirt on. So, I, along with lots of other people, walked down the road naked. The locals trying to use the road were having a large time gawking at everyone, but no one, including the locals, seemed to care. In fact a Georgia State Trooper came by and offered us a ride on his car. It sounded like a good idea until I sat on the hood. Man was it hot. When I said I got my ass fried at the festival, I wasn't kidding.

I was taking a nap on a banket in the middle of thousands of people who were listening to music, when Pat woke me and said, "You're gonna want to see this." It was the beginning of the Hendrix set, complete with fireworks. I think it was a little past midnight.

I remember there were a few hassles coming from middle Tennessee and a few more going back, but while we were at the festival, we were in another world, and certainly, another time.

But, what great memories. I really enjoyed showing the pictures from this site to my 18-year-old daughter but her comment to me was that it was too bad there weren't any really cool festivals like Byron anymore.

There is Bonnaroo (sp) in nearby Manchester, TN, but from the people that I know that have attended, it just not the same athmosphere.

Anyway, we had a great time and I consider it one of the best times of my life....and I've had some great times!

TD
Name: William C. Overton
City/State: Morgan City La.
Date: Tue Mar 21 04:51:42 2006
Remembers...
I was 16 years old living under the boardwalk in Ocean City Maryland. I panhandled for food and shower money. Hitchhiked to Atlanta with about $20.00 bucks and ate raw corn in corn fields to keep myself nourished.

When I got to the festival the Hells Angles were collecting tickets. I never saw so many dealers with open shops before or after this event. Some people don’t know that down one of the paths going in the woods was another band playing on a 10 foot cliff. The cliff was lined with topless chicks and the electric cool aid was being passed around like wine.

I had the best time and hitchhiked to New York city and slept in Central Park where I had to steel food to eat. A few weeks later I was in DC in Jail for being a runaway and Jimmy Hendrix died.

Bill Overton


Name: Michael Brown
City/State: Louisville
Date: Mon Mar 20 14:59:54 2006
Remembers...
I was 19 years old in the summer of 1970. My friends and I drove down in the middle of the night in my VW Beetle. We arrived the morning of the first day. Hippie paradise! I was only there the first two days. I left after Jimi Hendrix's performance.

Other musical memories include Salvage Grace, Ballinjack, Allman Brothers Band, BB King, Mountain, Procol Harum, Chamber Brothers, Lee Michaels, Poco. I'm sure I saw others but was too stoned to realize it. What has happened to me? I have comprimised a bit in order to live but I am still a hippie in spirit.


Name: marlene zimmermacher-rector
City/State: sebastian,fl
Date: Sun Mar 19 16:24:14 2006
Remembers...
We came up from florida,whole bunch of us. Had a great time. I loved this alley they called, well it was called after the mind drugs,you know what I mean He He.

Saw Jimmi that night and we had to tie all of us together with rope so we would not get lost from each other.Camped out,didn't have much to eat but who cared right.

Met some good people from Michigan and made friends with them for many years to come.Sure loved the music.I remember all of that time with a smile.Keep the wind to your back and the sun to your face.Have Peace,Marlene
Name: Margarita M. Courney
City/State: Port Townsend, WA
Date: Fri Mar 10 14:40:06 2006
Remembers...
I was 18 and living in Atlanta, a friend came up from Florida and asked me to go with him and another friend.

We headed out early Saturday morning. When we got near the exit, there were so many cars, the best you could do was park at the truck stop right off the exit, then head to the festival on foot. There were hundreds of cars driving about 5 miles an hour (if that fast) and hundreds of us on foot. Every now and then, someone would jump on the hood or top of one of the cars making their way to the festival, but it was faster to walk as there were so many cars.

When we got there, there were so many people it was truly amazing. We didn't have tickets, but were told not to worry, folks were getting in free at one end of the entrance, so we headed over there and just walked in as did others.

The energy was fantastic, folks were bathing in the creek, drugs were flowing and faces were smiling. Saturday evening we walked around and visited different tents, everyone was sharing their goods and there was so much loving energy and togetherness everywhere. The music was great, but secondary to the energy amongst the people.

We didn't bring anything to sleep in, so when evening came, I remember rolling up in a parachute that had been used for shade. We stayed Sunday until the festival started thinning out, then made our way back to the car at the truck stop.

This was a great festival, so many people, so much love and great music; I have always wondered why it's not one of the festivals that you hear about, but I'm glad to have found this site. Peace to all of you, perhaps we shared a smoke, or sat next to each other.

Margarita
Name: Spencer R. Rackley IV
City/State: Charlotte NC
Date: Wed Mar 8 21:40:50 2006
Remembers...
I was there! I've been waiting for the MOVIE for just short of 40 years. They can do it for the "Festival Train" so why hasn't "Our" movie been made?

Really, though, We had a great time, more of a lifetime experience. Arriving a week ahead of time was the best part. It was HOT, but we were just kids (I was 18). When we arrived, the pool in the campground across the highway from the 'Festival' was clean and blue. When we left, the water looked like a grey poluted mess and the diving board had been broken off.

We lived off of selling cokes and other soda drinks that we would barter off of one of the vendors with our High School rings, sell them for just under what he was getting for them, and then buy back our rings and use the money for food.

Each day we would, in the heat of the afternoon, take off our cloths (except for our shoes), walk the few feet to the highway, pick a car (the traffic was non-stop in both directions for about two weeks) and set down on the hood and ride down to the creek. We kept cool and clean. All of the people in these cars were apparently Voyeurs 'cause all they wanted to do was look... especially when someone "fired up one of those funny cigarettes".

The "Free Stage" was great every night down in the campground. Soon, around 500,000 people showed up. We had tickets but most did not and they ended up opening the gates to avoid a riot. The promoters were down to asking for "spare change" just like many of the gate crashers. I remember being hit in the head by one of the many coke cans full of pennies that were being "passed' from the back of the crowd up to the stage.

The best thing, though, was the music. I remember little of it, though, through the "fog". I remember Poco and the Allmond Bros. (Did Johnny Winters really jam with them?) I remember Jimmy Hendrix and Richie Havens... and Mountain. and John Sebastian... and Procal Harium....

Experience of a Lifetime
Name: Michael Watson Jennings
City/State: atlanta, georgia
Date: Sun Mar 5 22:26:52 2006
Remembers...
I will never forget the festival as I was FIVE YEARS OLD and my family lived in downtown Byron. I remember going outside and seeing all the motorcyclers taking showers under the hose at the Methodist Church across the street. My dad was a dear friend of Lamar Brown, who owned the racetrack. I am so glad that my father took me to see the festival. Most parents were abhorred at a five year old being taken to this event, but I am so glad my dad had the foresight to know that I would always treasure the memory of seeing a legend called Jimi Hendrix play.

In an era of MTV and a lost generation, I feel I was privy to see what the awesome sixties and seventies were about. I rode by that old racetrack a couple of weeks ago passing through Byron, and it is still there with a driving range in front of it. I would love to see a monument put there in it's honor.

Also, if you go to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon, there is a lot of memorabilia there, and I ran into Jon Anthony from WET WILLIE while there!
Name: david buchanan
City/State: conyers, ga then
Date: Tue Feb 28 00:51:11 2006
Remembers...
What a very cool website. Everybody keeps saying that Hendrix played at night. I was laying at my tent listening along with my bitchy girlfriend but I thought it was daylight. I've got a couple of short funny stories about both festivals:

I was 14 at the first Atlanta festival. The only reason I was able to go is because my parents didn't have a clue what was about to go on down there. I don't guess anybody did. Anyway, at some point (Saturday, I think) some more of my friends from Conyers showed up and said "man, your parents are real mad and you better call them right away". If you were there you know what a joke call them 'right away' was.

So I was scared and left on my long trek to find a pay phone. I decided to leave at just the strategic point because some dude named led zeppelin was about to come out, sit on a stool and play accustic guitar for an hour or so. I'd seen a lot of that sort of thing already so I planned my move.

I spent what seemed like over an hour getting through the crowd and halfway across the parking lot when they started playing. Oh Man...if they didn't open the door to netherland I don't know who did. Earth had never heard such a sound. I remember hearing this guy with a real high echoee voice going uh uhhhhh h h h h h and then a real high echoee guitar answering him. The fabric of space and time was being ripped; a big jagged tear that let a new age fly in. I would run back towards the festival then decide that it was too late to get there to see them. Then I'd turn around and head back in the other direction. It was bad and I was so mad at myself for making such a stupid move.

I made the phone call, stayed at the festival but with one big difference; I didn't miss any more good bands by being closed-minded. If it wouldn't have been for that lesson I would have missed this other band who was warming up blowing horns like a high school band. That turned out to be Chicago Transit who started out with South California Purple and blew my small mind.

Short story #2: The next year at the festival in Byron, I wound up with this real bitchy girlfriend who found me there and stuck with me all day Sunday. She had cheated on me a few days before and now she was bitchin at me. I didn't want to miss Jimi Hendrix and I didn't want to watch him with a mean girl bitchin at me so I devised a plan of deception. We were sitting in the middle of the crowd and I knew if I said I needed to go back to the tent for something, she would stay there with her buddies and wait for whenever I came back (she didn't know Hendrix was comming up. You never knew which band was about to come up next and when you sat in the crowd all day it was normal for people to come and go).

So I walked through the crowd, really planning to duck into the crowd and find a better place far from her to settle in and see Hendrix in peace. I was just at the point of ducking when I realized she was right beside me and had decided to come with me. What a stooge plan.

I was too young and stupid and fried to come up with a better plan on the spot, so I wound up going back to the tent with her and kept telling her I didn't feel too good and that she was going to miss Hendrix if she didn't get on back, but none of that worked....I wound up listening to Hendrix and a bitchy girlfriend while staring at the sky.

People say it was night but I don't remember that. Some say it was storming and I definitely don't remember that. What a weekend anyway!
Name: David Buchanan
City/State: Conyers, Ga.
Date: Mon Feb 27 13:55:22 2006
Remembers...
I was a 15 year old drummer just starting to play in really cool rock and blues bands. The year before, in 69 the first Atlanta Festival had changed my world. I got to Byron around Wednesday along with Eddie and Stan, the guitarist and bassist in the band I was in. The roads were already jammed pretty good. We set up camp in the woods across the street from the main stage near a big O.D tent (if you were there, you know what that was).

All of a sudden, we heard this great band playing somewhere down throught the woods. It sounded like Little Richard. By the time we got set up and got to where the music had been comming from, the Allman Brothers were setting up. It was the FREE STAGE!!!! Most of my best memories of the second festival are from hanging out there. The best bands played there,unscheduled. I don't think the crowd there ever got to be bigger than 100 people. There were trees and shade and high hippies handing out free drugs.

Of course I was a boy scout. OK, maybe not quite a boy scout. I guess maybe I did get pretty high and ride on the hoods and trunks of who-knows-whose cars down to that nasty river and swim 'butt-neckid'.

I think my next biggest memory is of me sitting on the hood of a car doing about 30mph watching all these naked hippies swimming in what had been a beautiful private lake. My mind shows a busted down chain link fence, a couple doing the 69 down the slide into the water (you figure that out), and a once white beach covered with untanned butts, matted hairdos, smoke, busted watermelons, electric coolaid and wine jugs and just about everything else that a 15 year old mind could possibly imagine, and then some, all seen at 30 mph from the hood of a car. Ah...the good ole days.

