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The Loch Lomond Rock Festival

Cameron Wildlife Park, Balloch, Dumbartonshire.


May 26th 1979

Sneaky Pete . The Stranglers, Dr Feelgood. Third World,The Skids ,UK Subs,The Dickies .

May 27th 1979

Boomtown Rats ,

Average White Band,

Fairport Convention, The Buzzcocks

Rockpile ( with Nick Lowe)

Photos courtesy Gordon Gurvan

Images are in the public domain, sourced from the Scottish Archives.

Loch Lomond Festival 1980 report ( includes many photos )

   This was a two day festival ,held in 1979 and 1980 - a rarity for Scotland, which is a country that really doesn't have enough suitable weather for the hosting of extended outdoor events. The audiences were much younger on the 26th- reflected by the mix of bands on the bill. Unfortunately It rained heavily at times on the first day which put a strain on the younger , more inexperienced audience. The weather on the second day was fine and the older audience attracted by the " old fart " range of bands were more fortunate than the young uns that attended.

    You can see just how muddy it can get at a Scottish wet weekend by checking the photo of the young gentleman who is playing in the mud here .It says 1981, but we think its from 80 as there wasn't a festy held in 81 and it is supposed to have pissed down in 1980, resulting in a lovely mudbath for the natives to cavort in.

Festival Welfare Report

The festival took place in the compound of the Cameron Bear Park, Balloch. Estimated attendance over 2 days was 35,000.
The first day was orientated towards punk music and attracted a very young audience, mainly local. The attendees on the second day were considerably older and more 'mature'.
The weather on the first day was cold and sombre with some very heavy rain showers, but the second day was very fine.

Site Facilities


In the compound (arena) the toilets were of the 'roundabout' variety divided into Ladies and Gents areas. There was some hesitancy amongst the ladies to use these toilets, but on the whole they were sufficient in number and were regularly emptied, although they tended to get messy. In the car park and on the campsite the toilets were inadequate in number and tended to get very messy. There was only one roundabout unit on the campsite for both ladies and gents, and the permanent toilets in the car park soon became unusable (people were sleeping in these at night) There were no toilet facilities on the site for the disabled.


There was, in fact, a sufficient supply of water in the compound, although the taps were not marked and were very difficult to locate, causing people to give up hope of finding any water. Hardly any of the security staff in the compound knew of the existence of the water supply. The water supply in the car park was adequate, although again it was unmarked. On the campsite there was one tap beside the toilets, with queues at times.


Refuse disposal

Skips were situated in the compound, car park and on the campsite .These skips were fairly well used although there was a large quantity of tin cans littering the compound. Some plastic rubbish sacks were supplied by the promoters but these were mainly used by people as protection during the heavy rainstorms.

Food and Drink .

Commercial caterers were employed in the compound. Prices charged were reasonable and the selection of hot food available was basic, if somewhat limited in choice, especially considering that it was only food supply available for many people over 2 days. Most stands had long queues, especially in the evening. Also for early arrivers on the Friday night there were long delays before any food was available on the campsite. In the compound there was a plentiful supply of beer and lager available in cans. Although tin cans had to be opened before purchase, this did not seem to significantly influence the quantity consumed. The lack of an obvious water supply seemed to encourage more people to consume the available alcoholic drinks, especially as bottles were not allowed to be brought into the compound and many attendees had to leave their supply of bottled soft drinks at the entrance gates.

Welfare Facilities

Medical and First Aid.

The medical and first aid services were provided by the St Andrews Ambulance Association and a team of doctors and nurses from the local hospital. They worked from a hospital caravan situated, just outside the compound, within a short walk from the campsite. First aid teams patrolled the compound during the event, treating casualties in site or taking them outside to the hospital unit. Ambulances stood beside the hospital caravan during the day until the crowds were cleared from the compound at might. There was n6 first aid cover on Friday evening before the festival commenced and there were people waiting to be treated on Saturday morning when the first aid unit arrived. Although the hospital caravan was not opened during Saturday night after the concert finished, medical personnel were sleeping in it in case of emergencies.

The first aid unit left the site after midnight on Sunday evening when the festival was over. The hospital unit was very busy and handled a constant stream of casualties over the duration of the festival, ranging from headaches to broken ankles and a drug overdose. In all, approximately 250 casualties were treated. The unit worked extremely hard and effectively and treated their patients firmly but considerately. Cooperation with the police and many of the security staff was very good and a radio link from the hospital to the police caravan was available. Their were some difficulties experienced by the medical personnel as a result of the lack of passouts, for festival goers brought out of the compound in need of medical attention, who subsequently wanted to return to the compound, or friends of casualties who accompanied them to the hospital caravan, then had to be escorted by medical personnel through the security check.

Counselling Service.

