Myponga Pop Festival

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Myponga'71 Pop Festival
Dates30 January 1971 (1971-01-30)–1 February 1971 (1971-02-01)
Location(s)Myponga, South Australia, Australia
Years active1
Founded by
  • Hamish Henry

The Myponga Pop Festival was a music festival which took place on a farm near Myponga, South Australia from 30 January to 1 February 1971.[1] Myponga Pop Festival drew approximately 15,000 people,[2] the biggest event in Adelaide since the Beatles drew a 300,000 strong crowd in 1964.[3] The main funder[4] and figure in the festival organising company, Music Power, was Hamish Henry.[5][6][7][8] The festival has been described as a "tribute to Henry's entrepreneurial genius".[9] As well as organising the Myponga festival, Henry managed several of the headlining local bands, War Machine and two other Adelaide groups, Headband and Fraternity.[10][11] Hamish had brought rock band Fraternity to Adelaide, South Australia and soon had them headline his Woodstock inspired festival alongside Black Sabbath.[12][13]

According to Myponga: South Australia's first pop festival by Lindsay Buckland, the festival was originally to be held at Silver Lake near Mylor, South Australia. The owner of the Silver Lake site threatened court proceedings against Music Power for changing the site of the event to Myponga. As a result Alex Innocenti pulled out from the festival as an investor and organiser and was contracted to the festival for various remedial duties, not in an official decision making capacity.[14]

Trevor Brine was the festival's booker and artist liaison.[15][16][17][18] The festival was headlined by heavy metal pioneers, Black Sabbath. Cat Stevens was advertised as co-headline artist at the festival but he cancelled to perform in Los Angeles.[16][17] The compere was Adrian Rawlins,[19] who wrote of his experiences at Myponga, and other festivals, in his book Festivals in Australia: an Intimate History (1982).[16][17] Another international act was Syrius, (from Hungary, see Jackie Orszaczky).[16]

According to festival promoter Alex Innocenti,[20][15] "we went down to the farm at Myponga in Hamish's great American sports car with no roof, like movie stars. The farmer says, `What do you guys want?' and Hamish says, `I want to buy your farm.' He gave him a $1 deposit and paid him the next week." Innocenti says he has no idea what's happened to Henry.[21]

Australian artists included Daddy Cool, Spectrum, Fraternity, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, Fanny Adams, Jeff St John's Copperwine with Wendy Saddington, Company Caine and Chain; South Australian artists included Steve Foster.[16][22]

The Canberra Times' correspondent reported that the "festival rocked to a close tonight after taking l12 days to warm up. The pop crowd, estimated at 8,000, started arriving at the 62-acre farm at Myponga early on Saturday morning. Most of them had brought plenty of alcohol and, although violence did not erupt, the atmosphere at the festival was tense at times."[1] The promoters did not make any profit.[23]

Author Clinton Walker in his book 'Highway to Hell: The life and death of Bon Scott' described the Myponga Festival: "With a bill boasting an exclusive appearance by Black Sabbath as well as the cream of Australia's progressive bands, Myponga - bankrolled by Hamish Henry was the biggest thing to hit Adelaide since the Beatles..."[24]

In March 2013 Black Sabbath's Ozzy Osbourne recalled the group's debut Australian performance, "That was the Myponga Pop Festival if I remember right? Management told us we'd have an exact copy of our amplifiers there, which we thought was great, but when we got there they were nothing like our amplifiers! But you know what? You get up there and do your best and I had a good time. I remember we had a big party at the hotel and some chicks there got absolutely shit-faced and were throwing up everywhere and we had to send them home. I don't remember much on the sex front after that..."[25]