Flashback thought for the day: the smell of the mixture of watermelon rinds in the sun, pot smoke, incense and sweaty people. If that doen't take you back, you either weren't there or you slept through the whole thing.
Name: belinda
City/State: montgomery al.
Date: Sun Feb 26 17:14:08 2006
Remembers...
Man what a stange trip that was!!! I remember seeing jimi it was raining with lightning at night and he was out of sight even as high as everyone was --oh yeah-- it was pure freedom for everyone.

They were giving out salt tablets because people were falling out in the day time..The night that jimi played the water facets that had put out in the fields had ran out of water. A sweet person in line gave us some water melon to keep us going till we got back to camp.

It sure was true that you had some people selling water and food way to much but the people that loved and went for the music were all loving and helpful-- those were those good old days. I was 18 at the time --- peace to you all
Name: Rob Kora
City/State: mchenry,ill.
Date: Mon Feb 13 17:09:52 2006
Remembers...
Hello everybody,

I was 17 at the time and what a great time it was. I came from chicago with a 3 car caravan we were there four 4 or 5 days. I have always wanted to find information about the festival so this site is a real blessing.

One of the best memories I have is jumping off this very high bridge naked into the river below. there were two State Troppers standing right there but were just watching. Everybody in the river was naked!!!

I remember the Chamber Brothers doing the song Time and everybody was really into to it. If I'm not mistaken Jimi Hendrix came on next and I everbody's energy was spent and Jimi looked bored.

I could go on but I'll stop now and just say thank you for this site and the opportunity see the pictures and the writing from everybody.

Rob Kora

Please email me with pictures and thoughts.
Name: Allee Pennington
City/State: Pataskala Ohio
Date: Wed Feb 8 11:01:06 2006
Remembers...
Man i love the pictures!! peace and loveAllee
Name: debbie bourguignon
City/State: longboat key, fl
Date: Fri Jan 20 21:52:45 2006
Remembers...
I hitch hiked with my girlfriend from Orlando and a redneck speed freak took us all the way there, had to listen to country music the whole way-yuk-he was not into hippies, "freaks" and rock music...and he left the next day when he finally realized we would not do him.

Had an amazing time, went backstage and they let us go onstage while Mark Farner (yum!) was singing. Because of the heat, did some reds, passed out, but woke up in time to see Hendrix rock the Star Spangeled Banner-awesome.

After the festival I stayed in downtown Atlanta, which was pretty happening, with a small time pot dealer (told Mom I had a "job") and some hippie speed freaks. I finally went home when I couldn't get any food to eat. I was a junior in high school.
Name: Dr. Heyward Foster, III
City/State: Easley SC
Date: Wed Jan 18 11:15:23 2006
Remembers...
We got there late at night. I was driving my new black GTO and playing Mississippi Queen on the 8 track. Traffic was slow and there was some guy walking along side of the car, he finally walked over and told us, "Why don't you turn off your music and listen to the song live". Mountain happened to be playing the same song right then which we could hear with our windows rolled down.
Name: Frank Jones
City/State: At the time: Chattanooga
Date: Wed Jan 18 00:57:21 2006
Remembers...
I was 16. Had been to the 1st Atlanta festival the year before. Many of my friends went to woodstock, but it was too far for me. A friend, John Wilson, and I had just become Jesus freaks that summer, and we rationalized our desire to go by saying we would witness.

Didn't happen.

I remember John's old '50s panel truck had a bad transmission, and we had to fix it before we could get on the road. We barely had enough money to get there. I remember avoiding the traffic jam by driving through a field..! We parked and the first thing us "witnesses" did was buy a bag of dope and roll it up. We then just proceeded to wander around and dig the scene.

We knew lots of folks there from Chattanooga, and would hang out with different folks here and there...I remember Steve Wright started one of his mind raps on some hapless guy who freaked out and threatened to kill him if he didn't shut up. I think I may have saved Steve's life by dragging him away.

The most vivid memory is of John and me standing back away from the stage, in a field, with a light drizzle coming down, watching the band, about evening time, and suddenly there was this blinding flash of light and blast of heat and we were on our asses on the ground, and everyone all around was looking at us real funny. Turns out there was this downed fence a few feet in front of where we were standing and it had been hit by lightning! We were both blinded for a few seconds, and our ears were ringing. Speechless, we turned and looked at each other, screamed, and ran off in opposite directions- terrified! I know I was convinced the Almighty was sending us a message! I got over it after a while though, with proper medication...

Also remember having stomach cramps during Hendrix's set due to taking acid I got from "The guy with the Mickey Mouse ears" before we were warned... And the young girls tearing off their clothes as they ran to meet the water truck- not a fire engine but a construction type truck- spraying water. And I can still see the folding table drug bazaar lining several approaches to the site. I did't go skinny dipping in the pond, but I did do something memorable- I got a light for a joint from a cop. Definately strange times.

We gave a bunch of folks a ride to Chattanooga when it was over. We had no money, but one of the guys was a good talker and got us free gas at a gas station.

And I liked John Sebastion, but I thought he was better with the Spoonful.

I have a couple of faded slides I took of the crowd. Not much to see. I used to have a lot of shots of naked chicks from that festival, but that was a couple of marriages (and two grandchildren!) ago.

I still remember it like it was yesterday, that is, it's kind of hazy...


Name: Lee Ring
City/State: Atlanta, Georgia
Date: Sat Jan 14 8:01:44 2006
Remembers...
I was living in a commune on 14th Street in Atlanta called White Columns. One of my bosses at Tapes and Things decided to take a truck full of Coke and ice to capitalize of the heat. It wasn’t long before I abandoned his capitalistic venture and joined the crowds, the party, and the music. Before heading south on I-75 I remember stepping on some scales, weighting in at 155. When I returned the scales showed me at 135. The hamburger that I had there tasted great, but the Kool-Aid was better.

One of the other vivid memories of that time was when the riots were coming down Peachtree Street, I placed my speakers outside my store and cranked up the volume to ‘Volunteers of America’ as the clash of wills rumbled past.

It would be great to have a registry of folks from the 14th Street Scene.
Name: Phillip Rauls
City/State: Seattle, WA
Date: Fri Dec 30 20:52:43 2005
Remembers...
Excellent site guys! Man, I spent hours surfing through the great stories, memories and photographs.

I was there also and fortunate to get on stage and took some photographs. I have some pictures displayed and will be posting others in the future.
Please drop-in for a visit for a Pop-Culture voyage.

Phillip Rauls
http://phillipraulsphotolog.blogspot.com
Name: Forrest Haller
City/State: L.A.
Date: Sat Dec 10 19:17:34 2005
Remembers...
I went to both. Lived in Emory. Remember Led Zepplin the best from the first. Went down early to Byron for the 2nd one to beat the traffic.

Took three 14 year old neighbor girls with me. We camped in the pecan orchard before anyone arrived, but it filled up quick. I went to a funky fast food place and Terry Reid was behind me waiting to order too and we talked...me and English rock star on a country Georgia 2-lane.

A schoolbus with a "family" of Florida hippies set up next to my tent complete with a full sized stove they pulled out and set up outside. I also took an 8mm camera and filmed a reel...before the crowds, in the crowds, naked people, etc. Still have the film. I remember The Chambers Brothers' lead guitarist making wild feedback and laughingly saying, "blame Benjamin Franklin".

Interestingly, after the festival was over, the Allman Brothers and Spirit and maybe members of the Dead (?) came back to Piedmont Park late at night ..it was a real nice warm summer night ...set up and jammed wonderfully for hours to a buzzed and happy crowd. Some cops showed up just looking and then later saw some cops taking off their hats and dancing in a long daisy chain of people snaking thru the crowd to the music. The whole thing was great.


Name: Tony Abel
City/State: Kathleen, Ga.
Date: Fri Dec 9 14:15:30 2005
Remembers...
I was from Warner Robins about 5 miles away from the Middle Georgia Raceway where the Pop Festival was held. A friend and I went out there to see what was going on and You better believe everything you read about this weekend because it is all true.

No one in Middle Georgia had every seen anything like this. My Mom was a nurse and help man the OD tent. It was wild. I still live in the area the raceway is now a golf driving range and about 15 years ago they found a wiskey still underground under the grandstand.


Name: Jim Elkin
City/State: Geneva/New York
Date: Tue Dec 6 20:26:41 2005
Remembers...
Amazing! I was on a high school graduation trip around U.S. w/ my best friend whom my parents forbade me to go with. About all I remember - HOTTER than hell: massive amounts of people (when flares were shot off during Hendrix- to look around and see the ocean of people - wow!. Lived for 3 days trading our drugs for food and drink - worked out beautifully! Love peace & happiness at its most honest.

My now 17 year old gave me for X-mas last year a DVD of Hendrix shot at that festival - nice but wished it had more info on the whole festival. I don't remember much in the way of details, just the heat and a totally peaceful atmosphere.

Left for San Francisco, caught HAIR on stage and am still a flaming liberal to this day. Fuck Bush and love everyone else (except Cheney & Co.).
Name: Vickie Sharp
City/State: (Then) Nashville Tennessee
Date: Thu Dec 1 15:31:53 2005
Remembers...
I was 17 years old and probably the only "straight" person there because I was slightly pregnant, but had a WONDERFUL time and can remember it. :)

I drove down Friday night with my friends Barbara, Roger and Waldo. We thought it was IN Atlanta and when we were south of Atlanta and kept driving wondered if we wouild ever get there. By the time we got there they had crashed the gates so we just walked in thru a maze of people selling things I had never seen or heard of before.

I heard about the naked people but never saw any and we never saw the swimming hole, but do remember the fire dept. coming out to hose everyone down due to the heat and it was great. I remember going by the OD tent and was amazed by the sights there.I remember going back down the main road towards interstate to a gas station to wash up and change clothes and sleeping on the ground in a sleeping bag.

The BEST memory of all was seeing Jimi Hendrix doing the Star spangled banner at night on the 4th of July and the Chambers brothers doing "Time" with the tourches on stage. It was a sight I will never forget.

I don't know how I talked my family into letting me go now, but would not let my girls go to something like that today. I would love to see a movie or DVD of the event if there is one. Also would like to find poster reprints if available. I am glad I had this experience in my life.
Name: Russ Allen
City/State: Zephyrhills Fl 33542
Date: Sun Nov 27 22:56:34 2005
Remembers...
I was 15 and the only way I could go was to go with my dad. It was great.We sat with some Hari Krisna people. They were pretty cool. We brought some watermelon and all of us ate all of them.I remember how everyone were so friendly.Such a relaxed atmosphere. The bathrooms were plentiful but still not enough for all those people. It was great.
Name: Patrick Valella
City/State: Jacksonville, FL
Date: Thu Nov 24 17:54:26 2005
Remembers...
I was there too... 3 of us drove from Gainesville - we brought 2 cartons of Marlboros and 200 hits of Orange Sunshine. We traded cigs for Pot and Opium. The Hog Farm kept us fed - and we ate peaches from the peach fields next to the Speedway. I was one of the first to crash the fence (a Stone Radical at the time) as no one had the ticket money - hard to keep hundreds of thousands of folks out :)

When Hendix played with fireworks going off (and military red flares with parachutes) behind him I passed out (too much acid) - everyone thought I was dead - (just in Electric Ladyland)

I remember leaving the festival and hitchin' back to Florida on I-75 (got seperated from my buds the 2nd day) - there was a bed sheet hanging over the overpass on I-75 reading "OPIUM - $5.00" - hehe - must have freaked out the passing motorists.
Name: Terry Dever
City/State: Ormond/Daytona/Daytona Bch Shores
Date: Fri Nov 18 11:49:26 2005
Remembers...
So this is where/when it happened? This event was mentioned in a Daytona Beach News-Journal article (today, 11-18'05) by guitarist Reuben Morgan as his overall best concert. Friends Billy & Barry made the 1st fest. Alan, Steve, myself and several others ventured on a Just Out Of High School surfing trip to Encinitas (southern Cal) just prior to this. Alan, only 17 and a week from 18, had his parents blessings and the only real money (mabe $100) but was nabbed by the Encinitas cops and forced to fly home for the crime of being too young.

