Ozark Mountain Folk Fair: History in Our Backyard

Fire Ring

Remains of a fire ring at the Ozark Mountain Folk Fair site,  2013.

Ever since we moved to Arkansas, my husband and I have tried to spend a little time every weekend clearing land on part of the family property where we plan on building a house. In the process of this, we’ve uncovered a variety of debris, from an old beaded moccasin to artisan glass wine bottles, as well as the remnants of countless fire rings. As way of explanation, my husband mentioned a music festival his father told him about that took place here forty years ago. I imagined a small get-together of a few hundred people and then naturally was distracted by other thoughts, such as getting out of the way of the brush hog.

Capped well at site of Ozark Mountain Folk Fair

Capped well at the Folk Fair site, 2013.

It wasn’t until we were hiking a little further up, and we stumbled into the water spigots and the well that I started to seriously reconsider the context of this music festival. Any event that requires its own source of water, namely, the pricey undertaking of drilling a well, is no small thing. As a researcher, I followed my instinct to dig in and see what other information I could unearth. What I found was an event that not only represented the mix of cultural currents that flowed through Eureka Springs in the early 1970s (and still does today) but also the trail of historical connections woven by the paths of people associated with it.

Ozark Mountain Folk Fair Organizers, 1973

Ozark Mountain Folk Fair organizers, 1973. Courtesy Patrick Griffith

The Ozark Mountain Folk Fair held Memorial Day weekend of 1973 was the first and only outdoor music festival held at the ten-acre Oakhill Eco-Park in Carroll County, north of Eureka Springs and just south of the Missouri state line. I have been told that local politics and cultural conflicts contributed to it being a unique event. Various musicians including John Lee Hooker, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Big Mama Thornton, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Earl Scruggs, and many others performed at the three-day festival that represented a variety of musical genres, such as bluegrass, folk, blues, and gospel. Organizers had prepared for a crowd of 60,000 people, though the Lawrence (KS) Daily Journal reported that as many as 150,000 people showed up despite the rain and subsequent mud to see the show. The overwhelming crowd was unanticipated and as a result, local service stations temporarily ran out of gasoline. To compare, Wakarusa, the folk-music festival held annually on Mulberry Mountain in Franklin County had about 50,000 people attending in 2005, or to think of it another way, the present population of Fayetteville totals just over 75,000.

Ozark Folk Fair Stage, 1973

Constructing the Ozark Folk Fair Stage, 1973. Courtesy Patrick Griffith

The Eco-Park was designed by Albert Skiles, a local Fayetteville architect who has gone on to design many modern and environmentally friendly homes, such as this one, featured in the pages of Dwell magazine, as well as well-known buildings including the expansion of the Dickson St. Liquor retail store and the Little Portion Chapel. Little Portion Chapel is run by the Brothers and Sisters of Charity of the Little Portion hermitage/monastery near Eureka Springs, founded by John Michael Talbot. Talbot was formerly the guitarist for Oklahoma City-based band Mason Proffit, who was among the many acts in the line-up at the Ozark Mountain Folk Fair.

According to Joseph Kotarba in Baby Boomer Rock’n’ Roll Fans, following his performance at the Oakhill Eco-Park, Talbot came to the conclusion that the rock and roll lifestyle was ultimately not for him and he began the spiritual quest that eventually led him to open Little Portion. Eureka Springs is also well-known for its culture of devout believers—the famous Christ of the Ozarks statue was erected just seven years previous, and the premiere performance of the Great Passion Play was staged only five years earlier in 1968. Despite the contradictions in these seemingly very different cultures, the harmony was effectively achieved as a local street ministry group led by Dale and Laura Nichols attended the festival to hand out copies of the New Testament to concert-goers.

Ozark Mountain Folk Fair Audience, 1973

Fair-goers carpet the hillside on Memorial Day weekend, May 1973. Courtesy Patrick Griffith

When viewing pictures of the masses of people who covered these tranquil hills, it is stunning to consider the vast numbers of lives and musical talent that coincided beneath the tall shade trees that weekend in May. Nowadays, when we uncover a bottle or an old piece of jewelry in the dirt while we’re clearing land for our new house, I think of all those people, as one Lawrence, Kansas resident put it, having “One heckuva party.”


