Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Remembering the Bickershaw Pop Festival!

When it comes to pop festivals, we've all heard of Glastonbury, Woodstock and the Isle of Wight. But I wonder how many of our readers, remember the Bickershaw pop festival in the 1970's.

It's just over forty-years ago (May 1972), when American 'West Coast' bands like the Greatful Dead, came to Bickershaw near Wigan to play at the three-day festival on a disused colliery site. As a 17-year-old lad, I caught the bus one Saturday afternoon to travel to the festival without a ticket and without knowing what bands were playing. I stayed overnight in a tent and remember watching Dr. John, Maynard Ferguson and Hawkwind.

Although in one sense, the festival was a huge success with some great headline acts, it was a financial failure for the consortium who put it together, which included the then unknown Jeremy Beadle. I got into the festival by bribing one of the security guards, who let me in through an hole in the fence and I wasn't the only one who got in that way.

Unfortunately, I never did get to see the Greatful Dead and Jerry Garcia (see video) or Country Joe McDonald, which I now realise, was a missed opportunity.

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