Bickershaw Festival 40th Anniversary Box Set

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Beautiful 208-page art paper hardback A4 book on the Bickershaw Festival and the Dead in Europe - many colour illustrations and tons of black and white.

6 CDs - 4 Rhino Discs of the Dead at Bickershaw, 2 extra Ozit discs of New Riders of the Purple Sage, Flamin Groovies, Donovan, Captain Beefheart, Captain Beyond, Incredible String Band, Donovan, Family, Kinks, Country Joe, Cheech and Chong, Haydock Brass Band.

2 DVDs

10 postcards

Repro festival poster

All in a beautiful, fully printed festival presentation box.

A must for any Grateful Dead collector, the 4 discs of the Grateful Dead in this box set are actual official Rykodisc-manufactured Bickershaw CDs. This box set is huge - the box itself measures at 19 by 13 inches and includes 6 CDs, 2 DVDs, a 208-page book mainly focusing on the Grateful Dead, 10 postcards and one poster replica.

The legendary Bickershaw Festival took place on 5-7th May, 1972 in a small village near Wigan, Lancashire. Organised by the late Jeremy Beadle and Harry 'The Count Bilkus', it may have been one of the wettest rock festivals in history, but will always be remembered as one of the last all-night festivals, where the Grateful Dead played for over four hours! The Bickershaw Festival box set has been lovingly put together over the past eight years by festival worker Chris Hewitt with the help, until late 2007, from Jeremy Beadle. As Chris says, "When Jeremy and I first started to plan the Bickershaw Box Set about five years ago, we wanted to create something that when you opened the lid you were transported back to the festival site."

Accompanying the 6 CDs of music (both soundboard and audience recordings), and 2 DVDs (5.5 hours of footage), is a 208-page hardback book containing personal accounts, music reviews and colour photographs. Beadle assembled one of the most ambitious programmes of bands for any festival held in the North West (or the UK for that matter) - bringing an incredible contingent of American acts to merge with some of the best folk and rock acts from the UK. On the bill were Captain Beefheart, the Grateful Dead, New Riders of The Purple Sage, Dr. John, Country Joe McDonald, Pacific Gas & Electric, Flamin' Groovies, Cheech and Chong, The Kinks, Donovan, the Incredible String Band, Family, Linda Lewis, Hawkwind, Wishbone Ash, Captain Beyond, Brinsley Schwarz, Stackridge, Maynard Ferguson, Mike Westbrook and Haydock Brass Band. The festival music programme started during the day on Friday and ran well into the early hours of Saturday and Sunday morning, culminating with the late afternoon - early evening set of the Grateful Dead on the Sunday. In the audience, camping in the mud for the whole weekend, was a certain young Joe Strummer, who stated "Captain Beefheart's set in the early hours of the morning at Bickershaw Festival was the best concert I ever went to in my life." Another teenager who sat transfixed on the Sunday watching the Grateful Dead with their four-hour plus performance was a young Elvis Costello, who said, "Seeing the Grateful Dead that day on that giant festival stage in a Lancashire field made me realise being in a band was what I wanted to do". The whole of the London underground and music press glitterati were camped in those Lancashire fields to write about the festival, from Oz, Frendz and IT Magazines, to Disc, Record Mirror, Melody Maker, Sounds and NME. The crew from the Roundhouse ran the stage and Time Out printed the festival programme. Chris Hewitt from Ozit Records wrote in his book, “Bickershaw was the last of the great all-night festivals and probably the last one where the festival organisers allowed the fence to come down (around 20,000 locals got in for free to boost the audience for The Grateful Dead to 60,000 on Sunday afternoon and evening). By 1973, the serious businessmen promoters moved away from the chaotic three-day rural events in farmers’ fields and started to move towards a profitable, controllable one-day concerts in sports stadiums… In this kind of event the promoters are spared the nightmare of trying to control something like a medium-sized town full of music freaks for three or four days.”

The 40th Anniversary Box Set is the most comprehensive archive of this landmark music event ever put together, and one that could only have been assembled by those that were there. All tracks on CDs 1-4 were recorded live at Bickershaw Festival 7th May 1972.

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