Thirty-three years ago this month, the influential, short-lived and very expensive US Festival got underway. Though the festival only lasted for two years - '82 & '83 - it helped to lay the groundwork for the modern music festivals of today. Today for T-Shirt Tuesday we're bringing you not one, but TWO sweet shirts from the US Festivals of 1982 & 1983!
The US Festivals were paid for by Steve Woziak, Apple Computer co-founder and kajillionaire (reports from US '82 are the bill totaled $12 million and that Wozniak paid $1.5 million for Bon Jovi alone in '83!). A response to his own baby boomer generation, also referred to as the "ME" generation, Wozniak intended the US Festivals to encourage the 1980s to be more community-oriented and combine technology with rock music. Apparently, the name is an abbreviation for "Unite US in Song". How sweet!
The big story at the Us Festival was that it all worked. You could even say it worked smoothly. Sure, there was dust - a whole lot of dust (not just of the angelic variety). Sure, the temperature was more than one hundred degrees all three days. Sure, the distances between things meant trekking like Lawrence of Arabia across the Sinai Peninsula every time you wanted a drink of water. Sure, you were liable to be cornered by a half dozen drunken, mostly naked concertgoers asking for a light or directions to the nearest beer garden. It was worth it. Dust, heat, and blisters were only minor distractions from an otherwise enjoyable and enriching weekend in the desert-like foothills of Devore, California. - David Hunter (Softalk Magazine, Oct. '82 cover story)