Montgomery Festival 1984 poster

Montgomery Festival

6 – 8 July 1984

The festival took place 1 mile from Montgomery in mid-Wales, on a field kindly provided by a local farmer for a modest fee, which he was donating to Montgomery Sports Hall Association.

It was the second year that it had been held, the first year being staged in the car park of Montgomery Station, with a flatbed truck providing the stage.

If the 1984 festival was a success, the intention was to continue in future years, as there were many bands in Wales, but few opportunities for them to play at a festival in Wales, and build their local audiences. Any profits from the festival would go to local charities and other bodies providing useful local services, but as things turned out, due to excessive, unjustified and unnecessary police action, the festival made a substantial loss.

There was a supervised children’s play area, all-day bar, food and other stalls, and plenty of car parking and camping space.

Festival Welfare Services provided welfare and first-aid.

If you would like to contribute any photos of the festival, or write a few comments, please get in touch via the ‘Contact’ form at the bottom of this page.

Most of the photos below were supplied by Alan Lodge (‘Tash’), whose support during and after the festival was very welcome. Any other photos are credited on the individual photos.

If you’re a fan of ‘Where’s Wally’, see if you can find the 8000 people that attended the festival, according to police / County Times estimates!

Programs, tickets, etc.

Performers

Osibisa

Osibisa 1984

Osibisa¬†were formed in London in 1969. Their name, which in their native Akan language from Ghana means “Criss-cross rhythms that explode with happiness” is probably as good a description as any of their music. They have had great success in Europe, Africa, U.S.A., Canada, India (no. 1 album in 1981), and much of the rest of the world, including a sell-out appearance at Theatr Hafren in Newtown last year (the peak of stardom!).

Man

Man 1984

Man should be well-known to a lot of people in Wales, having formed in the Swansea area in 1968, touring extensively and releasing 12 albums before they split in 1976. They reformed last year, and have since played Reading Festival and released their 13th. album.

Sector 27

photo of Sector 27

Sector 27 started life in mid-1979 as a band formed by Tom Robinson. They toured most of Europe and did a 40-date tour of Canada and U.S.A., including appearing on the bill with The Police at Madison Square Gardens. The weekend before our festival they are playing at Wembley as one of Elton John’s support bands, an event that will be aired live on BBC radio.

Other Bands

Anhrefn

The Subversives

Restriction

Nik Turner

Ackee

Enid & The Blyters

Rattlesnakes

June de Cruz

The Kix

XLs

Walk A Thin Line

Chosen Time

Dead Wired

Hard Lines

Normil Hawaiians

Kelvin & The Absolute Zeros

Hair of the Dog

The Knaff

XLS

Manyana

Face To Face

Almost Average

Ronnie & Johnny

Rootboot

 

Memories

People’s memories of the festival.

In the press

Aftermath

After the police actions, many of them unjustified – including preventing people from attending the festival – I (Les Wilkins) decided to make an official complaint against Dyfed-Powys Police. After a lot of toing-and-froing, and some help from Lord Peter Melchett (I know, I know …) and Festival Welfare Services, my complaint was found to be unjustified in the eyes of the PCA – as expected! In retrospect, my complaint was short on firm evidence, which in my naivety I had not tried to collect at the time (police names and numbers, and the names of people turned away, for example), and no-one else complained about their treatment, so it is not surprising that it was not upheld.

Whether or not my complaint was a waste of time I don’t know, but I felt better for doing it – not only had they caused a lot of people to miss the festival, they had also caused us to lose a lot of money, which we didn’t have. The Dyfed-Powys police have since maintained their tradition of being against many music and arts events in the mid-Wales area, to the detriment of many of us that live here – a contributing factor to so many young people leaving the area. Welcome to the ‘Land of Song’!

Locally, there was a lot of misinformation spread about the festival by the local newspaper, The County Times; some of the lies they printed were supplied to them by the police, and were not retracted even after the newspaper was shown proof that the police had lied about some aspects of the festival. I am sad to say that the County Times still has much the same standard of journalism today, happy to print trivial negative stories about some local events, that people put a lot of effort into making happen for the benefit of many in our communities.

Below are some of the documents that were part of the complaint procedure.

Contact

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