The Archive

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Updated Jan 2016

This site is dedicated to the memory of Roger Hutchinson, who inspired me to delve deep into the magic of the free festival and who passed away Sept 3rd 2010.

R.I.P. Roger .....

For information on today's festivals see eFestivals.co.uk

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"Andy Roberts (author of Albion Dreaming) is now writing a book specifically about psychedelics and free festivals. He would welcome any information on this topic such as info on dealing psychedelics at festivals, prices, types available, methods of smuggling psychedelics in, photos of dealers' signs and basically anything related to psychedelics and free festivals. All contributors will be credited and no compromising information will be revealed! Please contact Andy


Fennit Free Festival,

Sutton Gault,nr Ely

Cambridgeshire.
August 7-9th 1981
.



F.W.S Field Workers report
This 3 day free festival in the fenland was well organised by local people and attended mainly by local people. I arrived late on Saturday night in the dark and pouring rain, so I didn't see much that night.

It was still raining on Sunday and the site was extremely muddy. The track leading to the festival was along the top of a dike which was very slippery to drive along and almost impossible to pass another vehicle. It was better suited to bikes and the whole festival was geared to them, even including a best bike show.

It was a great shame about the weather because the site was very nice and seemed a good festival, although spirits were dampened. About 1000 people had attended the festival on Friday and Saturday when the weather had been better. A good stage had been built and local bands played. The organisers had built and were running a bar to cover part of the cost of putting on the festival, which they had spent a lot of time and money getting together. They had made arrangements with a local farmer to use one of his fields after harvest and had borrowed scaffolding and other equipment from local firms.

The organisers had built separate ladies and gents toilets using the model in FWS's "Healthy Festival Sites", and had organised free food kitchens and other food and craft stalls. There was no water supply on site, so water runs were done and the advertising for the festival had warned people to bring their own supply. There was plenty of dead wood for fires in the nearby copse.

The main problem of the festival was the inaccessibility of the site. It was very remote and a long way from the nearest hospital if there had been a serious accident. At least there were a lot of people there with knowledge of the locality and very capable organisers. Emergency vehicles were also on standby during the festival.

I understand the festival is to be held again next year on a different site with better access. I hope the organisers put in as much effort and that the festival is as together as this year. It would be nice to see more people making use of the good facilities and more craft stalls. I also recommend that some people with first aid training are again organised to be on standby for the duration of the festival.

Penny Mellor.

Tibetan Ukra(i)nian Mountain Troupe at Fennit


Free Festivals List

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Free festivals and small fayres held in the United Kingdom between 1967-90.

1967-69.

 1970-79  
1980-92

 

  • Windsor Peoples Free Festival 1972-74
 
 Free festival related articles
Pay Festivals- Benefits for Travellers aid.
 

Main list of Free festivals 1970-1985

Free rock festivals of the 70s and 80s

Related Articles

The aroma of a free festival -by Roger Hutchinson

Dome construction instruction sheet (download-140k)-by Roger Hutchinson

Travellers Tales Convoy Steve's tale of how the freaks outsmarted the fuzz at Greenham common.

Zorch -House band for the free festival set ? A fanzine page on the UK's first electronic band .

Tibetan Ukranian Mountain Troupe-surreal pranksters of the Traveller community .

Acidia Lightshow Lightshow for Windsor festival and Stonehenge in the 1970s.

Traveller Daves Website - Chock full of of free festival photos !

Many, many thanks go to Roger Hutchinson , Big Steve , Roger Duncan, Celia, Will , Chazz, Jeza ,Chris Hewitt ,The Fabulous Time Tortoise , Peter Piwowarski - ( 70s music site/photos ) Martin S, Steve Austin ,Traveller Dave, Herb, Tim Brighton, Vin Miles, Haze Evans , Noddy Guevara, Chris Brown, Janet Thompson, David Stooke, Gary Gibbons , Nigel Ayers, Rich Deakin ,Glenda Pescardo,Justin Warman,Brian F, Steve Bayfield, Kev Ellis, Paul Seaton and many other minor contributors for their help in providing the archival material related to these free festivals which has at enabled us to construct the site .

Any info to add ?-well don't just sit there , Contact us


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