The Summer Jam at Watkins Glen, New York, took place on this day (well, actually, it was yesterday) in 1973, featuring just three acts: the Allman Brothers Band, The Band and the Grateful Dead.
An estimated 600,000 music lovers were in attendance, 150,000 of them having paid $10 for a ticket.
Billed as “the largest music gathering ever”, it surpassed Woodstock in terms of numbers (600,000 is one from every 400 living in the USA at the time; Woodstock’s crowd was somewhere around the 400,000 mark) and despite reports that the village of Watkins Glen needed the best part of a week to recover after the final revellers had left (just picture the abandoned cars, unwanted tents, huge piles of rubbish and inevitable left-overs due to inadequate sanitary facilities), it was a peaceful, happy jamboree.
Yes, the locals would later sue, looking to be recompensed for the damage caused to property and livestock, and a 120-day moratorium on gatherings of more than 5,000 people was imposed soon after, but it was generally hailed a success.
The Allman Brothers Band played for approximately five hours, The Band, three, and the Grateful Dead, four. It ended with a 90-minute jam, with musicians from all three bands joining in.
If you could have organised a similar event in the past (I don’t know, would anyone want to organise one in the future?), who would have been your three acts, how much time would you have allowed them on stage, when and where would the concert have taken place, and how much would you have charged for tickets?