The Archive

Formatted at 1280 X 1020 minimum - failure to view at this res may cause weird formatting , you have been warned !!!!!!!

Updated October 2013

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


1967-1990.


RIP Don Aitken : 26th November 2009- FWS: TAT: Release: Welfare Prisoners Abroad and many many festivals .

Photo © Glenda

    No don't panic , you are entering a zone which MAY offend your bourgeois sensibilities, but as long as you keep in mind that you are exploring a site dedicated to those who tried to live in an alternative manner , to push the boundaries , to take risks and who also made many sacrifices along the way for their lifestyle, then you may , just may come to appreciate their take on life, even if you don't agree with it .

 

Arthur Wally and friend, Watchfield Free festival 1975

Photo © N Ayers

    When most people think of Festivals they think of the big ones, Bath, IOW , Knebworth , Glastonbury, Donington . The festivals that have gone down in rock history as being THE significant events of the age . But, throughout the 70s and 80s - and almost unnoticed by the rock mainstream press and punters, there maintained the fragile stream of free festivals. Organised by die-hards determined to keep some of the spirit of the counterculture alive ,( the organisers often facing harassment from authorities , even imprisonment) -these (mostly ) small scale events persisted throughout the decade. They were later to mutate into the raves and travellers gatherings that took place during the latter part of the century and which persist today.

   This site is dedicated to all those who attempted to keep the spirit of the free festival alive and particularly those , such as Arthur Wally and Rico , who have now passed on .Also to the Beanfield survivors , (such as our old mate Phil The Beer ) who were victimised and lost their homes to oppressive forces wielded by the state.

    There's still precious little in the way of documentation on many of these festivals online. In an attempt to create somewhere where those interested in the early history of free festivals can easily find something about all the festivals - or at least the fact that some of them took place at all , we've created this index of the free festivals we know of and sites that contain any information about them . If the site has a good deal of information about the festival we have linked directly to it and marked the page with a #. If its hardly got any content we've usually added the information to the pages we have created about the event . Most of the pages now contain links to photo sites of the festivals on the net , bands that played at the festivals and any recording details .

   We have built this site from contributions from our viewers, the people who attended the festivals .I never cease to be amazed at just how wonderfully generous most people are in contributing their pix and their memories to add to the site. The only problem we really have had is getting many later travellers to go for it . There are notable exceptions , but there are far fewer contributions than we would like from the hardcore travellers of the late 80s and 90s . We'd like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone who was a part of the scene to write to us and make your voice a part of this site, which has been created for free for everyone , so the whole world can see just what went down in Thatchers Britain in those long dark years when the ' Iron Lady " made life miserable for anyone who wasn't prepared to toe the party line .

   We are proud of the contribution we have made to Andy Worthington's sociological history of Stonehenge and the free festival scene in the UK .This new book gives a fascinating insight into the various counter cultural obsessions with the Stones and provides a variety of new perspectives to many of the key events surrounding the Henge such as the Battle Of The Beanfield and the more recent attempts hold a celebration at the Stones during the Solstice.Find out more about this great book by clicking on the image on the left and visit the Heart of Albion Press web site .

       A book been now been released about Free festivals, Travelling Daze by long time festival afficianado Alan Dearling. We weren't aware of its existence until we came across it on facebook, which seems to be where things are happening nowadays, especially free festival wise. Unfortunately for this site, poeple are contributing there and not here and this is leading to very few new pieces of information being sent to us. This may eventually lead to this site being frozen in time, a victim of changing technology and tastes. So be it, we may end up like Allans book, a partial record, ( as any book , by its very format , has to be , unless it is going to be endlessly updated) .

 

  This list is in no way definitive and is being added to whenever new information turns up , therefore the site is constantly being updated . Information has often been gleaned from net scouring and therefore is almost definitely NOT completely accurate .We particularly need first hand accounts and photos of these events NOW whilst memories are still relatively intact and photos haven't faded away . If you can help with ANY information please do not hesitate to Contact us

Poster advertising just some of the free festivals held in 1984:courtesy Anthony Hewitt.


R.I.P. :-obituaries for Traveller and Free festival folk.

