Last update 8th Jan 2002. View using Netsacpe Nav at 800 X 600 res .
24-26th July 1970
appeared in IT a week or so after the festival. However, this is NOT the article
I remember reading at the time. Possibly it was another magazine ,
as I'm sure there were different photos and format.
Page 8 International Times :Aug
13th -27th 1970.
'People round about living in fear'
photos by Barry C Cooper
TUESDAY, July 14: Lawyers acting
ior West Sussex County Council inform Phun
City's solicitors that an injunction
is being sought to prevent the festival taking place. News of this action
is carried by most national press & TV news.
WEDNESDAY, July 15:
Backers withdraw remainder of finance from
THURSDAY, July 16: West
Sussex County Council withdraw application for injunction,
but information is not carried by any nationals. Finance is by now thoroughly
FRIDAY, July 17: Ronan OěRahilly
is contacted with a view to replac-ing vital finance. Negotiations continue
MONDAY, July 20: Construction
crews move onto site & start work with what little bread is left
in bank & Ronan O'Rahilly investigates
possibility of his company, Mid Atlantic Films,
filming the event. Freaks begin to arrive at site & set up commune
in the woods.
July 21: Woodland commune grows: work on
site slows down as cash reserve dwindles. Ron`an ''provision`ally "agrees
to put in finance, to film
the event, & generally help with organisation.
July 25: Saturday dawns overcast & showery.
Buttons & the London Hells Angels
arrive in force & put in an amazing amount of hard work on behalf of the organisation.
Red Umbrella Caterers' boss, Alan
Carter, begins threatening anyone who he feels is cutting across his franchise
in any way. Friends' stall is one of these, &
Carter threatens to drive a truck over their stall if they go on selling coffee.
The aftemoon's weather brightens & the music starts with Cochise,
Mighty Baby & Demon
Fuzz. Edgar Broughton offers to
play free, providing he isn't filmed & heavy situation takes place between
Peter Jenner & the film crew, although
the tension is dispelled by a fine set by Edgar
& Kevin Ayers playing together.
July 22: Final details are worked out with Mid-Atlantic.
Certain contractors begin demanding cash in advance
and in some cases inflating prices.
THURSDAY, July 23: Work on site
resumes in earnest although it is now about 48 hours behind schedule.
Woodland commune has by now constructed
an independ-ent festival village. Local
Water Board refuse to accept Mid-Atlantic
cheque & inform site manager McDonnell
that water will not be connected unless paid cash. Sympathetic
local councillor personally guarantees payment & water is turned
on. Announcement is made that in view of deal with Ronan
that no fences will be erected & that
the audience will be put on trust to pay for admission
.National press see no news value of idea of People's
FRIDAY, July 24:
Heavy rain all morning slows down construction work, & festival
opens at 6.00pm with toilets only half constructed. Health
officials put deadline on having toilets completed or they will
close festival. Staff have to be drawn off cash collection to work
on toilets. Rain stops mid-afternoon but
by then the crowd has been reduced to around 3,000.
Some contractors begin to heavy organisers for full
payment which leaves less than enough to pay all bands. Despite
this, Stray, Wildmouth,
J.J. Jackson & the Pretty
Things all play. J.J. & the
Pretties both do historic sets. Free
, however, are appalled by the conception of the event & demand
cash before they will consider playing. While this is being arranged
they split, so the Pretty Things
finish the evening.
amazing Pink Fairies strip show
follows, with Russ & Twink
rolling Naked on the stage. The Poetry
Festival & Sc i-Fi Conference
get off to a bad start as the inflatable domes they're supposed to be
happening in are still lying flat on the grass. The poetry starts in the
Christian tent, but is evicted after complaints
from the missionaries about obscenity. The
BIT & Radio Geronimo
newspapers are distributed around the ground. The 2 inflatables finally
inflate & as the sun sets the MC5
start into their truly amazing set. As darkness falls, the lightshows
go into full action for the first time & the ground becomes a
mass of colour. For the first time a festival is a real environment.