After a week in Cal Steve & I decided to thumb home via "Atlanta's second" with the $4 Steve had in his pocket. Picked up a ride in Memphis interstate that was also going. Didn't take long to meet with Susan, Mathew V and other Daytona locals already there.

Witnessed "suitcase weed vendors" with cops walking by "no problem", a constant stream of naked kids walking to the lake to cool off and the cops just shaking their heads (watching the girls) go down the slide naked at the lake.

Local families with "locked cars" driving through the masses. Does anybody remember "Chicken Man" on the stage? Good time, no conflicts, hot! Vivid recall (I think) of Hendrix playing the Star-Spangled Banner at midnight on the Fourth.


Name: Duane Blalock
City/State: Snellville, GA
Date: Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:24:44 PM PST
Remembers...
I left Decatur, GA in a 1957 Ford packed with people from Gordon High School. I was 17 and we were following a van packed with instuments belonging to a local band Shade(Spelling?) that was playing at the free stage.We all camped together and I remember Radar opened the show and then the Allman Brothers followed shortly.

I was sitting next to a fellow from New Orleans that had never heard the brothers. I told him to be prepared to be blown away and he was, we all were. I saw most of the bands including Hendrix, who I had seen in 1968 in Atlanta. I have a DVD of the Hendrix show, he was the highlight. Also enjoyed Poco, Procol Harum, Mountain, Gypsy. One night we were sitting around the campfire passing joints and ripple and folks were stopping by and leaving and a girl came up behind and sat next to me. I turned and spoke and to my suprise, she was nude! Well it was just the times and I pretended not to notice and she acted as fully dressed. I remember catching rides on cars to the lake and river and dying of thurst and heat during the day.


Name: Mark Parisi
City/State: Then, NYC
Date: Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:49:07 PM PST
Remembers...
What a trip! I was in the service at the time, stationed at Fort Bliss, Tx. I was really bummed at missing woodstock and was determined to get to the APF.As I had no leave time I went awol to attend the festival. I left El Paso with a bag of my belongings, about $20.00 in cash, stuck out my thumb and arrived in Atlanta on Thursday. Much to my dismay, after trying to find the festival, I discovered it was in a smaal town just south, at Byron.I got down there Friday morning, remember traffic at a crawl, thanked my ride and began to walk toward the gate. Wound up riding on a car hood or two, and seem to have gotten to the 'Gate' as the concert was declared a FREE festival.I remember many booths seemingly set up along the dirt road selling every mind altering psychodelic I have ever heard of. I seem to remember making a $2 purchase of something that kept me tripping for 3 days.As most of you have indicated, all is a large haze - I remember smoking much weed, angle dust or whatever. I remember the water trucks and seem to remember hellicopters??

The music and the people are what I have the most fun recolecting. People who were not there just dont know what it feels like to have heard Hendrix play his, at the time, very radical version of the SSB, So loud that the notes seemed to permiate your very being while watching the light show above etch itself into your brain - - wow. The time has come today, ticcccc toccccc.... Freedom, Freedom... God those were some fine sets.Having grown up in the city, I had seen many of the acts at the Fillmore (East), including the Allman Brothers (wiht their double bass drum), but out in that field, out in the air it was just incredable.

I am very glad to have been a part of the '70's Festival and could talk for hours about the people who befriended me there, about the commarorerie shared by 'we the people' and of course about the music. I am truely glad to have found this site and read the posts of the many people who were there.Because it helps me believe that the whole thing was not just a drug induced figment of my twisted mind.

Peace and Love

Parisi

BTW, I returned to the army, got an article 15, paid my fine and got on with my life.


Name: Pat Hopper
City/State: Memphis, Tennessee
Date: Wed Nov 2 10:43:45 2005
Remembers...
What a trip to encounter this site. Rarely does a day go by when I do not have at least a passing thought of the summer of 1970. In late May of 1970 I had just graduated from Nicholas Blackwell High School in Bartlett, TN - part of the not yet ugly suburban sprawl northeast of Memphis. A long-time friend, bandmate and all-around co-conspirator, Don, and myself were trying to sell encyclopedias door to door in midtown Memphis. We were actually having a fine time. We were smoking dope and taking desoxyn. We would be laughing almost uncontrollably, knocking on doors and asking the occupant some variation of "Hey, you wanna buy some neat books?" For some reason, we were having no success. We picked up another friend, Jere, and went to the home of Donnie to listen to the best record collection in existence and complain about hard times in the encyclopedia sales biz.

While we were blazing up the bong, Donnie told us of the possibility of getting REAL work on the construction crew building the fence and the stage for the second Atlanta pop festival at the Middle Georgia Raceway in Byron, Georgia. He was very unclear about where and how he came by this information, but assured us it was reliable. Freak-friendly jobs? He thought so.

Jere, Don, Donnie and myself hit the freeway with thumbs extended the next morning.It was during the first week in June, 1970. We hitch-hiked in pairs, Don and I, and Jere and Donnie. It was surreal. I still recall every ride we got. I will not bore you with the bizarre details as I would like to do; suffice it to say that we stayed with acquaintances in Nashville for one night, and did the same in Atlanta. We arrived at Middle Georgia Raceway to find about 20-25 people setting up camp. There was a huge revival-like tent which, apparently, had just been set up. We were eyed somewhat suspiciously, but made welcome. We explained we were seeking employment, which brought chuckles all around. We were told we would have to wait for "Bear."

As more and more people began arriving, we realized there were a lot of people we recognized from Memphis--the people who lived and/or partied at the "Big House," at Central & Belvedere in Memphis. We had been there. Hell, most of the crew was from there. We had some tenuous connections--Alice and her friend Amanda were the only ones I could match with names, and they did not remember who the hell I was. Donnie was well acquainted with many of them.

This is getting rather involved. I'll continue this later in another post. Peace.
Name: Mills
City/State: Beaufort, SC
Date: Tue Oct 25 08:48:48 2005
Remembers...
Here is a strange situation. This festival was almost as big as Woodstock. It has fallen off the face of the earth. There are no documentaries, to videos from the festival, no historical references to it. The festival was filmed, but I am told by an insider that these films are in private hands forever to be held, not shown. Anyone have anything on this?
Name: Amazing Routes Band
City/State: Emden, Germany
Date: Sun October 16, 2005
Remembers...
Hello Folks,

i was 10 years old i heard from the Great Festivals in the 60s and 70sAtlanta, Woodstock, Texas Pop, Montery and many others that was a great Time playingso beautefull Bands ALLMAN BROTHERS,MOUNTAIN, J.WINTER,HENDRIX, JETHRO TULL, HAMPTON GREASE BANDand all the great stuff

My band, Amazing Routes, lives in the tradition from the Music of the 70si am the Guitarplayer i loved the guitarplaying from Duane Allman, please look and listen to the music from my band at the http://www.amazingroutes.com 4 new songs from the band

Greetings from germany to the USA

Amazing Routes Band

Long lives the Rock.
Name: Michael Raley
City/State: Nowhere, Mississippi
Date: Sun Oct 9, 2005
Remembers...
Ahh I remember it so well was one the few things that I went for and have never had any regrets my son makes me tell him at least once a week what was it like to see Jimi Hendrix to actually play on stage--he loves hendrix and I had nothing to do with it--he just listens to him all the time--I got him a Electric ladyland cd for his birthday and a Hendrix tee shirt

i also went to the First atlanta Pop Festival--lived and loved Atlanta Georgia--the memories are so clear even after all these years--the gals stripping and jumping off the bridges--the georgia state troopers did not seem to mind at all --LOL---yeah we got the bright idea of going to take a swim-me and Crazy Roger-Gyspsy--Little Bit--Angel- God so many wonderful people that i loved and lived with at times

The Allman Brothers Band--Wet Willie and Skinner playing at the clubs in Atlanta---the three witches who to this day I have in my mind---Jo Jo, Sandy and Dee----would give anything to see those people today--but through the years people and places change---but we still have our memories.
Name: Doug Machold
City/State: Lakeland, FL
Date: October 2, 2005
Remembers...
When I tell people what it was like they just give me that yea right look! It's amazing to read this blog. My neigbor's parents were going on vacation up I-75 and dropped us off right on the side of the interstate. I was sixteen_ There was a long road in with people already camping,tripping and walking around nude freaking out. I remember some stands like at a school Halloween Carnival but instead of the banner saying face painting or something it said "Alkopolka Gold" It seems like the pecan grove was right before the main entrance. At the gate a large crowd had gathered and was trying to convince the guards to turn it into a free festival_the crowd got larger and the guards gave up. The gates and fences were just sort of pushed over_thats when you could say it began. There was a large area in front of the stage_I remember tripping over a couple making love on a blanket. I could hear Hendrix playing_I think there was a fireworks display and it seemed like he would play to particularly bright firework. The electric coolade might have had something to do with that?

There was a lake with a sandy beach and a water slide. My friend and I sat on a bench between two pine trees with our feet in the sand watching hundreds of skinny dippers lining up girl boy girl boy_each couple would go down the slide together and the crowd in the water would critique there performance by cheering and pushing water up in the air. One particular good 69 got a thirty foot high waterwall ovation. It seems like Byron was bigger and better than Woodstock_but it is strange how little has been recorded.

Ah Memories!

P.S. The Alkopolka Gold was $12.00 an ounce LID


Name: Tim O'Leary
City/State: Chapel Hill, NC
Date: Fri Sep 30 16:29:28 2005
Remembers...
I'd planned for months to make the festival, but life has a way of monkeying with plans and I found myself visiting friends in Cherokee, NC performing in the outdoor drama "Unto These Hills" on the day before the show. I ran into a friend there who was loading up his bug with more reefer and acid than I'd seen in my life, to take to the festival. Needless to say, my festival trip was back on! We drove from the NC mountains down to GA, and the trip was a trip!

Rolled in that night to a scene so surreal I thought I'd smoked myself into an altered state -- dust, cars, a sea of people and more cops than I could handle in my sudden panic of stoned paranoia which soon had me thinking about what life in a Georgia prison would be like -- we were, after all, sitting on quite a stash -- Colombian redbud, hash, Morrocan keif (does anyone remember keif, a tobacco-hash mix?), clinical LSD and mescaline (both absolutelypure, clinical, good!).

As I'm quietly contemplating how I'll die in a hail of bullets into my back as I run for California, my friend puts the top down on his bug, whips out a piece ofcardboard, writes a list of what he's got on it, holds it up and starts shouting out "Hash! Grass! Red Morrocan Keif! Acid! Mescaline!" Me, I'm looking at all the cops and waiting for my life to end while people come up and join us for a few joints and pipes and even some freebies on the acid and mescaline, and I begin to notice that all around us other people are doing the same -- getting stoned, hawking their wares -- and most importantly, the cops are just plain effing ignoring it all!!!

