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Old 09-03-2019, 04:17 AM   #1
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Collapsing stages, Hell’s Angels, and a band called Led Zeppelin

1969’s Bath festival was the first of its kind. In 1970 it all went a bit wrong. Promoters Freddy and Wendy Bannister tell the tale.

The husband and wife team of Freddy and Wendy Bannister had been involved in promoting small club shows in London, Oxford and Bath for many years before conceiving and promoting the Bath Festival Of Blues in 1969 and 1970 – the first self-consciously ‘rock’ festivals of their kind in Britain, and which would inspire another local west country figure, Michael Eavis, to start his own copycat festival in the 70s: Glastonbury – or “son of Bath” as Eavis originally dubbed it.

On Saturday June 28, 1969 the inaugural Bath Festival Of Blues took place at the Bath Pavilion Recreation Ground. On the bill were Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Ten Years After, Led Zeppelin, The Nice, Chicken Shack, John Hiseman’s Colosseum, Mick Abraham’s Blodwyn Pig and at least 10 others. Nobody, not least the promotors themselves, knew what they had let themselves in for…
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