Atlanta Pop Festival - 1970
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The Second Annual Atlanta Pop Festival was held over the Fourth of July weekend in 1970 at the Middle Georgia Raceway in Byron, Georgia about 90 miles south of Atlanta. Over 300,000 people were there to see The Allman Brothers, Poco, Mountain, BB King, John Sebastian, Gypsy, Chambers Brothers, Rare Earth, Mott the Hoople, Its a Beautiful Day, Johnny Winter, Ten Years After, Grand Funk Railroad, Richie Havens and Jimi Hendrix in his largest US 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.

The previous summer my college roommate went to the First Atlanta Pop Festival (a month before the one at Woodstock) and came back with rave reviews. So in July of 1970 my roommate and I along with seven other students at Mississippi State University loaded up two cars and headed to Georgia.

There is not much information about this festival on the Internet (I thought everything was on the Internet) so as a public service I have uploaded these pictures and some of my memories. Enjoy.

See also:
*Wikipedia article on the festival.
*Carter Tomassi photos
*1970 Atlanta Pop Festival
*Annotated Google map
Atlanta Pop Festival VIDEO

Atlanta Pop Festival, 1970 annotated map

Photography notes: These photos were taken with a Nikon F2 SLR camera with either a 35mm or 105mm lens. This was a manual camera - no built-in exposure meter and not auto focusing. Many were taken late in the evening and therefore with large openings and little depth of field. The original Ektachrome slides (a few are Kodachrome) were scanned with an Epson 4990 photo scanner. The file name is in square brackets at the end of each photo's description and it reflects the info on the slide's frame: day, month year, "35s"= 35mm slide, E=Ektachrome or K=Kodachrome, slide number. Sometimes a band name is in the file name because the name was written on the slide at the time.

Note - June, 2012: I am re-uploading updated versions of these pictures and adding a few new ones. I have gotten better at post-processing since I did these original scans and I am uploading these in a larger size even though many of these are hot sharp enough to justify the larger size. These photos have been more popular than I ever expected and there are not many pictures left of this event so I want to put what I have up here so maybe someone in the future can enhance them in ways that I cannot fathom today.
51 photos · 22,339 views