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|Genre||Rock music, pop music, etc.|
|Dates||September 1982, May 1983|
|Location(s)||Glen Helen Regional Park|
San Bernardino, California
|Founded by||Steve Wozniak, Bill Graham|
Steve Wozniak, cofounder of Apple and creator of the Apple I and Apple II personal computers, believed that the 1970s were the "Me" generation. He intended the US Festivals, with Bill Graham's participation, to encourage the 1980s to be more community-oriented and combine technology with rock music. The first was held Labor Day weekend in September 1982, and the second less than nine months later, over Memorial Day weekend in May 1983.
Wozniak paid for the construction of a new open-air field venue and an enormous state-of-the-art temporary stage at Glen Helen Regional Park near Devore. This site was later to become home to the Glen Helen Amphitheater. 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 Theatre.
The festival ran for three days in early September in 110 °F (43 °C) weather; there were 36 arrests and a reported twelve drug overdoses. One "associated" murder of a hitchhiker occurred the day after the event. The festival lost a reported $12 million, and total attendance for the three days was about 400,000. The price for a three-day ticket was $37.50 (equivalent to $113.72 in 2022).
The festival featured the first use of the U.S.-Soviet Space Bridge, a two-way satellite hookup between the United States and the Soviet Union. Organizers had planned to have the US Festival and Soviet rock fans interact as a way to promote goodwill between the Cold War rivals, but it was too dark in California for cameras to pick up the festivalgoers when the link went live.
Bands are listed below in the order they appeared:
Friday, September 3
Saturday, September 4
Sunday, September 5
The 1983 festival ran for three days over Memorial Day weekend, along with an additional day on June 4. Colorado-based promoter Barry Fey replaced Graham as Wozniak's business partner. The weather was slightly cooler than the September festival at 95 °F (35 °C), but the air quality in the region was the recorded worst in four years. The total attendance was reported at 670,000. Van Halen was reportedly paid $1.5 million to perform. The Clash demanded that $100,000 of their $500,000 for the performance be donated to charity before they took the stage for what would be their last show with guitarist Mick Jones before his firing in September. There were two reported deaths. The festival lost an estimated $12 million, as the 1982 festival had.
Saturday, May 28 (new wave day)
Sunday, May 29 (heavy metal day)
Monday, May 30 (rock day)
Saturday June 4th (country day)
In popular culture
- The festival was parodied in the comic strip Bloom County, when Milo and his friends organize their own version of the "US Festival" as a political fundraiser for their Meadow Party. In this case, the name comes from the fact that the proceeds of the concert will "go to us!", as in the promoters when asked in a fourth wall inquiry. Several well-known groups and musicians make cameo appearances, including actual US Festival headliners Van Halen and The Police, non-performers Culture Club and Barry Manilow, and the fictional heavy metal band Tess Turbo and The Blackheads.
- In 1984, "Weird Al" Yankovic parodied the US Festival (and its heavy financial losses) on an episode of Al TV, claiming that there would be a third edition of the festival, but without any live bands; the entire show would be released only on a cassette tape.
- In The Simpsons episode "Homerpalooza", Homer Simpson refers to the US Festival as the greatest of all time.
Home video releases
In 2003, the band Triumph released a DVD of their US Festival performance, Live at the US Festival. 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 on November 15, 2011. The third DVD release from Shout! Factory was Quiet Riot, released on March 27, 2012.
On September 18, 2012, Shout! Factory released The English Beat: Live At The US Festival, ’82 & ’83 on CD/DVD. On September 9, 2019, it released Santana: Live at US Festival on Blu-Ray and DVD. On September 9, 2020, it released The B52s: Live at US Festival on DVD.
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 the 1983 festival.
- "US Festival may be the last". Lodi News-Sentinel. (California). UPI. May 28, 1983. p. 13.
- "Fans firing up for US Festival". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. September 4, 1982. p. 6A.
- "Rock fans head for home". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). wire service reports. September 6, 1982. p. 3A.
- "US Festival opens to 140,000 fans". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. May 29, 1983. p. 9A.
- "US festival crowd wild; guards fight each other". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. May 31, 1983. p. 3.
- Brant, Marley (2008). Join Together: Forty Years of the Rock Music Festival. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 173. ISBN 978-0-87930-926-8.
- Remembering US '82 and '83 as Steve Wozniak's dream bash turns 30 - Soundcheck Blog: Orange County Register
- Devlin, Hugh (June 1983). "Experiencing Us". Electronic Games (letter). pp. 23, 121. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
- "Rock fans flock to US Festival by the thousands". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. May 28, 1983. p. 1.
- Us Festival Took A Year Of Planning (AP) - The Telegraph - Sep 1, 1982 - Nashua, NH
- "300,000 people, drugs and rock 'n' roll". UPI. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
- "Festival fans brave heat to hear bands". Lodi News-Sentinel. California. UPI. September 4, 1982. p. 14.
- Crichton, Maddie (June 28, 2017). "The Music Festival That Time Forgot: Inside Steve Wozniak's US Fest Los Angeles Magazine". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
- 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
- "The US Festival successfully managed a satellite link with..." UPI. September 5, 1982. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
- 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
- Metzler, Stan W. (May 30, 1983). "145 arrested at festival". The Bulletin. (Bend, Oregon). UPI. p. A3.
- "Waylon and Willie fans peaceful". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. June 5, 1983. p. A3.
- "Smog conditions in S. California worst since '79". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. May 29, 1983. p. 9A.
- "Van Halen's 'US Festival' Concert Revisited". May 29, 2014.
- Burch, Sean (May 29, 2023). "'It Was The '80s – Everything Was Going On': The US Festival At 40". Spin. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
- "Bludgeon death mars US Festival". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. May 30, 1983. p. 1A.
- "Man Beaten to Death at Second US Festival". The New York Times. May 30, 1983.
- "Second Person Found Dead at US Festival". The New York Times. June 1, 1983.
- "October 19,1983 -Bloom County". gocomics.com.
- "October 20,1983 -Bloom County". gocomics.com.
- "Bloom County / Funny".
- "October 29,1983 -Bloom County". gocomics.com.
- "October 31,1983 -Bloom County". gocomics.com.
- "October 24,1983 -Bloom County". gocomics.com.
- "October 25,1983 -Bloom County". gocomics.com.
- "November 3,1983 -Bloom County". gocomics.com.
- "November 2,1983 -Bloom County". gocomics.com.
- "November 3,1983 -Bloom County". gocomics.com.
- Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: ""Weird Al" Yankovic AL TV #1 - 4/1/1984 1/3". YouTube.
- "Search results for "US Festival"". Shout! Factory. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
- "Shout! Factory Releases The Beat at US Festival CD/DVD!!". The English Beat. September 18, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
- "Santana Live at US Festival". santana.com. September 4, 2019. Retrieved June 7, 2023.
- Trunick, Austin (September 18, 2019). "DVD Review - The B-52s: Live at the US Festival". Under the Radar. Retrieved June 7, 2023.
- Warren, Jr., Jim C. (July 1982). "'Us' Festival Will Feature Music Sept. 3-5 in San Bernardino - 250,000 Expected at Concert and Technology Fair" (PDF). Silicon Gulch Gazette. Computer Faire, Woodside, CA, USA (30): 1, 3, 16. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 20, 2022. Retrieved January 15, 2020.
- Bashe, Philip (August 31, 1983). "US Festival '83 in Words and Photos". Circus. New York: Circus Enterprises Corporation. pp. 33–45. ISSN 0009-7365. Retrieved December 15, 2021.