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Sunday, April 10, 2011

GD19700327-29: March 27-29, 1970, "Winter's End Festival," Miami, FL (CANCELED)

[Update 20120303]

The Festival was held, in a manner of speaking, but almost every big name act, including the GD, canceled. It sounds like a really disastrous episode.

Long narrative in the following: Thomas King Forcade, "Winter's End: free the Rock & Roll Six," San Diego Free Door, April 23, 1970, pp. 8, 12, accessed via Underground Newspaper Microfilm Collection (Bell & Howell), reel #48.

[end update]
[update2 20140323 below]

The image above is from the Berkeley Tribe, v2 n8 (issue #34) (February 27-March 6, 1970), p. 16. Along the right side is an ad for a "Winter's End" Festival in Miami, FL, March 27-29, 1970.
All the tribes of Woodstock Nation will gather together March 27th, 28th and 29th, in Miami, Florida, to celebrate Winter's End and perform the Rites of Spring. 600 acres of quite countryside will be the host. Winter's End is the Hog Farm and communal kitchens, Indian tribal gathering, trading posts and villages ... $20 for the entire weekend.
Bands listed in the ad are the following: Canned Heat; Joe Cocker; Country Joe & The Fish; Grand Funk Railroad; Grateful Dead; B.B. King; Richie Havens; The Hog Farm; Sweetwater; Iron Butterfly; Mountain; Kinks; Little Richard; John Mayall; Steve Miller; Johnny Winter; Sly & The Family Stone; Ten Years After; Ike & Tina Turner.

I have poked around a little bit online, and not found much.

A blog attached to the Orlando Sentinel has a post entitled "Winter’s End — Orlando’s answer to Woodstock" which suggests that the event was moved to Orlando, and that the Allman Brothers played, but there's not much more there.

There is also what looks like a trifold brocuhure for the festival linked to the fantastic Iver McLeod/Deadlists poster annex, reproduced here:

Thanks to Iver McLeod and Deadlists.

The location is not given in the Tribe ad, but is mapped on what would have been the back of the trifold brochure (when folded). It suggests that the festival would be something like 7+ miles west of what were probably the westernmost edges of Hollywood at that time. This is basically on the edge of (if not in) the Everglades, in what the "native American" angle to the Tribe ad seems to imply would be Seminole country. It makes perfect sense from the GD perspective, since they were in Dania, FL at Pirate's World on March 24. I don't have time or inclination to map it, but my sense is that Dania is just about due east of the mapped festival location. Indeed, I'd guess that the Dania gig was scheduled as an add-on to the more lucrative Miami festival, and when the latter collapsed all we get is the South Florida one-off between gigs in Port Chester (ending March 21) and Cincinnati (April 3).

I have posted on a bunch of canceled and/or rescheduled gigs (1) from 1970, including the following:
There have also been various posts about related kinds of problems in 1971:

Somewhere, something on the intertubes said that the event was canceled [in its Miami incarnation] when the Speedway owners canceled the Festival's lease". This seems to imply that at some point the event was scheduled for Hollywood International Speedway of GD 12/28/69 fame, about which some cursory searching reveals very little.

My initial question was, "So, anyone know what happened to the festival?" Now we know - it happened, but after all kinds of problems and without the GD.

[update2 20140323]

A picture, for fun:


(1) In trying to determine a gig as "canceled" rather than just rumored or wished for, I typically want some evidence of organization behind the thing. I am probably not applying that very consistently, but that's the idea. So, ads seem like an obvious case where, if something didn't materialize, we can consider it to have been "[planned but eventually] canceled".


  1. This is very reminiscent of the canceled "Expanded Spiritual Music Concert" in Miami, April '69:
    It seems Florida was not the friendliest place for rock festivals!

    1. Yep. Here's another thing that seems not to have happened, not a festival but a concert series called Summerfaze, held 1.5 mi. West of the Palmetto Expressway on Flagler Street, probably unincorporated Dade County, due west of Miami. Or, what some of us call the Everglades. Anyway, Janis played the series, and an early notice about it had the GD penciled in. Never happened, I gather.

      "Summerfaze Brings Joplin," Daily Planet, May 25, 1970, p. 9.