July 2008
Nosh and Bill

Nosh - half of the famous Waggy Poo Cafe in the early eighties - purveyors of the finest bacon sarnies and greasy fry ups on the free festival scene. Bill and Nosh built the Waggy Poo Cafe trailer and toured the free festival circuit for several years - eventually 'borrowing' £2 grand from the Nat West bank and emigrating to Spain where they proceded to build a puppet show and drink a lot of brandy.

Both Bill (who sadly passed away to the great Coco Loco in the sky several years ago) and Nosh were very well respected and loved by all their fellow travellers as kind , generous and creative people. Nosh always had the kettle on for a brew and bill was the only man ever to succesfully weld ice to a slug - an engineering feat still unsurpassed in modern times !.

Bills son , and Nosh's adopted son is Nick Wilkinson - who went to Holland in the eighties and trained under many world class spanish guitarists to become one of the finest Flamenco players in England (www.123flamenco.com) . Nosh is survived by Nick and her daughter Trish.
Posted by Convoy Steve


Dazza

If you didn't know then I thought I'd let you know that Dazza died some years ago - can't remember the date or time etc., as I was in India when it happened, I worked alongside him in Coco Loco at the Henge (about the last BIG one). I also 'worked' with him in London (importing) from 86 to 90. If there is a pic somewhere of him, it'll most likely be on Tash's site.

I used to live on Powis Square - around the 60's and travelled with the Convoy; Henge, Inglestone, Deeply etc,.
Thanks for the site and the nooz of Sooz Da Blooz.

Bonzo


Bumpy

Yet another obituary for a long loved brother - a guy who was central to the whole peace convoy - a guy called Alex who was known as the 'old man' or 'bumpy' on account of a large growth on his forehead (which he had removed soon after me and Mac returned from Dublin in '83 with fake ones from a joke shop stuck on our heads ) - he was from the eastend of london and a neighbour and friend of the Krays - lovely people - a kind and generous soul who basically bankrolled the peace convoy for years and was regarded as a kind of leader if such things could ever exist in the anarchistic leaderless scene that was the peace convoy .

He paid for the spray paint that i used to spray all the vehicles on the way to greenham common - him and spider (RIP) rode point on the convoy to greenham in '82 ahead of the 120 vehicle convoy on spiders motorbike, he had a great sense of the essential spirit of the freedom that came from life on the road and the release from straight life that we all felt !.

He was one of six of us who had CB radios on the legendary Inglestone Common to deeply Vale convoy in '81 - there was Golden Apple, Dognut, The Reptile, Popeye, Olive and Red leader .

Alex. A portrait by David Stooke ©

 

In 1982 he 'married' his long time partner Cherry in a wonderful celebration at the stonehenge festival ( i think she is now horse drawn in NZ) - he eventually settled in Spain and lived out his remaining years growing olives and enjoying the sun.
He was a mate , an inspiration - totally fearless and an anarchist till the end .
God rest his soul and bless him with an everlasting pipe !!

Respect
Convoy Steve

If you have news of Free festival and traveller folk who have passed away let us know and we will add their obits here, photos would be good if they exist.

is really sad to hear about Bumpy and Spider as me and Spider became good friends in ' 80 / ' 81 at Ingleston Common, another guy was Spike, does anyone remember him and what became of him? as i've still got a Psilocybin Rune stone painted by him when he came to winter with us in Cardiff, he was also featured in the South Wales Echo around that time for his pavement art in the town centre, (not a good thing as he was on the run) but ever the optomist he "borrowed" a friends motorcycle in the pretence of going to score, and disappeared leaving me to explain why he had left with a load of cash and a bike, but he phoned my parents house and left a message that he would meet me at ingleston, where he put me up in his lodge before we went to a lorry park on the M5 and "borrowed" a Tarp, so i could get a bender together...

Marc Downey


Phil The Beer.

April 2010

I knew Phil before he became a traveller , way back in 1972/73, when we both lived in Loughborough. I haven't seen him for 30 years, but I'm hurting , Phil was a good mate , despite the passing of the years.

You could always rely on Phil to have FUN .He lived in a council house in Lobro, way out on the edge of town. One day I was supposed to take a post office exam , but made the mistake of visiting Phil beforehand . We proceeded to spend several hours chillumising and yakking . By the time I left his place I was in no fit state to undertake anything , let alone an IQ test. But somehow, I cycled back into town, took the exam in a daze and by the merest fluke , passed the frigging thing .

Then they asked me to cut my hair and I told them to get stuffed. Phil would have approved .