At the time April Griffith wrote this, she was the library assistant at the Shiloh Museum. She has since gone on to pursue her greatest calling, that of a full-time mom.

This entry was posted in Holidays and Special Events and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

94 Responses to Ozark Mountain Folk Fair: History in Our Backyard

  1. Most of what I remember about festival was getting so blasted all I could do was curl up under a quilt and listen, and the one band I remember pounding
    along was the James Cotton Blues Band.

    • April Griffith says:

      One of the most exciting aspects of this event from my perspective is that so many people remember it pretty vividly! Someone recently told my husband (in so many words) that that weekend encompassed some of the fondest memories he has. To me that translates to the land having good vibes. 🙂

  2. G Henson says:

    What an amazing piece of music history! Like spin-off tornadoes, the Woodstock event of 1969 spurned a lot of music festivals across the U.S., and the world for that matter. I went to a couple of festivals in Texas. Many of these were poorly organized and unsuccessful on a commercial level, but music fans generally recount having days filled with fun, adventure, camaraderie, drugs and best of all, incredible music. If those hills could talk!

  3. Terry Woodburn says:

    Was there with my friends. Wonderful few days in the mud. Sorry for the mess!

  4. Mike Luster says:

    Like many, I attended the Ozark Mountain Folk Fair. A few years ago, I set out to tell the story of Edd Jeffords and talked with many of his friends and family. I’d be happy to send you a copy of the paper if you send me an e-mail address.

  5. Mike Luster says:

    PS: I was friends with Les Blank and might could help you locate anything he may have done, but I don’t believe he did much. There was a film made (I have a copy) but it wasn’t made by Les and the quality is well beneath his level.

    • April Griffith says:

      Mike that would be so wonderful! Thank you!

    • Bruce Kurnow says:

      Mike:
      I was a member of Mason Proffit and also had the pleasure of playing with John Lee Hooker at the festival. If you have a film of the festival, I would love to buy a copy from you and cover costs if it needs to be transferred to a DVD. I have been searching off and on, over the years, for any footage and have not had any luck so far. When you have time, please let me know if this is possible. Thanks very much!
      Bruce Kurnow

      • i was there, thought i’d be attending lots of the same, but didn’t i have copies on the
        “Magazine” produced by Lonnie Bolding with MaryAnne Ables a “life” size picture format, i will dig out of the attic. when things cool a little.

        • Zan Jarvis says:

          I think you could make $ on the Magazine. I would love to have a copy of pictures of the Folkfair…and/or recordings, films, leftover acid…whatever you got. Except for that last. Probably kill me now.

        • April Griffith says:

          I’m not familiar with the “Magazine,” but I’m very interested in knowing more. Was this a publication? What did it include?

      • April Griffith says:

        We would love to hear more of your memories of the festival, Bruce!

      • Liza Jane Thompson Pfleiger says:

        I saw “Gettin’ Back” at the Strand Theater in OB, CA. Rumor has it the film was destroyed in a fire. My friends and I are in the film several times. Would love to get anything you find. If it’s theater worthy-ish could show at The Bijou in Lincoln City, OR??? What a blast.Going to google YOU after this. I remember your name…used to follow ALL the bands and the path of their playeers. MP was awesome!!! lizapfleiger@hotmail.com

      • Debbie Eckert says:

        I would love to have footage as well!! I was there. I graduated from high school,that Friday night and headed to the hills. It was a wonderful peace filled time. My husband and I have tried to find that place in recent years. We have been marri d for 42 years and were there together. Debbieeckert@conwaycorp.net

        • Liza (Thompson..Hickman '73) Pfleiger says:

          Would love to get copy or rent to show at Bijou Theater owned by friends in Lincoln City, OR Often do for food for the city Food Pantry