The Samaritans tent in the compound was busy and volunteers saw many people with a variety of problems .On the first day especially many of their clients were very young first time festival goers suffering from excesses of alcohol .The Samaritans tent was also used by many people as a source of in formation , due to the lack of any other information unit in the compound. The Samaritans had a base on the campsite which attracted some campers, especially those who had arrived unprepared for camping out in the cold. The Samaritans and the first aid unit worked very well together, and two welfare workers linked up with the Samaritans, on standby.

Crash marquees.

The promoter supplied 3 large crash marquees in one of the camping areas. The marquees were very full. Many people who had come unprepared to camp out could not get home and were attempting to sleep out in the open air did not realise that the marquees were available. The welfare groups sent people seeking shelter to the marquees.


Many complaints were heard about the "heaviness" of some of the security staff. I personally encountered 2 members of the staff who told me they were drunk and didn't care what went on. The medical unit dealt with several people who alleged that they had been unreasonably handled by the security men. The general feeling was that there was too much security.

Many complaints were also heard about the lack of pass-outs. This meant that people who entered the compound as soon as the gates opened could not leave again until after the end of the day's music. This created a feeling of claustrophobia and aggression amongst some people. The aggression was amplified during and after the heavy rain when people were cold and wet. There was only limited shelter from the rain in the compound, and a pass-out system would have enabled those with cars to have gone and sheltered in them during the heaviest showers, or to have fetched their waterproof clothing from vehicles.

There were 2 pay telephones situated in the compound beside the meeting tower. There were long queues for these nearly all the time. The telephones would have been better positioned farther away from the stage, as it was almost impossible 'u o hear whilst the music was playing.

Tin cans could be brought in and were on sale in the compound. They provided missiles to be thrown at the stage or into the crowd at the front of the stage, despite attempts by security staff to prevent this.

Because alcohol in bottles could not be taken into the compound, many people arriving with alcohol in bottles sat down and drank it outside the gates before entering. This meant that people were entering the compound early in the day already drunk, and then continuing to drink throughout the day.

Police presence inside the compound was very noticeable. Several arrests were made, mainly off site, for attempting to break into the compound, drug offences and abusive behaviour.

Despite some shortcomings, the festival seemed generally to be thoroughly enjoyed by most people, and as the first festival organised by the promoter, was very successful.


1. Pass outs should be issued, so that those wanting to leave the arena and return to it later the same day, may do so. This is especially important in bad weather, when people can leave the arena for example, to shelter in their vehicles during a rainstorm.

2. Water points all over the site to be clearly marked.

3. Basic first aid facilities to be available on the evening before the festival when campers arrive, and to remain on site until all the festival goers leave. A first aid tent should be provided at the back of the arena.

4. An information tent to be set up in the arena, preferably with personnel having local knowledge.

5. More telephones to be provided at the farthest point in the arena from the stage. ,

6. At least one toilet to be provided for the disabled.

7. Tin cans not to be sold in the arena, or allowed to be brought into the arena, as these provide missiles and cause considerable litter problems. Alcohol and other drinks could be supplied in plastic containers.

8. More food stands in all parts of the site, especially on the campsite prior to the opening of the festival, for early arrivals.

9. A large site plan in the arena showing toilets, meeting point,water supply, telephones, etc and a notice board.


Loch Lomond Fest '79.

I was at the first LL festival and John Caulfield certainly was the promoter. He even came on stage for a moment at the behest of some MC or other... He came on in a heavy parka, just waved and left, a bit too overawed to speak.

The festival itself... I remember that there was an MC present... Mr Superbad... a black American soul dude sort of DJ or something with a shaved and polished head and big shades... he's pimped out in a white suit and huge medallion sorta thing.... doing all this jive talk between acts... Many in the crowd shouted racist abuse at him, others threw missiles... He took it like a trooper... I think somebody shouted 'give me your shoes'... or he was responding to a missile thrower... but he took of and flung a very expensive looking gleaming white pimpy cuban heeled ankle boot into the crowd...
a second later it came flying back at him in a long arc and battered into a flashy jazz style Gibson guitar on its stand where it waited for the entrance of the Average White Band.

Another thing that happened... During the Boomtown Rats set a local pipe band was marched on to accompany the band for one song. I read somewhere a few years later that the band were meant to leave after a minute, but they so loved the applause they stayed onstage for at least 12 minutes and Geldof during most of this time was furiously screaming at them to FUCK OFF...

Johnny Scorpio

went to both gigs 79 was by far the best. distant memory of jj burnel playing the end of toiler on a hill next to the stage, radio mike on the
trusty fender precision. the skids, dr feelgood and a cracking band sneekey pete.1980 was not as good- the jam were not good not bad either.i do
remember mr super bad (used to advertise k-tel records on tv)giving us the football scores england won 2-1.still got my badge/ticket stubs/newspaper and whats left of my memories of a great time- the stranglers the best band
of all time.. nuff said.


Loch Lomond Festival 1980 report ( includes many photos)

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