SKY RIVER ROCK FESTIVAL AND LIGHTER THAN AIR FAIR - III
Aug.28-Sept.8, 1970 Washougal, Washington
The Sky River III Story
The late 1960's were a turbulent time for our nation. Strong issues such as the war in Viet Nam, students rights, human rights, the ecology, women's lib, and black power, polarized most American's thinking and views. It was a time when many people began to examine our society and the way it was headed, and to say, "this ain't right, we need to make some changes." Some activists formed lasting bonds and worked within the framework of the law to effect social change. Others, grew their hair long, burned their draft cards, burned their bras, or just turned on, tuned in and dropped out. Protests, marches, and demonstrations brought about, sometimes bloody confrontations with "The Establishment." But along with activism came a vision of a better way of life for all, where people could come together and live and love and enjoy the basic freedoms of the Constitution, the rights to own land, to assemble on that land, and to celebrate life in the manner they saw fit.
In 1967, many "hip" people, gathered in the park in San Francisco, perhaps looking for a
"new land", a place to belong that was more in tune with their beliefs. After "Haight Ashbury" and the "Summer of Love", some groups branched out and formed communes in which to try to live together under the principles they were expounding. One such group, "The Hog Farm Collective" settled in New Mexico and later founded communes all across the country and in Mexico and Canada. They helped to initiate an experiment of buying back the Earth and deeding it to itself. Later they purchased 590 acres in northern Vermont and called it Peoples Earth Park.
In 1969, the Woodstock Festival showed the world that 300,000 people could come
together for "3 days of peace and music". Thus the large, outdoor festival had become a vehicle to showcase the lifestyles and politics of the counter culture to the world. But "The Establishment" was to fight back by making laws and ordinances to prohibit or severely limit these large gatherings.
On Sept.2,1968, in Washington state, a year before Woodstock, the first of what was to
be an annual event called Sky River Rock Festival, took place near the towns of Sultan and Gold Bar in Washington state, at Betty Nelson's Organic Raspberry Farm. This may well have been the first multi-day outdoor rock festival ever held. The site was near the Skykommish River, hence the name Sky River. Some of the bands to play that first festival were, Big Mama Thornton, Santana, James Cotten, and Country Joe and the Fish. The Grateful Dead showed up on the last day of the festival. Also rumored to have played were Pink Floyd, and Allman Joy (early Allman Brothers). Balloon rides contributed to make the fair "lighter than air." In 1969, while the spotlight was on Woodstock, the second Sky River Festival was held near the town of Tenino, Wa.
1970 rolled around and press stories out of Seattle told reports that the festival sponsors
were eyeing a new locale away from the troubled Seattle region. Some of the releases went so far as to name Clark County as the probable spot. A site near Long Beach had also been considered. Later it came to light that Clark County had been picked because it had the most restrictive ordinance in the state regarding rock festivals. Sky River III was to be a festival, a party, a vision, a town meeting, a community. But also, it was to be a confrontation with not just, "The Establishment", but with the Washougal,Wa. and Clark County, Wa. local "establishment". "If the rock festival comes here," Clark County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Bob Harris predicted, "there would certainly be a court order against it, and the Sheriff's Office would enforce it". Only half of his prediction was to come true.
Edwin Tate only wanted to sell his land because the property taxes were getting high. His
son John, part owner of the land, had a dream of owning a cattle ranch east of the Cascade mountains. They were soon embroiled in a controversy greater than could be expected. Tate met with Mrs. Georgia Wardall, a broker for Laurie Realty of Seattle, who arranged a real estate deal between himself and the Washington Planned Community Association. Tate was lead to believe that the land would be used for year round recreational facilities for youth, but that he had no idea of a planned rock festival. Tate signed an earnest money agreement calling for an initial check for $1,000 to be presented to a real estate escrow firm on Monday, Aug. 24th, with an additional $4,000 to be paid Aug.28th, $5,000 to be paid Aug.30th, and the balance of $18,000, making the total down payment $28,000, to be paid by the closing date of Sept.30th. The balance of the total price of $165,000 was to be paid at a rate of at least $13,000 per annum at 7% interest. A possession agreement, which is a legal addendum to the earnest money agreement, allowed the WPCA to occupy the land immediately. And, Mr. Tate was allowed to continue to live on the land for $1 per month, a pretty good deal.
The property was a 160 acre farm consisting of several old decaying buildings, a large
open pasture,several springs, and dense woods at the end of Keep Road,off Lehr Road, several miles north of the town of Washougal, in Clark County, Washington.
Late Monday Aug. 24th, Ric Alba, a spokesman for the third annual Sky River Rock
Festival and Lighter than Air Fair, told Seattle press that a massive rock festival ,aimed at attracting up to 100,000 persons ,was being prepared at a secret site in Washington state. Alba said that the site would be announced late Thursday, Aug.27th," to put the courts out of action". He referred to county ordinances that have placed strict rules on the length of outdoor rock music festivals. Earlier announcements had scheduled the festival to run from Aug.28th to Sept.8th, the dates to coincide with the start of the American Legion Convention and the Peoples Army Jamboree in Portland, Oregon.
Early Tuesday morning, Aug. 25th, even before the sun had come up, 70 young people
had arrived on the Tate farm, in a car caravan from Seattle. County and State officials, who were keeping a lookout for festival activity in an attempt to block it before the opening date, knew they were here, as one of the cars had run out of gas enroute and a deputy had stopped to assist them. The Sheriff's office sent a patrol car to the Tate's farm when it was learned of the destination and radio messages from the car to the dispatcher were heard by newspaper staffers. The secret site of Sky River was no longer a secret.
The people at the site were not anxious to admit that they had anything to do with Sky
River. Their plan was to keep their presence secret until Thursday Aug.27th, one day before the festival was to begin, in hopes that the sudden flood of people would prevent the county from organizing any enforcement of the rock festival ordinance." We're just working on this barn and planning a cookout", one man at the site claimed." We don't know how many people will show up. There could be quite a few", he said.
A press conference was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, Aug.25th, to elaborate on
plans for the farm. At the press conference Ric Alba said an estimated $68,000 had already been invested which would be geared up to provide facilities for 100,000 persons and that the facilities could be doubled in six hours if the crowd should swell to 200,000. A total of $117,000 had been budgeted for the fair by the Hydra Collective, a socio-cultural organization witin the Seattle Liberation Front, which was spearheading the event. Funds for the event had come from private investors and donations. Advance ticket sales produced an estimated $10,000.