  6. Zan Jarvis says:

    You were there Mike Luster? Funny, didn’t see you…well, didn’t know you then.
    I remember mud that would pull laced boots off your feet.
    I remember seeing an old friend from Kansas City soulfully playing his trombone solo above the biggest, soggiest mud pit where the crowds wrestled for purchase on the way from the campground to the amphitheater.
    I remember putting up an umbrella on the sunny day to keep out of the constant rain of seed ticks falling from the trees.
    I remember when John Lee Hooker came out on the stage, unannounced, all by himself and started playing. I was with friends who had a sale booth on the upper perimeter of the bowl. It was like watching corn popping in a deep pot. At first just the folks right next to the stage started bobbling up and down. He kept on laying it down and other musicians came on stage. More people started moving near the source of the music. Then a few others higher on the hill began to boogie. The dancin’ crept higher and higher until it reached us and we started to move along with all the others in an absolute frenzy of joy. There was not a fiber of the being of anyone there that was not completely carried away.
    After that, a few HAD to be carried away. Fortunately, I left on my own steam, but with a consciousness definitely expanded.
    By the way…you mentioned John Michael Talbot…he told me that what he liked best was the jams late at night between all these great musicians in the rooftop bar at the Crescent Hotel. He also loved the land and before he left he bought the piece that would become Little Portion.

  7. Zan Jarvis says:

    Correction…the guy at the mudpit played a tuba, not a trombone.

    • April Griffith says:

      Amazing memories! I like that you shared a mix of both the awful — raining seed ticks!?– and awesome. Thanks for speaking up!

  8. Jerry Smith says:

    Just found your site. I drove down from Columbia, Mo. to attend and photograph the festival. I slept evenings in my Toyota Corolla station wagon that was parked in the field just outside the from gate. I sure remember the rain and mud, but what really sticks out are great memories of the diversity of musical styles, the friendly people, and the amount of people that brought their own instruments with them and often played on the hillside between the acts on stage. I will always remember the natural ampitheater and the benches made from tree stumps and logs cut in half. I went on to attend other festivals, including the Sedalia 1974 Ozark Music Festival, but the Ozark Mountain Folkfair will always hold a special place in my heart!

    • Liza Jane Thompson Pfleiger says:

      Jerry Smith, I’m from Columbia as well. Drove down with friends from there and Jeff City. Great Vibes all around. Saw “Gettin’ Back” movie the following year at the Strand Theater in O.B., CA. My friends and I were some to the first to stand and dance in a line together, caught in movie. Also on stage with Big Mama Thornton for the “Slave Dance”. Sadly, rumor has it the film (only copy?) was lost in a fire. If you hear anything different let me know. Would love to have it rise from the ashes at the Bijou in Lincoln City, OR.Hardly remember the rain until hitch hiking home in it with fever of 103 to hospital. did you grad from Hickman?

      • Jerry Smith says:

        Liza Jane, I was at UMC in 1973 and am originally from Ferguson, MO. Did not attend Hickman. I lived in Columbia from 1970-1975 and from 1978-1984. I did a radio show on KOPN in Columbia from 79-83. I worked as a photographer for most of my life. I have recently been going through old rock n roll photos, and found the images from the Folkfair in 1973 and the Ozark Music Festival in Sedalia in 1974. Great memories of both festivals, but the Folkfair was truly unique and special!

        • Bruce Kurnow says:

          Jerry:
          Do you have any photos of Mason Proffit? I played keyboards and harmonica with them at that festival. I also played harmonica with John Lee Hooker at the festival. If you have photos of any of this, I would like to buy copies from you. Thanks!
          Bruce

        • Zan Jarvis says:

          Would you share your pictures? I can’t remember everything I did that weekend and want to check up on myself.

    • Debbie Eckert says:

      I was at Sedalia as well!! Nothing compared to the Ozark Mountain Folk Festival!!

  9. Robert Fansler says:

    Great memories with my favorite cousin Sara, we made friends with some folks from KC and stayed with them in a big tent made from plastic sheeting. John Lee Hooker, NGDB and Earl Scruggs are pretty sharp memories, Ozark Mountain Daredevils… Mason Profit was the highest energy there as I remember. Was hitch hiking back to Miami, OK and the same guys that we stayed with picked me up in a ’40 Chevy pickup, we sat in the back and ate watermelon.

  10. Mark Hodge says:

    A contingent of music lovers from Clarksville made the trip up the mountain and attended the festival. We carried in some recliners with the legs cut off and set up above the amphitheater. The memories are so vivid. The crowd, well behaved, diggin’ the music, the mud which was seemingly a constant. Seems like there was a big flag flying to the right of the stage. John Lee Hooker was awesome. And Mason Profitt as well. All the acts were just great and in the right order. I had an 8MM camera there and took two reels of film of the event. I will try and find it and maybe get it transferred to DVD. What a time, what a time!

