Miami Pop Festival

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Miami Pop Festival
Ad for second Miami Pop Festival with scheduled performers
Location(s) Gulfstream Park in
Hallandale, Florida
Years active 1968
Founded by May: Michael Lang
December: Tom Rounds
Date(s) May 18–19, 1968
December 28–30, 1968
Genre Pop music, Rock music

The Miami Pop Festival was the name of two different music festivals that took place in 1968 at Gulfstream Park, a horse racing track in Hallandale, Florida (now called Hallandale Beach), just north of Miami. Apart from the venue, the two events were not related.

Miami Pop Festival - May 1968[edit]

The first Miami Pop event took place May 18–19, 1968. An estimated 25,000 people attended this event,[1] which was promoted by Richard O'Barry and Michael Lang, later famous as promoter of Woodstock. Bands featured at the festival included The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Mothers of Invention, Blue Cheer, Chuck Berry, John Lee Hooker and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. The opening act on Saturday was a little-known group called The Package, and the closing act was the Hendrix Experience. Originally scheduled as a two-day event, Sunday's concert was rained out. But there was at least one beneficial result - it inspired Hendrix to write "Rainy Day, Dream Away."[2] On November 5, 2013, a CD and DVD were released containing the first available audio and film of the Experience at the festival. The CD, The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Miami Pop Festival, contains about an hour of previously unreleased music. The DVD, Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin’, features a two-hour documentary on Hendrix’s life, including previously-unseen film of Hendrix and the band at the Miami festival, as well as some extras with additional footage from the festival. The documentary was also broadcast in the US on November 5, 2013, by the Public Broadcasting Service as part of its American Masters series.[3]

Miami Pop Festival - December 1968[edit]

The second Miami Pop Festival was held December 28–30, 1968, at Gulfstream Park, and was the first major rock festival on America's east coast.[4] It was promoted by a team led by Tom Rounds and Mel Lawrence, who had previously promoted the seminal KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival on Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, California. The crowd size for the three days was estimated to be around 100,000.[5] Performers covered a wide range of music genres, and included Procol Harum, The Turtles, The Grass Roots, Three Dog Night, José Feliciano, The Blues Image, The Box Tops, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Hugh Masekela, Pacific Gas & Electric, Fleetwood Mac, Richie Havens, The Sweet Inspirations, Joni Mitchell, Jr. Walker & The Allstars, The McCoys, Sweetwater, The James Cotton Blues Band, Canned Heat, The Charles Lloyd Quartet, Ian & Sylvia, Country Joe & the Fish, Buffy St. Marie, Steppenwolf, The Amboy Dukes, Terry Reid, These Vizitors, Iron Butterfly, Chuck Berry, Flatt and Scruggs, Grateful Dead, Marvin Gaye, and Joe Tex.[6] Many of these musicians were cast as superheroes in a commemorative comic book distributed at the event. This festival was unique in that it was the first rock festival to have two entirely separate 'main' stages several hundred yards apart (the Flower Stage and the Flying Stage), both operating simultaneously and offering performers of equal calibre.[7][8]


  1. ^ Lang, Michael (2009-06-30). The Road to Woodstock (p. 28). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
  2. ^ Lang, Michael (2009-06-30). The Road to Woodstock (p. 32). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
  3. ^ Horowitz, Hal. The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Miami Pop Festival and American Masters: Jimi Hendrix – Hear My Train A Comin’ DVD. November 5, 2013. American Songwriter.
  4. ^ Santelli, Robert. Aquarius Rising - The Rock Festival Years. 1980. Dell Publishing Co., Inc. Pg. 77.
  5. ^ Santelli. Pp. 77, 265.
  6. ^ Sander, Ellen (January 12, 1969). "The Miami Festival: An Inspired Bag of Pop". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ Santelli. Pp. 78-79.
  8. ^ Kubernik, Harvey and Kubernik, Kenneth. A Perfect Haze: The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival. 2011. Santa Monica Press LLC. Pg. 57.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 25°58′43″N 80°08′17″W / 25.978474°N 80.13799°W / 25.978474; -80.13799