Adelaide, South Australia, 29-31 January 1972

Article by Terence J. Stacey

DATE: 29, 30, 31 January 1972

LOCATION: Adelaide, South Australia


COST: (unknown)

COMPERES: Jim Keays / Vince Lovegrove / Gerry Humphries

OVERSEAS ACTS: Mary Hopkin (UK), Tom Paxton (USA), Edison Lighthouse (UK)


Sat. 29 Jan. 1972
Toads Nitely
Musick Express
Mary Hopkin
Vytas Serelis
Tom Paxton

Sun 30 Jan. 1972
Rock church Service with music by Adelaide bands Buffalo Drive and Earth, from the Rock musical "Manchild"
Goblins band
Gerry's Jugband
Wild Cherries
Phil Manning
La De Das
Leo De Castro & Friends
Michael Turner In Session

Mon. 31 Jan. 1972
Michael Turner In Session
Goblins band
Mackenzie Theory
Moonlight Jug & String Band
Edison Lighthouse
Tamam Shud

Originally scheduled acts Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs, Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band and Mungo Jerry did not appear. The Aztecs played their legendary set at the rival Sunbury Festival that weekend, although other acts who appeared at Sunbury including Gerry Humphreys and Phil Manning -- also performed at Meadows.


What big rock event/festival was held on the Australia day weekend of 1972, was in a southern Australian state, had three well known international acts, eleven top Aussie bands, three well known frontmen as comperes, was very successful, went off to plan, had great weather and ... wait for it ... 30,000 people attending. No! Im not talking about Sunbury '72. I'm talking about the Meadows Technicolour Fair.

This one was as forgotten as Mulwala! Why? Maybe because it wasn't sold entirely as a rock festival only and didnt have the magic words "rock festival" in its title; it was overshadowed by Sunbury '72 on the same weekend; it was in Adelaide; maybe Gudinski didn't have any involvement. Even Adrian Rawlins doesn't mention it in his book so obviously he had no involvement!. And yet it seems to epitomize all the things in festivals that all the so-called beautiful people bleated about in those days!

The following two articles appeared in Go-Set -- the following information is taken from notes I made from them.

The article by Jim Keays in Go-Set on 29 Jan. 1972 talks about this upcoming event (which was actually already in progress that Australia Day weekend when the article came out).

On 12 Feb. 1972 Go-Set reported that Meadows was a success despite the heat. There was a relaxed atmosphere with 30,000 people attending. (Yes ! that’s what it said 30,000 people). It was like a big picnic and went off as planned.

The event was held near Adelaide in South Australia over three days. Comperes were Jim Keays, Vince Lovegrove and Gerry Humphrys. The article said "everybody who was anybody" would be there (except Daddy Cool), plus local SA bands and overseas artists Mary Hopkin, Tom Paxton and Edison Lighthouse.

It was more than just a rock festival, with talks on the environment, Freak circus by the Street Theatre Group, Adelaide film co-op showing underground movies and fairground attractions and camping on site.

On the Sunday a Rock church Service was planned with music by Adelaide bands Buffalo Drive and Earth from the Rock musical "Manchild".

On 12/2/72 Go-Set reported that Meadows was a success despite the heat. There was a relaxed atmosphere with 30,000 people attending. (Yes ! that’s what it said 30,000 people). It was like a big picnic and went off as planned.

Comments on the acts appearing at the festival:

Sat 29 Jan. 1972
Toads Nitely -- local band
Musick Express -- lots of melody and nice harmonies
Blackfeather -- Simple, tight rock'n'roll
Mary Hopkins -- just a good straight folksinger. Article said she did NOT walk off as previously reported
Houndstooth -- well controlled but boring
Vytas Serelis -- sitar player
Tom Paxton -- killed the crowd ... got a standing ovation ... a world class act

Sun 30/1/1972
Rock church Service with music by Aselaide band Buffalo Drive and Earth from the Rock musical & Manchild
Goblins band -- jazz approach like King Crimson or Soft Machine
Gerry's Jugband -- Phil Manning and friends and Gerry Humphries got together on the day -- sounded good
Wild Cherries -- did not impress, disappointing
Phil Manning -- did acoustic set with Warren Morgan on keyboards
La De Das -- all it remarked was that they replaced Billy Thorpe
Murtceps/Spectrum -- had technical difficulties with keyboards
Leo De Castro & Friends -- did an incredible performance
Fraternity -- Good sound
Michael Turner In Session -- a very good band but too much Led Zeppelin material, Turner himself sounds just like Robert Plant.

Mon 31/1/1972
Blackfeather - again
Michael Turner In Session - again
Fraternity - again
Manchild - again
Goblins band - again
Carson -- got a good reception
MacKenzie Theory -- they grow on you
Highway -- they had an exceptional vocalist
Superhuman -- local band with a big following
Moonlight Jug & String Band -- local band went over exceptionally well
Edison Lighthouse -- replaced Mungo Jerry
Tamam Shud -- made a surprise appearance on Monday night

References / Links

Go-Set magazine
29 January 1972, 12 February 1972

O'Brien, Gary
Mary Hopkin In Australia 1972

Article © copyright Terry Stacey 2007

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