Top 5 Facts about Byron Music Festival
45 years ago on July 4th muisc history was made in Middle Georgia. You've heard about the legendary artists that graced the stage at the Byron Music Festival, but there are lots of interesting facts about this historic event may locals don't know about. Check out these cool facts about the Byron Music Festival.
By Guest Gatekeeper Ben Sandifer, read about Ben>>
1. The Crowd
Estimates have ranged from 200,000 to 600,000. I-75 was backed up for miles in both directions. Nearby wooded areas became campgrounds. And places like the lake at Vinson Valley and the Echeconnee Creek provided some relief from the 100 degree temperatures. Vastly outnumbered, the only thing law enforcement could do about widespread nudity and drug use was just look the other way.
2. Free! Free! Free!
Even at 1970 prices, $14.00 for 30 acts over 3 days was a bargain. Still there were thousands of music lovers outside the gates demanding that Byron become a free festival, like Woodstock. So promoters and security personnel gave in and opened the gates about an hour into the opening act’s first set.
3. Lester Maddox
Georgia’s colorful governor had tried repeatedly to prevent the festival from taking place. With the help of the state legislature, restrictions were eventually adopted to make it difficult to organize another festival of this size, so a third Atlanta Pop Festival never happened.
4. Concert Poster
Designed by artist Lance Bragg, the psychedelic motif featured on the official concert poster was used for both Atlanta festivals, as well as the Texas Pop Festival, all promoted by the legendary Alex Cooley. And just a bit of 45 year old trivia – Captain Beefhart, Taos, Ravi Shankar, Ginger Baker’s Air Force and Jethro Tull are all listed on the poster, but were all no-shows at the festival.
5. Historical marker
A ceremony was held over 42 years after the festival to unveil and dedicate an official historic marker where the festival happened. This project was the work of festival site landowner Tim Thornton, along with the Georgia Historical Society, the Byron Area Historical Society, the Georgia Allman Brothers Band Association and the Allman Brothers Museum at the Big House.