    • Anonymous says:

      Whooo-hoo! Wanna see that footage.

    • April Griffith says:

      I would love to see that footage as well. I’ve seen many pictures, but every new picture I get to see provides more insight into the scope and context of the event. I can only imagine what it would be like to see live action; I’ve been trying to track down a copy of one of the two films I have heard of that were shot at the folk fair but so far, no luck. If you’d be willing to donate a copy of your film to the museum’s research library, we would be very grateful to have a copy!

      • Liza Jane Thompson Pfleiger says:

        If you find a video, please share with me. The movie I saw was “Getting Back”. Have been unable to locate it, saw at the Strand theater in OB,CA. My friends and I are prominent in a couple parts. First ones up dancing and on stage with Big Mama Thornton. Where are you from? I’m from Columbia, MO. Travelled a lot and landed in Lincoln City, Oregon. There’s a cool historical theater here, that my friends own, that I would LOVE to show footage of at!

    • Bruce Kurnow says:

      Mark:
      I played with both Mason Proffit and John Lee Hooker at the festival. If you find the video footage, please let me know and I will be happy to pay for transferring it to a DVD. I’ve been trying to find footage of this for years!
      Thanks,
      Bruce

  11. Michel P Stern says:

    Not only was I there but I was one of those from the Northwest that financed Edd Jeffords. It was an incredible weekend and an eye opener for a 39 year old attorney who loved Mahler and Richard Strauss. Oh how I recall seeing that twister come in….Fond memories. If anyone has movies or stories I’d like to see them. Poor Edd Jeffords went on to be a fine attorney in Texas but passed away….too young.

  12. Kevin Mourning says:

    I was 9 years old my brother was 10, My mother took us to this festival.
    It wasn’t long before we were seperated from her and lost her until the last day, we tryed to
    stay dry but there was no way, people fed us and were verry nice to us, it was very very miserable.
    My mother does not remember mutch about this whole trip but i will never forget this adventure.

    • April Griffith says:

      Looking at the map of the Eco Village it seems like the organizers planned for many accommodations — but not a lost child tent! Nowadays that consideration is de rigueur as it is only too easy to lose track of a child in the grocery store, and much more so in a crowd of thousands of people. It speaks to the nature of the festival and the folks that attended that y’all were looked after and returned to your mother unscathed, if a bit damp. Still, I can only imagine that you wouldn’t easily forget an adventure like that!

  13. Zan Jarvis says:

    Does anyone else remember the little flat pipes that were sold? They had been molded in old pot-pie aluminum tins out of plaster of Paris. A little mountain scene was on top and it said Ozark Mountain Folkfair 1973 (was that the year?). The center of the sun was a depression that was the bowl of the pipe. They poked a hole into it from the side to suck on.

  14. Fred Boeckman says:

    Was there. Came from St Louis in my blue micro bus. Would like to say I remembered a lot of detail but fact and fiction tend to blend together over time. Seems I do remember people sliding down the hill and also believe they played gospel music on Sunday but I could have dreamed that.

    • you’re probably remembering the Carter Family on the gospel. i was in the classic hippie van which is the too pink to be called red and full windows, even on the back corners, with the city bus windows in the roof. i had a cloth full length sun roof. i had upgraded to a karmon gia engine, and had bare metal colored scoops supplying cooling air

      • Mike Oglesby says:

        No, it was the Georgia Sea Island Singers and they were all acapella and had the hungover crowd dancing in the mud early Sunday morning. One of my favorite memories.
        Mike Oglesby
        Fox, Arkansas

        • alvin says:

          probably the purple barrels

          • Don Dawson says:

            That morning in the mud was very spiritual, The Sea Island Singers were amazing everyone stuck in the mud swaying. My friend and I were the security detail, laughable but he had a presence about him and big hair so people calmed when he showed up.. a very good mediator even now. We had a ford econoline van-home and were somewhere downhill from the entrance, someone tied a large nitrous oxide bottle to a tree and it made for an interesting flow of people. I lost a contact lens in the woods and a crowd of folks eventually found it, what a weekend.

          • myself and my supervising teacher from SMS stayed a week after the main events occurred. very spiritualistically operative. i wish i had a pic of my hippy van, may post a similar pic from the net.

