|Related genres||Rock (electronic rock, punk rock, psychedelic rock, etc.), country music, jam band music, metal music, folk music|
|Related events||Music festival, rock festival, teknival, technoparade, rave, jam band festival, heavy metal festival, punk rock festival, reggae festival, Christian music festival, concert tour, rock concert|
Free festivals are a combination of music, arts and cultural activities for which, often, no admission is charged, but involvement is preferred. They are identifiable by being multi-day events connected by a camping community without centralised control. The Free festival movement being the associated pioneering movement starting in UK during the 1970s.
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The first truly free festival was the 1972 to 1974 Windsor Free Festival, squatted on Royal land. The 'organisation' was mostly Ubi Dwyer distributing thousands of leaflets and asking people and bands to bring their own equipment and create their own environment - Bring what you expect to find.
"Free festivals are practical demonstrations of what society could be like all the time: miniature utopias of joy and communal awareness rising for a few days from a grey morass of mundane, inhibited, paranoid and repressive everyday existence…The most lively [young people] escape geographically and physically to the ‘Never Never Land’ of a free festival where they become citizens, indeed rulers, in a new reality." Un-authored leaflet from 1980, quoted in George McKay’s Senseless Acts of Beauty: Cultures of Resistance Since the Sixties (p. 15). In recent years, teknivals are a type of free festival, as are many technoparades.
Free festivals by year
- Woodstock Festival, 1969 (partly free)
- Phun City
- Windsor Free Festival, 1972 to 1974
- People's Free Festivals at Watchfield 1975, Seasalter 1976 and Caesar's Camp 1978
- Stonehenge Free Festival, 1972 to 1984 
- Battle of the Beanfield (1985)
- Elephant Fayre, 1981–86
- Castlemorton Common Festival, 1992
- Free Edinburgh Fringe Festival
- Free Fringe
- Leamington Spa Peace Festival
- Dragon Festival
- Przystanek Woodstock
- Davestock - Vancouver Island, BC
- Green World Yoga & Sacred Music Festival, Skåne (started as a free festival 2015)
Simon and Garfunkel at The Concert in Central Park
- Clarke, M. (1982). The Politics of Pop Festivals. London: Junction Books.
- McKay, G. (1996). Senseless Acts of Beauty: Cultures of Resistance Since the Sixties. London: Verso Books.
- Remember the Battle of the Beanfield
- Green World Yoga & Sacred Music Festival, Skåne (Started as a free festival 2015)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Free festivals.|
- The Free Festivals 1969-1990 - ukrockfestivals.com
- George McKay - Senseless Acts of Beauty: Cultures of Resistance Since the Sixties:Free Festivals
- Battle of the Beanfield - ITV unseen broadcast
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