US Festival

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The US Festivals (US pronounced like the pronoun, not as initials) were two early 1980s music and culture festivals sponsored by Steve Wozniak, formerly of Apple Computer. The first was held Labor Day weekend in September 1982 and the second was Memorial Day weekend in May 1983. Wozniak paid for the bulldozing and construction[1] of a new open-air field venue as well as the construction of an enormous state-of-the-art temporary stage at Glen Helen Regional Park near Devore, San Bernardino, California. (This site was later to become home to Blockbuster Pavilion—now San Manuel Amphitheater—the largest amphitheatre in the United States as of 2007.) The festival stage has resided at Disneyland in Anaheim since 1985, and has operated under various names and functions as the Videopolis dance club, the Videopolis Theatre, and the Fantasyland Theater.

Labor Day Weekend, 1982[edit]

Three days, 110°F (42.5°C) weather; 100 arrests[citation needed], 35 drug overdoses[citation needed], 1 associated murder of a hitchhiker the day after the event[citation needed], $12 million lost.[2] (Bands are listed in the order they appeared.)

Friday, September 3[edit]

Saturday, September 4[edit]

Sunday, September 5[edit]

Memorial Day Weekend, 1983[edit]

Three days (plus a fourth Country Day a week later), 670,000 in attendance, $12 million lost,[3] two reported deaths [4][5]

Saturday, May 28 (New Wave Day)[edit]

Sunday, May 29 (Heavy Metal Day)[edit]

Monday, May 30 (Rock Day)[edit]

Saturday June 4th (Country Day)[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The festival was also mentioned in a scene in the "Dharma & Greg" episode "Spring Forward, Fall Down" where Dharma's parents are reminiscing over old photos of her when Larry says "Here's one of her dancing all alone in this big empty field.", to which his wife replies "No honey, that was the US Festival". She continues to lament by exclaiming "Oh... look how young Ozzy Osbourne looks..."
  • The US festival is also mentioned in the Malcolm in the Middle episode "Lois Battles Jamie". During a flashback scene, Hal balks when he discovers Francis smashed his camera, containing film from when he and Lois went to the US Festival.
  • In the comic strip Bloom County, an US Festival was held in Milo's Meadow; according to Milo et al., the festival got its name "because all the dough goes to us!"
  • In the Armistead Maupin novel Babycakes the Connie Bradshaw character went to the festival and got pregnant by a random concert attendee.
  • In The Simpsons episode "Homerpalooza", Homer tells a record store clerk that the US festival is the only great once in a lifetime music festival.

Home video releases[edit]

In 2003, the band Triumph released a DVD of their US Festival performance. In 2011 Shout! Factory announced plans to release a series of live concert DVDs from the US Festival. The first two of these releases, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, were released November 15, 2011. The third DVD release from Shout! Factory will be Quiet Riot, released on March 27, 2012.[citation needed]

On September 18, 2012, Shout! Factory released The English Beat: Live At The US Festival, ’82 & ’83 on CD/DVD.[6]

On November 19, 2013, Icon Television Music released The US Festival 1983 Days 1-3 on iTunes. This is the only US Festival release authorized by Steve Wozniak and the Unuson Corporation.

Judas Priest's 30 year anniversary release of Screaming For Vengeance included a DVD with footage of their set from their 1983 appearance.


  1. ^ Us Festival Took A Year Of Planning (AP) - The Telegraph - Sep 1, 1982
  2. ^ iWoz - Computer Geek to Cult Icon: Getting to the Core of Apple's Inventor; Steve Wozniak with Gina Smith; Headline Review, London, 2006; p. 255
  3. ^ iWoz - Computer Geek to Cult Icon: Getting to the Core of Apple's Inventor; Steve Wozniak with Gina Smith; Headline Review, London, 2006; p. 256
  4. ^ "Man Beaten to Death at Second US Festival". The New York Times. 1983-05-30. 
  5. ^ "Second Person Found Dead at US Festival". The New York Times. 1983-06-01. 
  6. ^ "The English Beat". The English Beat. 2012-09-18. Retrieved 2014-05-20. 

External links[edit]