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The Knebworth Park Festivals.
Knebworth Park Concert .
Led Zeppelin, Todd Rundgren's Utopia, Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes,The New Commander Cody Band, Fairport Convention ,Chas and Dave.
Led Zeppelin, New Barbarians, Todd Rundgren's Utopia , Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes,The New Commander Cody Band,Chas and Dave.
Festival Welfare Services .
Its easy to forget that behind every major (and often minor ) UK outdoor concert or festival was an unpaid and dedicated group of volunteers who gave up their time to minister to the concert goers who needed services that promoters could ( or would not ) provide, such as first aid, information, drug counseling , support and other essential activities . In addition, they also provided feedback to promoters and councils so that festival services could improve as the years progressed .We have the reports for the 1979 Knebworth festivals and reproduce them here , they provide a fascinating glimpse as to what went on behind the scenes and are a fitting tribute to all of those who helped out at these events over the decade.
Samaritans, Festival Branch - Report on Knebworth Festivals
August 4th and 11th 1979
A team of Festival Branch Samaritans attended both Knebworth Festivals this year with a team of-24 volunteers at the first and 20 at the second. .We arrived on site on the Friday afternoon before both Festivals and left about midday on the Sunday. At both festivals we operated from our main centre tent in the arena next to the FWS marquee and we also had a back-up, quieter centre in the admin area. At the first festival we shared our admin centre with Release because the marquee they were expecting was not provided. At the second festival, we used the Samaritan
mobile centre (a converted coach) in the Admin area.
We also worked with the rest of the FWS groups manning the information desk on a rota basis; this work was coordinated very well between the groups thanks to the hard work of the FWS Field Worker, and our only real problem was the lack of communication between the arena information tent and the campsite, especially at the end of the first festival when we were dealIng with numerous very,distraught lost people. At the second Knebworth we overcame this problem by having a definite time for operations to move from the arena to the campsite.
Our Samaritan Centre was manned from the early hours of Saturday morning through till 8 am on Sunday; we saw a fairly steady flow of people during the day and evening of the first festival, but we were conscious all the time of how difficult it was for people to move in the crowded arena and certainly some people who were sent to us by St John Ambulance never reached us. In total we saw some 85 people, presenting the usual range of problems.
On August-11th we in fact saw more people. 101 people were seen ,perhaps because it was easier to get to us as the crowd was smaller, but but mainly I think because there appeared to be many more distressed people in the crowd at-the second festival, and certainly there were many more hard drug problems.
General comments about the festivals and the facilities which were provided have already been very well covered by the Field Worker's Report. I agree with all the points that are made in her report and would only add that, due to the hard work and good co-ordination done by the Field Worker, we achieved at both Knebworth festivals an excellent working relationship between the different welfare groups.
The events in this tangled chain can be read in Freddy Bannister's book, " There Must Be A Better Way " , which chronicles his adventures in promoting the giant concerts at Knebworth from 1974-79. More info about these concerts can also be found at the Knebworth House site and at Rip Gooch's site, which contains substantial portions of text from the now defunct book Knebworth Rock Festivals, by Chryssie Lytton Cobbold.
The performances from Knebworth 75 that I know exist on tape .Pages contain recording details , photos and links .
As far as I know none of the other acts were recorded . But here's the details of their performances , plus a photo of Linda on-stage provided by Henry Cobbold.
Site details .
- Knebworth House photos of the festival site.
- Richard Arridge's photos of the festival.
- Ove Stridh's photos of the festival.
- Festival posters and programme details
- The view from the mud -recollections of festival attendees-updated nov 2002
Can I get a witness ?
I have been endeavouring to collect as many tapes of the artists that featured at the 75 bash , so I can effectively review the performances, provide set lists and band line-ups. The intention is to also display as many personal histories of the festival as possible.
If you can contribute in any way, with tapes, reviews from the Music press, photos or personal histories, please Contact email
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