The Archive

Formatted at 1920 X 1020 minimum - Updated July 2021

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 1978.
Spurriers Park- Harlow.


Harlow 1974 © Stephen Bragger


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

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

Pop In The Park



June 3rd 1978

Eddie and the Hotrods ,

The Sods,

Pete the Meat and the Boys .

Nice set of photos on Flickr from this gig

A very strong set of concerts this year, Eddie and the Hot Rods put in a blistering set , only problem was the set got cut short by ten minutes, some morons in the crowd started throwing beer cans at the stage and the stage engineer was in fear of is safety and that of the band , so he pulled the plug.
Stephen Goldsmith


Pete The Meat does his Thang in the Park 1978 © Harlow Gazette/Harlow Museum

The crowd at Eddie and the Hot Rods 1978 © Harlow Gazette/Harlow Museum

June 17th 1978

Steel Pulse Jenny Darren

An excellent set by Steel Pulse a reggae act from Handsworth, Birmingham again spoilt by morons. Authentic British reggae was very popular at the time with a number of English born bands doing the rounds . However, in some quarters so was affiliation to the National, Front many of whom were present that evening, so the atmosphere was a little tense to say the least. Picking up on this the lead singer pronounced “ Rastafari, understand there is sum National Front out dere rise up and stamp dem out.” Cue the sound of cracked heads.

The concert got cut by ten minutes due the threat of electrocution, some over exuberant fans started dancing around in the pond at the front of the stage, and as such some decided to pull the plug, in fear of peoples safety. Like I said an excellent gig ruined by right wing morons.

Stephen Goldsmith

July 1st 1978

Heatwave, Burn, Roadworks

Heatwave put in a excellent set they came on to the stage amid riotous applause an kept the fans happy with hits like Boogie Nights and Mind Blowing Decisions. But once again a small shaven headed minority tried to ruin the evening for everyone else by trying to ram people in to the barriers.

Stephen Goldsmith


July 15th 1978

The Darts



For me the best gig of the entire series from 1973 onwards had to be The Darts. A warm sunny evening, a packed to the rafters park. An electric atmosphere, and a highly entertaining set encompassing good stage movements, effective lights and great music. I and many, many others enjoyed a great night.

Stephen Goldsmith

The Darts



July 29th 1978

Dr Feelgood



Doctor Feelgood were, surprisingly, a tad disappointing and may I say almost blown off the stage by Underdog, ( right ) one of the many local bands that acted as support for many of the groups listed here.

Stephen Goldsmith

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.




  • 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 .

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

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