Remembering the Heatwave Festival on its 40th anniversary

On August 23, 1980, more than 50,000 people showed up at Mosport, the racecourse near Bowmanville, Ontario, for a punk-and-New-Wave festival called Heatwave. On the bill were Talking Heads, The Pretenders, Elvis Costello, Teenage Head, The B52s, and more. (The Clash was on the posted but didn’t appear. The Ramones were rumoured to be on the bill but didn’t perform.)

The night was closed by The Kings from Oakville, Ontario, who had just released their debut album, The Kings Are Here, which was the first thing Bob Ezrin produced after finishing The Wall with Pink Floyd. They were also about to have a big international hit with “The Beat Goes On/Switchin’ to Glide.” Their only hit, sadly.

Some new footage has emerged from that day 40 years ago. Cool!

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.

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