Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ourimbah Pop Festival


A chance find of an old box of photos in a rubbish pile at Wyong has uncovered an important part of Australian music history and local history in general , the chap who found them recognised the slides as being taken at the Pilgrimage for Pop festival at Ourimbah in 1970.
This was Australia's first outdoor rock festival , Sunbury was not the first as often quoted , it took place on private property at Ourimbah on 24th and 25th January 1970.
The concert was organised by the Nutwood Rug Band and local promoters , the Nutwood Rug Band was a bunch of American acid rockers who left the USA in 1967 to dodge the Vietnam war draft.
This was to be Australia's answer to Woodstock and the organisers even sent off an invite to John Lennon and Yoko Ono , evidently they got the invite some time after the gig and never made it.
The bill featured a line up of Australian artists including:

Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs
Tamam Shudd
Jeff St John and Copperwine
Wendy Saddington
Doug Parkinson and Focus
Leo De Castro and Friends
Levo Smith Clefs
Stevie Wright and Rachette
Nutwood Rug Band

The first day attracted over 6000 concertgoers and this number swelled to around 10,000 by the Sunday , there were around 30 arrests for minor offences but all in all the media and Police commented on how well behaved the crowd had been


Stevie Wright

Wendy Saddington

Billy Thorpe

View all photos here at Facebook


  1. hi, thanks for that,brings back memeories of great music. Can you tell us what the 'chance find' was
    exactly? and who found it?
    many thanks

  2. Hi Pete
    The chance find was the old photos , I think they are on slides , they were found by a friend of a friend who like to rummage through roadside throw outs , don't have his name sorry !

  3. Fabulous find. Great line-up. Half those names were on that thing on Aunty a while back with 30,000 boomers chucking their knickers at old surfie bands.

  4. Hello Steve.
    A great find. Few, if any pictures are around of 'Pilgrimage for Pop' at Ourimbah. I've been researching and writing on the great festivals - Mulwala, Ourimbah, Launching Place (Melb) and of course the Sunburys - 72-75. Not too many of the regular photographers seem to have made it there, and so photos are rare. First time I've seen the actual stage. The photo of Paul Wheeler is of the Aztecs and shows Lobby Loyde in the foreground and (I think) Gil Matthews on drums.
    Well done - are there more?????

  5. Brilliant!! After enduring yet another tiresome claim from an ignorant Victorian about Sunbury being the "first Woodstock-style festival" in Australia on a show on Foxel today I wanted to show my friend that Ourimbah (for which I still have my ticket stub) was years ahead. Thank you very much for bringing back happy memories of a weekend long ago.

  6. Hey any chance you could scan it and send me a pic ?

  7. I was there... what a blast!
    Who could ever forget 'Season of the Witch'?


  8. Me and a mate used to visit the nutwood rugs house at ourimbah and we did a few light shows for a few of their shows.

  9. Hi Steve, i have vivid memories of the festival. I was there with my little sister and our Dad squezing fresh organic orange juice. We were selling it from a
    food van. I was ten and my sister eight. I recall the music and the mud wrestling! I still love an outdoor concert. Im wondering if we, or the food van are in any of the photos you have. Id love a momento of our adventure there.It was awesome! Lyn

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Hi there, I can't see these photos on my IPad. Are they still up or is there a problem? Would live to see them, especially the one of Stevie Wright. Are they definitely from Ourimbah and not from Wallacia the following year? Cheers.

    1. You can see all the photos here

  12. I was there with five friends for the weekend and I have photos, but only of my group. It was an eye opener for us, never having been part of a crowd like that. I mainly remember how friendly everyone was.


Your comment may be used as site content , think before you post :)