Alba explained about the site saying that the 160 acres had been purchased as part of a plan
to make a permanent community. He said that 100 acres of the land was a natural amphitheater and that the remainder was a wooded site with plenty of grounds for camping. Three springs and a river were located on the grounds and the springs had been tested for purity and would be used to provide water for the event. Seattle's Open Door Clinic would provide medical care. Four ambulances would be onsite and a lifeguard would be posted at the river. Fair supplies would be airlifted into the site by four helicopters. Fire lines would be built and fire fighting equipment strategically located. A free food center run by the Hog Farm Collective would dole out enough rice and vegetable dishes for 50,000 persons daily. Other food would be sold at cost by different organizations. A parking system would keep traffic flowing continuously and talks were underway to secure an additional 80 acres of parking. Alba explained that much of the equipment being used at the site was left over from the ill fated Buffalo Party Convention at Eatonville, which had been closed by court order in Pierce County during early July. Squads of fair workers had been scattered throughout the Northwest in an attempt to attract people to the fair and they were to distribute maps when the location was released. Leaflets would be dropped on Vortex I, the rock festival in Estacada,Ore. which was semi-endorsed by the state, in an attempt to draw young people away from downtown Portland and the American Legion Convention.
What happened next depends upon who the story was being heard from. The Sky River
people said that Edwin Tate was herded into the courtroom by the Sheriff's office, badgered by the Prosecuting Attorney's office, confused, frightened, and talked into signing an order to kick the people he had just sold his property to, off that property.
Tate's attorney, Robert O'Dell, said that Tate, realizing at last what the festival people were
up to, signed the order with the idea of rescinding the deal and stopping the procedings.
Whichever version was correct, the order telling people to leave was delivered Tuesday
afternoon, Aug. 24th, by Chief Deputy Eugene Cotton. Ric Alba , a spokesman and leader of the group, received the order at the site, but declined to leave.
Charles H. W. Talbot, Seattle, an attorney representing the Hydra Collective, said that Sky
River youths have rights to the property as a check for $1,000 binding the sale of the property had been presented to an escrow company on Monday, Aug. 24th. A temporary compromise was worked out which left the people on the property as Tate's guests until the legal ownership of the land was straightened out.
That evening the Sheriff's office instituted a short lived roadblock near the entrance to the
property with the intention of keeping more people from coming in and to eventually move the original 70 people out.
Site manager, Charlie Locke was too busy to talk with reporters but a representative of
the festival who identified himself as Puzzleman ( I put the pieces together) questioned the legality of the roadblock. "This is our land. Everyone who buys a ticket becomes a part owner and has a right to go in and out", he said. When it was decided not to clear the Sky River people out, the roadblock was lifted.
Chief Deputy Cotton explained,"we received advice from people who had worked at
other rock festivals that to block the road would be asking for trouble. They said that the people would just park their cars in the road and tramp in over private property. We decided to institute a policy of containment".
The reason no effort was made at that point to clear out the site has been a focal point
for critics of the county's handling of the situation ever since then. Actually the reason was quite simple. As long as the people were Tate's guests there could be no trespassing charges and the rock festival ordinance did not take effect until more than 1,000 people had assembled. The county felt it had no legal basis to act upon. "We could not deprive people of the right to assemble on conjecture", Prosecuting Attorney R. Dewitt Jones said. "No one can say in advance that people are assembling at a certain place for illegal purposes. Evidence acceptable to a court must be gathered first", he said. By the time evidence had been gathered it was too late.
Meanwhile up at the site, the workforce, consisting of young men , women and children ,
with an assortment of dogs, were busy tearing down the barn (which they considered unsafe), putting up a large scaffolding across the clearing, building a temporary stage and painting signs along the road pointing the way to the festival. "Now that the location of this place is out, we are expecting a lot of people up here. We've got to be ready for them. If they start pouring in before the work is done, it's going to be chaos", Puzzleman said. Clearly, the legal problems didn't seem to be detering the spirits of the Sky River people.
Rumors rocketed through the towns of Washougal and nearby Camas, Wednesday Aug.
26th, when word was officially received that the Edwin Tate ranch would indeed be the site of The Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter Than Air Fair. The stunned communities responded in a fairly sane but questioning manner. Many speculated that the Clark County Rock Festival Ordinance would stop the fete from getting off the ground.
"It'll happen", said Puzzleman ( Mike Hill from Seattle), "there's no stopping it now. The
word is out up and down the coast and people are headed here by the thousands. The festival officially starts today(Wednesday Aug. 26th) since the site has been officially announced. No music is planned till Friday, then it will be three days of music, five days of workshops and then four more days of music. Those last four days will be the big portion of the festival. Those people (the music chairmen) will be here this afternoon (Wednesday Aug.26th). The bands are basically west coast groups and the biggest name I can think of is The Jefferson Airplane. Bands are anxious to play Sky River because it has a good reputation (since it has been held two years previously). The groups aren't paid. They're happy to donate their time. All we do is pay expenses for them", he said. When questioned about the workshops Puzzleman said, "they would include sessions on news and media and how to curb drug use."
County and State officials met and consolidated their plans to deal with the festival. It was
clear that no permit would be applied for, but a large number of people would soon be arriving. Opinion had been expressed in the paper that perhaps a festival here would not be such a bad thing since it would draw demonstrators away from nearby Portland and the American Legion people. The ordinance could not be enforced until more than 1,000 people had assembled but Clark County had only 35 people available to enforce it. It was felt by the county officials that they should not be the ones to initiate violence, and a rock festival would be preferable to a bloodbath. Law enforcement officers would be used to patrol the boundaries of the site and try to contain the situation. Undercover officers would work the site but uniformed officers would remain on the perimeter.
Some local citizens felt that perhaps the state's National Guard should have been used to
stop the festival. But the Guard's policy was to be used as a peace keeping force only in last resort.
Dr. Donald Champaign, district health officer for Clark, Skamania, and Klickitat counties,
having read about the festival in the paper, visited the site Wednesday (Aug.26th), in an effort to establish minimum health standards. People had begun to arrive and he estimated around 300 had gathered at the time of his visit. He reviewed some of the requirements with festival officials and felt that they were eager to comply as best they could. A quick inspection of the site revealed that the major problem would be limitation on parking places.