And so the weekend began. From watching my life flash in front of me to quickly slipping into the amazing wonder of hundreds of thousands of people getting high and having a really freaking good time. I dropped clinical mescaline later that night and spent the entire night trucking around meeting people,just letting it all sort of roll over me and through me, just taking it in.

Saturday -- the hot day. After tripping around all night, I met back with my friend and we headed down to the swimming hole, which at the time I thought was a big lake, but now reckon it was the river.Tell the truth, I'm still unclear on that one. See, one of the nice things about mescaline and peyote is how you can keep taking it and keep getting off. I had dropped again, midday, and was doing quite nicelyby the time we found the water. Dropped my clothes in a pile by a tree, and into the water I went.

I spent the entire afternoon tripping around in the water. It was a blast. People had everything imaginable out there as rafts, boats and floats -- tubes, rafts, floats, tree trunks,etc -- and it was a party on the water. So, the heat never was a big deal for me that day. Hours of water party later, with somewhat wrinkled skin and even more wrinkled mind (nicely wrinkled), back to shore where my clothes and stuff were just as I left them.

That evening (Sat night), I dropped a strong dose of clinical LSD (about 2500 mikes) around8:00 and headed off to find the music -- which had been pushed back because of the heat!!!So, I trucked around and hung out with lots of cool folk while the acid came on. Finally,around 11:00 or so, I found myself down front of the stage, waiting for the show to startwhile starting to peak on that mighty fine acid.

I remember sitting next to a brown haired young lady, and we seemed to be hitting it offquite well. We shared a few pipes from my stash, and I turned her on to a hit of the clinical.She asked me "can you roll some hash in a joint?" I answered, "yes, technically it is possible to do so,but it sure would be a lot easier to just load up the pipe." We were laughing, sitting there in the dirt, when Hendrix started playing and fireworks were going off. You know, I was getting off like a fat rat on that clinical, and at first I didn't think there really were fireworks, I just thought it was part of my trip at first. Well, I guess it was, but not just in my head...:)

Sad to say, the rest of the night is a blur. I reckon two days of mescaline, lots of fine smoke, a powerhouse hit of clinical and no sleep finally caught up with me. My next memory was Sunday morning.Greeted the morning with some tokes shared with some of the other morning peeps, then headed up to the roadto find my way back to our camp. (That's the road in your picture of the folks riding on the bug I'm talking about.)

Spent the rest of the day in a laid back way, until we packed up and hit the road home.

I'll always wonder about that night, and wish I remembered Hendrix' preformance.I also wonder about that young lady, how she fared that night. Maybe some day she'll read this postand recall the red haired dude..

You know, I attended a lot of festivals and outdoor shows throughout the early 70's, even the Dead-Band-Allman Bros "Summer Jam" at Watkins Glen, 1973 (the biggest gathering ever).None came close to the feeling, the magic of the Atlanta Pop Festival, which as I look back on it now I see it as the peak of the Summer of Love in the south, although I agree with one of the posters on this site who said the summer of love seemed to last a few years in the south.

I think the love began to fade by '74 or so, and concerts/festivals became less festive and less friendly,and a feeling of coming together, of community and sharing, gave way to more rigid (and more hostile cops)atmospheres, more people just looking to get fucked up and pary-hardy (hey, don'tget me wrong, catching a buzz and partying are nice, it's just that the yahoos seemed to outnumber the heads). Anyway, it was nice while it lasted.

Thanks for letting me ramble. Hope it perks some memories.

Thanks for the site, the memories. Keep it up.Peace,Tim O'Leary
Name: Joe
City/State: Clearwater, Fla
Date: Sun Sep 25 21:59:13 2005
Remembers...
I was at both the 1st and 2nd festival. The 1st was best and I had a van full of electric watermellons, which we sold, traded, about 100 of them, Most of the weekend was a blur, but we all had great fun. To Jimmy Godwin, I remember your group playing with DOA at a concert in a field somewhere outside of Atlanta.Mountain, 10 Years after, etc. Nothing like those days again. Byron Pop Festival, Sedela Pop Festival, Free music in Piedmont Park. I still have my pair of patch pants can't believe it was 35 years ago.
Name: pffan
City/State: Florida
Date: Wed Sep 21 11:33:03 2005
Remembers...
I've been searching for info about a pop festival I went to in either Alabama or Georgia in the early 70s. At first I thought the 2nd Atlanta Pop festival was the one, but the one I attended didn't have a swimming pool nearby! The photo of a two-lane road crammed with cars and people on this site looks exactly like where I was.

I will desbribe what I can remember, and hopefully someone here will know what I'm looking for. It definitely WAS 1970, 71, perhaps even 72, but no later than 72. I don't remember who performed. We managed to get a parking space (no trees) near to the fence that surrounded the staging area, so we were on the 'main drag' of the festival area. Across the two-lane road were woods that were the domain of the Hells Angels mostly, hookers trading for drugs, and drug dealers. Hells Angels were the "cops" for this event, and we saw many of them carrying chains, baseball bats and the like, and a few of them got out of hand in our opinion.

Leaving the main festival area and down the road a short way was a large pond, or small lake, that was fenced off. This pond had loads of grassy, greem scummy stuff close to shore, but it was so hot that we didn't care...people were standing around debating whether to go in it or not, I said to hell with it and was the first person thru the fence and into the water. A trickle then a stream of ppl followed. Afterwards we never did make it into town for food because it was gridlock, so we just returned to the van and stayed in the shade we rigged up with a tarp.

Anyway, there was no pool, just that pond, it WAS hot, dusty, and loads of ppl...some pretty strange, like the guy who enjoyed his morning walks completely nude with a chicken (yes, a live chicken) on TOP of his head.

I *think* the fence was eventually just knocked down by ppl and they all walked into the staging area, after only the first day, maybe the 2nd day, I don't remember. If anyone attended this particular festival, I would really like to know what it was called, the year, and which state it happened. I know I was there, but memory fails about all else. Thanks! :)
Name: shannon
City/State: macon georgia
Date: Tue Sep 13 23:24:11 2005
Remembers...
My Mom was also at the Byron pot festival in byron georgia and she has the magazine that was published(Byron Pot Festival Magazine)at that time. It is in excellant condition and if anyone is interested it is up for sale. My e-mail is BloopBloop2 AT aol DOT com
Name: Shel Hall
City/State: An island not so far from Seattle, WA
Date: Mon Sep 12 00:50:55 2005
Remembers...
The band I was with in those days, Handle, drove straight through from a recording session in Nashville to open the show on the second day of the second Atlanta Pop Festival. If we had driven in at some hour other than 3:00 AM, I doubt we'd have made it because of the traffic.

Yes, it was hot. So hot the CO2 fire extenguisher in the equipment truck exploded.

Our performance? No one cared. They had all been up until about 4:00, they hadn't slept, it was 100 degrees, and you could smell the dope-smoke 3 miles downwind.

Great memories, though.
Name: Rob Barnes
City/State: Santa Fe, NM
Date: Mon Sep 12 02:23:55 2005
Remembers...
I was on the production staff and worked for Alex Cooley. Amazing because I also worked on the 1st Atlanta Pop Festival at Atlanta International Raceway too. My best story is driving alone, into Macon to buy Gasoline, Flashlight Batteries (400), Flash lights (200), and Beer (5 cases) - and driving that back - through bumper to bumper traffic with a broken out window in the right rear - and I had to keep saying (Politely) - sorry, it's for the production crew. The KMart salesman (kid) couldn't believe his eyes when a dust covered, long hair, (who had already seen 2 weeks of sun burn and weather), walked into his store and asked for 200 flash lights - and then 400 batteries.

The other scene was on top of the main gate to let ambulances into the "area". The crowd was pushing so hard from the rear that they were crushing the people at the closed gate. Alex made the decision "Either we open the gate or someone is going to die." We opened the gate.

I was asleep UNDER the stage when Hendricks played the Star Spangled Banner. I was 22 and this was my summer job before going back to College.
Name: Steve Jolemore
City/State: Norfolk, VA
Date: Wed Aug 3 23:11:11 2005
Wrote...
I was not quite 16 when I went with a young woman (Jackie) who was a friend of my Mom at the time. As has been said elsewhere it was hot as hell and there were drugs everywhere. I had been playing guitar for a couple of years and was very keen to check out all the bands. I remember being very impressed with Mountain, Cactus, Procol Harum, Ten Years After, and The Flock (Jerry Goodman was fantastic on violin - I saw him later with Mahavishnu Orchestra).

Spirit was on another level altogether. Randy California (RIP)played a beautiful unaccompanied guitar solo with an echoplex that was mesmerizing and Ed Cassiday played just about every object on the stage during his drum solo!

I saw Hendrix play for the second and last time in my life but I was so exhausted from wandering around in the heat all day that I could barely stay awake. There is a videotape of Hendrix's performance from that night that was released awhile back - I own a copy of it. I'm sure Hendrix's estate will release it on DVD - just hang in there.

I remember a few more things too. We picked up several hitchers who hung out with us some at the festival. People were basically friendly and cool to be around - I don't recall being concerned for my safety other than when I saw some bikers with weapons openly carried (one guy had a rifle slung across him). I can't remember much of anything about what I ate or drank while I was there.

I bought a black light there (long since gone). I saw women with no tops on and it didn't seem like a big deal. I remember that the porta-potties got pretty nasty after a couple of days in that heat.... I saw some plainclothes police stuff a guy into their (unmarked) car and I remember that some guy yelled "illegal bust" - probably didn't read him his rights. I heard they let the guy out down the road!

I'm grateful that my mother trusted me (and Jackie) enough to let me go. It's not likely that this sort of thing will happen again in my lifetime.


Name: Dean Tuck
City/State: Augusta Ga
Date: Tue Jul 26 21:13:58 2005
Wrote...
I was 13 when my sister and her boy friend took me along, what an eye opener! naked people, drugs out in the open for sale and lots and lots of heat.Just the people watching was worth it.......and the music was a trip....along with everything else!
Name: Jimmy Godwin
City/State: Tucson, AZ
Date: Mon Jul 18 18:37:20 2005
Wrote...
Hi My Name is Jim Godwin, I was the lead guitar player for the group Chakra, we played two sets on different days at the Atlanta Pop Festival. I liked your photo of Debra when we were playing in Piedmont Park my backside looks familar but what was I thinking with those plaid pants? That brought back a lot of fond memories. I feel so lucky to have been a part of it all, apart from the unbelievable fun, there was some incredible music being created in Georgia during that time.

I remember quite vividly standing less than scantily clad as close to the stage as possible while Hendrix played the Star Spangled Banner with that spectacular fireworks display as a background. Does anyone know what happened to all of the movie footage that was shot? I can't believe no one ever assembled it into a rockumentary or something.

I am very sorry to here about the passing of Robin Feld I played many times at the 12Th Gate, I also lived in the same house with her and about 8 others when I first arrived in Atlanta. The photo of the flutist in the window was taken at that house, I believe his name was Norris as I recall but I don't remember his last name, he was a close friend of ours nontheless and traveled with us on the road.

By the way if there are more pictures of the old Chakra band I'd love to see them.