Later on Phil and his misses bought a truck and he became a well known and very popular member of the traveller community. He was done over by the plod at the Beanfield in 85 , his vehicle being burnt out. Undeterred , although much affected by the trauma of the Beanfield incident , he kitted up again and later lived in both single and double deckers , working with Andy Hope as a member of the Green Roadshow crew. Eventually Phil quit the road and settled back in Loughborough. The death of his daughter Lucy in august 2007 was a severe blow and Phil became something of a recluse.

Boom Shankar Phil, Rest in peace.......

Der Shark

Phil's olde mate Android Heap adds his two penneth's worth ....

Phil at the Beanfield 1985

Phil Shakesby.

A portrait by David Stooke ©

Phil Shakesby ( aka Shakey, Jake, Phil the beer, The Maroose, Sausage Fingers ) was a truly remarkable man, a loyal and treasured friend, fearless, righteous and totally his own man. The tales of his exploits still echo in the ether and many are retold around a bright crackling fire under a black night sky or in smoky rooms to laughter, smiles and a respect that borders on awe. To many he was a legend - people he never met would claim to have travelled with him just for the kudos of using his name.

From the moment he first hit the road in 1979 (after narrowly avoiding a stint in HMP for possesion of a 5ft high maribanana plant which he was caught with as he was trying to stuff it up his living room chimney and set it on fire - bollock naked) he took to it like a duck to water - he loved the freedom of no house, no bills, no bailiffs, straight job working for the man - to gather your own wood and water and live by your wits is a simple yet challenging life and Phil rose to it like a good'un. He was the first person on the road to embrace wind energy and had two turbines running the power to his fire engine way back in 1982 ! .-

He had a reputation as a hard man which was justly deserved - in his prime he was undefeated in bare knuckle street fighting and became a legend in the East Midlands - undefeated in man to man contest - a born scrapper as one his school friends was telling me at his funeral .

Once a guy came to Loughborough to challenge him, just like something out of a Clint Eastwood movie. He found Phil in a pub and they walked out of town to a quiet field, stripped off their jackets and set to it. In a matter of seconds the challenger was put on his arse and told, in no uncertain terms, what would happen to him if he got up! He decided, wisely, to back down and they both walked back to the pub where Phil bought him a pint and sent him on his way with a shake of the hand. That was the beauty of Phil - he was like a Samurai, controlled in his anger yet without a trace of malice. He had a code - he never struck first and would endure much taunting and abuse until someone had a pop at him and then - Doosh !!.

 

He called one fist 'a bat of an eye', because it was so fast, and a the other 'a fortnight', because that was how long you would have the bruises. Often just the prospect of meeting these two babies in anger and the knowing glare in those determined eyes half an inch from your face, was enough to make many would be protagonists decide to back off and slink away. Once, when Phil was living in his double decker in Andover, he got wind of a group of crusty travellers whose main occupation was robbing hippy sites on dole day when everyone was out signing on, Phil, who was working for himself repairing and selling pallets at the time got wind of a visit from the marauders and decided to teach them a lesson they wouldn't forget!

The access to the site he was parked on was tight and involved turning in through two posts. Phil moved the posts closer together and dug a hole in the middle to drop a third in when the time was right. Sure enough, on Thursday when Phil was the only person on site, a transit van with three scabby disgusting thieving reptiles huddled in the cab, came creeping menacingly down the lane - as they turned into the site through the tight gateway Phil ran over and dropped a post in front of them - they were trapped! He then took up a twatting stick and proceeded to beat fuck out of the cab, smashing windows, the roof was stove in, mirrors, headlights - the three would be pirates didn't know what the fuck had hit them and desperately tried to reverse which only ended up wrecking their motor even more! Finally they got free and reversed up the lane and away to the sound of laughter and the promise that " if you bunch of cunts ever come back you'll get that fucker again up hill and down dale! "

I don't think I have ever met anyone who had such a resilience to adverstiy - Phil had some troubled times as a young lad which left him angry and bitter, yet, in time, he rose above that, and again and again after yet another failed relationship or family tragedy, he found the inner strength to laugh and joke about life.