  15. Randy says:

    Was just 18 and about to graduate, when a couple friends and I drove from Central Ohio to meet my brother going to college in Sprinqfield, MO. Drove down to Eureka for the festival, and what a weekend it was for us “small town boys”.
    Great music and people! Often thought of going back there to reminisce. Have some pictures tucked away somewhere. Would love a copy of any video, whatever the quality. I’ll never forget the sea of blue (jeans) in the amphitheater.
    Thought we would miss getting home for graduation, because of the mud. But all worked out ok, with great memories that remain. Sorry for the mess that must have been left, but you should’ve been there!

    • those of us who stayed removed the foreign matter they could find and route it on it’s way. the area in front of the stageback to where the bowl got steep was all sleeping bags sometime double or tripolee (too cute, gotta leave that). i had done about two drops of hashoil midway. the era started wih 1/2 purple barrels…peace and love. i threw my hatchet and boui knife away as a gesture of non-violence. i sure loved that double holstered set i got with green stamps!

  16. Lewis Mock says:

    My folks gave me a ticket for my high school graduation (Lawrence, Kansas). Took my banjo and did a lot of picking. Lots of mud, great music, and I spent several hours after I got home pulling the biggest ticks you’ve ever seen off every nook and cranny of my body.

    • Zan Jarvis says:

      Yes, Lewis. That’s the Arkansas experience. Ticks everywhere if you don’t protect yourself. There it was almost impossible since there was a rain of seed ticks falling out of the trees.

  17. jill kelley says:

    I have a friend that thought he had a tic on his a**hole and it was a hemrroid. What a rude awaking. Tics But we all had tics. What a memory now. Was ruff at the time.

  18. Bob says:

    On the Saturday of the folk fair I was standing at the spigot in your 2nd photo filling up my boda bag with spring water. A next door neighbor from Springfield, MO walked up and asked what I was doing with my life in the 2 years since my HS graduation. A.: “Studying business”. Q: “Do you enjoy it?” Without hesitation my answer was: A.: “No”. Q: “Well then, why are you still doing it?”. Immediately after returning home the next day I informed my parents that I wanted to switch my major to architecture and change schools to the Univ. of Kansas where they had the closest architecture program. Much to my unbelievable surprise, my parents said that I needed to drive to Lawrence the next day and apply, which I did. My life changed completely at that spigot! Thank you for posting that photo.
    BTW: I will scan the “Newspaper” with the festival schedule and other info about the acts and post to http://www.flickr.com next week.

    • Susan Young says:

      What a great story, Bob! Glad you were led to the folk fair, and to that spigot. And thanks for your offer to post the info to Flickr.

  19. Bob says:

    Photographs of the entire festival program can be seen here, along with the lineup of artists, schedule & maps:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/30559980@N07/sets/72157650199671648/

  20. Steve B says:

    My most vivid memory involves a tent with a pile of pot in front of it that had been brought from SE Asia by a guy in the Air Force. At least I remeber going over there.

    When I woke up the first thing I saw was a monkey playing with a dog and the dog was losing in every way.

    I had just graaduated high school a month prior to the festival and what an introduction to life it was.

  21. james mcnally says:

    I was fortunate enough to be on the stage staff. I drove my white corvette and had a real hassle getting on property due to mud. I kept dry on the covered stage. Remember big mamma thorton sitting on a wood chair with a fifth of black jack daniels on the stage beside her. John lee hooker talked with a bad stutter but once singing, perfect, no stutter. When he finished he shouldered his guitar and walked alone. One night a party was given at the cresent hotel in eureka springs. Hooker and I talked for about three hours. He invited me to visit him in san franciso but I never made it. I made it back to fayetteville exausted, muddy, and starving but so happy to have been a part of the festival with my free staff t shirt.

    • Zan Jarvis says:

      Nice to hear from the production side of the festival. Each person who comments brings a little more of this unique time back to me. Thanks.

  22. Liza Pfleiger says:

    I was there with many of my good friends. Saw a movie called “gettin back” of this festival showing the bands and my friends. Trying to find a copy…A wonderful time in my life. Would love a video or how to get the movie. Some of my friends got on stage with Big Mama Thorton & learned the slave dance…?Is there a list somewhere of who all played that weekend? Thanks

    • Susan Young says:

      I don’t know of a list of performers or photos, but I’ll do some digging and see if I can track down anything.

