Rockfest 70 News Archive. Background Picture of Powder Ridge Rock Festival, Middlefield, CT 1970



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New York Times: July 29, 1970



Special to The New York Times

MIDDLEFIELD, __Conn., July 28 - The promoters of the three day rock festival scheduled for this weekend lost another round today in their battle to hold the event here at the Powder Ridge Ski Area. But crowds of young people continued to stream in while others went on with preparations for the "festival.

State Superior Court Judge Aaron J. Palmer, who issued a temporary injunction yesterday prohibiting the festival this afternoon denied applications to dissolve and to stay his earlier order.

Judge Palmer said no alternative remained for the festival promoters, but a spokesman said that their attorneys were attempting further maneuvers.

Several hundred youths, many with knapsacks and bedrolls, have already arrived at Powder Ridge, and hundreds, perhaps thousands, more are expected by Friday for the first scheduled entertainment. This afternoon some of them swam nude while others put the finishing touches on a large stage at the foot of the main ski slope. Still others were at work on fences for controlling the crowds and on concession stands.

Throughout the day, huge trucks loaded with sound equipment, food and medical supplies, made their way along the twisting roads to Powder Ridge.

Girls in the administrative offices, however, have stopped telling callers that "the festival is still on," and Gerald Goldstein, a spokesman for the promoters who are incorporated as Middleton Arts International, said, it's a total wait-and-see thing."

In Hartford, a spokesman for a shop that has sold 500 tickets for the festival at $20 each said the "money would put in escrow.

Thirty rock groups and individuals are listed on posters for the festival, including Grand Funk Railroad, Ten Wheel Drive, Janis Joplin and Richie Havens. Michael Goldstein, another spokesman for the promoters, said all of the performers had been notified of the injunction.

Judge Palmer said that because of "widespread reports that the festival is still on" he had appointed Vincent J. Scamporino, the State's Attorney for Middlesex County, which encompasses this town of 4,050 persons, to supervise the enforcement of his injunction, to investigate possible violations, and to prosecute if necessary.

Those who violate the injunction and thus are found in contempt of court; Judge Palmer said, are liable for fines or imprisonment or both. He said fines for the promoters could be least $50,000.

Late today, state policemen started putting up signs on the main highways leading to Middlefield, saying, in part, "There is no rock festival."

Beginning Thursday morning, the roads of Middlefield will be closed to all but residents, according to Arthur Meckley, the white-haired First Selectman, or Mayor.

Reaction among Middlefield residents to the festival has been mixed.

Sal Fama, the co-owner of the Suburban Cleaners, was enraged. "It's all un-Christian and immoral," he fumed. "This is all Communist inspired. Communist instigated."

At the red brick Chestnut Hill Elementary School, where resident passes were being issued, the mother of a young man who recently went into the service said: "It doesn't seem like it would have been such a bad thing. I think people rejecting it could cause more trouble than otherwise."


Rockfest '70 Robb Strycharz, 1998-2006
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