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June 14, 2012

Amazing Vintage Photographs of the Atlanta International Pop Festival, 1970

The second Atlanta International Pop Festival was a music festival held in a soybean field adjacent to the Middle Georgia Raceway in Byron, Georgia. Originally scheduled for July 3 to July 5, 1970, it did not finish until near dawn on the 6th. It was the only successor to the first Atlanta International Pop Festival 1969. The event was promoted by Alex Cooley, who had organised the same event the previous year, as well as the Texas International Pop Festival.

Like the Woodstock festival the previous summer, the event was promoted as "three days of peace, love and music." Tickets for the festival were priced at $14. Also like Woodstock, it became an "open event" when the promoter threw open the gates after crowds outside began to tear down the plywood fence that had been erected around the site. An estimated 350,000 to 500,000, and possibly 600,000 people attended.

Performers included The Allman Brothers Band, Jethro Tull (scheduled but did not perform, citing laryngitis), Terry Reid, B.B. King, Procol Harum, Jimi Hendrix, Chambers Brothers, Poco, Grand Funk Railroad, Captain Beefheart(scheduled but canceled), Ravi Shankar, Ten Years After, Johnny Winter, John Sebastian, Mountain, and Spirit. Jimi Hendrix played to the largest American audience of his career, presenting his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner for the fireworks around midnight on the Fourth of July. Local Atlanta bands Radar and the Hampton Grease Band also performed.

(Photos by Earl McGehee)

1 comment:

  1. I have a 32x32 poster of the Atlanta Pop Festival...from a friend that was a jounilist at the 1969 is in excellent condition...just would like to know if it was as popular as the one in 1970..before my time...but cherish the poster and have it framed..would like to know more about it..Thanks




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