The Archive

Formatted at 1080 X 768 minimum - Updated June 2011

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 .....

R.IP. Phil Shaksby, aka Phil The Beer ,who passed away April 2010 .

Big BIG thanks to our sponsor Neil !

For information on today's festivals see


Harlow Free Concerts 1975
Spurriers Park- Harlow.

Kenny struts the stage 1975 © Harlow Gazette/Harlow Museum

Any more details would be appreciated .Any info to add ?-well don't just sit there , Contact us

Thanks to Stephen Goldsmith , David Devine of Harlow Council and Steve Baker for their invaluable help in providing data on these concerts.


May 24 1975

*Stan Webb Band, Rudi Tchaikovsky


June 21st 1975

The Rubettes, Trilogy

I played support to 3 of the huge bands who appeared at the Harlow Town Park during the 70's.

As 'Trilogy' we supported Mungo Jerry on their first visit.

As 'Trilogy' we supported The Rubettes on 21st June 1975 .

As 'Five Years On' we supported Mud on July 3rd 1976.

I have recently renovated my posters, kept from our gigs at that time.

I have attached one for you from our gig with the Rubettes (finished - renovated)

Best Wishes

Gary Draper

Rubettes fans © Harlow Gazette/Harlow Museum


More Rubettes fans © Harlow Gazette/Harlow Museum


A Rubette © Harlow Gazette/Harlow Museum


Bill Herd of the Rubettes © Harlow Gazette/Harlow Museum


June 7th 1975

Kenny . Margie.

Kenny fans get overwrought © Harlow Gazette/Harlow Museum




The crowd at the Kenny gig . Lots of Gurls ! © Harlow Gazette/Harlow Museum


A mixed batch of acts this year, a cross between teeny bop bands and bluesy rock and in the case of Man, progressive rock . As you can see, the Stan Webb Band didn’t show up and I don’t think there was a replacement.
I definitely remember seeing Kenny and the Rubettes. By now I am 14, and my friends and I are old enough to realise that Kenny and the Rubettes attracted teeny boppers and that meant GIRLS so of we went regardless of whether we actually liked the bands .
On both occasions the park was packed to the rafters with screaming teenage females, several of whom were in need of first aid by the end of the gig, and many more being pulled over the barrier by stewards after they fainted. I remember one particular girl coming back from the other side of the barrier down at the front, she had clearly been in some distress earlier, black mascara streaks running down her cheeks etc, gleefully pronouncing to her friends “ at least I got near them”

Stephen Goldsmith

July 5th 1975

Ronnie Lanes Slim Chance, Good Habit.


July 19th 1975


Thin Lizzy . East Of Eden , Iron Orchid *

( *replaced Argent , Omaha and Jess Roden )

I was very miffed I did not get to see Thin Lizzy, they were late replacements for Argent and I was away on the yearly family holiday, a pattern developing here . However, the Harlow Gazette provided the following account of the evening’s entertainment:
" Thin Lizzie (sic) topped the bill when the appeared at a pop concert on Saturday night along with East of Eden and Iron Orchid. Despite the afternoon’s rainy promise, the sun came out and the evening remained dry and therefore the concert was well attended. The entire crowd leapt up and down to the music of Thin Lizzie (sic) and the band were brought back for three encores."

" Entertainments Officer, Mr. Dick Kilburn said: ‘The crowd was very orderly. They were there to enjoy themselves and not cause trouble. The music was good and the equipment was marvelous and everything came over really clearly’

Harlow Gazette 25 July 1975

Footnote: lesson to be learnt here
Large crowds of screaming girls = trouble.
Large crowds of proper rock fans = no trouble

Stephen Goldsmith

I think the date you have for the Thin Lizzy gig was wrong. I think it should be Sat 19 July, the reason is I was in a local band that supported them. Namely the unforgettable Iron Orchid!!!!!!!
We also supported Mungo Jerry at Harlow College and on another occasion Hustler.



July 27th 1975

   Long John Baldry and Nahatna ,    Byzantium

Stephen Goldsmith reports

I did not attend the Long John Baldry concert , probably still on holiday. However, it was not the Long John Baldry of old. However, the Harlow Gazette tells me that:

"Only to some young people does the name Long John Baldry spark a flicker of recognition, but the ballad singer has now returned to the pop scene with a new image [‘pop scene ‘don’t you just love the language and this is 1975] - and along with his seven piece backing group Nahatna, he topped the bill at Saturday’s pop concert in the Town Park

Gone were the slow crooning songs to be replaced by what could be aptly described as ‘funky blues’ for those that could remember the other Long John Baldry the change was enormous.

The supporting group Byzantium was so well liked by the audience they were asked to return for next year’s series of concerts."

Harlow Gazzette

1 August 1975


August 2nd 1975 .

Man ,Rab Noakes ,A Band Called O,John St Field.

This gig was all about Man, I don't remember Rab Noakes at all, but certainly remember John St Field, later to become Jacky Leven of Doll By Doll fame. He was on early in the sunny afternoon. Everyone was nicely blissed out, on the hill in front a pond if I remember; Either way he was in the middle of his singer song writer thing, and had just launched into "Strip Show", a number that would later resurface on a Doll By Doll album, when the power suddeny cut out.

John aka Jacky freaked out, started stomping, swearing, waving his arms, and was throroughly uncool and pissed off. I seem to remember he started again later, but had lost the crowd.
A Band Called O , were all slide guitar from Craig Anders (?), whose brother now works for Bug publishing, punchy licks and very funky.

Anyway the sun shone, the audience got stoned, the crowd got bigger, and a young lady decided to enjoy the sun and stripped down to her knickers to the delight of the sound crew and roadies. Unconcerned by the roadies/audience letching she caried on her stoned dance to the in between band music.

Man finally hit the stage, it became dark, the lights came up..I think there were lights, and Micky Jones played magnificently, especially on "Bananas", and "C'Mon" the magnificent awe inspiring opener - all space rock, and angular guitar. Terry Williams pounded the skins, the band rocked out and a magical sense of Welsh psychedelia infused the park.
Such a great time was had by me and friends that we missed the last transport home, and slept the night under some trees in the park.

Pete Feenstra

Audience tape exists of Man.

I'm having fun looking at your website!

I come from Harlow, so the free gigs meant a lot to me. I even played at one of them, when (if I remember correctly) Camel were headlining.

Having found a photo of myself onstage ,you can see an amp in the background that looks like it has Caravan's logo on, so perhaps they were the headline band that night.

I have become a professional (bass guitar) and so has the guitarist. He went on to play with a lot of stars and I am a faceless session muso. I play with the Michael Nyman band as well. We've been down your way a couple of times.

Anyway, I remember seeing these bands in the Town park:
Steel Pulse,
Thin Lizzy,
Bay City Rollers,
Mungo Jerry
a great local band, featuring the drummer of Shakatak, CMU

With best wishes,
Martin Elliott

Hi Guys,

I tripped across your Festival site while trawling the web for some old Pink Fairies nostalgia and came across the section for the gigs in the Harlow Town Park.A bunch of mates and myself worked as Stewards at the majority of these gigs (this basically entailed hanging around the stage and the wings and getting quietly drunk/stoned depending on your weakness.)
The deal was 9 gigs each summer on a Saturday evening/night ;-3 Pop, 3Folk/Acoustic/Unplugged type gigs & 3 Rock.

All the Best


I went to see Man purely on the basis that ex band member and bass player Ken Whaley was the brother of my friend and next door neighbour. Ken was with man for about two years and left in April 1975 because of the pressure of constantly being on the road. He was asked to play this particular concert because the new bass player was unwell.

Stephen Goldsmith

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.

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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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