Activities at the site now included the setting up of tents, cooking food, digging trenches
with a backhoe, setting up more scaffolding, organizing the parking area, and directing traffic at the entrance. Advance tickets for the first weekend were $11.00, $9.00 during the week, and $6.50 for the last weekend. "We don't feel right stopping anybody from coming in", Ric Alba said." If they don't have the full price, we ask for part of it. If they don't have any money at all, we have them work on the grounds to pay for their admission. And ,of course, a large number would walk right through the gate or in the back ways and we don't catch them", he added.
The steady but relaxed pace of Wednesday picked up considerably on Thursday. By this
time 1,500 to 2,000 persons had gathered. Volunteers were constructing a row of concession stands and a field hospital out of the old barn siding and a metal and plastic swimming pool with 18,000 gallon capacity was set up as a water resevoir. An officious little one armed man named Robert Harris ( no relation to the county assistant prosecutor) announced that he and someone named Joe would be manning the KVAN radio controls during the festival. "We already paid for the time", Harris said, "and will be broadcasting live from Sky River for the first 11 days from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday Aug. 28th, the day the festival was to start, the incoming rush began in earnest.
About 8,000 people were on the site by nightfall and Saturday the ranks swelled to about 15,000 people.
What the people did there that sunny, warm, chaotic weekend is a matter of record.
Some sifted every conceivable type of drug into their bloodstreams. They swam in the Washougal River the way nature intended (naked), built a hundred campfires, and a thousand makeshift tents, and occasionally they even listened to music. Residents across the river were shocked at the hundreds of naked bodies frolicking before their eyes and reported more than a few bizarre sexual exploits.
The first weekend ended and like the tide rushing and foaming out to sea, the people left.
Only a couple thousand remained to hold down the fort.
The people of Washougal meanwhile were overcoming their original state of shock at
the amazing events and as the shock wore off, the anger began to build. Letters, phone calls, and telegrams, poured out from them to newspapers, to legislators, to the governor. Most had a common theme: Get those dirty and immoral people out of our backyards!
Exactly who these people were is a dificult question. They seemed to fit three catagories,
in a general sense. First came the long haired hip "freaks". They came from Seattle, from Spokane, from all over the Northwest, and from all over the U.S. They wore a common "uniform": faded blue jeans, sandals or bare feet, the girls were for the most part without bras and often without any tops at all. They were joined over the weekend by the motorcycle toughs. The main group came from Tacoma. They rode big chopped down motorcycles and dressed in black pants, black boots, and the men had shaggy beards. Their arms sported tatoos and their women often were missing a few teeth. The third group, the tourists, came in over the weekend only to stay a few hours. They were easily identified by their usually short haircuts and raised eyebrows after they saw nude couples strolling the grounds. The collage formed by these people was a colorful one. They listened to music, turned on to drugs, made love to friends and strangers alike and a banner hanging from a fir tree summed it all up: Sky River Lives!
Along with the drugs, alcohol was a definate part of the festival scene over the
weekend. Festival goers either brought their own or found ample supplies to purchase on the festival grounds. Most of the drug selling was in the open with a
few concession stands offering mescaline, marijuana, LSD(acid), Beer, wine, or foodstuffs. Concessionaires, who made prior arrangements with the organizers, sold such items as peanut butter and organic jam sandwiches, hot dogs, leather goods, beads, watermelon, hot German potato salad, chicken, spaghetti, tamales, brown rice, flags ($1),soft drinks, bread, one stand was selling Goofy's Goulash, a sort of poor mans lasagna, milk, dry cereal, pancakes, toilet paper, roach clips, and cigarettes. Other vendors moved through the crowd, hawking their wares. Generally the crowd was calm with most of the boisterous action being brought on by the liquor. There were some unconfirmed reports of beatings and fights in the area where the bikers were camped out , however. Periodically it would be announced over the P.A. system when a bad drug appeared. People were warned to watch out for bad "Mexican reds" and LSD laced with strychnine. Up at the stage, a table was set up for drug donations to be given to the bands.
Efforts to obtain additional parking areas failed, resulting in traffic tieups which prevented
some people from reaching the site. People were being told to find parking at Delta Park in Portland and that a shuttle bus would be provided. This never materialized. The traffic situation was critical Saturday night with Deputies setting up a one way traffic grid on the small country roads leading into the festival. The lack of parking spaces resulted in people parking illegally along the sides of these roads. So many people parked illegally that the Sheriff's office couldn't see the value of ticketing them or having them towed. They did however issue tickets to people who stopped their cars on the Washougal River road to gawk at skinnydippers. The F.A.A. had its hands full as there was lots of air traffic over the site and the Washington State Patrol sent its 40 man tactical squad to Clark County to help patrol.
Dr. Champaign visited the site again on Sunday, Aug. 30th, and branded the facilities
as "primitive". He said that the water supply was barely adequate and that some people had to wait in line for water.
Volunteers from the Seattle based Open Door Clinic moved themselves down to help with
the festival- the sixth they had volunteered to staff. The ODC had close to 200 people working at the site. A half dozen nurses from St. Joseph's Hospital in Vancouver volunteered their help and there was about 40 physicians on the grounds over the weekend according to Doug Sutherland, Acting Director of the ODC. Coordinator of the Clinic Services, John Durkan, explained, "We provide medical facilities for those who cannot afford them". The ODC also provided a counseling service for many people who appeared to merely need someone to talk to. The ODC treated 1,000 people over the weekend including a few drug overdose cases. St. Joseph's Community Hospital handled most of the transported cases, reporting 8 admittances and 20 outpatient cases.
On Sunday, the body of a young Spokane man was pulled from the river. He apparently
drowned after a bad acid trip.
Hard rock music began about 9 o'clock Saturday night and continued into the early morning.
It picked up again about 3 o'clock Sunday afternoon and was still going strong at 4 A.M. At least a dozen bands performed for the crowd Sunday including some of the bigger names on the bill (for that weekend) such as: The Smith Brothers, The Wayne Silversonics Band, and Mojo Band. A light show got under way Sunday evening to compliment the acid rock sounds with visual imagery.
Monday, after the mass exodus, Puzzleman told the media, "That's to be expected. You've
got to realize that half our people, or more, work or go to school. They had to cut out after the weekend, but they will be back". Everything was going real smooth, he reported. The sanitary facilities were being pumped out (they had filled to overflowing) and would be ready for the next weekends influx of people.
At the glen, where most of the people had camped, many of the tents remained and the concession stands were still doing their boistrous business. A large garbage enclosure had either been set or had accidently caught on fire, sending billows of odorous smoke over the grounds.
