Abilene Rock Festival 1971 United States

 
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ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

Abilene's first rock festival.
The following is an article from the May 3, 1971 Abilene Reporter News.

Rock Festival

By Jim Conley Staff Writer

A troublesome sound system and bands that didn't show up hampered the music at Sunday's rock festival near Abilene.
To add to the problems, a dust-covered crowd, grew increasingly unappreciative as it wilted under the West Texas sun.
But the bands which did show up, produced, at times, some really fine sounds.

Brad Busby, guitarist with Abilene's Floodtide, played to the first arrivals at the festival.

Raven of Abilene went back to the roots of rock and roll with a medley of oldies, including 
"Roll Over Beethoven"
"Tutti Frutti"
"Chantilly Lace" and "Hound Dog."

Raven had begun its performance with Stephen Stills, "Love the One You're With."

Some Crosby Stills, Nash and Young found its way into almost every group's offering.

Eagle of San Antonio did a superior version of "Southern Man" and by the end of their gig, had generated enough heat to bring much of the crowd to its feet, shouting and clapping.

By the time Raven finished, at about 3:45 p.m., the sound system apparently had decided it had done enough for the day and quit.
After a boring one-hour "break," the equipment was repaired.

On Stage came Friendship, which was not scheduled until 7:30 p.m.
A group member said that three other bands scheduled to appear before Friendship were nowhere to be found.
Friendship began by murdering "Teach Your Children" but soon started playing together.

They did a decent version of "Louisiana Man," then drew some of the day's better crowd reaction with a sustained, heavy-sounding "I'm a Man."

Again the sound system which had worked for almost an entire hour, broke down.
When the system was working, however, it was good. Amplification was excellent-clear and scarcely any feedback.

The crowd really had little chance, at least until early evening, to get into the music; the dust, heat and equipment breakdowns - plus the ever-present few who became mad men after a few beers - apparently all combined to squelch any enthusiasm the audience may have brought to the festival.
It just didn't look like "the love generation" of a couple of years ago. Instead it seemed a tense, hard-to-please crowd.

A virtual handful danced near the bandstand. Most of the rest just milled around, watching each other. Around dusk and as night fell, Promises from Lawton, Okla., got things going again.

Then Eli of Odessa pleased the crowd with some oldies, including an imitation of Elvis Presley.

Fox, the headliner band, continued with some of the better sounds of the festival.

They were solid, versatile and professional.

At presstime, the music was still going.
Date
Sun May 02, 1971
Map
Abilene Texas
United States
Years active
1971 & 1974
Founded by
Don Nicholas

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