Originally planned for May 30-31, 1970 (Memorial Day weekend) however people started showing up as early as Thursday May 28th. Over the course of the next four days an estimated 40,000-60,000 people converged on L. David Lewis' farm outside of Heyworth, Illinois in rural McLean County for a celebration of music, sun, drugs and mud. The first band performed at midnight, early Friday morning. Over the course of the next three days between 30-40 bands played. The Spotify playlist above is just a small sample of the bands that were there though it includes one recording made at the outdoor concert: Canned Heat's "Reefer Blues."
For more music recorded live at the festival listen to our show from last year (More details):
|Unknown group on stage at the Kickapoo Creek Rock Festival. |
Courtesy of the McLean County Museum of History
Headlining National Acts
- Canned Heat - closed the festival on Sunday evening.
- B.B. King - went on stage around 3am early Sunday morning
- The Amboy Dukes -
- Country Joe and the Fish - preceded Canned Heat on Sunday
- Paul Butterfield Blues Band - preceded B.B. King, went on late Saturday night around 11:30 or midnight.
- New Colony Six - played either Friday or Saturday
- Frijid Pink - played on Sunday
- Smith - played Saturday evening
Originally on the bill but did not perform:
The majority of the supporting acts were local groups represented by Blytham Ltd., a Champaign-Urbana talent agency run by Bob Nutt and Irving Azoff. Below is a list of bands that played at Kickapoo Creek or were scheduled to play.
- The Kinks
- Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
Supporting / Regional Acts
- Aorta - from Rockford / Chicago, Illinois. The band was listed on early advertisements for the concert but was not included on similar ads closer to the event. Unclear whether they were there or not.
- Arrow Memphis - from Collinsville, Illinois.
- Backstreet - (aka Backstreet Majority) from central Illinois.
- The Basic Need - from central Illinois (possibly Clinton).
- Bloomsbury People - from Waukesha, Wisconsin.
- Blue - from St. Louis, Missouri. Michael MacDonald was a member of this group (see also The Guild).
- Bluesweed - (aka Blues Weed) from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. According to an interview with band members Perry Hamilton and James Kingelhoffer, the group was at the festival and scheduled to play but a downpour of rain right before going on postponed their stage time and they were ultimately bumped.
- Bucktooth - ?
- The Challengers - by one newspaper report this group performed on Friday.
- Devil's Kitchen Band - from Carbondale, Illinois however the group relocated to San Francisco from 1968-1970 and was the "house band" at the Family Dog Ballroom. Having returned to Illinois around the time of Kickapoo, the group got added to the bill at the last minute when their managers were asked to help run the festival's sound. Devil's Kitchen performed in the afternoon on Saturday. This was the group's last concert.
- East Street - ?
- The Esquires - originally from northern Illinois though based in Champaign-Urbana at this time. By one newspaper report this group was the very first to perform with a start time of midnight, early Friday morning.
- Fat Water - from Chicago / Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.
- Feathertrain - (aka Feather Train) from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.
- The Finchley Boys - from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. The band's stage time was moved up to noon on Sunday to help "wake up the crowd."
- Dan Fogelberg - Reportedly played at Kickapoo though not listed on any promotional posters or advertisements. In 1970, Fogelberg was still a student at the University of Illinois and performed primarily in coffee houses around Champaign-Urbana. He was however represented by Blytham Ltd. so it is possible he was at Kickapoo. Here is what Dan sounded like in 1970:
- For Days & A Night - from Chicago though they played around central Illinois frequently.
- Fuse - from Rockford, Illinois featuring guitarist Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick). According to drummer Chip Greenman, Fuse was the opening act launching the festival. This however conflicts other such claims.
- Genesis - from either Milwaukee, Columbus or Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. NOT the English rock group featuring Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel as has been reported in the past. Also NOT the American psychedelic group from Los Angeles that released an LP in 1968.
- Gidians Bible - from Bloomington-Normal, Illinois.
- The Guild - from Mascoutah, Illinois. Michael MacDonald was a member of this group around this time (see also Blue).
- Light Brigade - from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
- The Litter - from Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- Monterey Hand - from Chicago featuring guitarist James "JY" Young (Styx).
- Moses - from Charleston / Matoon, Illinois. Band members: Steve Dalton, Marc Nale, Eddie Pearcy, Gary Tate (rear) and Jim Hite.
- Nickel Bag - from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.
- Night People - from the Quad Cities, IL / IA.
- One-Eyed Jacks - from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. One newspaper states the group opened the show at 5 pm on Friday. The Chicago Tribune reported them as playing Saturday evening.
- Phoenix - ?
- REO Speedwagon - from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.
- Corky Siegel - from Chicago, Illinois. Presumably he performed with Jim Schwall but still unconfirmed.
- Seven - ?
- Spare Chaynge - from St. Joseph, Illinois (Champaign County).
- Tayles - from Madison, Wisconsin.
- Truth - ?
- Uncle Meat - from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. One of the first bands to play.
- Zebra - ?