Edwin and John Tate were still living on the grounds although they had moved Edwin's wife
to another sons ranch in Skamania County. "She's just about in a state of shock from this whole thing", John said. The Tates still had about 60 head of cattle on the farm, at least they had that many when the festival started. They also had, at times, more than 10,000 people on their land whom they now considered to be trespassers.
The Prosecuting Attorney's office did what it could. A temporary restraining order was
granted in Superior court by Judge Edward Reed, Monday, ordering a halt to all festival activities and stopping suppliers of the festival from delivering food and water. Listed as defendants on the order were, Michael Hill (Puzzleman),Charles H. W. Talbot, Susan Yukish, Lee A. Holley, Richard Alba, all members of the WPCA, and any and all others who aid,abet,and contribute to the festival. The order was delivered Tuesday by Chief Cotton. The county apparently felt that with food and water barred from the site, the people inside would filter out. They didn't. "The injunction, good as its intentions were, actually resulted in a deterioration of health standards", said Dr. Champaign.
The health standards, such as they were, suffered a further blow from the weather. The
sunny days at Sky River were over it seemed and cold weather, along with a heavy rain, descended upon the site. It put a halt to the nude bathing, but that was about it.
During the week, bands continued to play from early evening to early morning as the stage
had been covered with plastic to protect the equipment. And with acid rock music and acid tablets, the people were not about to leave. The rain may not have dampened the spirits at Sky River but it had a definite effect on the electrical system. Shorts in the system and a broken down generator stopped the music until parts could be flown in for repair. Named as the big bands for the upcoming Labor day weekend, were The Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company, and Crosby,Stills and Young.
Lack of firewood became a problem during the week, but festival officials did not want
people to cut any of the timber on the grounds. People scrambled for firewood wherever they could find it and more than a few No Trespassing signs found their way into campfires.
Price controls over food, drink, and drugs, seemed fairly effective. A hotdog sold for 15
cents, corn on the cob, for a dime, and soup for 20 cents. A lid of marijuana went from $8 to $10 , LSD sold for a dollar and a cap of mescaline could be bought for as little as 35 cents. The controls were maintained by periodic announcements of approved prices over the P.A. system and by festival officials visiting concession stands and salespersons. Some salespersons ,who seemed to be making too much profit, were escorted off the grounds. Some local residents made money by renting out binoculars and selling bags of ice. Business was up, in town, although few merchants had thought to stock up. Gasoline, beer ,and wine merchants reported doing increased business.
Legal manuevering, meanwhile, continued at the courthouse. Jeffrey Steinborn, a Seattle
lawyer representing the festival said, " I have already advised the people at the festival that the festival is unlawful, and that we have been enjoined by the court. I will file a motion this afternoon (Tuesday) to quash the injunction, which I will request to be heard tomorrow. I think we have a strong case;I don't think the injunction is good." The county prosecutor allowed Steinborn to stay on the festival premises to "keep the peace and to keep open communications." Also allowed to stay was the Open Door Clinic. On Friday ,the motion by Steinborn was denied and the temporary restraining order was made permanent by Judge Robert D. McMullen. The order had little effect on the festival itself, which apparently suffered little shortage of either food or water. Sheriff's officers made no attempt to stop traffic into the site.
Labor Day weekend arrived and another flood of people descended upon the site.
Roads leading into the site were clogged with six inches of mud. The sani-cans were overflowing again, because of the court order, and the garbage was piling into an ominous mountain. Possibly 20,000 people forced their way onto the grounds for the three day weekend. They again clogged the parking lots, neighboring roads, and a few neighbors front yards, with their vehicles. They kept the free clinic busy treating colds, drug overdoses, stubbed toes, and gashes.The drug vendors did a spectacular business. The stage was alive every night with the sounds of west coast bands and the sight of a light show. Although the big name bands didn't show, the people didn't seem to mind, as about 25 bands played that weekend including: The Youngbloods, Rhythym Dukes ,The Factory, Good Clean Fun, Fox, High Voltage, and Wayne Silversonics, who returned for a second engagement.
There were numerous reports of cameras and film being confiscated by "vigilante" groups
at the site stemming from reports that Federal agents had been taking photographs to be used as evidence against drug offenders. There also apparently had been a rape, or several rapes, as a woman was heard on the P.A. imploring people to not "rape our sisters." Several babies were born to festival goers in local hospitals and one baby was born up on the hill, on the site. And, for the most part, everyone celebrated the last big weekend of the summer in a soggy, muddy, happy, brotherly mess.
They began leaving Monday, Sept.7th and by Tuesday, Sept. 8th, all but a couple
thousand were back wherever they had come from. Those people who remained on the site dwindled during the week, some to tear down the stage and concession stands and to pick up garbage. Others simply not having decided where to go yet. Federal, State, and local law enforcement officials made about 30 arrests as the
people left the grounds. No festival officials had been arrested but law enforcement officials were preparing cases against them. An "intelligence network" had been established early in the festival so that officials could arrest drug pushers.The Sheriff's Office had been advised that "this was probably the most sucessful operation, to date, at a rock festival, for the identification and apprehension of suspected drug sellers."
In court, a $100,000 lawsuit was filed against the festival organizers for damages and
claiming that the buyers broke the earnest money agreement. One stipulation of that agreement had called for the board of the WPCA to okay the purchase and apparently that never happened. The Tates felt they would not see a penny of the money. "We can't find out who the Washington Planned Associates is, and it's pretty hard to get money from something that does not exist", said Robert O'Dell, attorney for the Tates.
"This is the rock festival that could bring the law to a head", said Georgia Wardall, real
estate agent who handled the sale of the land and the person said to have handled the festival finances. "We bought the land. It's ours and the county is sticking its nose into something that's none of its business", she said. "I don't think there's any question that those laws against rock festivals are unconstitutional and we'll take it to the courts if we have to", she added.
By Wednesday, Sept. 9th only a few hundred people remained on the site. Thursday,
their numbers were down to less than a hundred. On Friday, Judge Robert D. McMullen issued a permanent restraining order to the rock festival fans to disperse, with bench warrants for anyone who might not obey the court order. The last residents of Sky River were herded out on two donated buses and taken to Delta Park in Portland.
Despite considerable talk by Sky River people to make it a permanent commune, this
was not to be. The people of Washougal held a remarkably large (for the size of the town) public meeting to find out the facts of the festival. Around 1,000 people attended. They listened to the explanations from county and state officials, of how the festival had been allowed to take place to prevent possible bloodshed, and to protect the neighboring residents from the backwash if the land had been cleared. But the people of Washougal were not satisfied. They berated the county officials for not being tougher. And they sent a message to the Sky River people: We don't want you here!
