The 1969 Midwest Rock Festival is almost here, but people remain skeptical and perhaps with some justification. The most serious bad-rapping concerns the price—$7.00 per night at the gate. It is a steep rate, especially when you look at the lineup for the Woodstock Festival and realize that any given day there is heavier than the whole gig here. And the kids there are complaining already about Woodstock’s $7.00 price.
The promoters will tell you that the price is necessary because the groups demand so much, and and the groups will say that they’re not asking any more than normal. Then the promoters will say that it’s $3.00 or $4.00 at someplace like the Kinetic for three groups, why not double the price for maybe three times as many groups? The hole there, of course, is that State Fair Park is much larger than the Kinetic, and that it is possible to have at least three or four times as many people, which should make it practical to keep the price down. That, after all, is the whole idea of the rock festival.
But what the problem boils down to here is that the promoters were, themselves, a little skeptical. They just didn’t know how Milwaukee will support this type of thing, and they have good reason to expect the worse, so that the only logical solution is to charge as much as possible so that, even with minimum attendance, they might at least break even. The possible contradiction is that the higher the price, the fewer in attendance. Advance ticket sales are going well, but no one can predict at this point how it’ll go. If the promoters don’t at least break even, it’ll be the last festival in this area. If, on the other hand, money is made, then the community has the right to demand a 1970 Midwest Rock Festival with a bigger lineup of talent and cheaper prices.
If you plan on attending the Rock Festival only one night, try to make it Friday or Saturday, when the MC5 play. They will probably be the group most talked about afterwards; there is no question they’ll be controversial. They are the pied pipers of the White Panther Party, and if you want to know what that’s all about, read the White Panther statement in Kaleidoscope No. 28. And watch for an interview with John Sinclair. White Panther Minister of Information and MC5 manager, in the next issue of Kaleidoscope.
And for those with the necessary identification, some of the festival musicians may jam at O’Brad’s after the formal affair at State Fair Park. It’s only a maybe, but at least the Shag should be down there, and weren’t those the good old days!
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The Plastic Ono (John and Yoko plus about forty friends) Band’s “All We Are Saying…” might make a nice chant the next time Sgt. Miller’s merry band raids Water Tower Park.