A Gathering of the Tribes
A Gathering of the Tribes was a two-day music and culture festival in October 1990 organized by The Cult's Ian Astbury and promoter Bill Graham. It is considered the precursor to the Lollapalooza touring festivals of the 1990s, an opinion shared by Astbury himself. The festival was held at the Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View and the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa on October 6 and 7, 1990. The artists featured were Soundgarden, Ice-T, Indigo Girls, Queen Latifah, Joan Baez, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop, The Charlatans UK, The Cramps, The Mission U.k. and Public Enemy.
The event was intended to raise money for and awareness of Native-American-related causes. Tribal Native American blessings were performed from the stage at the start each day's of music.
Due to previous violence at Public Enemy concerts, Public Enemy did not appear on the bill for the first concert in Mountain View. Lenny Kravitz, also on the bill, did not perform that day.
While both concerts were sold out, Astbury lost around $50,000 of his own money on the festival.
LSD, mushroom and marijuana use was commonplace in the crowd.
Astbury was inspired to start A Gathering of the Tribes after having dinner with a Native American man whom he met in North Dakota while on a 1989 tour with Metallica. The man told Astbury that he was planning to study resource management at college in order to help purify his tribe's drinking water, then asked Astbury what he was doing for his community. Astbury had no answer for the man, then began to think about running a music festival.