Atlanta [Byron] Pop Festival 1970

70 ATLANTAFortunately, Byron was not a second Altamont that had preceded it.  It was the Second Atlanta International Pop Festival, Woodstock South.  I’m still sorry there wasn’t a third. – Bill Mankin

Performers included the The Allman Brothers Band,  Terry Reid, Spirit, B.B. King, Procol Harum, Jimi Hendrix (just ten weeks before his death),Grand Funk Railroad, Ravi Shankar, 10 Years After, Johnny Winter  and John Sebastian.

Click here to read Bill Mankin’s story from pre-festival preparations to afterwards.

On July 4th, 1970 Jimi Hendrix played The Star Spangled Banner like never before. He and the air were electrified.  Fireworks and heat lightning flashing overhead in competition. “All Along the Watchtower”. For more on the Hendrix set and videos see:

Hendrix plays Byron                                         Great pictures of Hendrix onstage at Byron

Allman Brothers live at the Atlanta International Pop festival

Available at Amazon    Kirk West on the CD

The Allman Brothers have released their set on CD.  They were not famous enough to be allowed to play at the first Atlanta Pop Festival, then…

There is video The Strip project was honored to have invited a few guests to see of the Allman Brother’s performance at Byron. You can see they know this is their shot at the bigtime. They go on stage a Georgia band and play like their lives depended on it. They were on fire and the astounded audience was stunned, but loving it. Most had never heard electrified Southern blues, and no one played it better than Duane and Dickey’s entwined interplay of screaming notes. They came off the stage stars and the crowd demanded another set later.11713826_10204650619528932_4757648271308526367_o

Sam Finesilver’s photos

Earl McGehee’s Photos on flickr

Were you at The Free Stage? – Carter Tomassi’s has the only photos of which I am aware. It was a long bulldozed trek into the woods. It had sprung up so many dealer’s camped with signs it became nicknamed Acid Alley. Many of the performers played here also. Much more up close and personal. We were unable to loacate its whereabouts in the now built up area. Memories?

We would like to collect your Atlanta stories  at this site. Next time you’re deep in meditation about the 1970’s please feel free to send over any stories you remember. We hope to add on memories and pictures from as many people as possible.

Read The Great Speckled Bird’s “What beast is this that crawls to Byron to be born?”

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3 thoughts on “Atlanta [Byron] Pop Festival 1970

  1. came with a traveling head shop. the day before it started and left the day after. remember the free stage, acid ally. riding on the chief of polices car thru the woods. well tell more of my story one of these days.

  2. We drove down from New York. I was at the free stage the night before the festival started. On my way from where we’d pitched tent to the free stage it was pitch dark at first and I fell into a deep hole that had been dug next to the road with no barrier around it. Luckily I didn’t get injured and made my way into the woods where they were playing. I remember seeing most of the Allman Brothers band on stage, but without Duane. He would arrive the next morning just in time to kick off the festival. Johnny Winter joined in on the free stage, and it was awesome. Hotter than hell the whole weekend, but well worth it for all the killer bands that played. Hendrix was amazing just 10 weeks before he was gone forever.

  3. The free stage was across the highway from the main gate to the festival. The Allman Brothers played at the free stage. I did not know about the Allman Brothers at that time because they were a local band known along the east coast. After the festival they were known all over the world. I camped about half way up the hill in front of the free stage.

    Great times.

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