Peace and LoveJimmy Godwin
Name: Steve Ellison
City/State: Cary NC
Date: Mon Jul 18 15:45:17 2005
Wrote...
I had a Volkswagen Bus with flower curtins and peace sign stickers all over it. I was with Dolores Cook of Conyers Georgia. we were either married at that time or shortly afterward. I was 25, didn't last.

We drove down I-75 to the Byron exit that morning of the 3rd and got into that traffic jam that you see, finally getting to the field where we sit up base camp. I was in the early part of my career as an E.M.T.working at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, my home town. I remember the LSD stands on the side of the road and the GSP at the lake where everyone was naked in the water.

I would go to Piedmont Park in the Summer when the Allman Brothers would Jam. I was a big fan of Mountain, since I once was on a plane with Leslie West, and sit in the seat next to him. I remember when Mountain started to play Mississippi Queen we were in the crowed near the stage and I took Cookie and tossed her over the barrier in front of the stage platform and climbed over as well to see if I could get any closer. We hung around back stage for awhile then got back into the crowed.

I worked in EMS until 1985 and was assigned to hundreds of concerts but nothing like Byron, Georgia.


Name: Greg Stephens
City/State: Philadelphia
Date: Sat Jul 9 20:41:58 2005
Wrote...
After attending the first Atlanta festival in 1969 I got the brilliant idea of making money by selling cold wine at the 70 festival. I loaded up the Rambler wagon with coolers of ice and three flaavors of Ripple, Pagan Pink, etc. Bottom line is I got there, got high and in the spirit... peace and love... gave it all away. I had a great time and some special memories.
Name: Marilyn Patricia Darnell (maiden name then) Catron
City/State: Dandridge,Tennessee
Date: Tue Jul 5 03:12:35 2005
Wrote...
was 17 and had already gotten one other gathering and concert under my young belt. I had somehow convinced my parents to let me go to Woodstock the previous year. That is a whole other story. I will say that because I didn't come right home afterwards and never went to the cousin's house I was originally supposed to stay at while up there, my parents weren't as trusting with me as they'd originally been. I know now that seeing an arial view of the concert, hearing Walter Cronkite tell them on the 5:30 news that "the festival has been declared a national disaster area" wasn't what they wanted to hear, or expected to hear. And for me not to come home for ten days or so afterwards was harrowing for them. I was an only child. I

n the words of my mom when I finally got back to the Greyhound bus station in downtown Nashville, Tennessee in the latter part of August, "call June and ask if she wants to go to Panama City, Florida with us, and we will not speak of this ever again. You and I will talk about this once and for all and as far as I'm concerned, it never happened. You put me and your father thru a hell I don't ever want to repeat, and I only hope you can earn my trust in you again". And that, was that.

Until the next summer.....I had been going downtown and on to the Vanderbilt University area where all the head shops were located, and going on to the Parthenon to hang out with other like minded kids every chance I got. Centennial Park was a great place to hang and meet people and hear music and cop a quick buzz. I also had come back changed. No longer totally nieve, but still very green and innocent, I was intent on getting politically involved.

My mom was interested in politics, so anything I was interested in got her attention and approval most times. I remember purchasing my Rolling Stone Magazines and The Great Speckled Bird at the head shops along with the beads and incense and other things that were becoming popular at the time. Had my mom realized how much I was into the whole 60's and early 70's movement, I think she might have rethought her position with me.

But as it was, I had redeemed myself with her during the school yearwith better grades and the year I started writing and did very well in English. One slip, I had failed a half year of History and would have to make it up in Summer School at East High School just out of my high school's region. (I went to Isaac Litton High School, the graduating class of 1971).

When I found out there was another Atlanta Pop Festival, I knew I had to redeem myself and get in good with mother, so that she could somehow convince my dad to let me go. This wasn't going to be easy. I had to promise the moon almost. You have to understand, I'd not come home from Woodstock for over 10 days and for all practical purposes, my parents had feared I was dead or run off to San Francisco to "do drugs and drop out". It didn't help that I had started burning incense, my tastes in music had changed radically in the past few years, I was wearing my hair like all the other girls (parted in the middle which was more natural for me anyway).

Being an only child and a female in 1970 wasn't easy. Only when I promised to call at the stops along the way and when I got to the concert site, and make it back in time to go to my summer school class on Monday was I allowed to even think I was going to get to go. I had to be careful on this one. I think I thought this concert out more than I had with Woodstock. I had more to lose if I screwed up. But I also knew what I was going to, and my parents were still very nieve about what they were letting me go to and be around. For them, any dangers weren't played hard enough for them to worry more than normal.

I remember my dad taking me to the downtown bus station and sitting there and making me swear on his bible that I'd call him and mother at every stop down to Atlanta and the concert site. He also warned me that he


Name: Etruscan Tuscan
City/State: Charlotte, NC
Date: Sun Jul 3 12:38:03 2005
Wrote...
I wasn't there, I wish I was. If I had been a hip 14 year old, I would have hitchiked my way. :>)But listening to the Allman Brothers fantastic shows (Live at the Atlanta International Pop Festival: July 3 & 5) and what I have seen (video bootleg) and heard (Stages) of Jimi Hendrix - you folks witnessed quite an event! Though not as famous as Woodstock, I think the musical performances were better. Maybe the acid was better (no brown acid ;>) A film crew was there - someone should find that film and release it. The sooner the better!Peace and peace out...
Name: Willis Jolly
City/State: Saint George, SC
Date: Wed Jun 22 00:38:09 2005
Wrote...
I was so happy to be out of summer school and qualified for the 11th grade. My friend Jim Mundy and I headed out to Byron Ga on a Friday morning. Jim was from El Paso and had recently moved to a "safer" enviroment, Bamberg, SC. When we hit the traffic I quickly decided that there had to be some reefer close by so I got out of my '66 mustang fastback and followed my nose. It didn't take long for me to purchase a large bag out a van. My next memory is seeing the guys in pickup trucks complete with german shepards guarding the lake on the left side of the road. A chain link fence temporarily seperated the lake from us. When we made it up to the river we were greated by a sight which neither of us ever expected. Naked people everywhere!

We continued down the road until we reached the "main street" on the left was the stage area and on the right was a "street" where drugs were being sold openly. I remember seeing a sign, "acid alley". We headed up the alley and I don't remember much after that but I didn't do any acid. We headed back down to the river to cool off. It was getting late in the afternoon when we parked the mustang near the bridge, undressed and hit the water. I remember seeing "rednecks" standing on the bridge with their cameras and videos shooting away. We waded and swam for about an hour and then headed back to the car. This is when it gets kinda freaky. I discovered that I had locked my keys in the car, Hey, I was excited OK. A couple from New Jersey happened to be comming by and the guy had the keys to his mustang around his neck. He put his key in my lock and opened the door!!! We stayed with this group the next two nights. I don't remember any names but the guy had a box of screaming yellow zonkers or something like that, it was a snack food. Thats what I had for supper that Friday night. I woke early Sat. morning and threw up the sceaming yellow zonkers.

I don't remember much about the music Friday night. We headed back to the water Saturday but we went past the river and back up to the lake. The chain link fence was flattened and we enjoyed the cool waters of the lake, again everyone was naked as newborns. This was when I decided I had to talk to a naked lady. I gathered all my courage, I was 16. I walked up to a beautiful dark haired lady and I don't remember exactly what I said but I did ask her if she would go with me to the concert that night. She smiled and said she would but that she and her husband had just reconciled and they had come all the way from Texas to the festival. It was a nice blowoff I guess.

That night we saw the Allman Brothers and I think Edgar Winter but I'm not sure. Then we got the show of a lifetime when Jimi Hendrix took the stage. I made my way to the front and whatched the artist put on an unforgettable show. Hendrix was .... shall we say well worth the price of admission? I'll never forget the experience, yes pun intended. I was right there during the Star Spangled Banner and the fireworks. Hendricks must have played for an hour and a half. It was truly an amazing performance. I didn't last long after Hendrix. The next morning we were done. We gatered up our stuff and headed back to SC. Jim was pissed because we could not find the purple microdot that he had purchased Saturday night. A few weeks later a girlfriend and I visited some friends in Conway, SC who had recently married. When I told them how coo it was to swim with all those naked people we smoked a joint and took off our clothes. Sounds silly and maybe it was but no harm ever came of it and it never happened again.

Thanks for putting this site together. I was looking for the bands that played when I googled this site. Anyone know where I can get the entire list of prformers? I would also love some more photos. Peace Brother \/.
Name: fabio
City/State: firenze-Italy
Date: Wed Feb 2 10:44:10 2005
Wrote...
Hi man, good personal review but....where are Grand Funk Railroad's images? I would like a hell to see them playing on stage in Atlanta or on a backstage set...could it be possible? Bye my friend
Name: joe tierney
City/State: Louisville, KY
Date: Fri Dec 17 21:35:09 2004
Wrote...
I was there alright. I was 19 at the time...a sophomore at the University of Tennessee. Anyway, a couple of friends, their wives, a wife sister, and me drove from Bellevue, Kentucky to Byron, Georgia. The weather was hot, hot, hot-- easily in the 90s while the Chambers' Brothers were playing around 11:00 at night.

Anyway, we were stoned on acid and it was kind of anything goes festival. There were Hell's Angels all around, people were openly selling psychedelics in make-shift stands as if one were trying to buy something to drink. It was not a "sex, drugs, rock and roll, peace" festival.. it was more like a combat zone. Helicopters were flying overhead, ambulances with sirens were abundent.. kind of like an emergency was happening..... anyway, the Chamber Brothers just sang 'Time'... and had left the stage,... then there was a kind of errie silence.. the kind of silence when you can tell something big is about to happen....then without any other announcement... the P.A. guy screams out............................... JIMI HENDRIX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then suddenly there he was... Hendrix was onstage with his Band of Gypsies...Buddy MIles was playing drums.. I think Billy Preston was there too....Hendrix wore, what looked to me, a long flowing red gown... something like a graduation gown.. he played a green statocaster guitar...he was also wearing a headband.... his first song was 'Fire'.. but they played it so fast... like it was about a 1,000 mph... "you don't care for me.. I don't care about that... I got a new cool, I like it like that... I have only one itching desire... let me stand next to your FIRE.... let me stand me next to your fire...." anyway, he played all of his songs... I'll never forget 'All Along the Watchtower'... 'Foxy Lady' Voodoo Chile, were all truly incredible...a once in a life time event.... then there was Hendrix playing the Star Spangeled Banner, with the fireworks going off in the background...

what a night... I'll never forget it... I understand one cannot go back.. but I really do miss those days... Now it's been nearly thirty five years since.. What a time....


Name: Beau Timberlake
City/State:
Date: Sun Dec 5 0:21:12 2004
Wrote...
Some vivid memories and some hazy ones of the 2nd Atlanta International Pop Festival. I was 16. Rode down with some guy I was working with at Stone Mountain Park that the summer. We drove to Byron after work and got there that evening. As we got closer, I could begin to hear BB King playing in the distance. That was exciting to be in something that was a whole lot different than what I was used to. Music out in the middle of nowhere and lots of folks walking around, generally towards the music.

I think we had tickets, but it didn't really matter because the chain link fence was down and we just walked in. Lots of people. We walked along the edge of the field where the small shops were set up under tents; mostly selling pipes, incense, and 70's stuff. We got as close to the front as we could and listened to, I think it was John Sebastian?? We fell asleep.

