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For information on today's festivals see

Last update February 2013 .

East Anglian Rock

Speedway Stadium


Bury St Edmonds

Suffolk .


The Festivals.


Ist East Anglia Rock and Blues Festival, Mildenhall Stadium, Cambs.

September 20 1981

Found your site whilst doing some research for an upcoming book on ‘1ST NWOBHM gigs’, and remembered my one tied in nicely with your website.
The very first fest was Sept 1981 on a Sunday (?), with mostly local bands playing (Thumpa,Mamas Cookin, Vantage Point, Tutch, Axe Band), plus special guests, The David Byron Band and headliners, Praying Mantis (fresh from releasing their debut album ‘Time Tells No Lies’ a few months earlier, and many plaudits in the Metal/Heavy Rock press surrounding self financed singles and tours with Iron Maiden etc).
Think I have the original programme someplace, cant remember much about the day apart from genuine excitement at it being my first festival and witnessing a ‘bib band from London’ playing to us locals!!
Steve Bowler

2nd East Anglia Rock and Blues Festival.

24th July 1982

Angelwitch playing at the 1982 festival © Blaine Butler.

Saxon, Angelwitch, Magnum,Sampson, Bernie Marsdens S.O.S. Stampede.Caroline Road Show -DJ Bell Stevens

Headliner: Saxon

I found your site after listening to the live Angel Witch album on Spotify and then trying to find out what the line up was for the second festival.

I went to the first two and as far as I remember the first one was just local bands, vague recollection of a band called Thumper(?) from Thetford(?).

The second one was a great day and I seem to remember Saxon coming on late so my dad got to hear the whole set in his car several miles down the road while he waited to pick me and my other 17 year old mates up. I have a album by Stampede called Live Bootleg record at Reading and Mildenhall. Am I right in thinking Saxons eagle light display came up out of the pits as it was too big for the stage?!


Dunno how I forgot to mention them, but what about Stampede?!?
In a fairly trad Lizzy/UFO vein, admittedly, but an excellent band fronted by the Archer brothers (or cousins, or dad & son, can't remember). They made a great EP, then shot themselves in the foot somewhat by putting all their best songs on an 'Official Live Bootleg', which was excellent, but as a result their first LP proper was a bit of a let-down.
Saw them in 82 at a mini 'Monsters of NWOBHM'-type thing, deep in the Fens at Mildenhall Speedway...other bands were, I believe, Angelwitch (who sucked), Samson (Nicky Moore version), Magnum (eww..) and the mighty SAXON!!! Happy daze....



Angelwitch © Blaine Butler.

Angelwitch with wall of Marshall's © Blaine Butler.


Bernie Marsden's S.O.S.

Bernie Marsden © Blaine Butler.

Bernie Marsden having fun © Blaine Butler.

Bernie Marsden and singer © Blaine Butler.

Bernie Marsden's SOS © Blaine Butler.


Samson © Blaine Butler.

Samson in black and white mode © Blaine Butler.

Samson © Blaine Butler.

Samson© Blaine Butler.


Magnum © Blaine Butler.

Magnum © Blaine Butler.

Magnum © Blaine Butler.

Magnum © Blaine Butler.

Saxons Eagle, too big to fit on the stage, it was lowered down for one number © Blaine Butler.

the following year i went to Mildenhall speedway track to a gig on that bill there was, Angelwitch, Magnum,Sampson, Bernie Marsdens s.o.s. and Saxon headlined (Hawkwind pulled out) there was loads of Yanks from a nearby air base almost all of them wore dungerees they looked odd, it was the wheel of steel light show, pretty poor though, just a white light eagle, but the bands were fantastic, i slept on a bench in Cambridge that night ....Brrr !?

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