The Archive

For information on today's festivals see

Last update April 2011  Best viewed at 1280 X 1024 res

The Knebworth Park Festivals.

Knebworth Fair


The Rolling Stones, 10cc, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Todd Rundgren's Utopia , Hot Tuna , Don Harrison Band.

The Stage © Glen Showler

   After the mega success of the 1975 bash with Pink Floyd as headliners , veteran promoter Freddie Bannister bet big on the biggest band of the time. Originally Bannister had booked Queen to headline ,but when the Stones offered themselves as festival fodder what red blooded promoter could resist such a prize? The Rolling Stones were duely booked and Queen were sidelined ( although they also headlined the Hyde Park free concert in 76 to a massive crowd, which did much to raise them in the popularity stakes).

  Bannister assembled a workmanlike parade of artists to compliment the Stones( although he was careful NOT to pick any bands who were likely to upstage the old prancers ). As it was , Don Harrison flopped , Hot Tuna were quite well received, 10cc were not, Lynyrd Skynyrd blew many people away with their long rendition of Freebird and Todd Rundgren enhanced his popularity with a hot set , the first of four appearances at Knebworth festivals between 1976 and 1979.

    Unfortunately sound problems dogged some of the acts, with some gargantuan delays which bored the crowd and made the show over-run, thus threatening the promoters licence .The Stones however, played one of the longest shows of their career , which no doubt made up for the lengthy delay they made the punters endure so that their lighting effects could be seen properly in full darkness.

   The Stones also insisted that the promoter should attempt to try to instill a carnival atmosphere at the show by hiring a large number of clowns , buskers and other circus acts , who were supposed to entertain the crowd between sets. This was only partly successful , as in every big festival, people were not keen to move from their spots once they had possessed them and therefore many of the acts were not seen by the majority of the crowd.

The stage itself was in the shape of a giant tongue ( modelled on the Stones logo which allowed Jagger to parade himself nicely ) but which also meant the audience were further away from most of the performers than ever .

(The stage itself is still in use, being used at the Rosskilde festival since 1978, although its considerably bigger as its been enlarged by a third . ) The soundboard tent was used at the wonderfull Glastonbury free festival 1977 as a stage !

The shows were projected on large video screens at the back of the site, which was nice move, although screens on either side of the stage would have been better .There is video circulating of some of the acts , the most well known being that of Lynyrd Skynyrd's performance of Freebird. The whole show WAS video taped, but god knows what happened to the footage of the lesser acts.

     These pages are intended to be a celebration of the festival, the third in a long line of one day events held at Knebworth Park by the promoter Freddy Bannister . You will find here as many details of the day as we can muster, most especially oral recollections of those who attended, details of performances , photos ,reviews ( can anyone help with providing some more of these ?) , band personnel, set lists , audience and soundboard recordings and links where available,

     We 'd also like to thank the following people for contributing to the development of the pages so far. 

Richard Arridge, Garry Bodenham , Henry Cobbold, Neil Rice ,Chris Wojecki , Martin Stame , Freddy Bannister, Pete Piwowarski, Parcan, Graham Edgar ,Ove Strindh and Chris Atkins.

Thankee gents ....

Images courtesy F Bannister , taken from" Spirit of Knebworth" video


If you can add in any way to this material ,please Contact us.

There Must Be A Better Way

The abridged Knebworth commemorative set There Must Be A Better Way is now available at £75, plus postage - it contains the following:

The flyers, programmes and tickets from 3 of the following festivals:
1974 Allman Brothers, Tim Buckley, Alex Harvey
1975 Pink Floyd Steve Miller Captain Beefheart
1978 Genesis - Jefferson Airplane
1978 Frank Zappa, The Tubes, Peter Gabriel
1979 Led Zeppelin, New Barbarians
A boxed set of 30 photographs from the festivals.
A video containing Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rolling Stones, Genesis and Led Zeppelin in either PAL or NTSC
A hard backed book with all the behind the scene stories.

and as a SPECIAL FREE GIFT to anyone purchasing the set we give 5 live CDs from Knebworth plus a Rolling Stones DVD
You may read an impartial review here go to 'reviews'

You may pay in instalments if you wish. After the initial payment of £25, plus postage the set is sent to you and you are then charged three monthly instalments of £25.
email for further details

( NB : The Archive has no commercial ties with Fredie Bannister or his products , we include this information to inform our viewers about the availablity of these items .Please note that most of the audio on the bonus discs supplied with the boxed sets are audience tapes and vary considerably in quality )

Can we get a witness ?

We have been endeavouring to collect as many recordings of the artists that featured at these concerts as possible, so we can effectively review the performances, provide set lists and band line-ups. Any info displayed on these pages or which is sent to us for review remains the copyright of the contributor and the Archive makes NO PROFIT from its use. The intention is to also display as many personal histories of the festival as possible for the benefit of readers of the site and we welcome all written contributions, no matter how long or short.

If you can contribute in any way, with tapes, reviews , photos or personal histories, please Contact us

Knebworth Concerts 1974-86



Knebworth links

Back to the main Archive.