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Updated July 2021

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This site is dedicated in 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 .....

Fennit Free Festival,

Sutton Gault,nr Ely

August 7-9th 1981

F.W.S Field Workers report
This 3 day free festival in the fenland was well organised by local people and attended mainly by local people. I arrived late on Saturday night in the dark and pouring rain, so I didn't see much that night.

It was still raining on Sunday and the site was extremely muddy. The track leading to the festival was along the top of a dike which was very slippery to drive along and almost impossible to pass another vehicle. It was better suited to bikes and the whole festival was geared to them, even including a best bike show.

It was a great shame about the weather because the site was very nice and seemed a good festival, although spirits were dampened. About 1000 people had attended the festival on Friday and Saturday when the weather had been better. A good stage had been built and local bands played. The organisers had built and were running a bar to cover part of the cost of putting on the festival, which they had spent a lot of time and money getting together. They had made arrangements with a local farmer to use one of his fields after harvest and had borrowed scaffolding and other equipment from local firms.

The organisers had built separate ladies and gents toilets using the model in FWS's "Healthy Festival Sites", and had organised free food kitchens and other food and craft stalls. There was no water supply on site, so water runs were done and the advertising for the festival had warned people to bring their own supply. There was plenty of dead wood for fires in the nearby copse.

The main problem of the festival was the inaccessibility of the site. It was very remote and a long way from the nearest hospital if there had been a serious accident. At least there were a lot of people there with knowledge of the locality and very capable organisers. Emergency vehicles were also on standby during the festival.

I understand the festival is to be held again next year on a different site with better access. I hope the organisers put in as much effort and that the festival is as together as this year. It would be nice to see more people making use of the good facilities and more craft stalls. I also recommend that some people with first aid training are again organised to be on standby for the duration of the festival.

Penny Mellor.

Tibetan Ukra(i)nian Mountain Troupe at Fennit

Free Festivals List

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




  • 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



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 .

Sending details of a small book I've just self-published which might be of interest to some readers of your admirable site.

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 .

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