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Laurel Pop Festival was warm-up act for Woodstock in July 1969
Laurel Pop Festival was warm-up act for Woodstock in July 1969

The second half of the 1960s ushered in the era of music festivals — culminating with the granddaddy of them all, Woodstock, in August 1969. Other festivals that enjoyed huge attendance that year included pop festivals in Atlanta and Texas, 140,000 attendees each; the notorious Altamont Speedway Festival, 120,000; and the Newport Jazz Festival, 78,000. Lost in the smoky haze of 1960s history is The Laurel Pop Festival held in July 1969, which was attended by 15,000 fans and offered an incredible lineup of some of the biggest pop performers of the year. Held just one month before Woodstock, The Laurel Pop Festival ended in controversy as rain-soaked fans built bonfires with wooden...