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Updated July 2021
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This site is dedicated in the memory of
who inspired me to delve deep into the magic of the free festival and who passed away Sept 3rd 2010.
R.I.P. Roger .....
Rhayader Fayre Free Festival .
July 1st-31st 1976.
Words cant do justice to the deeply beautiful landscape in which the event took place.
I remember a road that split into two, each going along the side of the two large hills that sheltered a valley through which ran a small river. Lots of teepee's, trucks, travelers, camp fires and a communal kitchen, I get flashes of memories, a smallish stage, good music , lots of people dancing, perfect weather.
The polis roust out a haplass freak
If you walked a little way from the small site, following the river, you came across a series of small waterfalls and deep pools. People from the site would wander down , strip off and jump into the pools and bathe, I know about memory and time embellishing actual events but this scene I'm describing really was like an exquisite dream or painting every bit as unspoilt as the river itself .I remember thinking at the time that at least for a few moments/hrs a dream or vision had been turned into a reality- for a while it truly was heaven on earth- yep it happened! that gorgeuos dream we all have/had, that people have dreamt about, ached for, popped into existence. I remember watching people being blown away and being reduced to a state of whimpering gratitude, awe and disbelief. truth is we were all pretty speechless and wondering if we desrved to feel as if we had died and gone to heaven.
All coming back now, a woman i fell in love with, she was a singer in a band and again just so happened to look like a beautiful painting. she came out of nowhere and just started talking, can't recall what she said just that her voice was like music.
The whole event was broken up by the Police on the 3rd? day, they all behaved like gentlemen and human beings, they were polite and courteous to eveyone (bet that surprised ya) though earlier that week a local farmer and policeman had come onto the site and picked up a dog and proceeded to carry it off to the farmers vehicle. The farmers sheep had been worried by a dog from the site, so they picked off the first dog they found and were taking it away to be put down.
I lay in front of the farmers wheels and stopped him moving off ,someone else opened the side of the landrover and got the dog, he was jumped on by a big fat cop and wrestled to the ground so then a whole load of people jumped on top of the big fat cop and a colourful mound of writhing screaming bodies flayed about, I crawled into the mound of flaying bodies and found the dog with a huge grin on his face, his lead was a bit of string, I took out a little knife and cut the string, I held it for a moment just to contemplate the scene going on around me, then I let the string go- the dog leapt out of the mound of bodies and bounded down the hill.
The mound of bodies exploded with joy and we all ran back down the hill whooping and yelling.I left when the police moved eveybody on, apparently the majority of people there just moved a few miles down the road then carried on with the event :)
Hi, I've just come across this site, so I thought I'd fill in the bits I remember. I'm sorry this is a bit disjointed, I'm writing things down as I remember them..We arrived in Rhayder direct from Stonehenge in a couple of trucks. There was a river running through the site, and we camped on both sides of it, the river being crossed by a couple of scaffold planks laid out at various points. This was fine during the day when everyone could see where the planks were, at night, you could hear people missing the plank and falling into the river (which wasn't very deep)
The river was cordened off, so drinking water, washing and swimming took place in different parts, the toilets were marked by green flags up the side of the hills surrounding the site.There was about 200 people there maximum, and it was during the very hot summer.I remember Solar Ben playing often. Whether other bands played, or who they might have been, I can't remember. (I'd like to know what happened to them)The vibes there were great, everyone was very friendly, not one sign of trouble, either with the hippies camping, or from the locals who were frequent visitors.As I was doing first aid there, I did ask (and received) help from the police to get a couple of people to the hospital in Aberystwyth as they were suffering badly with sunburn.
I left the day before the bust.
Hope this helps a bit
Free parties as part of the rave/acid house scene were also held in the area in the 1990s go here to find out more