And so to Bickershaw. Just pick it up as I go along that’s what I’m attempting to do! If you’re still confused then just scroll back and read the original blog. I think if I’m not mistaken it was the first festival I ever went to but I’ll have to check back with my old mate and fellow gig follower Kenny and see if The Buxton Festival at the Pavilion Gardens(yes in Buxton) came before Bickershaw. That one was an all nighter, that much I do remember. Stuck in the middle of a row and desperate for a pee was also a lasting memory as well as The Edgar Broughton Band doing Wasa Wasa. I’ll be back to that one once I can recollect the complete bill…..do feel free to remind me though.
Anyone who went to Bickershaw will always remember The Grateful Dead. They came on after midnight and played for around 4 to 5 hours. As dawn came up over a sodden Wigan they played a wonderful version of Dark Star. It what adds the magic to Wigan, it’s what gives it it’s romance……
As previously mentioned the festival lost 30,000 pounds which was an enormous amount of money back then, well hardly petty cash now. In fact it equates to around a half a million pounds now and needless to say they didn’t organize another… The security too was hopeless with around one third of the 60,000 crowd coming in over the fences effectively making it a free festival…..except of course for the mugs who paid.
Donovan was on, Country Joe, Hawkwind, The Incredible String Band,The Kinks who were were all pissed, Cheech and Chong, Dr John and a whole bunch of others.If you’d seen the bill on a poster it wouldn’t have looked out of place in San Francisco but to think of all places Wigan had attracted some of the cream of the Flower children was bizarre……..not that Lemmy had ever seen a flower, then or since. At the time Family were one of my favourite bands and one of the main reasons I went. Roger Chapman was an amazing front man to watch and songs like Weaver’s Answer brought out the best in him. I didn’t know this until I looked up some facts on the internet but Joe Strummer and Elvis Costello were also in the crowd that weekend and Strummer quotes it as the best festival he ever went to.