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Brian Williams, Communications Coordinator
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Georgia’s “Woodstock Festival” Receives Historical Marker
SAVANNAH, Ga., September 4, 2012 – The Georgia Historical Society will dedicate a historical marker for the Second Atlanta International Pop Festival on Sat., Sept. 15, 2012, at 3 p.m. at the Middle Georgia Raceway in Byron, Ga. The marker is a collaboration of GHS, the Byron Area Historical Society, the Georgia Allman Brothers Band Association, the Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House and Hittin’ the Note.
From July 3-5, 1970, the festival, one of the largest such events anywhere in the world during that era, took place in a field in Byron. Over 30 musical acts performed, including rock icon Jimi Hendrix playing to the largest American audience of his career and Macon’s Allman Brothers Band on their launching pad to national fame. Officials estimated that the festival drew several hundred thousand people to Byron that weekend. Organized by renowned Atlanta concert promoter Alex Cooley, it remains one of the largest public gatherings in state history.
“Outdoor music festivals in the late ’60s, early ’70s were pivotal moments in American popular culture. They personified the social revolutions of the 1960s—the Civil Rights movement, the youth movement that we equate with rock n’ roll, and the anti-war and drug counterculture,” said Stan Deaton, GHS Senior Historian. “They represented enormous shifts in societal values and norms that we are still working through.”
The Georgia Historical Society has administered Georgia’s statewide marker program since 1998, erecting over 180 historical markers across Georgia on a wide variety of subjects.