Jul 03, 1971
Newport Jazz Festival
Newport, Rhode Island, United States
July 2-4, 1971
Setlists courtesy of Setlist.fm
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NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL-JULY 1971:
Arriving in Newport well after midnight we found no hotel or motel rooms available so we camped out in a supermarket parking lot with hundreds of others, some who were having races and bumper car tournaments, rolling passenger filled shopping carts down an incline. It was loud, raunchy and laughable. Sunrise was met with a huge police presence and an evacuation of the lot. We found a “paid” parking lot a few minutes later and set up “camp” not far from some older guys from our town. It was the last we saw of them. After breakfast ( coffee and cigarettes) we found the box office and got tickets for the evening performances of The Dave Pike Set, Buddy Rich, Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, and Roberta Flack.The music was great and so was my “air” drumming with BUDDY RICH. The highlight was ROBERTA FLACK finishing her set with DUKE ELLINGTON (solo) on piano doing FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE. It was heavenly.
However,earlier in the evening there was a large, nasty crowd outside the fences tying to gain free entrance. When the fences came down, they rushed the area hurting some folks seated on the grass. One “freebie” was on the top of the fence attempting to get over when the fence came down. The metal barbed fence top ripped his groin area, supposedly cutting his balls. Blood was everywhere. The police and ambulance arrived in short order curtailing some of the musical acts. Needless to say with all the freebies now the place became dangerously packed .
The next day at the box office trying we were told the shows might be cancelled due to the crowds. So we decided to be homeward bound and it proved to be a great idea as the “riots” of that afternoon forced the evening shows to be cancelled thereby ending the peaceful run of NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL in Newport Rhode Island.