updated Dec 2011
Plumpton Race Track.
Mr. Brian Sommerville, festival spokesman, said :
"the Saturday attendance at last year's festival was between 50,000 and 60,000. This year the advance bookings have been bigger than ever before, so we are expecting at least this number and possibly more."Almost 10,000 youngsters slept on the festival site last night, many of them in the open air. Hundreds more slept under hedges by the side of the roads. But despite the villagers fears there were no signs of trouble. The security officer , Douglas Fairweather, who was on patrol all night in a mini-moke, said:
"After midnight the area was as quiet as a grave.A lot of young people went out looking for excitement after the festival had finished but all they found were country lanes so they just went to sleep.".Mr. Alan Carter. in charge of catering at the festival camp site, said he had already sold 30,000 bottles of soft drinks and 7000 sandwiches and had served 3.000 meals. '
"The festival has hardly started yet so-l just can't imagine how much food we are going to get through over the weekend."
A spokesman for the organizers said today that an electrical
fault which stopped a performance by The
Soft Machine last night was caused by the group's own equipment.
He added: "There is adequate power laid on at the race course and as far as we know, the failure was not our fault.''
The Soft Machine's drummer collapsed in tears on stage when a power failure brought the opening night to a halt last night.
group's drummer 24-year old Robert Wyatt kicked away his drums and broke down
into tears . He was helped off the stage in a state of collapse. Afterwards
the group's manager, 26 year -old Sean Murphy said:
"Robert is too upset to talk to anyone. He is crying his
eyes out. He takes his music very seriously. He has had five 4 years of classical
By the time the fault was finally corrected, their scheduled hour was over and they did not reappear. The festival organizers believe that overloading may have caused the breakdown.
An estimated 25,000 fans were at the opening night of the three day festival. On the whole they were restrained and well behaved, and there was no violence. Thousands had brought their own tents and bedded down on the prepared camping site. Others were charged 2s. each to sleep in huge marquees, but the organizers segregated the boys from the girls.
Many preferred to try and find a place to kip outside the festival ground but the 200 strong special security force laid on by the organizers - including off-duty policemen and soldiers on leave as well as mini skirted nurses ,students and even school teachers stayed up all night patrolling the village and rounded them up.
Some of the villagers formed their own unofficial vigilante patrol, and offered lifts to fans to get them out of the village.
Earlier- housewives had stood at the gates of their homes watching the youngsters arrive. At one stage yesterday after noon the queue at the camping site was half a mile long.
Fans, some from the United States, Canada and all over Europe-many. colourfully
dressed, boys wearing beads. and ribbons in their hair. A great number were
barefoot. Throughout the festival groups are playing simultaneously on
two stages -one in the open air and the other in a giant marquee behind the
festival's own "mini village"
which has been set out in tents to try to make the festival self-supporting.
This includes a discotheque , fashion boutiques, record
and book shops. a camping equipment
supermarket, a coffee shop. a dairy and food stores.
More than -40 groups are appearing. The total Festival budget exceeds 15.000 pounds
Tonight (from 6;30 p.m.) fans can hear ;
The Who, Chicken Shack, Yes, Fat Mattress, Spirit of John Morgan, John Surman, Aynsley Dunbar, King Crimson, SteamHammer, Groundhogs, Gypsy, Ice Cream and the Wallace Collection.
Tomorrow afternoon (from 2 p.m.) there's ;
Pentangle, Jo Ann Kelly, Magna Carta and Ron Geesin. In the evening (from 6.30) there will be the Principal cast of "Hair," plus the Nice, the Family, Chris Barber, Clouds, Blodwyn Pig, Eclection, Keel Hartley, Julian's Treatment, Affinity, Hard .Meat, Babylon, Cuby's Blues band, Circus, and Hardin and York.
You can view many great photos of the acts at Plumpton by visiting the Repfoto site .
The early festivals.
You can find out the complete
line ups of the first festivals if you follow the links below.
Most of these have fairly complete documentation .
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