The next morning was sunny and a voice from the stage, which I'll never forget, was saying "good morning" and making announcements. She had a great, mellow voice, kinda like Grace Slick's. Also, there was a guy making announcements about "bad drugs","don't take the blue acid, it's bad", where you could get water, and other stuff. They also were having us get up and stretch and do some wake up exercises. We needed to get back to the bug and get some beer, so we left. Somewhere in here, we rode on a car back to the parking area. How we knew where to go, I have no idea.

Cars were parked everywhere. Ours was in a field right off the interstate. I guess we were hungry because we went to the restaurant in the hotel at the I75 intersection. Just a bit crowded. Too crowded to get a seat.

One thing I do remember, is seeing a bunch of naked people swimming in the pool outside the window. We got a restaurant full of people and waitresses; and naked people swimming in the pool. Wild stuff. We drove down into town and ended up getting something to eat at a gas station. Again, lots of people and the cops were pretty heavy in the town area. The town folks seemed pretty friendly and bewildered by all the happenings. Some smiled and waved. Some looked pissed.

Being raised in the South, I knew this had to be like an alien invasion for most of them. We got some ice (I think) and made it back to the car. We linked up with some guys that had just gotten back from Vietnam. They were very intertesting to talk to. We drank some "cold" beer and enjoyed the late morning. I was loving it. I was 16, drinking beer with some Vietnam guys, in a place that was, for a short time, completely cut off from the "normal world". We made it back to the festival area. This is when I noticed the crowd was a bit more rowdy and bizarre.

It seemed everyone was stoned or on their way. Some freaky looking guys selling acid and mescaline. One guy had a loin cloth and staff and a sign around his neck telling us what he was selling. A true salesman. Also, there were no cops around. They were mostly on the roads or in town. I never saw any issues with the cops. Once you got to the festival area, it was a "free drug zone". Drugs of all kinds were out in the open and easily bought. I think acid was going for $2 bucks a hit. The smell of pot and incense was everywhere. Everybody looked and acted stoned. Small groups of folks would stand around and smile a lot. It was starting to get HOT.

About this time I began to notice the motorcycle guys that were in the background. I was a bit intimidated, but curious. You had your feel good hippies, young high school rednecks (hippie wannabees), freakazoids, and then these kinda of scary dudes. They weren't Hell's Angels, but the local Outlaws out of Atlanta, I believe. I just kept my distance and tried to look respectful. Anyway the Vietnam vets were with us, and I felt they would protect us young kids. Now the memories get hazy. I won't go into the details of why. I did get split off from the group and went out on my own. I got as cl


Name: Hank Grebe
City/State: San Mateo, CA
Date: Sat Nov 27 13:54:13 2004
Wrote...
Hi y'all... We're keepin' it together, this global internet village. My high school friend Jim MacDevitt and I hitch-hiked down to the Atlanta Pop Festival from Setauket, Long Island, New York. It was a long journey, but we were in optimistic happy hobbit mode, and we made it, thanks to the generosity of strangers. One of Jim's local neighbors picked us up outside of D.C., so we made great time down through Georgia. I had brought my camera, but there was so much going on, such a great movement of people, I didn't shoot many photos. The festival getting started and Jim got very excited by Goose Creek Symphony. So, you could tell that it would be hard to maintain high excitement and interest for the bigger acts coming later.

There was a warm, hazy orange sundown on Friday, setting behind the Allman Brothers, as they grooved and played a fully classic jamming show. Perfect. I recall looking up at the speaker towers over the stage, and a beautiful blonde girl was pointing at me, playing some kind of game. Cosmic moment. Shoot! She was so far away! I think after that it rained. A bunch of us huddled under a plastic sheet and did some nice bowls. One of the guys had a program and was trying to figure out who was playing next. He got really excited and started exclaiming, "Beefheart! Beefheart's gonna play!" I hadn't heard of Captain Beefheart at that time, so I thought the guy was nuts. We took in a lot of music that night.

It was the first time I had ever heard blues played by the real McCoy, B. B. King. He put on a great show, and sang classics about "she bore me 7 children and now she wants to give 'em back." John Sebastion, Mountain and Procal Harum filled out that night, and I never did hang around to see Beefheart. Did they actually perform? Did Jethro Tull ever perform? I saw Beefheart a number of times over the following years, and shot some photos of him that have ended up in revent CD jackets. They're on my web site, http://www.mediaspin.com/rockpix.html

The next day, Saturday, Jim and I wandered around and took in some of the music early in the day. We saw Mott the Hoople and Spirit. Spirit is one of those great, lesser known bands. It's funny that one of their songs, "Fresh Garbage" was recycled by Pink in Charlies Angels 2... modern times.

It got brutally hot and people knew about a local swimming area. Turns out it was a private lake guarded by local troopers with German shepard dogs. It was funny to watch a line of naked hippies advancing towards the lake and the troopers. The authorities decided it was OK to swim, but they warned us to be careful because it was mainly insurance risks they were concerned about. So most everybody got naked and cooled off and had a great time. Except for Jim. He got stung by a bee on his butt, and maybe lost his wallet too. He wasn't the greatest vagabond traveller.

It seemed like paradise to me. There were good old boy locals hiding in the bushes, watching young hippy girls giving each other mud baths, smearing slick mud clay all over each other's bodies while sitting in some of the lake's backwaters. We found some vegetarian food to eat, back at the festival camp grounds were our base was, and then headed over for more music.

We knew Hendrix was supposed to play later that night, so Jim and I found a spot and watched Ten Years After, Chambers Brothers, and I can't remember who else. This was back in the days before big video projection screens, so it was sometimes hard to stay involved in the show. Jim had lost our recreational mind expanding materials at the lake, and we were running out of gas fast. So, we must have slept through Hendrix. I guess you know you've had a long day and partied heavily if you can sleep through a fireworks show and live Jimi Hendrix.

By Sunday we just didn't care any more and our ride back to NY was leaving around noon. So, that's my story. I hope the DVD footage comes out, so I can try and remember what happened. Thanks Carter, for this website enabling a community to form around those good times. Keep the music and magic alive!

- Hank
Name: Mike "Skinny" Payne
City/State: Griffin/Atlanta, GA
Date: Wed Nov 24 23:59:31 2004
Wrote...
Was in high school and living just north of Griffin when the first festival came to the raceway. A carload of friends decided to go check out what all the comotion was about. I was into a lot of the music but had never really been exposed to the culture. We wandered around and met several people and tried a little weed. We found our way to the front of the stage at about the time Janis Joplin came on. I pretty much stayed at that spot for the rest of the evening. And from that point on I was sold on a different way of life.

By the time the second festival came to Byron I had left home and school for the "strip" in Atlanta and fully explored this new lifestyle. I came home to Griffin a few months before Byron after a run in with the law. I worked a local job to earn enough money to buy a ticket to Byron and went down about a week early.

I was there specifically to see the Allman Brothers, Ten years After and Grand Funk and I was not disappointed. But the best memories I have is reuniting with friends from the "strip" in the camp area and meeting new ones.

I avoided the acid but the weed was plentiful and I don't think I had a completely unstoned period the entire weekend. I did spend some time helping out in the OD tent with some friends.

After the festival I returned to the "strip" where I spent another couple of years before another run in with the law which sent me home to return to school and maintain a low profile for my probation officer.

There are so many other memories, good and bad, that are too numerous to go into here. It was a special time and although my current life would have me avoiding the experiences again I would trade nothing for them.


Name: Jeff Burton
City/State: High Point N.C.
Date: Fri Nov 12 20:28:03 2004
Wrote...
When we first heard about a second festival in 1970 we bought tickets in advance. It really does make a nice souvenir,I really would like to have my pictures back though.The gang left High Point early on the 30th of June headed for Atlanta to spend a couple of days with one of the guys sisters.

The Gang consisted of in no particular order Lanny Swaim notable keyboardist and songwriter in his own right, Garry Dixon God rest his soul great drummer and vocalist, Gregg Walker very accomplished guitarist and downright brainy guy, Greggs' brother Dwight Walker, longtime friend and pretty neat individual who I hope sees this and gets in touch with me, Mike Harris funny guy and one of the best bassists I have ever heard or seen,Terry McMillan all around crazy guy and Hellacious harmonica player the only one in the bunch to go on and have an actual career in music GO TERRY, Remember harmonica on Dr. Pepper commercial thats him, Rachel Swaim Lannys' sister and all around sweet person, and finally Wanda Johnson, Lannys' girlfriend at the time.

We arrived about 2 days before the music started to get a good place to set up. Gary and Mike had been the year before an kind of knew what to expect. Being only 15 at the time I had NO IDEA but still came fairly prepared with enough food for about 10 people,money enough money for drugs and other goodies, and after a stop in South Carolina on the way down enough fireworks for a truly memorable 4th of July. In true 20/20 hindsight the fireworks were more fun watching them come over from the raceway than at the campsite. But it was really bitchin' lighting 10,000 firecrackers while really ripped.

I don't know where that one guy was that said he only saw 1 portable shitter but there must have been a couple thousand where we were I still remember playing the Jiffy Johnny Blues with Terry McMillan and dropping a G harp in the shitter when I got up to leave. Terry was right next door and thought that was some funny noise coming out of that shitter. I do remember the dump trucks full of water coming around to fill up the cans with the spigots on the sides and the fire trucks squirting people down on Saturday. I couldn't believe all the people and little or no water. The heat was just ridiculous, I honestly don't think a lot of people would have made it without drugs.

As near as I can remember it was a tossup between Jimi and Grand Funk for best of show, but I'm prejudiced toward Jimi. I probably appreciated Grand Funk more after the Live Album came out, the quote inside about the kid being born right there and having to go through life with a name like Grand Funk made an impression. I always wondered what happened to the film that was shot at the concert maybe someday the movie will make it and everyone can enjoy the scene like we did. Mostly I was impressed with the planning and setup at the concert site, the HUGE flag over the stage, the electric substation built off to the side of the stage, the P.A. system and lighting equipment, and the stage itself. It was a well thought out if not carried out event and should have some kind of recognition as being significant in the grander scheme of things that was the late 60's early 70's. PEACE! J.A.B.
Name: Lanny Swaim
City/State: Winnabow, NC
Date: Wed 3:26:13 AM Feb 21, 2007
Wrote...
 I just discovered this site and read Jeff Burton's account of our trip to the second Atlanta Pop Festival in 1970.  Jeff's details were fairly correct but a little off the mark.  
The group included me, my 16 year old sister, Rachel, (can you believe my parents trusted me to take my little sister to a pop festival?), Gary Dixon, Greg and Dwight Walker, Mike Harris, Terry McMillan, Wanda Johnson and Jeff Burton.

