Free music festivals were at the epicenter of counterculture in Britain from the 1960s to the 1980s. With roots deeply embedded in the social history of British folklore, they evolved from embryonic jazz festivals through the anti-nuclear protest marches of the early 1960s, to the Rock Against Racism and Jobs for a Change gigs of the late 1970s and early 1980s. They encapsulated the most radical voices of generations of young people, reflecting the political schisms and social unrest that characterized the mid-to-late twentieth century.
Memory of a Free Festival explores and celebrates this wondrous world of bohemia. Hundreds of previously unpublished period photos from the front line capture the jazz-loving beatniks, flower-power hippies, and post-punk indie kids in all their festival finery. Gorgeously evocative and beautifully packaged, this is a timely and inspirational photo book that sheds light on a crucially forgotten corner of countercultural history.
Sam Knee is a fashion and music historian whose previous books include Vintage T-Shirts (Carlton, 2008), A Scene In Between (Cicada, 2013) and The Bag I’m In (Cicada, 2015).
" Memory of a Free Festival celebrates this wondrous world of Bohemia. Hundreds of previously unpublished period photos capture jazz-loving beatniks, flower power hippies and post punk indie kids in all their festival finery’-spacerockreviews
David Bowie's song, Memory of a Free Festival from his second album gives its name to Sam Knee’s evocative collection of unpublished photographs of the musical gatherings that flourished in the wake of the 1956-61 Beaulieu jazz festivals. In the early days, performers often appeared on bandstand-sized stages before modest crowds who look like contestants from University Challenge. Soon different tribes – among them hippies and Hells Angels – emerged. John Peel appears at the 1973 Reading festival next to a poster of a policeman. The real stars of his book, though, are the crowds – teenagers, dreamers, self-emancipators. —theGuardian
Memory of a Free Festival celebrates this wondrous world of Bohemia. Hundreds of previously unpublished period photos capture jazz-loving beatniks, flower power hippies and post-punk indie kids in all their festival finery-spacerockreviews