Monday, October 27, 1969
open air festival
53 years, 5 months and 1 day ago
Magalie Ghu - La Voix Du Nord
Monday, June 13, 2022 6:30 PM
La Voix Du Nord
August 14, 2019
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.
Monday, June 13, 2022 6:15 PM
John Submarine (or "John SousMarin" in French) has an extremely robust Actuel Festival cross-linked page on his massive site.
Román García Albertos
Monday, June 13, 2022 5:47 PM
Román García Albertos has a Frank Zappa page that's been growing since 1998. Plenty of information and memorabilia on his page for the Actuel Festival.
"Pelouse de Reuilly" in Paris was info recorded by Peter Banks in his diary for this date.
Saturday, January 25, 2014 5:41 PM
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
J. D. Mack
An audience tape of this show has surfaced. The setlist includes:
No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed
I See You
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.
transcribed by: JayBill Bruford:
An old, old Islamic custom called tuning up, and because our bass player is an old, old Islamic, therefore he has to tune up.
Here’s a song about a time - you watching a football match over there or something? - about a time that’s gonna come when you can come and watch music and you don’t have to sit on the floor, you can go to a theatre and listen to music. The time is very close to us. This is a song called ‘Then’. (Tony and Peter start playing, then stop when the drums come in)
Err, we’ve got a problem with our organ. Our organist is having trouble with his organ. Has anyone out there been having trouble with there organs? It’s very worrying. (Tony tunes his organ to Peter’s guitar)
Ah, there you go... melody.
Um, the electricity is so fantastic here that every time we try to tune up, the electricity builds up and the organ goes up and goes out of tune. So we have to tune it up after every number. Thanks to the marvellous organisation...
I want a car, I’m going out. (Group start playing, then stop when Jon’s vocal come in)
And... um, we’ll see you later.
Don’t go away, we’ll be right back. We’re just gonna sort it all out. The Islamic organs, voodoo guitarist. It’s all gonna be sorted out, so see you in a minute.
We’re very sorry about all this.
Yeah. We’re gonna try and play... Because of the, err, bad electricity, we might go out of tune and we’ll have to stop. And, err, we’re very sorry about this because we don’t want to make you feel, um, aggrivated, yunno. We don’t like playing out of tune. It’s a very bad thing. So we’re gonna try anyway. So just listen, relax, and fall asleep if you like.
before 'It's Love'
transcribed by: JayJon Anderson:
When we came in about nine o’ clock, we heard a lot of people banging things and making very good noises, you know, and you enjoying yourselfs. Well we’d like to do a song about love, and we’d like you to join in in a bass solo. We’ll do a rhythm, you know, and the drums.
transcribed by: JayChris Squire:
This song’s about things that happen everyday. Like we all expect to come to a very, very beautiful scene where people are very happy. And you come to a place like this where people are being treated like, err, animals, if you like. You’re being made to wonder around a field. It’s a very terrible scene. And it’s a very, very bad thing. You pay a lot of money to come and see groups being treated like, you know, animals.
before 'I See You'
transcribed by: JayJon Anderson:
Ice cream for that guy over there, free ice cream. We’re gonna feature Peter, and he’s gonna tap dance for you. It’s a song that was recorded by The Byrds, the American Byrds, about the time they were singing songs like ‘Eight Miles High’ and ‘Rock and Roll Star’, and a few other songs like that. And this song, this is a song called ‘I See You’. Thank you. And, err, actually we were gonna finish off with the next song, but it’ll be too high because of the fact that we put up about three keys.. you know.. it would take... I really try.
before 'Something's Coming'
transcribed by: JayJon Anderson:
The next time we ever, we play to you, we’ll have replaced our organ with the French people who play in the Paris Olympia, and you’ll all sit down and in Belgium we’re gonna play in a nice theatre in Brussels, not the shit house, you know. Enjoy yourselves for the next seven, five hours or something, with some very nice bands and don’t expect World politics, forget it. This song’s from a film called ‘West Side Story’, the song is called ‘Something’s Coming’. Alright, and thank you very much, we’ll see you very soon. Yeah, alright?