The Archive

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Updated August 2014

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


Oxford New Age Fayre

2-5th May 1986.

 


Jim and Scott's "Landscape "bus at Port Meadow May 5th 1986 .All photos © Traveller Dave

This bus and many others were confiscated a few weeks after at Stoney Cross. Visit Traveller Dave's site to see many more photos of Free festival Vehicles and sites from the late 80s .

 

Poster courtesy Brian F

 

Oxford Port Meadow May 1986

Originally this festival was meant to be on a farmers land and run by students (Oxford Poly?). Many bands were scheduled (Nik Turner, Bob Calvert were rumoured) but the farmer bottled out, I think when he realised the Convoy were coming (this was less than a year after the Beanfield).

Myself and two mates came down from Coventry (where we were at The Polytechnic) in Jed’s van who was on the way to Southhampton. When we got to Oxford there were all sorts of freaks looking for the (cancelled?) festie.

The rumour got around to go to Port Meadow on the North edge of Oxford where maybe 30-40 people had started to assemble. After a while buses started arriving, the gate to the Meadow was still locked, so they Convoy elements decided to come back under cover of darkness and take the site. A very worried bloke from the Council had turned up and put an extra padlock on the gate!

We camped up locally over night away from the intended site and got stoned (we had brought plenty of hash). Myself and Adrian came back the next morning to find about 35 buses, trucks and trailers had taken the field farthest from town. The local pub was full of convoy types drinking with a few bemused locals.

A stage was set up and we wandered around on a hunt for some acid/mushrooms.
Eventually we came across a queue of people outside a trailer. We joined the queue and when we got to the trailer door purchased (quite cheaply) some mushrooms.

A number of bands played, the Cardiacs, Magic Mushroom Band, Ozric Tentacles amongst others I cant remember. The weather was a bit dodgy but I seemed immune to the rain as the shrooms kicked in.

Monday morning cafe clients © Traveller Dave

Later over the weekend more people turned up along with more psychedelic wares to consume. On the Monday (Bank holiday) night a version of Hawkwind labelled Snortwind played (minus Dave Brock). The new Hawks drummer Danny Thompson got some acid off a mate of ours and apparently didn’t have a particularly nice time trippin (for the first time) whilst on stage. That’s all I really remember - I returned to Coventry and continued revising for my Metallurgy Exams!

Bishbosh

Monday morning festival aftermath ..TEU23C Bedford RL © Traveller Dave

Flyin' the black flag !

82NWL Morris Fg ex-Fire Control Unit (possibly owned by Julien at this time) © Traveller Dave


A wind & rainswept festival , memorable for being the last time I saw many of the convoy's vehicles such as Jim & Scott's 'Landscape' coach as they were amongst those 'confiscated' a month later at Stoney Cross .

Also Oxford police used a large tractor whose cab was completely protected by thick mesh screens as a 'gateway' and so all the 'guest' band's equipment had to be unloaded outside the site entrance , handballed in and loaded into another vehicle before finally reaching backstage .

Dave


I was looking at the 'what's new' bit of yr site & was reminded that I took some pics at Port Meadow, Oxford
The Bedford RL was Mick's, at that time he was with Weez Louise I'd guess. The other buses I don't know who's they were.

A big memory of this festival for me is the getting on the meadows.
We arrived to find about 3 roads converging on a bridge over the canal. The police had the bridge I think.

There was a decker with upstairs given over to a sound system ... sort of weirdly for us lot they were playing "Born To Run" & "Two Tribes Go To War" as I remember it!

Some people took an 'alternative' route through a garden??? which finally broke the police & they let us on.
WARNING all memories may be bullshit!

gilberto

Mick's Bedford RL TEU 23C © Gilberto

© Gilberto

© Gilberto

 

© Gilberto


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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