Me: I am a singer/songwriter/keyboard player/recording artist that is now in a full time music/teaching ministry.  I recently recorded a southern/country Gospel CD in Nashville entitled "for such a time as this".  A single will soon be releasing to Christian radio.  I moved from High Point to the NC coast 21 years ago and operate my ministry out of Winnabow, NC in Brunswick County.  In 1970 I was 19 years old.   
Rachel:  My little sister has a grown son, Gary, who is a musician/singer. Rachel works at a CVS pharmacy in High Point, NC.   
Gary Dixon:  A very good drummer/singer/harmonica player.  We first played together in a rock-n-roll band in 1969.  He was a session player on a CD I recorded in the 80's entitled, "Finally".  The CD is a 60's flavored rock musical on the life and ministry of Jesus, somewhat in the style of "Tommy" by the Who.  Gary is now in heaven.   
Greg Walker:  An excellent guitar player that went on to study music at Berkeley (I think).  I have no idea where he is today.   
Dwight Walker:  Greg's brother.   
Mike Harris:  One of the best bass players I have ever heard.  Mike also played with Gary and me in 1969.  He played with me on the "Finally" CD also.  Today he lives in High Point and is on disability.  
Terry McMillan:  A good drummer and great harmonica player.  He became part of the A-team of session players in Nashville in the 80's.  Almost every country record that charted in the 80's had harmonica on it and almost every one was Terry playing.  Terry became a Christian but continued to struggle with substance abuse.  He died a few weeks ago.  
Wanda Johnson:  My girlfriend in 1970.  Went on to become a serious Christian, marry a wonderful guy (not me), and have children.  
Jeff Burton:  I've lost contact with Jeff.  Enjoyed reading his account of the pop festival.

I remember driving to Georgia in a 1961 Ford Fairlane, getting off I-85 and creeping for hours in bumper to bumper traffic to get to the festival site.  I remember the extreme heat.  I remember being one of only a few straight people in a crowd of half a million stoned people.  I remember wondering why I wasn't having fun.

Gary Dixon and I had gone to the first Atlanta Pop Festival a year earlier (it wasn't Mike and Gary like Jeff remembered).  The first festival was in the Atlanta Speedway and only had about 60,000 in attendance.  I remember many of the groups that were there and I enjoyed all of them.  Between the first and second festivals I had accepted Jesus and my Lord and Savior and had a very dramatic "born again" experience.  Perhaps that is why I didn't enjoy being among half a million stoned people at the second festival.

I don't remember many of the bands that were at the second festival.  One of my favorites was John Sebastian, a solo artist that had many hits in the 60's with one of my favorite 60's bands, The Lovin' Spoonful.  John came out on stage by himself, sat down with his guitar, and played and sang like he was in someone's living room with just a few people.  There just happened to be half a million people in his living room that day.

I also remember Jimi Hendrix playing at 4:00 in the morning on the fourth of July as fire works were shot from behind the stage.  Two months later Hendrix was dead, another victim of the drugs that his music was all about.

I remember not being able to see who was on the stage because it was so far away. I remember being down in front of the stage during the day and seeing an old fire truck driving through the crowd spraying people with water.  Suddenly I noticed that a boy and girl hanging on the back of the truck were completely naked.  The next thing I knew almost everyone was naked.

I remember a kid in the ditch beside one of the dirt roads in the pecan groves that we camped in.  He had his pants down around his ankles.  I asked him if he needed any help.  He grabbed me by the hair and started jumping up and down screaming.  I got loose from him and quickly put some distance between me and him. I remember standing in line in my bathing suit to take a shower.

I remember people walking through the crowd selling electric peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (sandwiches laced with LSD). I remember an announcement from the stage that there was LSD being passed around in front of the stage that was laced with rat poison. I remember all those kids talking about peace and love.  They were clueless.  I knew even then that they were clueless. There is only one way to true peace and love.  His name is Jesus.


Name: edwin alexander
City/State:
Date: Thu Nov 11 22:37:22 2004
Wrote...
We set up camp in a pecan grove where everyone staked out there own tree.My mom made the trip with with our group of friends.She manned the camp while we came and went from and to the music area.We climbed a eight foot,barbed wire topped fence to get into an experimental government peachorchard. Over the three day period we feasted on the fattest, juciest, sweetest, fruit that has ever grown. The perfect food.Mom cooked breakfast each morning,this led to the coining of the phrase "scramble my brains mom,I'm tripping" which we would use way to often in the years to comeI've forgotten more than I remember but all the memories are good,the Brothers twice,Mountain,Hendrix on the fourth. Thanks for your memories.
Name: Dolf van Lieshout
City/State: Europe
Date: Sun Nov 7 11:38:14 2004
Wrote...
Hi Guys & Girls of the sixties,I was wondering if anybody saw the Rolling Stones live in 1969? I am trying to write a book on that tour so people who went to their show in 1969 please contact me at dolfvanlieshout@yahoo.com

Thanks,
Dolf
Name: David Harris
City/State: Haughton. La 71037
Date: Wed Oct 20 09:59:18 2004
Wrote...
I was in military for the second big gig. I WAS at the First big gig. It was tooooo cool. I was in El Paso when second Festival was held. I ended up in same Unit as a guy who was at second Festival. B.C. West Jr. He was from Atlanta. Anyone out there know him? Would be great to hook up with him. Lost touch with him after '72???? Scwabach Germany!!!! Any help would be greatly appreciated Love-Peace-Happiness David Harris 318-949-0153 853 Hwy 164 Haughton La. 71037
Name: Jeane Andrews
City/State: Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Date: Tue Oct 12 14:52:05 2004
Wrote...
Hi y'all, I remember it like it was yesterday.I had returned to my home in Birmingham from Chicago, when my brother David told me about a festival. He suggested we hitch there.I had been a go-go girl for a few years with the push bras and fake everythingto enhance my performance.I experimented with psychedellics which began to change my perspectives on all things.I took off my bra, I was wearing a top of course, and stuck out my thumb to goto a happening. Being new to hitching I was glad to be with my brother.When we arrived near the site there were cars forever. We got a ride and got near thegates to see all the people coming and going. Someone was selling LSD and we dropped a tab.At that point my brother disapperaed into the crowd and I was alone.WOW All I can say is I was too stoned to be frightened.I paid my fare and enetered with a blanket and no shade.I thought I'd find my brother.I wandered through the area and found the first aid area, food booths, water hose, toilets and soon. I slept under the stars at the back of the field surrounded by starry eyed friendly people.The next morning I found my way to the river to have a bath. When I returned I found a group of peoplein a tent with room for me near where I had slept the night before.I now had a home and not once was I afraid.The night with the Chambers Brothers seemed likeeveryone was on the same trip and I felt so much love from all directions.I did not want to leave.All the bands and everything was so wonderful.I discoverd Screaming Yellow Zonkers.On the Monday as the grounds cleared I found my brother not more than 10 feet from where I had stayed all week-end.He went to Atlanta with some ladies he met and I hitched home alone.That is another story.Thank youJeane
Name: Gary Roach
City/State: Knoxville, TN
Date: Sat Oct 2 04:09:26 2004
Wrote...
very once in a while the Second Atlanta (International if i remember correctly)Pop Festival will cross my mind. Usually it's when I'm having drinks with friends and the subject of bands and concerts comes up. I've tried to describe what it was like, but I'm not sure that many believed me. So this site is sort of a validation that it actually happened.

You know what they say. That if you can remember the 60's and 70's you weren't really there. Unfortunately there is a lot of truth to that. Doing drugs and drinking til you dropped was considered recreation back then. And the older I get the harder it is to remember anything at all! But, I do still have some memories of that hot summer in Byron, GA that have never left me. In fact that whole period of time was incredible. And I remember thinking at the time that it was an extraordinary time in which to be living. American culture was changing before our very eyes.

I was 17 and had just graduated from high school in 1970. The previous summer I had never smoked pot and hadn't heard of Woodstock until it was over. I guess I'm one of the few people to ever claim that I wasn't there. The only reason I heard of it then was because the older brother of a high school friend of mine had gone. He was a draft dodger and sold pot to make a little money. My first experience with drugs was buying a nickle bag of pot from him which my buddies and I split. So by the summer of 1970 we loaded up my 69 Camaro with our stash, a cooler full of ice, a few groceries, and bottles of wine and headed south on an unforgetable road trip.

Actually I can't remember who went in my car. But, it had my high school buddies. I do remember thinking that Atlanta was a misnomer because the festival was nowhere near Atlanta. But, we eventually found it. In fact, you couldn't miss it. Traffic was backed up for miles. And suddenly you were in the midst of thousands of like minded individuals. This was no small thing in 1970. At that time hippies were treated as badly as blacks in much of the south. (I still think that someone tried to poison me in a small diner in South Carolina just because I had long hair. But, that's another story.) I seem to recall the crowd was estimated at 250,000, but I've seen estimates twice that. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. And this is where the disbelief comes in when I tell my friends about the festival. They can't believe that they never heard of it if it was that large. But, I've only run into one other person since then that was there who wasn't one of the people I already knew. Where did all those people go? Well, some of them have turned up here. After all these years.

We parked the car in the orchards. I really can't remember what kind of orchards. But, from the others who have written, I assume they were pecan orchards. What I mainly remember is that it was HOT. It was really really hot. Did I mention how hot it was? Well it was. It was really hot. Firetrucks had to be brought in just to hose down the crowd to make sure that people didn't die from the heat. And what I also remember is that I walked around barefoot the whole time. During the summer I would often go barefoot and my feet were pretty tough. But, after walking on hot pavement (did I mention how hot it was?) and walking on straw that had been recently cut, my soles were like shoe leather by the end of the festival. Or maybe I had just lost all feeling on the bottom of my feet.

We spent the days checking out the site. Flatbed trucks had brought in ice and water and were making a fortune selling it. Everyone was smoking or doing acid. I remember a swimming pool somewhere that was completely brown from everyone jumping in to cool off. And I remember seeing one port-a-john. One port-a-john. For thousands of people. Maybe there were more. But, I don't remember seeing them.


