Drive through Woodinville, Washington and it has the glimmer of an Eastside Seattle suburb woodstock festival photos 1969 that is rapidly expanding. With its Target, brewpubs, and pricey housing developments, Woodinville is fairly unremarkable, a rural area reinventing itself as a wine-tasting destination. But on one weekend years ago, thousands descended on a rural and remote Woodinville to hear a fantastic collection of bands, many of which would become part of rock history.
Seattle Woodstock, Before the Other Woodstock
In 1969, a local promoter named had the ambitious aim of assembling 25 musical groups over three days. A large sampling of the groups and individuals that played the Seattle Pop Festival are firmly planted as rock music icons. Others have fallen by the wayside. Taken from the event’s poster (below), the roster included:
Chuck Berry, Black Snake, Tim Buckley, The Byrds, Chicago Transit Authority, Albert Collins, Crome Syrcus, Bo Diddley, the Doors, Floating Bridge, The Flock, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Guess Who, It’s A Beautiful Day, Led Zeppelin, Charles Loyd, Lonnie Mack, Lee Michaels, Rockin Fu, Murray Roman, Santana, Spirit, Ten Years After, Ike & Tina Turner, Vanilla Fudge, and the Youngbloods.
In an August 30, 1969 article in The Daily Chronicle (Centralia, WA), Dorian Smith writes:
The days were filled with contented euphoria. Airplanes flew over and dropped bundles of flowers or spelled out the words “LOVE” and “PEACE” in letters of smoke. Each night the black heavens were illuminated with a fireworks display, including Roman candles, sky rockets and bright red flares. The third day witnessed a giant balloon filled with hot air ascend approximately 50 feet. Guided by a ground crew which navigated the balloon with a rope, a lone aerialist in the balloon dropped roses one at a time on the cheering audience.
Notable Facts About Seattle Pop Festival
- and The Doors played together on the same ticket–the only time they did so.
- The “Forgotten Woodstock” preceded the real Woodstock by one month.
- Chicago Transit Authority eventually became Chicago. Their first album had been released only 3 months before Seattle Pop Festival.
- This is Led Zeppelin on the cusp of fame and 1969 was the year they first came to America. On a personal note, when I saw Robert Plant perform at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in July 2014 (also in Woodinville, WA, just a couple of miles from the site), he referenced having been there.
- If it weren’t for the Seattle Pop Festival, the infamous incident at Seattle’s Edgewater Hotel would never have happened.
- The band name Floating Bridge, which performed on Saturday, July 26, 1969, refers to the, spanning Lake Washington from Seattle to points east.
- was a psychedelic Pacific Northwest band that broke up in 1973, best known for “Love Cycle” and “Take It Like a Man.”
- was a stand-up comedian, a bit of a poor man’s Lenny Bruce, who had an album called You Can’t Beat People Up and Have Them Say I Love You. He died in 1973 in a car crash on PCH.
- The Flying Burrito Brothers was formed a year before Seattle Pop from former Byrds members Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman.
- Forgotten Woodstock: 25 acts, 50,000 fans. The East Coast Woodstock: 32 acts, 500,000 fans.
- It’s a Beautiful Day: You may not know the band’s name, but you probably will know “White Bird,” a song they wrote while feeling like “caged birds” during a long Seattle winter.
- Vanilla Fudge: This was a prototypical psychedelic band formed in 1966, known for “Season of the Witch” and “You Keep Me Hangin’ On.” Vanilla Fudge disbanded only about 9 months after Seattle Pop Festival.
Today, the is located here. All buildings still stand. But due to the area’s fast-changing nature and the lack of attention paid to the buildings, no doubt they will come down before long and be replaced by a winery. Though the area is zoned as an agricultural district, little by little it will.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Account:
Photo Caption: Pottery water pipes were among some of the unusual goods on sale at the Seattle Pop Festival, a rock festival at Gold Creek Park near Woodinville during the weekend. An Indian teepee decorated with an American flag was in the background. An estimated 50,000 persons attended the festival.
The text of the article reads:
More than 50,000 rock fans gathered at Woodinville’s Gold Creek Park over the weekend for a practically non-stop three-day festival of music, events and exhibitions. The first annual Seattle Pop Festival was a marvel of crowd control and smooth organization.
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.
Coming onstage about 11:30 pm, immediately 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.
They were aided by a fine drummer, John Bonham and bassist John Paul Jones. Few who experienced it will forget Led Zeppelin’s performance, especially their smashing encore of Communication Breakdown.
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