  2. i have a poster from the winters end concert w/joe cocker, canned heat etc, that you mention. i wonder if it's worth anything?

  3. It would fetch something in the order of $300 at auction. The Yellow Shark

  4. I have found a lengthy narrative of the clusterfuck that seems to have been this festival. For the purposes of JGMF, this confirms that the Grateful Dead did not appear.

    Bands that played, possibly not exhaustive:

    Friday, 3/27/70
    numerous local groups, including Foxx, Peace and Quiet, King James Version, Marshmallow Steam Shovel;
    Johnny Winter.

    Saturday, 3/28/70
    Johnny Winter;
    Allman Brothers.

    Sunday, 3/29/70
    Johnny Winter;
    Mountain (4 hr set).

    Thomas King Forcade, "Winter's End: free the Rock & Roll Six," San Diego Free Door, April 23, 1970, pp. 8, 12.

  5. I attended this concert and Johnny Winter, Mountain and the Allman Brothers did play and were incredible, the hog farm was there and did their usual great job with what they could pull together. Locals caused some difficulties - breaking into cars/mini buses and stealing whatever they could find, causing some fights, etc. But overall it was a decent experience for a crowd in the hot Florida sun and cool evenings. Looking back now, amazing that no one died but leave it to youth.....

  6. I and fellow band members of The John Mace Group (Miami 1969-'71) were there to see the bands, not perform. I have the entire coverage from the Oralndo Sentinel newspaper with a lot of pics., full article dated March 30, 1970. Read entire late last night and found how disturbing it was how the County, State & Fed. Officials used all their power to shut the fest. down. I don't even recall seeing ANY bands as don't think we got there until very late Sat. night and Sunday it basically was shut down, no music on the stage if my memory serves me well. -johnnysalvny

  7. I was there with 3 buddies that drove down on spring break from Indiana State. While I remember it being a generally epic time details are unclear do to the orange barrels. I remember about all the Hog Farm had was huge kettles of onion soup. Nutritious! Wavy Gravy took over emcee chores and continually extolled its virtues and thanks to the farm. I remember him voicing the warnings of bad mescaline going around and where the first aid tents were. I remember the Governor of Fl waking thru and declaring the site a disaster area to allow for food aid because the stores were wiped out. Remember the naked mud slide area! As for bands, clearly remember Johnny and Edgar Winter (first time I jeard them together), Leslie West and Mountain, Allman Brothers, and seems to me Tin House and Rush who I hadn't heard of before. Unlike previous post i remember bands for the whole 3days. Pretty big mess on sunday after it was over. Left after concert was over to head down to Lauderdale where the engine in my buddies Comet Blew. Hung for a couple days til the cash was gone and hitched back to ISU. Remember getting run off the road in TN by an 18 wheeler! Dang hippies! Great fun! Peace out!

  8. The recollections are fantastic, thank you for sharing.

    Life is too busy for me to keep up with updating things, but it sounds like my understanding of what did or did not go down was not accurate!

  9. I was there by accident. I was returning to Houston from Miami where I attended a friend's wedding. Our car broke down outside of Orlando. While we were waiting for help on the side of the freeway, 2 of our close friends, also coming from the wedding, pulled up to help. They were going to the festival and since we had to wait for the car to be fixed, suggested that we go too. My most vivid memory was at a diner near the festival grounds. Someone played Okie from Muskogee on the jukebox. Everybody looked up and realized that we were all "hippies". That's when I knew we had won the culture war.

  10. I was there and also had an exciting time . We drove down from Cin. Oh. in 5 cars and once there everyone but me went to Cocoa Beach to surf and chase girls. They all missed out. There were way more girls at the festival. The Allman Brothers played for hours and Johnny Winter came on stage way past midnight. Yes Orange Barrels altered all. And I had lost my ticket at one point but was let back in anyway by some long haired guy. I was 17

  11. There's an article on this in the May 14, 1970 issue of Rolling Stone.

    1. They called it the mafia festival, there were some shady types out of philly who backed the show.

  12. On 3/22, guy wrote that it had been called off the week before:

    Huddy, John. 1970. Rock Fans Will Groove to New Movie. Miami Herald, March 22, 1970, p. K1.