Name: carl montgomery
City/State: roswell, ga
Date: Fri Oct 1 14:43:04 2004
Wrote...
It was an event that can not be reproduced, I still can't figure out why my parents let me go. It was one of those experiences that words come up short. Hendrix in the middle of the night, waking up at dawn with the music still going, skinny dipping by the thousands, watching the lights cone on at the race track for choppers to land. I think they were taking girls of to have babies, I heard 3 were born there. Somewhere I have a t-shirt, poster, and most of the ticket. Being there was something else.
Name: nick carr
City/State: louisville kentucky
Date: Sat Sep 25 17:44:02 2004
Wrote...
I enjoyed swimming down at the lake. The view was great. Looking was the best I was able to do.Was it shynes or just to overwelmed?
Name: terryl greene
City/State: chattanooga, tn.
Date: Mon Sep 20 23:19:28 2004
Wrote...
Time...Time...Time has come today...I can still the hear chamber brothers....What a great time..Me and two friends of mine hitched down from chattanooga....our first ride was with a real cool head in a grey VW..He said jump in..lets go to atlanta...then he aked if we were holding...or had a stash...we said sure thing man..he said break it out..so we did and got really ripped...We thought.. we had it made... Only too be let out on the side of the road in dalton..he said I've got to get my girlfriend..see ya at the festival...which was not cool..being stoned on I-75...Our next ride was with a business man in a Impala...a young guy in his mid 20's..he said..hey guys got a stash?...We said..no way man..so he said try this...he reached underneath his seat and pulled out a spay can of bactine..dissinfectent spray...then he sprayed some in his hand and sorted it...wow..we all got on board passed around the can and broke out our stash as well....lol..anyway.finally made it to byron 3 rides later...The first thing I remember were the outlaws breaking the fences down..and screaming...It's a free festival..We all jumped up and down and were real happy..till it set in that we just spent $14 bucks at sexie sadies for our tickets...The outlaws were a real drag..they blocked the only road into the festival..begging for free beer...they even took away my friends mirror sunglasses....of course they did say thanks...lol..anyway,Radar a great band from atlanta opened the festival....I think The Allmans played next....but that's when the orange sunshine started coming on...all I could do was laugh....it was my first trip...then the rain started..and we all ran for cover...I was really messed up..we ran into some girls our band had met in daytona the week before...they gave me a piece of watermelon to hold on too...I knew the melon was real...I had doubts about me....later some guy wanted to give some squash cake....it was wrapped in foil...I tasted it and said man..it taste just like chocolate cake..he said hey man it is....squashed chocolate cake....lol...anyway...as the acid wore off I went back in..and heard The chambers brothers...then poco..I remember Richey Furray saying...hey were scared shitless....then they broke into..you better think twice..wowow,,Poco was so good....Then Jimi came on...I was a little dissapointed...it seemed to me that jimi was singing out of key...or maybe it was me..At that time I was shivering...thinking it was the acid..then some guy said..hey man your sitting on a bag of ice...lol...Later fireworks dropped like bombs...the crowd sort of scattered..trying to avoid being burn't..then jimi flew out in a copter....lee michaels and frosty came out...they were great...after a while I went back to the campsite....can't remember much else....except maybe drug alley...the heat..naked hippies...lomg lines in the few portapoddies....and the long ride home..peace
Name: john reager
City/State: memphis Tn
Date: Tue Sep 14 21:05:18 2004
Wrote...
It was hot !!! I was with friends from Athens Ga. I was awol from the army. We were in a 53' chevy with an american flag painted on drivers door and it had race car written on it and it was parked next to the familys psychedelic painted old school bus. We were close to the od tent so we helped talk people down. We were nude most of the time execpt for wet towels on our heads. People were selling ice for 5 dollors a bag and we told them we wouldn't let them if they didn't donate some to the od tent. They said fuck you and my friend Bix just took a few and just started running through the crowd on his way back to the od tent. He had red hair and freckles.Nothing was ever funnier than his red freckled butt booking through the crowd with people cheering him on. They tried to get the crowd to help get the ice back but the people were with us. I was at Woodstock too. More people shared there. People came to Atlanta expecting that but the resourses weren't there. More takers than givers but we tought the young ones how to survive. The Angels were a problem but not a big one. They could be reasoned with and the fence came down soon. Love won jpr
Name: Fred Smith
City/State: Statesboro, GA
Date: Tue Sep 14 13:35:35 2004
Wrote...
I was 17 at the time and lived just north of Byron in Macon. Growing up in conservative Macon, I was not yet committed to an alternative lifestyle, but I liked many of the music groups who wore going to be there and I was curious about the lifestyle. So me and a friend bought tickets and made the short drive back and forth between Macon and Byron each day. Coincidentally, my high school nickname was Goon, and my friend's nickname was Goon also. Since I was the first Goon, we tended to call him Goon Waldrip. We drove nearly indentical white '64 Dodges. I'm sad to say I don't remember a lot about the festival. Some of the things I do remember are making the drive back and forth to the lake where everyone swam to the pecan grove where everyone parked with about 30 people in and all over my car. I remember all the people swimming naked, but rather than being sexy as you might think, it just seemed weird. I remember drinking Ripple and passing out as the bands played one evening. At one point the Allman Brothers started a jam. The tune was familiar but no one in the area I was sitting in could figure out what it was. Then it came to me and I declared: "It's that Donovan song, First There is a Mountain!" Everyone immediately agreed that that was indeed the song.
Name: FRanky Grinstead
City/State: hawkinsville,ga.31036
Date: Sun Sep 12 07:08:02 2004
Wrote...
Great siteReminded me of those days of my youthmseems like such a long time ago.I was 18 just got out of high school,was working with my uncle helping build houses.My friend came by the job sying hey man I hear theres some kind of music festival going on up at Byron,Hiville is only 20 minutes away lets go up.We loaded up in my Dads 66 Chryslar 4 door picking up some riders along the way.We could not beleive the people we saw hey a lot of freaks man!Of course we had ststrted drinking along the way could not beleive the half naked girls waiting for a ride along the road .Came back home that fri nite late,but we headed back up ther next day.with a car load of local friends saying yall aint gonna beleive this,turned us locals on to some drugs we had not seen in out little town,we were never the same,remember seeing Hendrix way off & the fireworks,dont remember how we got back home.We saw on the news they we saying do not come to Byron, it had been declared a disaster area I think,the cops could not do anything so many people I remember as far as I could see just people having a great time,wild motorcycle riders,everyone riding on top of the cars asa you slowly drove for probably3 or 4 miles with people on the sides of the road just partying for all its worth.After the big festival they had a few small ones but I think the state had banned any more gatherings of that many people.Yea we were young we all had short hair didnt realize hair didnt make you cool so to speak.Seen a lot of miles since then Ive been married 28 yrs. to the same wonderful woman,i have one son,and 2 wonderful grandkids 5yrs,&1yrmthey are such a nig part of my life now.I still live inthis sleeply little town of Hawkinsville,ga. hope I get to die here.God has truly blessed my life as I have what I call the american dream.Ive had my own business for 25 yrs. now,Im not really rich with moneymbut Im so rich in other ways that I now see whats important in our journey. Reaching 50 yrs. old was really a landmark for me IM now 52 doesnt seem too old because I still think of myself as young thats really just a state of mind, I finally understand that statement.Your as happy as you make up your mind too be. So trueIts kinf of early on this Sunday morning in the south 5;00am,another problem of aging seem to wake up at odd hrs.I was wondering if anyone thought still about those days of long ago,I enjoyed reading of peoples rememberings.If you are reading this take this bit of advise from a former flower child.Took some drugs got high or so I thought back then,but the greatest high is fron on high,yes JESUS CHRIST is the way the truth & the light.I owe my life to him,I pray that if you dont know him that you soon will.I marvel everyday what GOD has in store for me as the saying goes been a long strange trip.Peace & love for hawkinsville,ga.
Name: psychedelic solution
City/State: new york, ny
Date: Sat Aug 28 12:55:08 2004
Wrote...
Hi again- Here is the link to the 1969 cardboard poster- http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=45103&item=3835502272
Name: psychedelic solution
City/State: Atlanta Pop Fest posters available
Date: Fri Aug 27 19:59:44 2004
Wrote...
Hi all, just wanted to let those looking for Atlanta Pop posters know that we have both the 1969 and 1970 festival posters available if you are still interested. Feel free to call me toll free (800)558-7950 and I can give you the details. Thanks, Brad
Name: howard poulson
City/State: greenville south carolina
Date: Tue Aug 24 15:14:07 2004
Wrote...
I was there in 1970 and drove my motorcycle from Miami, FL. I was curious as how to obtain the handbill or poster even if it's a reprint. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!
Name: Jeff
City/State: Charleston, WV
Date: Sat Aug 21 05:06:59 2004
Wrote...
I am looking for an original (or reprint) of the first festival poster in 1969. Anybody with any leads?Thanks.
Name: MichaeL Andrus
City/State: Clearwater Fla
Date: Tue Aug 17 16:06:13 2004
Wrote...
uly 1st, 1970... I was 15 years old... we left Pier 60 on Clearwter beach in Ted Jenson's van around 9 at night. My sister, Sue, 16 years old, Ted, John-John and his girlfriend Karen all piled in and off we went. Ted was a friend from Bradenton and John-John and Karen were friends of his from that area. John was a serious guitarist and though only 17 her looked much older with a long full beard... Karen was very short, long dark hair and looked like an indian, always wearing her dark blue knitted stocking cap. I remember that John and Karen did not get high, but my sister, ted and I smoked killer all the way there, arriving sometime in the early morning before dawn... we set up camp and both Sue and I went exploring, going our separate ways. Sue had been a groupie since she was 13 or so and as such, happened to know several of the people putting the festival on and so was on her way to find them... I grabbed a loaf of bread and set out to simply check out the already-packed-with people pecan groves in which we were camped. The loaf of bread was simply a way to feel part of the magic of the surroundings and I intended on handing out pieces of it as I went. Little did I know what I would end up with in return. After spending several hours roaming a wide area, checking things out and handing out the entire loaf of bread, I had accumulated 5 or 6 hits of orange barrel sunshine ( so fresh that the orange came off on my fingertips and stayed there for days... ), several hits of mescaline, a few yellow jackets and at least 1/4 ounce of assorted and varied types of pot... all unsolicited and all given in trade for the pieces of bread... such was the culture of the rapidly-coming-to-an-end "60's"... when I arrived back at our camp, I was tripping pretty heavily, having done a half hit of the ornage sunshine. I remember this so clearly, sitting byt the van watching this huge influx of freaks appearing from everywhere, setting up camps, playing guitars, singing, chopping wood, pitching tents... the strains of music seemed to float down to my ears from the treetops... it was everywhere... and the festival was two days from starting. As I was sitting there following the trails left by passersby and getting into the intense colors emanating from my acid-addled eyes, I noticed a Triumph motorcycle come roaring up to camp with my sister on the back. The person on the front had very long blonde hair, a huge fu-manchu and aviator shades on... he looked awfully familiar evedn in my dazed state... my sister hopped off, ran to the van, grabbed a shirt, stopped where I was sitting and said, hey... this is Duane, Duane this is my brother... he stuck his hand out and I shook it in the "bro" handshake, saying to him, are you from Clearwater... he just smiled and shook his head... then he said take it easy, and they both got back on the Trumpet and roared off... later that nigth I asked Sue who he was and she just laughed at me, making me feel stupid, saying Duane Allman, dumbfuck... I was like... cool... Sue had met him a few years before at the Electric Zoo in St Pete when his band at the time, the Allman Joys, had palyed there... Sue had been hitching a ride on the side of a road near where the stage was being finished and he had recognised her and stopped... she spent most of the next 2 days with him. After a while lazing around the camp, I ventured out once again into the great multi-colored beyond and it wasn't long til I ran into people I knew... I was told that the "Clearwater" was on the other side of the festival near the free stage close to a swimming pool... I found it without a lot of trouble and I ran into my sister's ex-boyfriend who was a fairly big-time pot dealer at the time and he gave me about 50 huge bags of excellent Jamican pot ( this was some 3 months before the first Colombian pot hit town... it was so good that we all were convinced it was opiated and it became, for years after, known simply as "the big O"

Sorry part of this was lost in transmission.

to sell for him and told me to just get with him when we all got back home... so..cool... I now had plenty of stash. After wandering around the Clearwater camp, I ran into Todd, a friend from Largo who had a large bag ( around 100 maybe ) filled with hits of blue pentagram acid which he said was STP based... whether or not it really was, who knows... and we didn't care, really... it was just a selling point... after hanging out for a bit we took off together to check things out. I ended up selling his acid and he sold my pot... I have no idea why, it just ended up that way... later that day, we came across a guy trying to sell the coolest suede vest i had ever seen... the fringe hung down to my ankles... i had never seen anything like it and I wanted it... after dickering back and forth for a while he finally agreed to take a half ( probably close to 14 grams ) a bag for it after smoking some to make sure it was quality... I now ahd the vest and put it on immediately... however, after a while, the fringe got to be a hassle swinging back and forth and constantly getting between my legs as we walked, so I bummed some twine from someone, I tied the fringe in a huge ponytail behind my back and presto... problem solved... on our way we went. ( Man... the memories of all this are so much clearer than I thought possible after more than 34 years... but this, I can see, is going to take much more time than I thought, so I think I will do this in installments... I will call this "chapter 1: Byron; The Electric Pecan Adventure" )