 

Phil's Bus, The Shark , 1988

After the Battle of the Beanfield in 1985 he was charged with numerous serious offences, conspiracy, assault, affray, which if found guilty, could have meant him serving 10 - 15 years in jail. He was resolute and refused to plead guilty to anything - the sight of his fire engine and caravan on fire (torched on purpose by the Old Bill who disgraced us all on that day) gave him the purpose to see the court battles to the bitter end. Many times, at Winchester Crown Court where he was represented by one of Britain's finest barristers,James Wood - his own solicitor would urge him to plead guilty to a minor charge just to sweeten the prosecution but Phil said no - and after two years, he received not guilty on all charges! This single mindedness however took its toll and I have sat round a fire with him on more than one occasion and heard that big voice falter out and break as he went over the tale of the Beanfield and the battle for his freedom afterwards! He knew fear - but he never let it beat him. That is true courage.

Another beautiful David Stooke painting, this time of Phil inside his bus" The Shark " at Stoneycross in 1986 © David Stooke

Whilst he was on remand in jail in 1984 after Nostell Priory had been trashed by 100's of Old Bill, he discovered the Bible - a book he often referred to as 'the manual', and read it from cover to cover - not just taking in the words and treating the whole thing as a story but really understanding the truths contained between the lines. Once in Andover when he was living in a house, two Mormons came to the door - Phil welcomed them in and they talked at length about God and scripture. Next week four Mormons came and the next week six...eventually the elders of the church came as well to see who this new sage was and after a heated debate about the real truth of the Bible - forbad any more contact with him as he was obviously the devil incarnate. He had beaten them using their own arguments because he had a true and pure understanding of God.

I have often said that his life would make a great movie - I cannot begin to count the hilarious times we had together - like the afternoon I got stung on the lip by a wasp whilst we were picking plums in Evesham between festies in 1980 - it swelled up really big and I got freaked out thinking I was going to die - Shakey was laughing so much he could hardly walk and the more I shouted at him the more he guffawed !! - the bastard !!.
Another time , at Glastonbury - he was carrying his full to overflowing caravan bog out of his door to go and empty it at the long drops . .just as he was about to step down from his trailer the bottom bit came off and hit the floor,exploding on impact and showering him and his trailer in shit - oh how I laughed then . . .!!!

I left his flat in loughborough once a few years ago after another laughter filled visit - and as we hugged he wished me 'God Bless' and told me never to forget we were just stardust and totally insignificant in the great scheme of things...he was convinced that the world was going to end in 2012 - as the Mayans and Revelations predicted - and, if you were interested - would spend hours telling you how it was all falling into place.

He spent the last years of his life preparing (in his own words) for a good death and was not afraid of his own mortality. After Lucy, his eldest daughter died in 2007, he took to his bed for 6 months and never really recovered. His health deteriorated and eventually took its toll. He went to meet the God he so thoroughly believed in the 'Father, Mother, Creator' as he liked to call her/him/it - after a brain haemorrhage and now I am left without the only man who could make me cry with laughter.

Shakey Jake - you are gone from this place but you will never be forgotten. I'll see you on the celestial road . . . .x


Lucy , Paul Dakin (with goose ) and Phil in the good old days at Paddock Wood © Chris Humphries

See more of these photos here

Hi
just found your site somehow! I see at the top there RIP Phil the Beer - that's Phil and was Angie and daughter Lucy(?) I'm sure that's who it is although I remember him with a big beard. He had Commer walkthrough and then later an old fire engine... I worked with him down in Paddock Wood picking apples and then he came back to Berkhamsted/Tring with me and spent the winter living in a place called Two Ponds Lane. He was from Loughborough alright and there was another couple - friends of his with a really nice green FG and caravan - can't remember their names... yes I can - Andy and Cherry! A long time ago...
I was at one of the Psilocybin Fayres with Gypsy Dave and Pru if I remember right. We travelled around together for a bit, think I had a J4 van at the time. We were at Megan Fayre a couple of times and some other ones. I travelled around with a few of the folk of that era.. Bender Dave, Gypsy Dave, Arthur Wally, Pikey Pete.. etc

Phil and Lucy came with me and another couple with their two young kids to Ireland I think it was December 1981. On the way through S. Wales it began to snow and Phil's windscreen wipers packed up so he bravely continued for a bit looking out the side of his Commer!! Needless to say we eventually had to stop and camp for the night. When we awoke next morning there was a good covering of snow, but we made it to the ferry (later that day or the next S. Wales was closed down by the snow!). We got to a place near Waterford called Fiddown and camped in a layby by the side of the river Suir. When we woke next morning we were next to an oil depot! They also did coal and stuff and the lads working there used to 'accidentally' split open bags of coal and let us take it.

