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Seattle Pop Festival: Remembering “The Forgotten Woodstock”

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It’s been 50 years since thousands gathered in upstate New York to celebrate three days of peace and music at the first Woodstock festival, and yet there was another three-day festival that year, held just three weeks prior to Woodstock, that often gets forgotten: Seattle Pop Festival.

From 25 to 27 July 1969, local promoter Boyd Grafmyre staged Seattle Pop at Gold Creek Park in Woodinville, Washington, just a few miles outside of Seattle. It was the second successful major rock festival to occur in Washington within less than a year, after Grafmyre had previously helped organize the historic Sky River Rock Festival in 1968.

Listen to the Summer Of ’69 playlist on Spotify.

The year of the music festival

1969 was the year of the musical festival: Denver Pop Festival was followed by Atlanta Pop Festival and then Seattle Pop Festival, all leading up to Woodstock.

The concept behind Seattle Pop was to have 25 acts play over three days. Sometimes going to great lengths to achieve his ambitious goal, Grafmyre chartered a helicopter to fly The Doors from Seattle’s airport to the festival grounds, while renting a Cadillac convertible for Chuck Berry – the rock’n’roll pioneer’s preferred method of transportation.

For $6 a day – or $15 for the whole weekend – you could catch Led Zeppelin breaking America, and marvel at homegrown legends The Byrds, blues icon Bo Diddley, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Tim Buckley, The Guess Who, Santana, Ike, and Tina Turner, Vanilla Fudge, Alice Cooper, and Chicago Transit Authority (who later became Chicago), among many other rock luminaries and psychedelic acts of the day.

An estimated 50,000-70,000 festivalgoers descended upon Gold Creek Park to enjoy relative peace, music and “a certain amount of nudity”, said Grafmyre. As one of the first festivals to forego hiring police or off-duty officers as security, Grafmyre enlisted The Black Panthers to patrol Seattle Pop – a much smoother operation than Hells Angels’ provided at Altamont just a few months later, in December.

‘Sunday night was supposed to belong to The Doors’

The Seattle Pop Festival’s line-up was a mix of established acts, native groups from the Pacific Northwest, and even jazz legend Charles Lloyd. Some acts, like Led Zeppelin, went on to become rock legends, while others faded into obscurity, such as Crome Syrcus, a psychedelic Pacific Northwest band that broke up in 1973 and remain best known for their singles ‘Love Cycle’ and ‘Take It Like a Man’.



While The Doors, The Byrds and The Ike And Tina Turner Revue were among the most highly-anticipated acts of the festival, it was really Led Zeppelin who emerged as the highlight. England’s hottest new act were just on the cusp of fame in America when they played Seattle Pop.

“Sunday night was supposed to belong to The Doors but it was stolen right out from under them by the great English blues group, Led Zeppelin,” wrote Patrick MacDonald for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

“Coming onstage after the forced extravaganza of The Doors, the Zeppelin faced a jaded and uncomfortable audience that had been standing in the cold all evening. But the electricity of lead singer Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page quickly warmed them up.

“Plant has a voice that is controlled hysteria. Anguish pours from his every note; his voice is an epitome of the blues. Page is an amazing guitarist. His runs and fingering are magnificent, his control of the instrument pure genius.

Few who experienced it will forget Led Zeppelin’s performance, especially their smashing encore of ‘Communication Breakdown’.”

The “forced extravaganza” MacDonald writes of refers to one of Jim Morrison’s less-inspired performances, in which The Doors frontman spent the show heckling the crowd and shouting obscenities before ending the set’s finale, ‘The End’, in Christ-like pose.

A watershed moment for the counterculture

Morrison’s antics aside, the rest of the performances were equally electrifying. The Flying Burrito Brothers played a blistering set, still riding high off their landmark debut album, The Gilded Palace Of Sin. Shortly after Seattle Pop Festival, however, the Burritos’ bassist Chris Ethridge left the band, turning their performance an essential document of their original line-up.

Dressed in a daring fishnet dress, Tina Turner ripped up the stage with her signature moves, while Chicago’s producer Jimmy Guercio reportedly parachuted onto the field for the band’s performance, recalled Grafmyre.

1969 was not only a watershed moment in the countercultural movement, but a turning point for many artists who either continued their upward trajectory, such as Alice Cooper and Santana, or fell to the wayside – like Vanilla Fudge who disbanded nine months later.