Thwarted by the courts and unwanted by most of the community, Sky River had come to its
end. After the garbage was picked up and the winter rains had washed away the ruts in the roads, no one would ever be able to tell that once a throng of thousands had ever settled there. But the brief excitement and controversy that Sky River brought to the county would not soon be forgotten, and many local citizens lives have been changed forever by the eye opening events of Sky River.
Was there a Sky River IV ? "The times they are a changing", sang Bob Dylan, and they did.
The war in Viet Nam ended and great gains were made in the areas of "rights" for all, and ecology. The people who fought for these causes did "change the world". It has been said that there was another Sky River Festival in 1971 on the Peninsula. But it may be that Sky River III was the last outdoor rock festival of its kind. It was certainly the longest. But if only in the minds and memories of the thousands of participants or in the dry legal papers, SKY RIVER LIVES!
Is there any interest in having a Sky River Rock Festival Reunion? Please respond to KALALOCH@aol.com. There may be a reunion festival in the works.
BANDS listed on the poster
Child,Gabriel,Good Clean Fun,Big Brother,Barry Melton & The Fish,Joy of Cooking,MusicProjection Quartet,Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks,Kwane and the Kwan-Ditos,O.K. Rhythem Kings,Smith Bros.,Wayne Silversonics, Boz Scaggs,A.B. Skye,Beggars Opera,Mike Atwood,Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen,Aum,Red Bone, Luther Allison,Crystal Axe,31st Street Blues Band,S.F. Mime Troupe,S.F. Mime Troupe Rock Band,Dry Creek Road,Rhythem Dukes,One Hand Clapping,Snail,Factory,Peece,Bluebird,Cannon Ball,Jeff Jaisun,Grizzly,Corky Segal's Happy Ear Band,High Voltage, and many more.Light Shows: Retena Circus,Doctor Zarkov
IMPRESSIONS FROM SKY RIVER
UNDER CONSTRUCTION last update 2/8/07
Anyone with memories, images, film clips, stories, etc. to share Please E-mail to KALALOCH @aol.com or respond on my guest page. Thank you.
-Sky River changes at night. The dust and glare and sweat of day are gone or at least
hidden by darkness. And only the smells and sounds of thousands of turned on people remain. The hills rising up around the stage form a bowl, and at night the bowl is a sea of yellow campfires. Smoke from the fires drifts across the glen, clouding around the stage spotlights and settling over the people listening to acid rock. The smoke mingles with the aroma of marijuana and hashish and wine, giving the night an erotic taint. Multitudes of bodies lie on the ground, huddled in blankets or sitting on chairs. Others wander about, hawking drugs, begging for spare change, or just looking. Most of the crowd is tripping on some kind of drug, or at least drinking wine. Many of them are happy and boisterous, many of them are sedate and dreamy. Floating through the darkness, under the music, come words like "spaced out" and "stoned" and "far out." Some people just lie on their backs facing the stars and say "wow", over and over. The music is hard rock, with a driving beat and a strong organ and guitar rhythym. The sound blasts out over the crowd and carries through the dark outlines of the firs around the glen. In the crowd, couples under blankets make love to the beat of the bass drum. A spirit of optimism, of peace, of togetherness can be sensed among the throngs. During lulls in the music a shout will go up in a far corner of the crowd. Another voice will take it up, then another, until everyone there, men and women and children, has joined the howling, screaming shout of joy or pain. And from a distance, it makes an eerie spectacle. The campfires, the outlines of tents, and that howl coming from thousands of throats, makes it seem almost as if some primitive, savage nation has sprung up two miles north of Washougal. - RICK, Vancouver
-We drove up to the festival and parked my car in a ditch and just left it there and walked into the site. I was 24 years old and I had just gone through a breakup with my wife and so I took any drug that was given to me. Mostly acid and Mescaline. My friends were making bets on how long I would survive. I took off my clothes and went naked most of the first weekend while it was hot. We swam in the river to keep cooled off during the days and partied to the music at night. I don't know where my clothes went but I had some spare clothing in the trunk of my car. It was great that first weekend but when the rain started we left for home. - JACK, Camas
-A rock festival at 4 o'clock in the morning is an interesting world. To get into the site at that
time in the morning you don't have to fight the massive traffic jams that have, at times, plagued festival visitors. As you enter the site you wonder how the people can stand to stay on the property since it's been raining for two days, and you have to slip and slide in the mud to get to the camping area, the stage, and concession stand booths.The first visit is to the stage- and you're awed by the size and beauty of the platform. No wonder it took so long to build. It's excellently constructed. The stage itself is a large platform with five or six microphones here and there. It is covered by a huge plastic tarp to keep the rain from trickling in on the performers. Immediately behind the stage is a huge screen used for light shows while musical groups are playing. And, even though no music is playing at 4 a.m., you can imagine how impressive a show it must be. Two huge towers rise to the left and right of the stage and there are two more in back of the screen. The two to the side are used for spotlights and have massive speakers pointing toward the camping area. You can only imagine how loud and ear shattering it could be. The two towers in back hold up the screen. The slide area for the light shows is about 35 feet in front of the stage and it, too, is well covered by plastic to protect it from the rain. Additional spotlights are also found in this area. A large group of people- about 50 - are assembled at the base of the stage clapping their hands and chanting to music. You try to make out what instuments are being played and you can detect a flute and a harmonica. You know there's something else but can't tell what it is. Most people are walking or dancing around to the music. Some are beating tin pans together to the beat of the music. You are impressed by their loneliness. A girl with no coat on dancing to the music wanders up and says, " Do you love me, brother?" You're now depressed with the loneliness. A trip up into the camping area proves interesting. Some people are in tents while others are camped in the open. Some are sleeping, but many are awake, standing around campfires. You walk by a crackling fire where a group of people are standing around. No one is talking; they just seem to have assembled around somebody's fire. Some people have their cars parked in the area with plastic tarps off to the side. They're sleeping there. A large fire sends a sweet smelling smoke into the air and you're attracted by the sound of drums to the fire site. The warmth feels good. About 50 people are sitting around the large fire pit while two Negroes play bongo type drums. You glance at their faces and your first impression is that they're high on drugs. As you look closer you begin to believe you're wrong. They're lonely faces and you figure that the only reason they're around this fire is because they have nowhere to go. No one speaks. the only words come from a man behind the drummers. "You gotta love everybody," he shouts. "You gotta love your brother; you gotta love your sisters. Everybody gotta have love. There's a new day comin'." As you walk back toward the stage area, somewhat disenchanted, a man walks by and questions, "Lids?" Your first opportunity to buy marijuana and you turn it down. Back at the stage area you're surprised to see that the number of people has increased. There must have been