50 years ago, there was Woodstock... and Amougies on the Franco-Belgian border
The whole world today remembers Woodstock, an emblematic festival of the hippie era, which began on August 15, 1969. The same year, near us, another event in the same vein had marked this movement. Back to the forgotten Franco-Belgian Woodstock, in Amougies.
From October 24 to 28, 1969, some 80,000 hippies and music lovers landed in a small village in Hainaut, at the gates of the Lille metropolis, Amougies. The festival brings together names such as Pink Floyd, Ten Years After, Zoo, Archie Shepp, The Nice, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Yes, Pierre Lattès or even Frank Zappa as master of ceremonies.
Frank Zappa recalls the festival : "There were this group of people from Paris who put the shit on this festival, mainly because they were scared to death of having large numbers in that city. So these guys who wanted to put the festival on just refused to quit and they finally wound up choosing a cow pasture about two hours out of Brussels. A lot of fog, and I guess it must have been twenty or thirty degrees out there, it was really miserable, a few tents and the people began to turn up from nowhere and they turned on the PA and that worked, and they turned on the lights and they worked, and the groups actually began to play and by God they had a pop festival. And then they looked at it and realised that they had to keep on for five days. I was asked to join the festival. They first of all asked for the Mothers to play but there weren't any Mothers at that time, so Pierre Lattes, who I had known for some time, asked me to co-host the festival, but when I arrived there I found that most of the people spoke French and they wouldn't know what the fuck I was talking about so it was useless for me to introduce the groups. So Pierre suggested that I might play with some of the groups. But I was at a great disadvantage because I didn't have my own guitar and I had to use other people's guitars and the amps that were around for everyone at the festival to use, and they kept blowing up and fucking up, and on top of that some of the groups found it a little difficult to relate to what I was playing. Cause, if you have a group that has certain arrangements and sets that they play every night, it's difficult to stick in an alien element that isn't part of the set up. The audience and the reviewer forgot about those variables - perhaps seeming a little anxious to prove that I was a crappy guitar player." -Extract from "It's all in self-defence"
if anyone has a copy of this show on tape or could you please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org thanks
J. D. Mack
An audience tape of this show has surfaced. The setlist includes:
No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed Then It's Love Everydays I See You Something's Comming
The recording is about 1 hour long, so that is probably the complete setlist.
The city/venue info is all wrong. "Pelouses de Reuilly" is the original location for the festival; it is in Paris' suburbs, but the festival (called "BYG/Actuel") was forbidden to take place in or near Paris so the organisers had to move it to Belgium. Tournai was one of the first locations to be considered, but eventually it took place in the nearby village of Amougies, which is the name that the festival is remembered under. So the "city" is Amougies (Belgium), and the "venue"... well, it was just a marquee in a field, so no venue as such.
I am reliably informed that the set included "I See You", "Everydays" and (as closing number) "Something's Coming". Yes performed for about an hour.