Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Was this the worst music festival EVER?

Whenever we decide to go to a music festival, there’s always risk involved. What will the weather be like? Will there be idiots onsite? Will I be held hostage by vendors selling 10 dollar bottles of water? There have been some awful festivals but few rank down there with the Bull Island Rock Festival, featuring The Doors, Black Sabbath, The Faces, and a couple dozen other acts.

It took place on Labour Day weekend in 1972 near Griffin, Indiana. Promoters planned for 55,000 people. Close to 300,000 showed up, trying to get in via just two roads. There wasn’t enough security. Food and water were in short supply. A food truck was hijacked and looted. It rained. A group of people killed a cow that wandered too close but had no means of butchering it. Three people drowned in a nearby river.

And at the end of the three days, the crowd burned down the main stage.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37406 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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