at least 125 now and some start pounding on the wall by the stage. As your attention is attracted, you see a sign painted on the wall that reads, "The spirit of Angela Davis is alive at Sky River." You hope not. You decide to leave. Your exit path takes you by the concession area. At that time in the morning most of the booths are closed. Some, however are still open. You notice coffee, hot dogs, wine, and many soft drinks. You see lots of signs for drugs, but most of those booths are closed. As you near the end of the concession area, which reminds you of the midway at a carnival or fair, a man cries out, "Does anyone have any spare dope?" It's more of a plea than a question. Someone else cries out, "Who has the lids? I want to buy a lid. Where are the pushers?" As you slosh up the hill through the mud and back to the parking lot, you have lots to think about. You wonder why people are there. You wonder what they're searching for. You wonder, too, how they can live in that environment. They're questions that probably will never be answered, but somehow you feel somewhat richer for the experience. The thing that really eats at your insides is the loneliness. That'll bother you for the rest of your life. You know the're lonely, but they're still there. -LYNN,Washougal
-Owners of cabins and homes along the Washougal River near the Sky River Rock
Festival are in a state of shock. The quiet and peaceful stream they once knew has been transformed into a sea of naked bodies, and the far shore, according to nearby residents, is little less than a rampant orgy. "I'd like to see the truth about these rock festivals get out," one home owner said. "I'd like the people to be able to see what goes on, like we can see it here. They should see the mass nudity, the fornication on the beach, the drugs, the pollution of the river. If they laid on the beach next to your place think how you would feel. I don't care what they do up in the bushes. But, my God, right out there 20 feet from my picture window?" he said. The river was especially crowded over the weekend, when the Sky River population was at its peak. There was reportedly as many as a thousand bathers at a time in the river, stretching along a half mile section near the entrance of the Little Washougal. "We could'nt even see the rocks out there for the bodies," another resident said. "I've chased at least 100 off my back yard, and they go peacefully enough, but five minutes later they're back. If this keeps up we will have to call the Sheriff." The Clark County Sheriff's office has deputies stationed near the homes around the clock but the deputies gave up trying to keep people off the west shore Saturday when the floods of people began. "For the first few days, the deputies could at least keep them in the river and on the far shore," one resident said. "But about Friday they had to give up. Chief Deputy Cotton told us to keep cool, and maybe if we let them use the river, they'd keep cool too." Some of the sights the residents relate are bizarre. One incident was related to the drowning of a festival swimmer Sunday. "You won't believe this," a lady resident said. "But when divers were pulling out the body, a couple was standing about five feet away watching and had complete intercourse at the same time." "I've always considered myself fairly liberal," the first resident said. "But this thing is going too far. The things I've seen, and with little children there, are just plain perversion." The people living along the river are also worried about pollution. "They take baths, they wash their clothes, they do everything right there in the river," the same man said, "You could not pay me to swim in there now." Dr. Donald Champaign, district health officer for the southwest Wasington Health District, said water samples from the area were taken Monday, and that tests were being made. He said if the bacteria count is high, there could be a threat of hepatitis or typhoid. "We knew there was already some contamination in the river from animals further up, and didn't recommend the people swim in the river, "Champaign said. "We recommended that they take baths, but not to use soap so fish and wildlife are not killed." The property where most of the swimming goes on is not included in the 160 acres of the festival site. The land along the river is privately owned. "The owner tried to keep them off at first," a resident said. "He came down several times and kicked everybody off, but they kept coming back. Finally he just said go ahead , use it if you want to." As the man spoke, a festival attender waded across the river with a fishing pole in his hand. "Where's a good place to fish along here?" he asked. The resident looked incredulous and shook his head. "If I were you, I'd get as far away from here as I could," he said. "Go upstream five or ten miles, and maybe you'll have a chance. The fish are smart enough not to come around here." - RICK, Vancouver
-Impressions: Good security in assuring that people pay admission, with ample
opportunities to buy tickets before arriving at site. Five checkers asked to see our credentials and tickets. Dusty road, dusty cars, lack of space to park were slight aggravations. Most people heading for the festival are typically long-haired, and carrying a jug of wine. Tents are scattered throughout the area. Food booths, like a carnival, are lined up along one side, and there is a carnival, circus air to the setting. Anyone will trade with anyone else, and two people unabashedly begged for pennies as people walked in. Others traded a sip of beer for a smoke. Marijuana was smoked in groups. Signs advertised mescaline, beer, wine, and food, as well as loincloths. At 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon, crews were still working on the stage, and attempting to get the loudspeaker system running smoothly. The greatest number of people were assembled around the front of the stage, some singing. Swimming down at the river is just that- down- way down. We didn't go that far. Nudes? Yes, we saw a few, but not many- say about six? Probably many more at the river. Local people? Yes, we saw about a dozen people we could identify by face. Several, like us, were trying to determine what a festival is all about. Faces of many were blank, not expressing anything. Others were bleary-eyed, serious, or poker-type, not many with happy or gay expressions. With thousands of people milling around idly, lying on the ground, rubbing each other's back, sleeping, there were few workers trying to complete the stage or other facilities. 'Cycles started arriving as we did. Jack Ryan, former classmate at UW, now covering rock festivals for the Seattle P-I, said they are a status symbol. Jack worked in Alaska about the same time as Stan Borjesson. We picked him up on the way to the festival. He had been out to get something to drink. Jack covered Tenino and Eatonville, and said the backers and organizers usually meet their commitments. He said Eatonville wasn't much of a festival. He anticipates the Sky River affair will reach its goal. The real "behind the scenes" people never come near the festival. They could be arrested, usually for contempt of court. He observed that, in most instances, the people in charge are trying to comply with the rules. That is, those rules that are in the new ordinance, but not those dealing with drugs, booze, etc. Unanswered questions: Who pays the sales tax to the state for the things sold here? How about the admission tax? - HAL, Camas
-We braved the weather conditions on Sunday evening and paid a visit to the site
