The Archive

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Updated Jan 2016

This site is dedicated to the memory of Roger Hutchinson, who inspired me to delve deep into the magic of the free festival and who passed away Sept 3rd 2010.

R.I.P. Roger .....

For information on today's festivals see eFestivals.co.uk

Big BIG thanks to our sponsor Neil !

"Andy Roberts (author of Albion Dreaming) is now writing a book specifically about psychedelics and free festivals. He would welcome any information on this topic such as info on dealing psychedelics at festivals, prices, types available, methods of smuggling psychedelics in, photos of dealers' signs and basically anything related to psychedelics and free festivals. All contributors will be credited and no compromising information will be revealed! Please contact Andy


1970-1985.

 


  The Aroma of a Free Festival
   The olfactory senses of the nose can play a major role in stimulating memories of the past. Just sensing a smell of a yew tree takes me back to a holiday in Devon where I spent many happy hours playing, aged five, around a farm yard with the musky perfume of an ancient yew permeated the area around the hay barn.
   The aroma of Free Festival was different to any other music festival with the main difference being a wholesome lack of smells related to burger vans, as most free festivals were mainly vegetarian. This lack of fast food in any quantity meant that there was a lot of communal self-catering or free food and much of this was cooked on branch wood fires. The pungent reek of home grown grass or the sweet biting smell of Afgani Black caught your sensory attention as you moved around the site between the camp fires surrounded by happy campers.

    Personal hygiene amongst festival goers, if memory serves me right, was of a reasonable standard and many wore musk oil as much as a fashion habit as to disguise any body odours. The midges and mozzies got a bit much some evenings and lit joss sticks were positioned up-wind of the encampment to deter the minute but irritating creatures. The alien smell of disinfectant greeted you as you approached the toilet trench as a wash-the- hands-after bucket stood by the flapping modesty screen while the contents of the trench smelt as they naturally should but no way as bad as at some paying festivals I attended. The dead thin smoke of diesel exhaust from the stage generator mingled with the green chlorophyll scent of crushed grass around the main stage. The fusty smell of stored canvas stretched up on poles after a winter folded in a damp shed and the attractive hunger alarm bell aroma of a vegetable curry with smooth scent of a bubbling pot of brown rice.
    I might have not thought about that period, twenty-five years ago, in many months and then my nose catches a scent of wood smoke on the calm evening air and I am transported back to that time and state of mind.
Roger Hutchinson


Free Festivals List

Any info to add- well don't just sit there ! Contact us

Free festivals and small fayres held in the United Kingdom between 1967-90.

1967-69.

 1970-79  
1980-92

 

  • Windsor Peoples Free Festival 1972-74
 
 Free festival related articles
Pay Festivals- Benefits for Travellers aid.
 

Main list of Free festivals 1970-1985

Free rock festivals of the 70s and 80s

Related Articles

The aroma of a free festival -by Roger Hutchinson

Dome construction instruction sheet (download-140k)-by Roger Hutchinson

Travellers Tales Convoy Steve's tale of how the freaks outsmarted the fuzz at Greenham common.

Zorch -House band for the free festival set ? A fanzine page on the UK's first electronic band .

Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe-surreal pranksters of the Traveller community .

Acidia Lightshow Lightshow for Windsor festival and Stonehenge in the 1970s.

Traveller Daves Website - Chock full of of free festival photos !

Many, many thanks go to Roger Hutchinson , Big Steve , Roger Duncan, Celia, Will , Chazz, Jeza ,Chris Hewitt ,The Fabulous Time Tortoise , Peter Piwowarski - ( 70s music site/photos ) Martin S, Steve Austin ,Traveller Dave, Herb, Tim Brighton, Vin Miles, Haze Evans , Noddy Guevara, Chris Brown, Janet Thompson, David Stooke, Gary Gibbons , Nigel Ayers, Rich Deakin ,Glenda Pescardo,Justin Warman,Brian F, Steve Bayfield, Kev Ellis, Paul Seaton and many other minor contributors for their help in providing the archival material related to these free festivals which has at enabled us to construct the site .

Any info to add ?-well don't just sit there , Contact us


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