Legs Larry Smith & Steve
Took's new band, Shagrat,
follow MC5 & when the music finishes
the audience retire to various holes & nooks for sleep & narcotics.
SUNDAY, July 26: Heavy rain
& the money has totally run out. free beer is handed round by the
Angels ,who, although fearsome in regalia & carrying massive
clubs, were in the main helpful & one of the main factors in holding
the event together. The Jesus bunch hold what they call a People's
Service. A couple of local bands fill in until the rain stops.
Sunday's action, although damp & cold, is one happy togetherness
. Virtually nobody gets paid anything above expenses & only Matthews
Southern Comfort leave without playing ,Quiver,
Eyes) new band start the day's serious music. Black radical band
Noir play a really excellent
set, as does Mike Chapman who
has the audience on its feet for a 20 minute ┬Hey
Jude' which surpasses Paul McCartney.
The Liverpool 8 Friendly Society
follows, then Pete Brown, also
excellent. The crowd gives a standing ovation to Sonia,
a virtually unknown folksinger, after an impromptu spot. RogerRuskin,
robots, and the reporter from"The People"
take part in a piece of wierdness. Mungo
Jerry provide the final spot▀very professional down home jug
music. Finally they are joined by the organisers, the film crew and
sundry musicians who close the event with a 15 min. "anthem
in plain E "specially composed by Mick
Farren. The audience once more repare to the woods and dome to
consume narcotics and sleep.
July 28: Clearing up, taking down tents and watching rain. About
100 people sit around in the woods smoking, talking, cooking up stews
in EIsan buckets. Early afternoon, Councillor Flower and
Health Inspector Rossiter arrive, chat to hippies
, walk dogs and things , all dead amiable. Incensed
by the rumours of common land, stay forever in our permanent
commune, etc. etc. 100 pigs `descend
in three columns of trucks and proceed to clear the woods
with enthusiasm, kicking over stews and councillors throwing
clothes and gear on camp fires and busting three
people for dope.
On attempting to placate
all parties, organisers get told by head pig, Chief
"you are responsible for this and our investigations
will be along the lines of charging you with allowing the premises to be used
for the smoking of cannabis resin"
Very uptight over the treatment of his narcs
during the past three days. Ha, Ha.
ARE SO OPEN I'D RATHER BE WITH THEM THAN THE MIDDLE-AGED
CHURCH GOERS I USUALLY WORK WITH"
PARTY I'VE EVER BEEN TO"
Rudolph, Pink Fairies
CITY - Incredible - - even though out of all
the groups who played I only managed to see the Pretty Things
(seen at one point putting money into the bucket going round collecting money
for the groups) and the first half of the MC 5 set
- - I really wanted to watch the MC 5 but was so sure that I was going to fall
off the stage that I had to go and sit on the steps instead - - Most of the time
I helped to collect money with Buttons
and John and Red
and the other Angels who are beautiful.
Actually they did most of the work whilst I sat in the sunshine and got burnt
by the wind. Most people realised the position we were in and even if they didn't
have much money gave what they could. However, it seemed that the bigger
the car the poorer the occupants.... 4/--
from six people in a Mercedes'
I THINK WE
MUST HAVE LOST ABOUT FOUR GRAND, ITS TOO
EARLY TO SAY YET . IN TERMS OF MONEY IT WAS A DISASTER , BUT THE
PEOPLE GOT IT ON .
Farren on behalf of Phun City Ltd
you have any info regarding the festival please get in touch Contact
and underground press articles.
of Phun City and band details
More information about Phun
City organizer Mick Farren
and the UK Underground press
can be found at these excellent sites.
Big thanks to Keiran
McCann , Celia Bouquet ,Rich Deakin and Phil Jones for the donation of the press
articles that have enabled us to construct this site and to Ronald Jensen and
Dicky Howett for the great photographs.
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