Many years ago, almost 45 to be exact, I was barely 15 years old and the summers were chalk full of Rock Festivals. In 1970, to celebrate the 100th Birthday of the province of Manitoba, a huge rock festival was planned. I WAS GOING TO BE THERE. ThIs festival would be called MANPOP.
With a government grant we were assured to have the biggest and best Rock Bands of the day at the Winnipeg Stadium.
These day’s, you can fill a stadium with one or two acts, but back then it was 16 hours of Rock, for today’s cost of a beer. The tickets were well worth the money. The local bands would start the day and as time flew by, the entertainment got better and better.
The local bands included: The Fifth, Chopping Block, Mongrels, Justin Tyme, and Dianne Heatherington (she was our Canadian answer to Janis Joplin).
The 20,000 or so party animals were rocking up a storm and suddenly the sky turned black and the winds picked up and the torrential rains began. The festival would have been over, but arrangements were made to open the Arena next door and continue the festival. It almost never happened, but some last minute negotiations kept the party going until about 4am.
The rest of this blog was taken from the Winnipeg Free Press archives and Wikipedia. My memory was missing some details that I needed to validate:
“The Man-Pop Festival was a music festival held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on August 29, 1970. Led Zeppelin was the headlining act at the event. Other artists performing at the festival included The Youngbloods, The Ides of March, Iron Butterfly, Chilliwack, plus local bands, including Dianne Heatherington and The Merry Go Round.
The Man-Pop Festival was originally scheduled to take place at the outdoor Winnipeg Stadium. However, a summer rain storm tore down the awning protecting the stage soaking the PA system and amps, which forced the organizers to belatedly move the festival into the nearby Winnipeg Arena. This venue had lower capacity than that of the stadium, and when this capacity was reached, some 800 valid ticket holders were refused admission. This caused a near riot at the entrances of the arena, with many of its glass doors being kicked in by angry patrons.
Tickets for the festival cost $5.50 to $12.50. Led Zeppelin’s fee was $50,000. Because of the delays caused by the change of venues, Led Zeppelin did not actually take the stage until the early hours of the morning, and did so voluntarily, since they had already been paid pursuant to a rain clause in their original contract. It was through the exhortations of local singer Dianne Heatherington, whose national reputation came later, that Led Zeppelin was finally persuaded to perform.“
As a 15 year old teen this was one of the highlights of my youth. And so goes another chapter in Leonard vs Life.