We were there for a while when we got news from Co Cork there were some festival people there signing on the dole. Phil was really short of dosh so he set off for Co Cork and found a place to camp. He sent word to us that he found a great place, so we headed off to join him. We arrived at his camp and got settled in where upon he regaled us of a story of this guy he'd met down the road. This chap had sort of taken sympathy on Phil and Lucy and invited them for dinner. Phil noticed a lot of pictures of the same man on the walls and asked his host who the 'dude' in the photos was! It was some guru this chap was into - he took offense to his Lord being termed a 'dude' and never spoke to Phil again!! It was hilarious how Phil told it! We did have some laughs together but I also saw a sad side to the man as well, and I think he was a lonely guy in some ways.

He headed back to the UK in the Spring and we would bump into each other now and then. When we were in Paddock Wood there were another couple with us - Danny and Tess, and also a friend of Phil's from Loughborough way but I really can't remember his name. (it was Paul Dakin )

I ended up staying on in Ireland for a bit longer and got together with the lady who I'm still with who was living at a place called Derrynanig. Some other noteworthy types were there - Moff and Carry, Mike the Beast, Geek and Carreen, Russ and Jane, Jo and Benny. My wife, known as Miffy then, had lived up in Tregarron (?) area of S. Wales and knew Jo and Ness. I was living over towards Cardigan and Newcastle Emlyn not far from the site of the Meigan fayre which I went to a couple of times. We used to go over to see people just outside N. Emlyn at a place called the Valley. One of the residents was Alex (King) who I see also passed away.It's all a long time ago! It was great to be reminded of time spent with Phil and Lucy - such a shame they're both gone.
ps I do well remember the time Andy got stung by the wasp! It had got into a box of orange juice he was drinking from - imagine if he'd drunk the creature.... eek!!
Chris


My name is Martin Horgan,aka Cosmic Martin. Sad to hear of Phils passing. I had the pleasure of travelling with him and some of his mates around Stonehenge,molesworth time. We were crusaders for truth and justice, and Phil was a Great spokesperson. With a passion for Truth and Justice that unrivalled any in my experience, including heads of state. I knew some of Phils mates before Moleswoth.Not Phil. In fairness there was alot of hype and paranoia about the convoy when they arrived.

I went over to Phils to break the ice, to discover a bible session in Phils truck which I used to attend every morning. The tour of truth had been going a while and Phil struck me as a sincere and honest chap. What impressed me, like Syd Rawle, was his ability to articulate our feelings and desires to the authorities. He had a passion for truth and justice. He was also a great organiser. After the eviction, Phil and his friends and some of the Rainbow village plotted and conspired the next site or direct action. It was like a military operation by hippies. Class.: )

We were all on a crusade at the time, and the coming together of the Village/Convoy really jelled. Just what we needed. I will never forget those times because it was raw and unbridled passion for a cause.As well as stonehenge and the free festival scene which i was into. There was an innocence and hope we could do something positive and constructive to educate people, which we did. I can remember people giving up their homes to join the convoy because they admired our lifestyle and were becoming disillusioned with the mainstream. I will never forget those days.Some of the best years of my life.Young and free to pursue our dreams.United and prepared to stand up and be counted. See you soon Phil.

Peace & Love.

Martin


Roger Hutchinson.

Folks, writing these obituaries, especially when they are for friends , is a fuckin drag .... I never met Roger, but we took part in an extended correspondance with each other that lasted the best part of a decade. During that time I came to the decision that this guy I was yakking with on the other side of the world was a really GOOD man , who was possesed of a lasting love of community , who wanted to give of himself to others and who had an enthusiasm and love of life that persisted way past the free festival days right up to the end of his life.

Roger developed a passion for local history and for much of the decade was busy preserving barges and canals- seemingly light years away from tripping at Stonehenge, but I think , connected . Whatever Roger was involved in, he gave it his all and he was, despite not being very well in the last three years of his life, creative and positive and keeping busy, whether it was making a film about taking his dog for a morning walk , or creating his superb drawings of his beloved Leicester for the canal group.

