Jul 28, 2014
06:24 PMArts & Entertainment
‘Woodstock’ at Connecticut’s Powder Ridge, Banned in ’70, Coming in October
Associated Press file photo
A young man and his girlfriend get food from the free kitchen at the banned Powder Ridge Rock Festival in Middlefield in this Aug. 1, 1970, file photo.
MIDDLEFIELD--It was the largest musical festival that never happened.
Nearly 45 years after the infamous July 1970 rock fest that promised a Woodstock-caliber lineup like Janis Joplin, the Allman Brothers and Van Morrison, Powder Ridge Ski Area CEO Sean Hayes is resurrecting the idea.
This one, he says, will happen.
Tickets for the three-day Powder Ridge music festival in 1970 cost just $20 (that would be $125 today, accounting for inflation) but it was cancelled two days prior when the Planning and Zoning Commission filed a court injunction. The fear was that the crowd was too large and the hoards of people might devastate the area and overwhelm facilities.
In all, 60,000 tickets were sold in advance of that July day. But news of the cancellation didn’t spread as quickly and widely as it would today on social media, so 30,000 showed up anyway — many who’d heard about Woodstock but couldn’t get in and just as many others who had been at the Bethel, New York, farm in August 1969 and wanted to be a part of another historic event.
But without bands, food and sanitation facilities, the rock festival quickly devolved into a cramped and unsanitary camp. What participants lacked in entertainment, they made up for in drug use as medics were called in for overdoses and authorities summoned to maintain order.
October’s event will have little resemblance to that disastrous weekend, Hayes said.