Weeley Festival

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Weeley Festival
GenreRock music,
DatesAugust 1971
Location(s)Weeley outside Clacton in Essex, Britain
Years active1971
Founded byClacton Round Table
Attendance>110,000 (est)
WebsiteAnniversary website

Weeley Festival was a British rock festival that took place in August 1971 near the small village of Weeley outside Clacton in Essex.


Weeley Festival was organised by Clacton Round Table as a small charity fundraising event for around 5,000 people. When plans for that year's Isle of Wight Festival fell through, focus shifted to Weeley and the festival grew in importance. Advance ticket sales were over 100,000, and estimates of attendance were between 110,000 and 150,000.[1] The festival took place over the August Bank Holiday. The event was promoted as being non-stop music with acoustic acts scheduled to appear between the electric acts, and the music went on day and night.

The opening act were Hackensack, who played an extended set as no other acts had yet arrived. The Pink Fairies were not originally booked to play. They simply turned up and performed for free to the campers; they were so popular, however, that they were asked to play on the stage.

Evergigging band Stray were famous for exploding dustbins on stage, and they managed, according to their website, be over enthusiastic with the pyrotechnics and caused the local coastguard to be alerted. The band had to apologise to the coastguard.

Footage of the festival, including a performance by Juicy Lucy, appears at the beginning of the Stanley Long-directed feature film Bread.

Wally of Weeley[edit]

During the festival there were messages for Wally being read out over the sound system, and a Wally chant developed over the weekend. Evidence suggests that this was a continuation of the same behaviour at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970,[2] also see Wally Hope. While it started at the IoW festival the year before it had developed at Weeley into an "Anonymous" search for Wally, believed to be the seller of much in demand substances at such festivals.

According to Sue Rees Clacton, "Wally was a young guy who was sitting behind me. He went off to the loo and didn't come back. His friends were calling him. Lots of people called him to help them find him. It wasn't long before the whole festival were calling WALLY. That is how it came about."

Hells Angels[edit]

During the festival there were fights between a gang of Hells Angels and stall-holders.[3] The Hells Angels were eventually driven away by a combined force of festival staff and stall-holders despite several casualties.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ BBC Inside Out - When Weeley rocked
  2. ^ The weeleyfestival 1971
  3. ^ Sam, Wise Old (9–23 September 1971). "Mad Piemen Slay Angels !". International Times.

External links[edit]