While Seattle Pop Festival remains a footnote in rock history, it was an important milestone on the road to Woodstock, and one of the greatest rock festivals of all time to be held in the Pacific Northwest.

In just a few short months, at the dawn of the 70s, it would seem as though peace and love were all but a memory.

The end of the 60s saw a burst of creativity that cemented the decade’s importance in music history. Explore some of the greatest albums of the era, including classics from The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Allman Brothers Band, on our Summer Of ’69 store page.

Looking for more? Discover the full story behind Woodstock’s “three days of peace and music”.

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‘CMA Fest’ Primetime Special to Air July 19th on ABC

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Pictured (L-R): Lainey Wilson, Dierks Bentley and Elle King. Photo: Robby Klein for CMA/ABC

CMA Fest, the three-hour primetime concert special set to be filmed during CMA Fest’s milestone 50th anniversary in Nashville later this week, will air on July 19 on ABC.

Hosted by Dierks Bentley, Elle King and Lainey Wilson and airing at 7 p.m. CT, the special will feature never-before-seen performances and surprise collaborations from some of country’s hottest acts.

” I could not be more excited to welcome Dierks, Elle and Lainey as our CMA Fest hosts this year,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “As fans experienced last year, the energy Dierks and Elle bring to the stage is palpable and will only be amplified with the addition of Lainey this year. Each of these artists have a deep passion for CMA Fest and the country music fans from around the globe who travel to Nashville for the event. We are thrilled to have all three of them together to help us celebrate 50 years!”

Robert Deaton is the Executive Producer and Writer for CMA Fest, and Alan Carter is the Director. 2023 marks the 20th consecutive year CMA has produced a summer concert TV special.

The post ‘ CMA Fest’ Primetime Special Slated To Air July 19 appeared first on MusicRow.com

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Luke Combs ‘World Tour’ extended 4 New Arena Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium July 7th

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Luke Combs has added second nights to his upcoming ” World Tour” stadium shows in Tampa, Charlotte, Foxborough and Philadelphia due to overwhelming demand.

Tickets for the new dates at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium (July 7), Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium (July 14), Foxborough’s Gillette Stadium (July 21) and Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field (July 28) will be available for pre-sale starting June 8 at 12 p.m. local time through Ticketmaster Verified Fan. General sales will follow June 9, and Combs’ official fan club, The Bootleggers, will have early access to tickets through Ticketmaster Verified Fan pre-sale starting June 8.

” After we got to play two shows in Nashville, I decided I wanted to play more shows for the fans, so I got with my team and the stadiums and luckily all of the July dates lined up for us, so we decide to just do it,” says Combs. “I’m really excited to be able to bring more music to more fans.”

The newly confirmed dates add to the huge success of Combs’ “World Tour,” which has sold over 570,500 tickets across just 11 stadium shows so far, with the majority of the tour still to come. With 44 shows across three continents and 16 countries, the tour is the largest ever for a country artist, earning Combs the No. 1 spot on Pollstar‘s Live75 chart, where he has more than doubled all other charting artists.

The post Luke Combs Extends ‘World Tour’ With Four New Stadium Shows appeared first on Tampa Bay Music News

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50th Anniversary Hip-Hop Concert Yankee Stadium to Feature Run-DMC, Snoop Dogg & Lil Wayne, Ice Cube and more . .

Lil Wayne, Ice Cube, Eve, Lil Kim, Remy Ma, and Trina will also perform at the celebratory event.
50th Anniversary Hip-Hop Concert at Yankee Stadium to Feature Run-DMC, Snoop Dogg & More
Alex Young

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Lil Wayne, Ice Cube, Eve, Lil Kim, Remy Ma, and Trina will also perform at the celebratory event.
50th Anniversary Hip-Hop Concert at Yankee Stadium to Feature Run-DMC, Snoop Dogg & & More
. Alex Young

A star-studded lineup led by Run-DMC, Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, and Ice Cube will play a concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip-hop at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY on Friday, August 11th. Other notable artists playing include the “Queens of Hip-Hop”– Eve, Lil Kim, Remy Ma, Trina, …

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50th Anniversary Hip-Hop Concert at Yankee Stadium to Feature Run-DMC, Snoop Dogg & & More
Alex Young

Music, News, Hip-Hop, Rap

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