The crowd itself was estimated to be from anything between 150,000 to 200,000. I would put it in the lower figure, although there were a LOT of people out there, as you can see for yourselves below.
View of the stage with the two TV screens
visible either side of the stage.
Ok, c'mon, which one was you? I know you're
out there somewhere!
Verdict : Music -
The final verdict after one of the most amazing arrays of talent yet assembled in Britain at Bath last weekend was - music EXCELLENT . Organisation -POOR.
There were tremendous high spots. Led Zeppelins three hour mind blower on Sunday. Jon Hisemans amazing drum solo., matched only by John Bonham , the Byrds battle with the elements after rain washed out Jefferson Airplane in the early hours of Monday.
With so many fine artists displaying progressive music at its best , it is difficult to single out individuals for honours.
But there were surprises as well as moments of boredom and depression. In the long hours over 150, 000 fans were encamped in the showground of Shepton Mallet,whenever rain threatened and the bleak aspect of the site became overbearing , there were moments like the surprise appearance of Donovan and a John Mayall super jam to compensate.
"Britains answer to Woodstock" was a success, but it developed the same aches and pains as the American super Festival.
Every band worked their hardest despite problems caused by the traffic situation that built up for miles around.
The time table was quickly abandoned and it became a matter of getting artists on stage as soon and when ever they arrived. Surprisingly there were few major breakdowns in the flow of sound. Road managers worked overtime struggling to get tons of equipment through country lanes choked with abandoned cars.
A detachment of Hellís Angels. were even enrolled to act as dispatch riders , giving artists a hair raising ride through the melee. Sometimes tempers were lost, problems seemed endless and fans could not always hear and see as much as they should. But there was till an overall air of excitement and occasion. , particularly when dusk fell and the light shows, firework displays and video screen came into play.
Despite promises beforehand by the promoters that press facilities in front of the stage would be strictly restricted to a handful of reporters and photographers, as usual security broke down and a crush of Hellís Angels, acid freaks and professional gatecrashers enjoyed full front row facilities.
And how was it for the paying customers ? For those in good positions the sound was good and the TVX projection unit did a fine job, providing a large black and white picture of the onstage action. But many complained that the music could not be heard clearly at the back and there were the inevitable yells of ĎSIT DOWN Ď addressed to those heads unable to squat in the crush.
Few if any violent incidents were reported , but the medical staff were kept busy , dealing with minor accidents and a few bad acid trips .
The site presented a fantastic scene . Thousands of tents ranged across the plain like a mediaeval battlefield . Fires heating cans of beans and tired limbs glowed and smoked and a miasma of sewage and hot dogs drifted over the myriad of packed bodies huddled under blankets.
The most ambitious festival yet staged , it was a pity that facilities and organisation did not really raise much above the general standard of this seventies phenomena - the marathon rock bash.
Many were left wondering- do we need such long events? Bath ran non stop from Saturday midday to well after dawn on Monday.
Rock fans are a hardy breed and will put up with a lot to give their appreciation to the giants of modern music . But in future - would not more emphasis on comfort ad foresight in dealing with the enormous influx that these events attract be advisable ?
should be fun and not an endurance test.