to see what it was like when the acid music rolled from the big stage and mammoth speakers. We had little trouble getting into the music and concession area as the well-beaten roads leading in and out of the festival were fairly solid, in contrast to the gooey mess when we visited in the wee hours on Sunday morning. The music blared from the big speakers as a group named "Good Clean Fun" blasted out a heavy sound. In the background, an impressive light show provided a somewhat fitting backdrop as the group cranked out its "acid" music. "Got any spare change?" a young man questioned as we worked our way toward the stage area. Several hundred people were gathered around the stage listening to the heavy sounds of "Good Clean Fun." They all seemed to be in their own private worlds. A heavy set man in a long army surplus coat and big boots swayed back and forth to the beat of the music. Others, too, are caught up in the driving beat and rhythm and swing their arms or bend their knees to the beat. We moved away from the stage into the tent area and found some relatively dry ground to sit and watch the light show. You're somewhat taken by the tents as you turn and look to see how far they go. They extend as far as the eye can see in the darkness as they snake up the slope into a wooded area to the top. "Last week the tents weren't this close to the stage," someone tells you. Here and there a scattered campfire crackles and people gather around them. Somehow you realize how it must have been to be with Sherman during the Civil War. Was it like this, you ask yourself. You move farther up the hill to watch the light show and listen to the music. Off to the right a girl is dancing. She's engulfed with the music and begins to lose herself to the beat. The next time you look she's stripped to the waist. A little cold for that sort of thing, you think, then the realization that she's probably high on drugs takes over. You look back a few minutes later and she's completely naked, her body writhing to the music and her arms waving in the air. A group of people gather around her and lock their hands and begin dancing a circle around "the girl that's way out." They dance off into the darkness and you wonder if the girl will catch pneumonia from the wet ground. You move farther up the hill and find a broken bundle of hay. You sit and watch the light show and listen to a new group called "Red Bone". Needless to say they're Indians. The weather worsens and the rains come pouring down. For some reason it seems ironic that an Indian group would get on stage and start chanting and dancing and it starts raining. Indians doing a rain dance at the rock festival just doesn't seem right. "Where's Joe?" some guy asks as he stumbles by. As the pace of the rain begins to quicken a man offers his plastic tent and three of you scramble under to escape the increasing raindrops. A joint of marijuana comes by and you find yourself staring at the hand making you the offer. You ignore it and tap the guy on the shoulder sitting next to you and say, "It's for you." Later you crawl out of the tent and work your way back to the stage. You find yourself wondering if the girl who was dancing naked got her clothes back on before the rain really hit. You take one last look at "Red Bone" and while doing so a young man with no shoes on walks by. You find yourself wondering if he will get sick, too. You have to go by the concession stands to get out. Most are doing a brisk business. A man stands with a portable microphone and yells at you as you walk by, "Mescaline, Cocaine." A girl, not more than seven, with no shoes on slides in front of you in the mud. You wonder where her parents are and you wonder if she even has shoes. You pick your way through the mud and goo to the upper parking lot. A pickup truck is stuck trying to get out so you give the guy some help. "Get in," he says. "You guys will give me traction in the back." He stops three or four times and picks up other people. As you reach the main gate you're stopped by Sky River Security. "If you've got any dope," a voice said, "you better have it well stashed because the cops are checking everybody. They're busting everybody they can," the voice warns. As the pick-up begins to increase its speed you begin to think back about Sky River and what its all about. You're snapped back to reality when a Negro sitting beside you says, "You want some Sherry? Man, it's bad. It's pure rot gut." - LYNN, Washougal
-The tent was made of a black sheet of plastic draped over a pole. Inside, the floor
was filled with sleeping bags and tired people. Allen shared a sleeping bag in one corner of the tent. "I think it's important that people really know what Sky River is," he said. "If they think it's just a muddy field, or a bunch of doped-up people, they're missing the whole point." Allen was leaning on his elbow as he spoke. Even in the tent, the morning dampness made the ground wet beneath his elbow. "What this really is, is the start of alternative world," he said. "It's going to be a world based on cooperation instead of competition." Allen's sleeping partner was asleep, her face buried in the warmth of the padding. Beside them lay a half-full lid of marijuana and a package of Rizla cigaret papers. "This is going to be a community here, when this is all over," he said. "It's going to be a community where people don't just talk about freedom and all them other overstuffed words, but really practice them." Allen's face, covered by a dark beard and shaggy hair, was earnest. He meant what he was saying. Lying in a sleeping bag on the ground on a misty morning, it's hard to say anything you don't really mean. "I know this sounds like idealistic kid's stuff," he said. "But it can work. I know it can. I've seen it. I've seen it in communes and houses all over the country. We want to make it work here, but on a larger scale." Allen said he is a graduate of the University of Washington. He is about 25, his hair is thinning on top, and he plans to move to Sky River permanently. "Cooperation is a hard thing for the people to learn," he said. "It's against everything they're taught, from parents and in school. All they get is compete, compete. But they can change, and if there's any place where they will, it's here at Sky River where everybody can get together." Outside the tent by the stage, an appeal was being made. "Brothers and sisters," said a voice over the loud speaker, "we need $30. We need it so we can go to town and buy food to give free to the people. This man is going down among you and we ask you to give so that we can buy food." A young man came down off the stage with a tin can in his hand. He walked through the rows of people who were listening to a harmonica player do a solo. Fifteen minutes later, he was back on stage, the can stuffed with $32.41. "Brothers and sisters, we thank you," said the announcer. By that time, Allen was back asleep in his sleeping bag. - RICK, Vancouver
-I was 16 years old and worked Stage Security with the Free Sasquatches of America. I was in charge of equipment security and got to camp in an area right behind the stage. The festival was memorable in many ways. I hitchhiked to Washougal from Seattle (getting two tickets on the way)and arrived early. When I got there I was one of probably 60 people there. We camped, partied and had good fun while working on the stage and large quantities of controlled substances. I remember watching a stoned biker lose control of his Harley and drive through a tent (luckily it was empty) early in the morning after my first night there. I remember a herd of cows walking through the pasture that we were camped in. What a trip! The highlight came on Sunday when I got to perform with the "Steaming Noogies Jug Band" as the first band of the morning, with a rousing rendition of "Long Tall Texan", and some wild blues jams. Later I was able to work as one of the "heads" of Stage Security at Satsop, getting to be onstage for almost the entire Festival, but that is another story... NORM
-I was 16 and hitchhiking through the Northwest during the summer of 1970. I hitched a ride out of Portland. The driver was recruiting help for his concession stand at the festival. He got us in for free. Our job was to sell Gatorade to the masses. It was pretty hilarious trying to sell a sports drink to people looking to get high. It was a great experience that I have cherished ever since. -MARK
