Those were the days

Reading Tonys' blog about Donnington, brought back some hazy memories of a lost few days at the Watchfield free festival of August 1975. Following trouble caused by heavy handed policing of the 1974 Windsor event by the Mets finest, the peoples free festival was moved to the sleepy Wiltshire village of Watchfield just outside of Swindon. The site was a vast unused airfield and facilities, including sanitation were rudimentary at best. I can't even remember who went with me but I do remember a smallish tent and some rainy periods, true to our English summers. There were at least 3 stages, widely spaced out, like most of the audience, and it had a quaint air of disorganisation about it. I do remember Steve Hillage of Gong, Edgar Broughton band and Hawkwind headlining on the last night, before most people packed up to head off to to Knebworth. Have to say the policing this time around was wonderful and hands off and it made for a magic experience. There was some talk of trouble with Hells angels but I cant say I saw any. Thinking about this prompted me to google the festival and there is a brilliant site at At least I can see what I missed!!.

9 Replies

  • I don't remember Gong, but I do remember Edgar Broughton! Of course, we would always remember Hawkwind's silver machine.

    I remember some provincial festival with Principal Edwards Magic Theatre. Anyone remember them?

    I mentioned about the IOW festival and Hyde Park on that thread. My only other claim to fame (apart from seeing the Beatles at the Gaumont in Wolverhampton) was seeing the farewell concert of the Bonzo Dog DooDah Band.

    Lynne xx

  • Gong...? Oh yeah!


  • Hmmmmmm. I think I was more into Country Joe and the Fish. 'It's 1, 2, 3 what are we fighting for, whoopee I don't give a damn, the next stop is Vietnam' etc


  • Never had festivals in my youthful days,other than harvest festival


  • With you there king but I loved harvest festival. The church smelt so lovely.

  • I envy you never been to a music festival. I remember Bonzo dog do dah band though. I'm an urban spaceman... Also remember Hawkwind and silver machine. There was a fiction book written about them called (I think) the Hawk Lords about Hawkwind saving the world from a terrible hum which made people unhappy. Would love to read it again. Anyone know it. I am so envious about you seeing the Beatles - I loved the Beatles!

    Have seen most of the ones I want to see in concert though. Seen Bowie twice in the 70's, Pink Floyd twice in the 80's, Bruce Springfield, Macca with Linda Mcartney and Prince. All fantastic. Still want to see the Stones though better get move on they are getting old now!

    When I lived in London went to a local fair in a big park back in 80's. Went to one of the music tents and there was .....Dave Berry! Couldn't believe it. Recognised him straightaway because of that thing he did with the mike. Oh also saw Roy Wood with Wizard at a college campus of all places...I remember dancing on a table. Sigh...those were the days.

    Bev x

  • I ran the4 bars at Goldsmith college for a short time and we had all the groups there incluuding Jimmy Hendrix

  • I was at the Windsor one. Hawkwind was there too. I think they got everywhere ! :)

  • Iv'e seen Hawkwind too at Malvern Wintergardens in the days when cherryred used to bring in a lot of good bands, Motorhead, Judas Priest, Elvis Costello,Thin lizzy were some of the ones I remember. Great times and just down the road too.


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