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Last update 8th Jan 2002. View using Netsacpe Nav at 800 X 600 res .
24-26th July 1970
Ecclesden Common.
Worthing


    This 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 project.

THURSDAY, July 16: West Sussex County Council withdraw application for injunction, but information is not carried by any nationals. Finance is by now thoroughly scared off.

FRIDAY, July 17: Ronan OěRahilly is contacted with a view to replac-ing vital finance. Negotiations continue through weekend.

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.
 
 

 TUESDAY, 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.
 
WEDNESDAY, 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 Festival.

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.

 

SATURDAY, 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.
 
The 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, Honks (ex-Junior 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.

MONDAY. 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 Inspector Somers,
"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.


"THESE PEOPLE ARE SO OPEN I'D RATHER BE WITH THEM THAN THE MIDDLE-AGED CHURCH GOERS I USUALLY WORK WITH"

Jesus Tent organiser. 
"BEST PARTY I'VE EVER BEEN TO"
Paul Rudolph, Pink Fairies 
PHUN 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'
-J OY

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 .

Mick Farren on behalf of Phun City Ltd 
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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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