The Celebration of Life Festival took place on June 21-28, 1971 in Cypress Pointe Plantation, McCrea, Louisana. It has been estimated that 50,000 attended this music festival. Little information on this festival can be found on the internet but I did some exploring and this is what I came up with. The following info is taken from a Time Magazine article printed on 07-12-71
It was billed as a “celebration of life,” but the Louisiana rock festival near the town of McCrea may have marked the end of what began at Woodstock as a beatific American experience and deteriorated into something violent at Altamont and vapid at Powder Ridge. Last week’s festival, which lasted only four days instead of the announced eight, was an American nightmare. To begin with, the festival was postponed for three days while the promoters wallowed in legal mire. The kids amused themselves by making human mud pies and bathing in the nude. Two youths drowned in the fast-rushing Atchafalaya River. State undercover narcotics agents circulated in the crowd and made more than 100 busts. One youth died in a hospital tent from a drug overdose. Meanwhile, dazed with blistering heat, and stultifying humidity, the estimated 50,000 youths who gathered to see Country Joe McDonald and John Sebastian were also choked by dust. For the Woodstock Nation, McCrea was a bleak experience of mud, sweat and tears.
The Hippie Forum Members had this to say about the festival.
I remember that there was a lot of no shows for bands. The only way to get food was to hike about a half of mile to a country store. Only three or four people were allowed in the store at one time. – LaMojo
Some memories are Watching a simultaneous fireworks display and heat lightning show on the opposite horizon. It was hard to know which way to look. Seeing a French girl pee standing up like a guy. Camping in the rain – There was a fierce storm one night. – bobbyc
I remember guys in rental trucks selling drugs out of the back and then throwing free candy to the crowd. Some great Thai and shrooms. -fusion23
Just stayed outside and partied on the levee, that’s where the action was. The little country store was cleaned out. People ran out of food. You could get any drugs you wanted for a can of beans. It rained every day at 4:00 PM. State troopers just said hello to naked people smoking pot. It was originally supposed to last 8 days. It would have dwarfed Woodstock, but the legal injunctions screwed it all up. – aoxo
“Celebration of Life”, unfortunately, didn’t have the “magic” of an Atlanta or a Woodstock. Some good, but, as an example, I’ll never forget Ted Nugent coming on around 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning (think it was the last day. At least, for us it was.) Ted was screaming, cussin’ everyone for being asleep. “Get out of those “GOD….” sleeping bags. Your gonna’ listen to Ted “F…in” Nugent. GET UP!” Had his amp turned up so loud that the electric lines would hum every time he hit a chord.
I remember bands starting to play when they sun went down and most of the night. I can’t recall who played but we loved it all. At one point we got hungry and the food vendors had the prices so high a mini riot broke out and we tore down the fences and people starting throwing out the vendors food to the crowds, it was great. Finally they opened the gates and people starting flooding in. – Greg0711
List Of Performers
Country Joe McDonald
Flying Burrito Brothers
Ike & Tina Turner
It’s A Beautiful Day
John Lee Hooker
You can watch some video footage of The Celebration of Life Festival at the following youTube channel – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBtSyVC3VT4
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