Acts & Times[26]
FIRST DAY - 30 January 1971 SECOND DAY - 31 January 1971 THIRD DAY - 1 February 1971
2PM Uncle Jack 1PM Coney Island Jug Band 1PM Fat Angel
3PM Storyville 2PM Daddy Cool 2PM Octopus
4PM Monshine Jug & String Band 3PM Hippo 3PM Flying Biplane
5PM Lipp Arthur 4PM Sunshine 4PM Pigface
6PM Daddy Cool 5PM Company Caine 5PM Lotus
7PM Desiderata 6PM John Graham 6PM Chain
8PM Spectrum 6:30PM Sons Of The Vegetal Mother 7PM Jeff St.John, Wendy Saddington & The Copperwine
9PM Fanny Adams 7:30PM Margret Roadknight 8PM Healing Force
10PM Lipp Caine Rock Orchestra 8PM War Machine 9PM Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs
11PM Geoff Crozier's Magic Freaks 9PM Black Fire 10PM Black Sabbath
12PM Syrius 10 PM Fraternity
11PM Spectrum

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "$6,000 Missing as Pop Show Ends in Chaos". The Canberra Times. 45 (12, 724). 2 February 1971. p. 3. Retrieved 15 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ "MILESAGO - Performance - Music Festivals - Myponga Festival, 1971". Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  3. ^ Walker, Clinton (1 July 2007). Highway to Hell: The Life and Death of Bon Scott. Pan Macmillan Australia. ISBN 978-1-74198-503-0.
  4. ^ Huxley, Martin (1 September 2015). AC/DC: The World's Heaviest rock. St. Martin's Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-250-09652-4.
  5. ^ Piggott, John (23 January 2021). "Fraternity for eternity: Lost Bon Scott recordings found". The Senior. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  6. ^ "MILESAGO - Performance - Music Festivals - Myponga Festival, 1971". Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  7. ^ "Remember Myponga—South Australia". Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Myponga Rock Festival 1971". Music Minder. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  9. ^ Stroud, Graeme. "Fraternity (featuring Bon Scott)". Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  10. ^ "MILESAGO - Performance - Music Festivals - Myponga Festival, 1971". Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  11. ^ Huxley, Martin (1 September 2015). AC/DC: The World's Heaviest rock. St. Martin's Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-250-09652-4.
  12. ^ Turner, James R. (19 January 2021). "The Best Band You've Never Heard Of: Fraternity – 'Seasons of Change' » We Are Cult". We Are Cult. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  13. ^ Wall, Mick (25 October 2012). AC/DC: Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be. Orion. ISBN 978-1-4091-1536-6.
  14. ^ Buckland, Lindsay (2021). Myponga: South Australia's First Pop Festival. Australia: Lindsay Buckland. pp. 18–19. ISBN 9780645011609.
  15. ^ a b "ABOUT | Myponga Music Festival". Myponga 71. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  16. ^ a b c d e Kimball, Duncan; Belle, Carl; Lovegrove, Vince; Low, John; Pickering, Sam; Stacey, Terry (May 2003). "Performance – Festivals – Myponga Festival, 1971". Milesago: Australasian Music and Popular Culture 1964–1975. Ice Productions. Archived from the original on 24 June 2003. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  17. ^ a b c Rawlins, Adrian (1982), Festivals in Australia: an Intimate History, D.T.E.-Q. for A. Rawlins, ISBN 978-0-9592131-0-2
  18. ^ Music Power (1970). "Music Power presents at Myponga, South Australia a festival of progressive pop music: January 30–31, February 1". Music Power. Retrieved 16 May 2017. Summary: Information leaflet promoting the first Australian Festival of Progressive Music, held at Myponga, South Australia, January 30-February 1, 1971. Also known as the Myponga Festival. Includes location map, general information and a list of international, interstate and South Australian performers.
  19. ^ "MILESAGO - People - Adrian Rawlins". Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  20. ^ "Permanent reminder of Myponga festival". Victor Harbor Times. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  21. ^ "Myponga part of rock history". 19 June 2010. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  22. ^ Davies, Nathan (20 June 2010). "Myponga part of rock history". Sunday Mail. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  23. ^ McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'Festivals'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 6 August 2004.
  24. ^ Walker, Clinton (2007). Highway to Hell: The Life and Death of Bon Scott. Picador. ISBN 978-0-330-42363-2.
  25. ^ McLennan, Scott (14 March 2013). "Black Sabbath: Ozzy Osbourne Interview". Rip It Up!. Archived from the original on 24 July 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  26. ^ "BANDS | Myponga Music Festival". Myponga 71. Retrieved 28 January 2021.