The Celebration​ of Life music festival 1971

Documentary 33 minutes:
I was 16 when a friend and myself made the brilliant decision to hitchhike from Atlanta, where I was living at the time, to McCrea; long-haired hippies hitchhiking through the deep south, mid-summer, in 1971; it turned out to be one hell of a challenge, but we got there, after having everything from bottles to garbage thrown at us, and a few shotgun blasts pointed upward from passing cars on the roadsides, along the way.  It was exciting, life-changing, dangerous and insane; the perfect storm; loved every minute of it – looking back. The mud banks were where I spent most of my time, for reasons the film points out.

After dealing with the intense heat and humidity for a week, no food, little water, and sleeping in the mud every night, we decided to head home, only to find out the larger party was going on *outside the gate* for miles and miles; an endless sea of hippies, police, and bikers smoking pot, dancing, and swapping spit with little to no violence – that I could see anyway. Most the entire population was naked, tripping, and passing around joints at every step; police were even getting laid on the hoods of cars with their guns holstered banging on fenders of whichever car they were using for support.

Heat, snakes, alligators, mosquitoes, a shortage of food and water – yet no shortage of pot, wine, or LSD – lead to the realization it was time to go home. You couldn’t script this kind of thing, its just one of those events that just happen, and you just happen to be there. A strange dream of sorts looking back from where I sit typing these recollections. I can still hear the music, smell the pot, feel the excruciating heat on my body, and the itching of the multitudes of mosquitoes feeding on me, day and night. And yes, with all that, the memories are profoundly fond ones, in a strange sense; as real today as were in 1971.

 

http://www.mccrea1971.com/watch

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