Roger was a talented artist who created the iconic Stonehenge Free Festival poster which I note has been ripped off and used by many on the net without any permission or even crediting Roger , it would be nice if you did so NOW and if you want to get permission to use the image then contact us here at the Archive and we will put you in touch with his wife Gill.

Anyway, I think Roger can speak for himself, here is his first e-mail to me about his free festival experiences .......

Rogers alter ego King Learie's pages are still online, visit them and view his artwork and video.

Roger at Stonehenge Free festival 1975

 

 

Thu, 13 Dec 2001 13:53:27 -0000
From: "Roger Hutchinson"

Dear GWSHARK
Came across your site by chance and was captivated by the contents
especially the Windsor bashes (!) as I was a participant in these events.
The festival experience started at Bickershaw which with hindsight was a
exercise in aversion therapy to festivals where there is an entrance fee,
I continued for the next ten years specialising in Free Festivals especially
Stonehenge. As an artist and being affiliated to a lightshow I took an
active part in realising many events and had a total mindblast funtime. But
demands of my work and family in the other world ensured that I grew out
of this valuable learning experience. I found trying to recapture the spirit
in later years disappointing as I had changed and developed but the nature
of the people and situation hadn't. I had the special pleasure of
introducing the more socially acceptable aspects of free festivals (the
co-operation and the will to make something out of shared resources) into
inner city events and the CND Peace Fairs that I organised in the Midlands
in the 1980's did much to broaden the membership base for local peace action
groups.

I had read the Cool Aid Acid Test, Doors of Perception etc before taking my
first trip and at the 2nd Windsor spent either doing the lights all night
long in a heighten state of creative awareness or at the release tent
helping those Londoners who had over-indulged in the Welsh strength acid.
(that all ended later with Operation Julie) The youth of UK were about 4
years behind the drug culture of US but as the free festival movement became
established, the element of taking acid at these events became a bedrock
reason for organising them. From my point of view, it was the creation of a
protective and supportive environment with suitable entertainment where it
was safe to indulge the synapses and allow the lambs and tigers to enjoy
themselves to the full.

It was in this state of mind that I was still standing after a memorable night watching Zorch on the Virgin Stage at the '74 Windsor when I spotted
the start of the police invasion. Most were asleep in tents as the early rays of sun were recieving my attentions and I saw the black buses pull up
on the main road and black ants swarm out. I shouted myself hoarse alerting the thousands of slumberers to the crisis hardly believing my eyes as six of the
rapidly growing 'ants' made a beeline for me! I turned tail and with the feet of Mercury flitted and hopped through the tents until I dived unseen into a modest ridge affair on top of two disgruntled bodies who took understandable umbrage at this rudery. Apparently, the effort of escape had robbed me of air from my vocal cords and my mime of explaination was mistook for a fit. One look through the nylon flap was enough to convince them that things were afoot and a desperate struggle with hiding stash ensued. My initial efforts to arouse the site was gaining ground as others emerged to take up the cry and I was safe from my persuers who had withdrawn back to their line. The rest is common knowledge except for the number of agent-provocateurs planted in the mostly peaceful protesting crowd to up the anti on the physical violence front so that the police could respond with like infront of the newshounds. I sent my camera back with aload of inflatable equipment the day before so no images of that fateful day.


It was at Windsor that I met writer Jeremy Sandford and photographer Ron Reid (who together produced 'Tomorrows Children') who opened my eyes to the unique social nature of the festival. They both encouraged me to try and document these events as they had a inevitable ephemeral element where most participants did not take photos due to being either out of it or did not want the hassle of having a camera to look after. This was before the days of lightweight video so all there is a few tatty snapshots and press photos of these festivals that were formative experiences for many like me. The man behind Stonehenge who's real name I have forgotten but better known as Wally was also a visitor to our fire. My new passion of festivals met his spiritual passion to establish a conceptually and spiritually more pure event at Stonehenge and we talked the night away -me calmly tripped out and he having never come down from a particularly heavy acid trip in Cyprus a year previous. He was a exceptionally good man who was done down by the dropouts (the Wallies)and the state who put him in a mental hospital just before the second Stonehenge on a trumped up charge - an experience he never recovered from and committed suicide a year later in Essex despite the efforts of the band co-operative CRASS. The sprinkling of his ashes upon the monoliths of Stonehenge the following summer was a sad and moving occasion.

