Historic Tours: Miami Pop Festival
48 years ago today, the second Miami Pop Festival of 1968 kicked off…and, oddly enough, it had no connection to the first Miami Pop Festival of 1968, aside from the fact that they both took place at the same venue: Gulfstream Park, a horse racing track in Hallandale, Florida, just around the corner from Miami.
The first festival, which took place in May, was produced by Michael Lang, who would go onto far greater fame as the co-creator of Woodstock. Although the bill for the festival was impressive, with The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Blue Cheer, The Mothers of Invention, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience all on the bill, you couldn’t really call the event a rousing success: it was scheduled to be a two-day affair, and the entire second day was rained out. Still, it did inspire Hendrix to write his song “Rainy Day, Dream Away,” so at least it’s got that going for it, historically speaking.
Thankfully, the second Miami Pop Festival was blessed with a far more favorable forecast, and the three-day affair featured some of the most notable names in music. It’s also notable that the performers weren’t just limited to rock and roll, either, as you can see from the list of who played on which day:
Saturday, December 28: Jose Feliciano, Country Joe and the Fish, Buffy Sainte Marie, Chuck Berry, and Fleetwood Mac Sunday, December 29: Steppenwolf, Jr. Walker and the All Stars, Butterfield Blues Band, Flatt and Scruggs, Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell, The Box Tops, Richie Havens, and The James Colton Blues Band Monday, December 30: Jose Feliciano, Canned Heat, The Turtles, Iron Butterfly, The Joe Tex Revue, Ian and Sylvia, The Grass Roots, Charles Lloyd Quartet, Sweet Inspirations, and The Grateful Dead
See what we mean? It’s pretty remarkable in its diversity. Unfortunately, there were to be no further Miami Pop Festivals, which is particularly disappointing after looking at that roster of talent, but with all of the other festivals going on around the country, there’s at least the m