1970: My Summer as a Migrant Farm Laborer #2 (Atlanta International Pop Festival)

After a good night’s sleep, we said goodbye to my parents and then headed for Byron, Georgia. We were excited to attend the upcoming Atlanta International Pop Festival prior to looking for more work.

To get to the event, we had to park about three miles away and walk in. We decided to camp outside the festival grounds on our first night. We had left the hot canvas tent in Florida, so ended up sharing a tarp with some people we met.

Pop festival

We spent the next day at the festival roasting in the sun. The temperature was about 104 degrees. There was no shade and no breeze. There wasn’t enough water and ice was considered a luxury. Five pounds of ice cost $1 and we paid 25 cents for a popsicle. The event staff passed out salt tablets, hats and suntan lotion.

I enjoyed the music despite the physical discomfort. We were about 30 feet from the stage!

I had mixed feelings/thoughts about being there. I was super, super uptight during a lot of it. The heat as well as the lack of water and food was unbearable and I didn’t like being around so many people who were stoned.

Our skin was blistered and swollen from sunburn when we left. However listening to musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, Richie Havens,  the Chambers Brothers and the Memphis cast for Hair as well as getting to know some of the people who were there made it worth it. My favorite memory of the event was waking up the last morning to Richie Havens singing “Here Comes the Sun!”

My final conclusion was that I was glad we had gone, but didn’t think I would ever want to do it again.

Pop festival 6

The festival was over at 10 a.m. Monday so we packed up, hitched a ride to our car and were on our way by 11:30. Off to find a job!

 

[Note: My scrapbook says there were 200,000 people at the festival.  Wikipedia said that the estimates varied from 250,000 to 600,000!  Their article contains a lot of interesting information.]

 

(The next post in this series will be published on Friday December 11.)

To read the previous posts go to:

1970: My Summer as a Migrant Farm Laborer (Series Intro)

1970: My Migrant Farm Labor Summer #1  (Seattle to Florida)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “1970: My Summer as a Migrant Farm Laborer #2 (Atlanta International Pop Festival)

    1. I feel very grateful to have had that experience, although I didn’t know it was George Harrison’s song! I just looked it up. Harrison released it in 1969 so it was still a relatively new song when I heard Richie Haven’s sing it!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks to your comment I added some youtube videos to the post. I found one from Jimi Hendrix and the Chambers brothers that were actually at the festival and the Richie Havens one was from 1971 so that’s close enough!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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