I have a album of slides of many of the festivals that are documentation of the site, stage and people without any special emphasis on the music since that was just one element of the whole experience that included campfires slit trench bogs, all the unusual tents and structures and the art of the people. Posters, site newspapers and local press reports are also stored somewhere in the files on the shelf behind me. If you are interested let me know and I'll while away a happy few hours over Christmas sorting out the best for your site.

All the best

Roger Hutchinson

Wherever you go within the 70s and early 80s free festivals part of this archive his presence is felt , recollections, photos and artwork, he provided a veritable treasure trove of work , generously donated for no obligation , which enabled me to create the site .

One of his last acts was to help out in the documentary " Festivals Brittanica" and hopefully one day I'll get to see the show and give him a boom shankar goodbye ......

I was very sad indeed to hear about the passing of my old friend Roger Hutchinson.

I was at art college with Roger way back in the early seventies, and at school with him before that. I remember when he went to his first couple of festivals, (which I believe was Bickershaw and then the Isle of Wight,) I had mentioned Roger to my wife, as he was quite a character at college, I shared his enthusiasm for music, gigs and music festivals. When we all left Art School we all went our separate ways and unfortunately I lost touch with him.

So the other night my wife and I were watching the Festivals Britannia programme I said to her “Wouldn’t it be a strange thing if Roger Hutchinson appeared on one of these programmes?” and there, no more than two minutes later he appeared, being interviewed on the screen, I was a tad shocked I must say. Unfortunately as the programme finished the credits announced that he had passed away in late 2010.

I have very many fond memories of him, I knew his sister, and remember his father the house where he lived in Harold Wood in Essex, where a number of us used to congregate after school.
Please pass on my sympathies to his family.
All good wishes,
Jonathan Madden


Spider :2003

Hi Shark dude - just a quickie (aren't they all !!), could you put a brief mention in the free festy pages to the effect that Spider has passed on (septacemia) - he was a stalwart of the Peace convoy and a good friend to many, sadly he became a junkie in his last few years but I knew him and he was a caring guy who was in the thick of most of the action in the eighties.
TTFN
Troot


John Agnew (AKA. Baronet Agnew)

Passed away July 2011

For those who do not know of him he is the Owner of Rougham Estates where so many festivals took place in the past. Rougham tree fairs were always on the estate.

The charity Green deserts ran the fairs and many lived both in the commune at Kiln Farm in Rougham. And also particularly in the winter parked up in the farms grounds, much to the annoyance of the local populace though they never had any cause to complain other than the simple otherness of the community that had sprung up in there mist.

The Tibetan Ukranian Mountain troop would overwinter parked up around Johns house ‘Lawneys’ also on the estate. Many will remember him.
John did not just allow people the facilities to achieve things he was an active participant attending many Festivals and being a Stone Henge regular with the Green deserts crew. His ancient living bus was a regular site at festivals.
So much would not have happened without John’s generosity, I am sure that when his Father was alive he would not have been putting on Festivals but for pressure from John.

He retained his interest in putting on a show and has facilitated many recent events at Rougham Airfield which he has been trying to establish as a show ground.
I am a Rougham resident of many years moving to Rougham after most of the Fairs had finished though we attended as often when we were in the country.
I only know John a little and am better acquainted with many of the People from Brick Kiln Farm. We have worked Festies with them in the past. Being a regular house person with a regular Job we were a little on the outside but still have good friends from there, I always felt that John was a little separated by his background too. Always seeming to be slightly out of tune when jamming with his Bodhran.

John was a good man ,his actions have had a huge effect on the festival movement and the energy that came from that era.
Not always an easy man I hope all who knew him and benefitted from his generosity can appreciate the resources he made available to the travellers scene in those early days.
Even relatively recently Wango and Stoker built Wangos latest stage at the old US Air force gym on John’s estate while living up at the back of the gym.

Harry Heart

Also in Rougham it was only a few months ago that Harry Heart of Carpet Bags passed away. An environmental Campaigner to his last breath Harry had had an interesting and rewarding life; He retained hope and energy for the environment through his life campaigning tirelessly. In his time he had been an award winning cameraman. And was well known on the Festival scene ,he too was one of the main movers in the Green deserts Charity ,he too is missed.

Dave Stocking


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Free Festivals List

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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

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

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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 .

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