Hammond Daily Star June 1st
Dope Raids, One Death
8,000 Attend Pop Festival
-- Despite anti-festival legislative measures, some heckling and threatening phone calls from area residents, the Pop Festival of "Man and Earth" proceeded through the Memorial Day Weekend and will close out activities tonight.
Marred by the death of lightning of a New Orleans youth late Friday afternoon, the festival had only one sizable threatening incident early Sunday morning.
An estimated number of 2,000 youth surrounded a small group of narcotics agents who were in the process of a raid.
The yelling crowds were dispersed by eeinforcements armed with shotguns, and a K-9 team of four-leggers.
Twenty persons had been arrested by 11:30 p.m. Saturday, and by 11 p.m. Sunday, an estimated seventy persons were arrested and booked.
Some 18,000 had been expected by Promoter Jim Brown to arrive by Saturday evening, but intermittent rain brought the number down to about 8,000 Saturday and about half that Sunday.
Brown and other announcers, as well as guest speaker State Sen. William Guste of New Orleans, urged full cooperation with police and full respect of the drugs and narcotic laws.
Sales and open use of narcotics and the like seemed to drop noticeably after the early Sunday morning incident, according to police officials.
Insect bites and sunburn accounted for the bulk of medical cases handled, according to Dr. Jeoffry Gordon, one of several volunteer physicians present.
Dr. Gordon described the crowd as very calm and quiet, and added that the entire operation was a lot like a Sunday picnic.
Ruston Daily Leader article
Denham Springs Rock Festival Nears End
Denham Springs, La.
-- Promoters put the "Festival of Man and Earth" on a free admission basis as it neared its end and blamed police pressure for helping to thin crowds from a weekend high of 10,000 to about 55 by Monday night.
At least 131 persons were arrested during the four-day rock music festival, most of them during the weekend. Most were held for a time without bond on charges ranging from narcotics violations to "camping on private property and disturbing the peace."
A reporter for Newsweek Magazine, Sam Bingham, was released from jail Monday night after bond was set at $500. He had been arrested Sunday night and booked with interferring with police.
An attorney for festival promoters, Ronald Causey, said Judge W. M. Dawkins of Louisiana's 21st judicial district court told him Monday night bonds would be set at $2,500 each for possession of marijuana and might run to $5,000 for marijuana possession coupled with other charges.
Causey said he and other attorneys were driving to the Livingston Parish jail Monday night to try to free their clients.
After the $15 entrance charge for the festival was removed Monday, promoter Jim Brown told the crowd, "WeRe going to take a bath"- rock slang for lose money.
Brown blamed police pressure and adverse publicity surrounding the event for his financial problems, as well as for disturbances at the festival, and said legal action was planned.
"We're going to do everything we can to see that the people who caused the trouble get what they deserve," he said "I imagine that we personally won't be the only persons filing suit."
He declined to comment specifically on what steps he planned to take.
Brown said police, including motard squads, gathered outside the Thunderbird Beach festival site during the weekend.
They rushed through the fence in groups, he said, collaring several youths at a time and taking them to jail.
A portable police compound was set up just outside the beach.
Only two arrests at the festival were reported Monday.
A Houston, Tex. couple, Elton Barry Hoke and his wife, Wendy, were booked with possession of marijuana.
"There seems to be no problem up there." a Livingston Parish sheriff's deputy said Monday night. "Apparently it is pretty quiet in all places."
The festival's health and emergency aid dispensary said it had treated more than 200 people by Monday night, most for minor cuts, insect bites and sunburn.
A spokesman said about 20 young people were treated for "bad trips" on drugs.
The festival was also plagued by rain.