Thursday, September 24, 2009

1968/05/18-20 Miami Pop Festival and The Castaway Hotel, Miami, Florida


Michael Lang, one of the organizers of Woodstock began his producing career in Miami, FL. The visionary is said to have opened one of the first head shops in the United States. The Miami Pop Festival was the largest music festival up to date, drawing over 100,000 people.

Taking place at Gulfstream Race Track on May 18-19, 1968, this festival is one of those events which was absolutely star-studded yet is completely shadowed by the success and similarities of the subsequent Woodstock and Monterey Pop Festivals. The Miami Pop Festival included bands such artists as Steppenwolf, Jimi Hendrix, The Mothers of Invention, Blue Cheer, and Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Chuck Berry, and Three Dog Night.

This festival marks the Jimi Hendrix performance that is claimed by die-hard fans and virtually nobody else. Although far from his most famous performance, his appearance at the Miami Pop Festival is seen by fans as one of his best. The song "Rainy Day, Dream Away" was also written in response to the cancellation of the Sunday installment of the festival due to, you guessed it- rain.

Most of the recollections of the festival lie in the extraordinary performance of Jimi Hendrix as well as the name behind the organization of the event.

It is reported by people who attended the festival that only about 400 people were interested in Hendrix enough to watch his performance. The rain and technical difficulties which plagued the Hendrix set resulted in Jimi tossing his guitar into the audience, only to be claimed by Frank Zappa. This article can be read in Guitar Player magazine.

The Miami Pop Festival is remembered as the first orchestration of producer Michael Lang pre-Woodstock as well as a lesser known and attended performance by Jimi Hendrix during his short career. Witnesses of the Hendrix performance revere it as one of the best performances not only by Hendrix, but of any musician in history. Many icons of the Woodstock festival had its roots in the Miami Pop Festival. It could also safely be assumed that there would not have even been a Woodstock without the festival in which Michael Lang made himself known.

From wikipedia:

The Miami Pop Festival was a two-day pop music event that took place in Hallendale, north of Miami, Florida, at the Gulfstream Race Track. The festival lasted from May 18–19, 1968, and an estimated 100,000 people attended. This concert was promoted by Michael Lang (promoter of Woodstock). There was also a second festival of the same name in December 1968.

Bands featured at the festival included Steppenwolf, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Mothers of Invention, Blue Cheer and Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Jimi Hendrix performed Fire, Foxy Lady, Getting my heart back together and Purple Haze. Sunday's concert was rained out. Because of this, Hendrix wrote "Rainy Day, Dream Away." Chuck Berry, Blues Image, Pacific Gas and Electric and Three Dog Night also performed. The opening act on the main stage on Saturday was a little-known group called The Package and the closing act on that same stage was Jimi Hendrix.

Photos of this historic festival can be purchased here

For a very comprehensive selection of photos of this performance, please go here, the following below come from none other rising70 on flickr

Check out 2 photos of Hendrix jamming at the Wreck Bar, The Castaway Hotel, Miami, Florida on May 20, 1968. Jimi jams on a Guild guitar with Noel Redding, Frank Zappa, Arthur Brown and Jimmy Carl Black!

Here is recently unearthed footage of Jimi and others from this festival (a non compressed version can be downloaded here:

Below is the info file and youtube clips derived from a soundboard recording of this amazing concert, download the none compressed version here

MAY 18, 1968 - 2nd SHOW

lineage audio: MASTER > DAT > CDR > EAC > WAV > FLAC (Level 6)





Enjoy, Share & Preserve Quality !!!
Brought to You by BP
[January 2006]
If anyone has artwork. It would be great.


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  11. May 19th 1968 Sunday, Jimi Hendrix performance was rained out at the Miami Pop Festival. Marshall Brevetz owner of the famous/infamous "THEE IMAGE CLUB" nearby invited Jimi to play/jam Sunday May 19th night at the club which was only a few miles from the festival site in Hallendale. Jimi jammed at "THEE IMAGE" club Sunday night May 19th 1968 with several musicians from the festival to a large club audience (jammed packed) of 500+ fans (free admission). The club was managed by the group "The Blues Image". ( ). Legend has it that during this performance jam there was an onstage ice creame food fight which is documented in a biography from an attendee and that Hendrix invited everyone at this performance to go swimming at the beach across the street from THEE IMAGE club after the jam which they did at about 1-2am in the morning. The WRECK bar inside The Castaway( 163rd St & Collins Ave A1A) is only 2 miles south of THEE IMAGE club (183rd St NE & Collins Ave.) which was the site from Jimi's next night May 20 1968 jam.

  12. Sunday nite May 19th 1968 the complete story of the performance and events at venue "THE IMAGE CLUB" on North Miami Beach (called Sunny Isles) : ( ) and from bio at : (detailed Story from this

  13. Story from this site...
    "Ken took a long toke on the pipe Jimi Hendrix had given him that night his concert got rained out at Gulfstream Race Track.
    It wasn't our concert, but the promoters, Michael Lang and Marshall Brevitz (Lang was a co-producer of Woodstock) had no way to refund the ticket money. So we invited Hendrix to Thee Image, where we would throw open the doors to anybody who wanted to walk in. Jim went on stage at Gulfstream and invited everybody to come to the club.
    It was now about 8 o'clock on a stormy tropical night.
    We called all of our concession people, the ice cream vendors, the chocolate cake sellers, hot dog guys, the body painters, and asked them to come right down.
    The body painters gave away Day-Glo paint that lit up under black light, which was the big deal in concert lighting at the time. Thee Image boasted a hundred blacklight bulbs.
    Hendrix and his roadies and his band turned up, as promised, for free, and started to set up on the stage. The club already had a wall of Ampeg speakers with enough amps to blow out a window. There were also the two giant strobe lights with a slow to fast speed dialer that made people look like they were moving very fast or very slow like a haywire silent film.
    Word had gotten out. Kids started calling kids. By nine o'clock the parking lot was packed. So was Collins Avenue, and there was a traffic jam down to Haulover Beach.
    Jimi started playing about nine. He began by using all of Thee Image's speakers and his own to produce wild feedback wailing.
    That got people's attention. Then he jammed with the house band, The Blues Image, (Ride, Captain, Ride) in a set that never stopped until after midnight. The audience, full of painted bodies, mostly sat on the floor and listened, in various states of high, higher and highest, while Jimi played rock guitar that was more dramatic than anything most of the audience had ever heard. His guitar solos melted down and re-formed, turned into vivid images and then into smoke.
    It was a wild night of cheering. Then the ice cream battle began.

  14. Then the ice cream battle began.
    Somebody brought Jimi an ice cream cone with a ball of chocolate on it. Jimi threw the ice cream ball to somebody in the crowd. That somebody threw it back at Jimi.
    "Get me ten cones," Hendrix called.
    He passed them out to everyone in the band, and they began to throw ice cream balls at each other. Pretty soon hundreds of members of the audience raced to the concession stand to buy scoops of ice cream, forget the cone. In 15 minutes the air in the club, under the Day-Glo lights, was filled with flying ice cream balls. They hit the walls, the speakers, people's heads, hair and clothes. Then, when the ice cream ran out, they all began throwing chocolate cake.
    Meanwhile, Jimi and the band kept on jamming.
    Then Jimi says: "Let's go swimming."
    He left the stage without his guitar, walked through the crowd and out the front door. Like a Pied Piper he walked past the International House of Pancakes up to Collins Avenue, three to four thousand kids dancing insanely behind him.
    This was a few months before Jimi played his irreverant [sic] Star-Spangled Banner at Woodstock." (posted at Limestone lounge July 2005 by Edocean )