    Anyone who really wanted to pin down all of the backings and forthings probably could. My interest is now in whether this someone messed up the GD dates at Dania, and I need to check and see if Corry and LIA might already have figured all of that out.

  13. I was at the Winter's End Festival in Bithlo, near Orlando, all weekend. Covered it for the Tampa Tribune, my employer, and filed reports by phone to Rolling Stone to Ben Fong Torres who took my calls, and another staffer whose name I can't remember after all these years. I have shared my news clippings and photos with several Allman Brothers websites and groups. Johnny Winter and Mountain were there along with the Allmans, as some have reported. I met Forcade at the motel that was "festival headquarters" when I was tracking down whether the bands or PA company was to be paid so the show could go on. Bob Fiallo 813-404-1319 contact me and I'll email you copies of the news clippings.

    1. Please contact me, I was with the a ABB that weekend, have numerous "Free Papers", etc.
      would love to see your coverage!

  14. I was there en route to the Fort Lauderdale spring break from Williamsburg, VA. In 69 went to the Atlantic City 3 dayer at the race track and got blown away. Figured Winters End would be fantastic. Got there Saturday morning ready. We waited all day in the sun and heat and they cops had the place surrounded by noon and closed the gates. Remember wondering if we were under arrest, helicopters the whole thing and the vibe was "not here in my town", we could not leave. Evidently there were a lot of negotiations in the afternoon and night. Rumors the whole thing was off, many times during the day. Rumors that all the bands had cancelled, then rumors that some local bands were going to show up. Seems like some local bands played, but were kicked off stage by the officials, whoever they were? False starts. We waited and did a lot of sleeping since we drove all night from Friday. It got dark and cooled off a little and the final rumor was that all the bands canceled, but the Allman Brothers and Johnny Winter, a blues hero of mine from his first album, (Drown in My Own Tears and most other songs on that piece of work), so I was more than ready. We didn't have a lot of food, but with music coming up any time, what the hell. The Allman Brothers came on finally at about 10 pm. They stepped out and spectacular. Duane's slide lite the place and the crowd up. He played with a vengeance about the scene I think, and their triumph: they were on, and definitely on. Toward the end of their thrills, out walks Johnny Winter and Duane and he played off of each other into the night with that organ and all going on full the music filled the field and the crowd, the best. Then Johnny Winter's group came out and bared down. Then the Allman Brothers joined them and another set. It went on until 4 as I recall and serious blues and what came to be known as Southern Rock was played through the night. Blown away to say the least.

    We slept where we sat. At dawn, it turned out to be Wavy Gravy on stage with the Maharaja from Woodstock that last summer, doing "what we have is mind is breakfast for everybody" from Wavy and breathing yoga meditations from his partner, cross legged on the stage between the night and the day in front of the big orange sky with some scant clouds, just enough for tropical morning colors. The concert was held basically within blooming orange orchards and all who slept there were surrounded by flowering trees, wet with dew and the heavy morning scent of orange blossoms, under the colors on what turned out to be Easter morning. Most people were still asleep on the ground. The Maharaja quietly spoke of Easter and how we were at the center of the universe at this moment in that field. It was quite the peaceful scene and my ears were still ringing from the incredible music and flat out jamming vibe from the night, of all nights. Etherial seen.

    We left for the coast before the sun got too high, Easter Sunday.

    Two great guitarists, dearly departed now, but not then when I can look up sometimes and see them playing there on stage, with their souls out for all to hear and see. I look up, and the same moon is up there tonight. Center of the universe.

    1. I need to talk to you, hope you have photos. Was with ABB all weekend and on mini bike with with Wavy Gravy

  15. I was there. It was near Hollywood FL. I remember Canned Heat, Santana, Johnny Winter, Sweetwater. It was the first time I ever smoked pot. Someone stole the spare tire from the trunk of my car. It was my first, but not my last, rock festival. There were many more over the next few years.

  16. no off sr 50 between cocoa and Orlando, farmland

  17. I worked winters and for Concert Hall Productions , we lost the Miami Hollywood speedway site and moved the shoe to Orlando with less than 2 weeks to spare.

  18. did anyone take photos of Johnny Winter with the Allman Brothers. I have much rare classic rock photos,tickets,ads,programs to trade. Write me. Thanks


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