Average: 4.6 (33 votes)

July 5, 1969

Hampton, GA US

Atlanta International Raceway (Atlanta Pop Festival)


set includes: Train Kept a Rollin', I Can't Quit You Baby, Dazed and Confused, You Shook Me, White Summer ~ Black Mountain Side, How Many More Times, Communication Breakdown


Zeppelin return to America and play in front of their largest audiences yet.

The first Atlanta International Pop Festival was held more than a month before Woodstock. It was organized by Alex Cooley, who later went on to organize the Texas International Pop Festival. The crowd numbered in the high tens of thousands, perhaps close to one hundred thousand. With temperatures nearing a hundred degrees, local fire departments used fire hoses to create "sprinklers" for the crowd to play in and cool off. It was a peaceful, energetic, hot and loud festival with few (if any) problems other than heat related. 

Press ReviewAtlanta Pop - Greatest Musical Fair Ever

Approximately 120,000 hip people trekked to the Atlanta Raceway last weekend for the Atlanta International Pop Festival, for two days of solid sounds, sweat, and suffering.  Billed as the greatest musical fair ever, it lived up to expectations though, what with top groups like Led Zeppelin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Canned Heat plus super-rock-stars as Janis Joplin and Al Kooper.

Performing in near 100 musicians managed to satiate the multi-crowd. However, despite the free camping and watermelons, facilities were almost nonexistent. Freaks were bathing in murky lakes, sucking on ice cubes and popping salt tablets to keep cool. Casualties ranged from heat strokes to bummer trips to an unfortunate miscarriage, and an ambulance seemed to be always in front of the clinic. On top of it all, on day Fri- night July 4,  all the power went out for about a the half hour. Johnny Rivers had just begun its set and was cut off in the middle of his second number. The audience became impatient especially with Rivers' drummer who evidently wasn't prepared to do a 30-minute drum solo. However, once plugged in, the show continued until close to five in the morning.

Saturday's line-up included Spirit, Led Zeppelin, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Joe Cocker, Janis Joplin, plus repeat performances by Sweetwater, Delaney and Bonnie, and Pacific Gas and Electric.

Led Zeppelin received several standing ovations and was called back to do more Janis and her new band tore everybody's minds.

The atmosphere back stage was happening. Groups and groupies mingled with the pseudo press and the hip hierarchy.  Food and drinks were passed around and limousines carried fame to and from gigs. Outside, kids huddled close to the stage now and then one catapulted onstage providing a free show or obstructing one. During the daylight hours which usually lasted until nine in the evening, makeshift tents sprouted like mushrooms.

A water hose provided free refreshment and a good dousing, and a few johnny -on-the- spot closets added a touch of reality to the festival. A menagerie of sorts inhabited. The grounds: straight cats, Haight cats, teeny hoppers, Pinkerton coppers, vegetarians, and Aquarians, all were grooving or seemingly so. Consider Atlanta ZAPPED! [C.Zarco, July 11, 1969]

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Submit your personal review of a particular show you attended, updates, corrections, etc., which will be considered for addition to the official online archive.You may also contact the webmaster at: webmaster@ledzeppelin.com

1969 Atlanta Pop Festival

I agree with Marty...Zeppelin came on after Spirit around dusk. Spirit did a great show and got the crowd pumped for Zep. I think half the crowd was just starting to get off on something. It was mesmerizing!
Two carloads of us drove up from Bradenton, Florida (just south of Tampa) for the event. We listened to our 8-Tracks of all the bands attending the whole ride up! Phew! We stayed in my buddy Bob's parent's basement (who lived in Atlanta) for three days during the festival. I was 16 at the time.
All of us who went are still friends and talk about the event all the time.
On the drive to the Raceway the first day, both carloads took all our necessary medication for the ride and by the time we arrived (before the gates opened) we were all ripped! The first thing we did after going in the gate was eat a couple of watermelons and we were a sticky mess for the next 14 hours.
Our group gained control of the roof of one of the refreshment stands.It wasn't that close to the stage, but still had a good view above the crowd and a great spot for freak watching! We waited in line for a very long time and filled a couple of Styrofoam coolers full of water. We had our own water supply!
I would do it all over again in a heartbeat! My aforementioned buddy Bob will be turning 60 in August and I'm sending him a framed poster of the event! Memories!