What It Was Like Going To A Music Festival In 1970

earl mcgehee

Photo: Earl McGehee

The Second Annual Atlanta Pop Festival took place over the Fourth of July weekend in 1970 at the Middle Georgia Raceway in Byron, Georgia about 90 miles south of Atlanta.Photographer Earl McGehee was one of about 400,000 people who showed up to see The Allman Brothers, Poco, Mountain, BB King, John Sebastian, Gypsy, Chambers Brothers, Rare Earth, Mott the Hoople, Johnny Winter, 10 Years After, Grand Funk Railroad, Richie Havens and Jimi Hendrix in his last U.S. performance.

“That summer the Vietnam War was always in the headlines and Richard Nixon was president. The Partridge Family was topping the charts and “Patton” was the top movie. No one had a cell phone and we didn’t have a clue that the Internet would one day change our lives. A loaf of bread cost 24 cents and a gallon of gas was 36 cents,” McGehee said in the introduction of his gallery of photos from the festival.

McGehee has kindly given us permission to feature his photos and experience of the Second Atlanta Pop Festival over 30 years ago.

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