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Updated July 2021

For information on today's festivals see

Big BIG thanks to our sponsor Neil !

This site is dedicated in 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 .....

Ashton Court Community Free Festival

Bristol. 1978-83

1978 : August 4th-6th 1978

1978 featured Steve Hillage , Here and Now and Sphynx amongst other lesser known acts . We are looking for reports and photos of the other festivals.

Here and Now onstage Ashton Court Free festival August 1978 © Chumba Shanks

Gazer onstage Ashton Court Free festival© Paul Seaton

The left handed guitarist on the left of the stage is me! I was playing with Gazer and I remember the sun coming out as we went on stage and doing an interview with Radio Bristol afterwards. I also played at the very first Ashton Court with a band called The Ron Johnson Combo.

   The first festival was held in 1974 and activities resumed again in 1978 and 1979 . The festival was shelved for several years after arrests in 1980 and resumed again as a one day event in 1983 . The festival has continued to date although it is no longer free and was reported to be in financial difficulties in 2006 .

Official site

Gazer once again © Chumba Shanks

© Chumba Shanks

Steve Hillage pays a visit to soundman Grant Da Showbiz of Here & Now © Chumba Shanks

© Chumba Shanks

© Chumba Shanks

© Chumba Shanks

© Chumba Shanks

© Chumba Shanks

Free Festivals List

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

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




  • 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



We are proud of the contribution we have made to Andy Worthington's sociological history of Stonehenge and the free festival scene in the UK .This new book gives a fascinating insight into the various counter cultural obsessions with the Stones and provides a variety of new perspectives to many of the key events surrounding the Henge such as the Battle Of The Beanfield and the more recent attempts hold a celebration at the Stones during the Solstice.


Find out more about this great book by clicking on the image on the left and visit the Heart of Albion Press web site .

Sending details of a small book I've just self-published which might be of interest to some readers of your admirable site.

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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