-I was a little runaway chick from Reno and I was staying in Tacoma-crashing on peoples floors etc. in 1970 after having been stranded in the town on my way hitchhiking to Vancouver B.C. I don't recall how I heard about the festival, but a woman friend and I hitched there and got there early and sneaked in during the night.I remember a brief image of us being marched off the Buffalo site a couple of months before. We set up a little camp and when we woke up in the morning found that we'd camped right in the center of where the bikers were. We moved. I was there for 13 days.I remember laughing at the notion of workshops. From there it's pretty much a drug-addled blur. Drugs,sex,music. No workshops. But I do remember seeing these strange colorful characters- a woman in a vintage see-through dress, men in vibrant colors, with glitter in their beards. It was a group called Ze Whiz Kidz and it was their "debut", actually. I missed their "show"- apparently it was a stunning debacle which ended in the aforementioned bikers, crazed and on acid, trying to get on stage to kill them after being squirted with whipped creme coming out of a hole in a paper mache phallus. And it speaks volumes about me, but that is what resonated with me at SRIII- I saw these wild creatures and imprinted like a baby chicken. I followed them to Seattle and infiltrated, where I dropped my hippie moniker of Cheshire (because I took a lot of acid and smiled a LOT)and became Cha Cha Samoa.I don't know if you remember the Whiz Kidz- our reign was from 70-74, along with our sister group in San Francisco, The Cockettes. Since, I have had lots of musical projects, to varying degrees of success. I am also a painter. I am mounting a one-woman show later in the year (2003)with the Annex Theater, touching upon my checkered past. As I've been known to say, when I left Sky River, I had dysentery, pneumonia,clap,crabs and a glmpse of my destiny. -CHA CHA SAMOA
-Sky River III was a watershed event of my life. I arrived early without bucks on Wednesday, August 26th, and ended up working security and traffic control at the main gate. I didn't leave until the Tuesday after Labor Day. I started out parking cars, and then as the festival went on, I moved up the ranks of main gate security, working for Milt Wright, Bruce Cameron and Ed Miller. The attrition in festival staff was quite heavy and towards the end I ran the main gate for a couple of days (before the bikers took over security). Sky River III was a beautiful mess- anarchy at its finest hour. Amazingly enough, it all held together and everything worked, despite the anarchism. After the bikers took over security at the main gate I hung out mostly on stage. One of my fondest memories is from the last day: one of the vendors was giving away a U-Haul truck load of wine -free. Everyone was taking away arm-loads of the stuff. I got my 5-6 bottles of wine and went back up on stage. I think Flash Caddillac or someone was playing. I sat there with my friends, drinking my wine and rolled a 27 paper joint with the remains of the main gate stash. We smoked the joint as we watched the band and eventually passed the joint down into the surging crowd dancing below us. I left the next day. Through the next year I worked with the Sky River IV / Sasquatch Family (Jack Grimes, Ed Goehring, et al) people. We put on a few concerts and fund raisers. It's a crying shame we couldn't put the festival together. I worked security at Satsop and had the pleasure of escorting Gary Friedman off the property not long after he'd been smacked in the face by a wine bottle. Satsop was a real fucking downer.- MIKE, Tacoma
-I was a 2 month old baby at the event. My mother at the time wanted to shield me from the rain and found a lady in a tent that let me sleep there while she slept under a tree. When she woke up the tent and I were gone. She looked frantically everywhere and couldn't find me. Authorities weren't any help either. After a few days, she gave up herself and hitchhiked to California. My grandmother came down from Spokane with a lawyer to track me down. It took three weeks but they finally found me in Oregon. The people said that they found me in the middle of a field. I wouldn't be the man I am today if this even wouldn't have happened, it was a total blessing to all.- CHIP
-It would be my pleasure to tell you some of what I remember about festival. I was 15 years old and was living on my own, getting in trouble and looking for fun. My parents had divorced when I was 10 and I was abandoned. It's taken a long time to recover from that. Anyway, I was running around with a few friends and we heard about the festival on the radio in Federal Way. They announced that a mass migration was expected to the festival. We decided on the spot to go. So, we gathered what little money we had and took off. Not long after we started it began to rain and it continued raining somewhat steadily for a couple of days at least.
When we arrived we were allowed to drive onto the farm property at no charge and park. The drive to the gate brought many very interesting hippie type people into our company who were all calm and easy going. I never once heard a raised voice or saw anyone get angry the whole time we were there. At the gate we met a biker looking fellow who was drinking from a wine bottle that had a lot of cloudy substance in the bottom of the bottle. He offered me a drink which I took a long swig of after he shook it. I asked him what the cloudy stuff was and he said "Mescaline." Due to this I lost contact with my friends and started drifting about.
I saw a few instances of open sex which was somewhat interesting, but at 15 I wasn't highly interested in that (yet) so I didn't seek any opportunities with some of the females who were obviously willing. I was very interested in smoking some pot and so I looked around for an area where people were smoking.
Soon, I came upon a round pit that had a log leaning down into it, in the middle was a fire and people were standing in a circle and sitting here and there in the wet grass and mud. It was probably 3 am and dark and I just picked a place to stand. Joints were being passed and whenever one came my way I took my share. Eventually the pot stopped flowing and people meandered off. I stayed there mainly because it was warm. After the pit was almost empty a fellow standing near me asked if anyone knew how to roll. I told him I did and he handed me a baggy and some papers.
It was great because I would roll joints, he would light them and I would get the second toke. I was pretty pleased with that. What I really was hoping was that I would get to hear the band "The Youngbloods" I loved their songs Darkness, Darkness and etc. and so when they finally hit the stage I was pretty awed. They played all their hits, naturally, and that made a pretty deep impression on me wanting to write songs. I played a little guitar and had written some poetry so I pretty much decided then that I would do that. And I have written a little over 250 songs and of course none of them are famous but I like them.
There was a lot of slipping and sliding in the mud and it wasn't good to sit down anywhere that wasn't near a fire or in a tent and I didn't have a tent so for the rest of that day I just meandered around and talked to people. Some of the people were odd and some of them were unbelievably cool. The stage they had there was a pretty nice one and every once in a while somebody would get up there and talk to the crowd and ask them to do this or that, or warn them about something or just make some kind of statement about how cool the festival was and how much everyone was enjoying it. And even though the conditions actually sucked the place was extremely calm and I thought it was quite fun.-CRAIG
Imformation for this page gathered from The Columbian newspaper, The Camas/Washougal Post Record newspaper,personal interviews, e-mails, and personal memories.