Monday, March 3, 2014

The Windsor Free Festival 1973 / 4


For Issue 2 of HOBO (the unpublished version) co-editor Bo (John Bargant) wrote an article on the 2nd Windsor Free Festival and we had a folded flyer for the 3rd in Issue 4 - August 1974. Other articles appeared in Hobo regarding some of the Coventry bands who played the festival. Here is Bo's article -

THE 2ND WINDSOR FREE FESTIVAL 1973 - (Article by Bo (John Bargent)

Distant, unbalanced sounds reached me as we walked up the grass slope towards a group of people numbering about 200. As I got nearer, I noticed a small band in the middle playing through badly distorted gear. It was only just a basic beat but it was entertainment and the start of the 2nd Windsor Free Festival.
At midday this great park had looked empty by mid afternoon the people had started to stream in and group vans were parking along the side of the road. At the other end of the site, the group VOID had set up on some planks and had started to play to 2 or 3 hundred people. Back at the other end of the site where the main stage was going to be, lurked a beared guy rushing to and fro with speaker leads in his hand. He looked like a roadie but was in fact ANDY DUNKLEY (the DJ) setting up bass bins and speakers to get his records on and to send out messages to the crowd. Meanwhile, behind Andy, a collection of road weary hired trucks and transits were parking and then, what was this...?

Yes .. Hawkwind had arrived. As I went up to say hello to Steve (the roadie with Hawkwind) and asked how everybody was and have a general natter about things since we were last together, it looked to us like it was going to be another Windsor Festival without a proper stage and to us roadies this means extra work!

Well I don't suppose you really want to know roadies talk so I will get on with it. After one big incident of the festival when a guy got busted and thrown in a police transit and about 3000 people rushed to the spot where the transit was to stop them taking him away while the transit drove over a guy who was in front of it. The festival then went back to it's normal peaceful self. Hawkwind played a nice set, late Saturday afternoon, which everybody enjoyed.

Well if I told you about the festival in detail it would take up all this mag, so to cut things short the music was good; the whole festival was good as it was free. Thanks to Hawkwind; Pink Fairies; Andy Dunkley and Coventry's FISSION and all the roadies that worked day and night to keep the music going and everybody else involved.

Fission - Coventry band c 1973 /4 - Johnny Adams / Al Varney etc.
By Bo (John Bargent)  A Hobo Magazine Co-founder /  Co-editor.

Report of the 2rd Windsor Free Festival in Hobo No 2 (Published version) - August 1973

2nd Windsor Free Festival 1973
Starts Saturday 25th August 1973 in Windsor Great Park, London, and is expected to last over a week with well over a hundred groups as well as poets / street theatre / solo singers and everything a far fetched imagination can think of (including free food and beer).

Some of the more well known groups appearing are -
Hawkwind, Pink Fairies, Skin Alley, Third Ear Band, Longdancer, String Driven Thing, Kraan (German group).

Coventry bands possibly appearing - Trilogy (featuring Al Hatton (Ex Indian Summer and Runestaff), Ron Ablewhite (Ex Torqwood), Roy Brewster (percussion); Just Jake (featuring John Alderson and Martin Barter); A Band Called George; Fission; Trev Teasdel and Don't Talk Wet! (Trev (me) I didn;t actually play) but Bo was promoting me around then and added me to the list. Further information was available from Bo and he wanted to know if anyone could supply any generators for the festival.


For the 3rd Windsor Free Festival Bo (John Bargent) supplied fliers to put inside Hobo Magazine Issue 4 and earmarked a number of Coventry bands to play the festival. Not all of them did but we included their names in that issue of Hobo.

From the Coventry Evening Telegraph 1974

Above the 'A' and 'B' side of the flyer that went in Hobo Magazine.

Hobo Issue 4 The entry read - 
"August 24th sees the start of the 3rd Windsor Free festival, organised by Communes. Last year 20,000
were gathered together in Windsor Park. This year they they anticipate 100,000 with over a 100 bands and artists participating. It is expected to last about 9 days in all. Being a free festival, they are relying on people contributing with things like unused stamps and envelopes to help with the heavy mailing list and food and drink, near the actual time. If by any chance anyone can help with supplying generators, they would be greatly appreciated. The address to write to is U.B.T. Bill Dwyer. BM- Circle, London WC1V 6XX.

Any bands, singers, poets, street theatre groups interested in participating, then contact Bo (John Bargent), 21, L:orenzo Close. Willenhall, Coventry. There is no payment but a great deal of publicity is received in the continental and British press."

Coventry bands ear marked to play -

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