Between Blake Shelton, Lady A, Pink, and Jimmy Buffett, Atlantic City has had considerable success with its concerts on the beach over the past few summers (COVID-free, of course). But decades before people were rocking on the beach, another big gig took place a few miles inland.
From August 1–3, 1969, the Atlantic City Pop Festival was held at the now closed Atlantic City Racetrack at Mays Landing.
This three day festival had an absolutely amazing lineup of musical acts which included Booker T. & the MG’s, Joe Cocker, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, BB King, Little Richard, Joni Mitchell, Procol Harum, Santana, and many other legendary bands.
The cost to attend the festival? $15. For three days. To see all groups.
There were no special stages where only certain people could see bands, no tiered ticket prices, and people at the festival weren’t paying eight dollars for a bottle of water.
But for some reason, if you ask people to name a huge East Coast music festival that happened in the 1960s, everyone will say “Woodstock.”
The Atlantic City Pop Festival, which took place a few weeks before Woodstock, seems to be lost in history.
There aren’t many photos and only a few videos have made it to YouTube (most without audio)…
So the next time you pass the Hamilton Mall or the Atlantic City Racetrack, imagine 100,000 people making a pilgrimage to Mays Landing to see some of the most legendary bands of the 60s perform.
South Jersey Things that aren’t there anymore
Parkway ceases to be renamed after these great NJ names
Some of New Jersey’s most iconic figures bear their names on something other than awards or gold records: the rest areas of Garden State Parkway.