The Archive.

Transcendance at Bath. 

Being Ian F's Bath experiences

   We'd just finished our final year at Swansea Uni - what a perfect way to start our new lives! We were young, free and excited!

   We stayed the Friday night at Adrian's folk's house in Bristol (I think!) - or maybe dropped in there and slept the night on a floor of his friends house, and travelled by car to the festival site early the next morning. I remember heavy rain.

   There were lots of folk arriving. It was my first taste of festival fun, having missed the 69 Isle Of Wight travelling in Turkey.

   The campsite was muddy. I don't remember who was in the car...I do remember taking a leak against a hedge and then (presumably) having a toke 'cos...I have a still radiant memory of skip dancin' down a hill toward the festival site - dancin' through splintered sunlight feeling just wonderful. The hill overlooked the crowd and I was in ecstacy. That dance lost me to the other folks and I never saw Adrian (and friends) again ! )
Though in '99 I re-established contact with him after 29 years (an email connect via a Swansea Uni Alumni Assoc small ad - what fun!) I'll pursue him to get his memories of the event - if he still has any!

Um, do I ?
Let’s find out!...


   I met an American girl from Stanford (her dad taught at the uni), and shared her sleeping bag in the rain. I lost my felt hat...which she post returned to me some 5 weeks later ! She'd rolled it up in her sleeping bag. It had burrs in it. We exchanged love notes for awhile. She described the California sun and days so hot you couldn’t walk barefeet on the sidewalk.

   I'd been in love with California for at least a year before the festival - listening to an almost exclusive diet of West Coast music that year. Meeting her was kinda like living the dream.

   I'd also picked up on a few of the CBS super groups featured at the festival (via LP’s bought at Duck Son & Pinker,  Swanseas's main record shop ) - including Flock and It's a Beautiful Day. The big draw for me was Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna-  Volunteers had been spun lots on our Maryland Cottage, Mumbles, turntable.

   Um, I remember sitting cross legged on the grass on the perimeter of the crowds that Saturday arvo...the sun a streaming. An American came up, smiled at me, sat down and invited me to to be a naked dancer when Airplane hit the stage. Simply turn up backstage around 8pm (I'm guessing on the time).
I missed the appointment - but sure enough, there were naked dancers when Airplane played...I could have been there!

   I remember the gentle sounds of Donovan, leather pant sounds of Steppenwolf and waking up to the sound of Pink Floyd and massed choir...the first public performance of Atom Heart Mother maybe... I wouldn't have a clue (not being into Floyd-them being English 'n all). The image of the choir I can see though.  Bob Hite and Canned Heat played a good set. Now that was another early morning - right ? Seems like 6am to me...Bear Hite doing his thing just great and Al Wilson...I always dug Al Wilson. Ha!

   I have a very vivid memory of being front left stage on the Sunday ? was dark. I was sitting kinda dazed. I looked up and there were the band members of Jefferson Airplane stone weaving their way through the seated crowds oh so close, them lookin’ totally floating, transcendant. Was this a hallucination? It has always seemed very real to me. Grace was wearing this wonderful flimsy hippy flow dress. Jack Cassady in indian shirt. Cool!

   Rain on sleeping bag is another memory. Not my bag (of course)...I had gone totally unprepared for whatever eventuality, especially the weather! and it rained right! I have memories of the rain falling on us illuminated by the lights from the stage.

   The last morning (Monday) felt come down wonderful. Ah the glorious next day feel of good tokin' the night (and days!) before. Glorious residual effect.  It was move out time. My new American friend had to get going. We exchanged addresses. I looked for my hat! I remember walkin' alone through the departing hordes, feelin as if I'd discovered home.

   My afghan coat (bought in an Istanbul bazaar the previous year) felt cool. (I wore it inside out, shaggy sheepskin exposed, to make it look cooler.)

    I had experienced joy!
   God knows how I got home. I remember walking along the side of the road as many cars departed doing a stone prance walk that felt just delicious.

Ian F .

Audio- visual Records

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Photo Collections
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8 mm Film Archive

Ross Mortimore's streaming Quicktime movie of the crowd features clear images of the stage PA , Colosseum onstage and bikers with Canned Heat at Bath as a soundtrack provided courtesy of Bob C .

Bandwidth and copyright restrictions mean we cant host audio/video so you will have to do with stills at the moment until we can do an alternative stream elsewhere. Please don't bug us to add it , we will do it when we have the time.

General information:
links menu to site map, ticket. pass out, transport, drug bust, films and festival arrangements.

External Links to Bath related merchandise ( with which we have NO commerical links whatsoever )

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1970 Bath Festival we have brought out a special commemorative set. Anyone interested can view it on

A limited edition of reprints of the 1969 and 1970 Bath festival posters and Freddie Bannisters books on the Bath ,Lincoln 71 and Knebworth festivals can be bought online from the link below :
Rock festival memorabilia from various festivals can be viewed at the main Rock memorabilia page

Led Zeppelin at Bath photogallery

Visit the 1969 Bath Festival pages.

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