    • emory michau says:

      i would love to see a movie myself. i have some pictures in a MAGAZINE. it’s up in the attic, i should follow through, soon

      • Austin Bealmear says:

        Would love to see your magazine photos. I was the on-stage emcee and remember Big Mama’s performance very well. The designer of the festival site, Albert played drums for her set. She was a trip! As I said in a previous reply, the movie seems to be lost, so if anyone has a copy and can put it on youtube or some such, a lot of us would be very grateful.

  23. Liza Pfleiger says:

    Also are there pictures to check out?

  24. Bob says:

    My comment on 2/2/15 (above) has a link to scans of the 2-sheet folded Program with the lineup of musicians and a write-up on the NGDB, but here it is again:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/30559980@N07/albums/72157650199671648
    I sold the program last year to someone in CA.
    What a cool event!

  25. don o says:

    I too was there. Fresh out the army and spending time with people from brunswick mo. We camped in the area west of the am p there were people jamming all weekend long and they were good… i remember a lot of other acts such as john d laudermilk and lester flat and his nashville band fond memories to this day

  26. Austin Bealmear says:

    April, if you are still out there, thank you for starting this wonderful thread on the 1973 Folk Fair. My old friend Albert Skiles did indeed do the layout for the festival, and designed the logo. I was an Architect new in town, and worked with Albert on the stage design. Albert and I worked together for the next 3 or 4 years. I also drew the cartoon of the artists in the program that you can now see on flickr. And I was the on-stage emcee for the entire festival. For those of you who were there, I was the one with the long hair wearing the fedora, introducing the bands, and making all the announcements. The Fair was actually 4 days. Friday night was a concert/party for local folks, with just Eureka bands playing. Albert and I were both drummers and we played in 2 of the bands that night. What an intense weekend. So many amazing memories! Living in my van behind the stage, trying to keep the stage roof from collapsing in the rain, keeping the festival going when bands were late or couldn’t get through the crowds, dealing with feisty performers like Big Mama Thornton. Whew! Albert and I eventually partnered with another Eureka Architect, Butch Barry, who tells me he heard that the negative to the film “Gettin’ Back” burned in a fire at the producer’s house. So if anyone does have a copy, please take care of it, and let me know how I can possibly get it copied.

    • Liza Pfleiger says:

      Amazing insight to behind the scenes, Austin. Really would LOVE to find copy of “Gettin Back” as 2 of my best friends that were there with me (6 of us in a row up dancing in movie) have gone to the great gig in the sky. Loved that festival and loved the movie. Hopefully another copy will surface.

  27. Linda says:

    I was at this Folk Fair. I was about 20, and lived in Eureka Springs at the time. My boyfriend at the time, Lyle Pinkley, was a musician & played with John Lee Hooker, among others, at the festival. I had one of the craft booths where I sold shawls that I had crocheted, halter tops that I had embroidered & crocheted ruffles at the bottom, and other various things that I had hand-made. So, I spent a lot of the festival time at my booth.

    • Bruce Kurnow says:

      Hi Linda:
      I was there to play harmonica with Mason Proffit, and John Lee asked me spur of the moment to play with him. I jumped up there without meeting any of the other musicians, but I must have played with your boyfriend. If you are interested, look up Jim Mathis–he took some great photos of John Lee and the band that day (he’s a pro photographer). Anyway, it sure was fun!

      • Linda says:

        Thanks for the tip! I’ll look him up. I have no photos from that time.

      • Liza Pfleiger says:

        Would you have Bruce friend me on FB or e-mail to lizapfleiger@hotmail.com? I was there as well when I was 17. There’s a movie out there somewhere called “Gettin Back” of the OMF. My friends and I are standing in a row dancing. 3 have gone to the great gig in the sky. Those are such wonderful memories for me. Some of us got on stage with Big Mama Thornton to learn the “slave dance”. Would love to see more pics. Heard the only????? copy of the movie may have been lost in a fire…hope not. I hitch-hiked from Columbia, MO for the event…aaahhhh to be young

        • Zan Jarvis says:

          The body may be older, but I can tell you have that young, wild hippie girl in your soul. Takes one to know one. Wasn’t it fun?

          • Liza Pfleiger says:

            Very memorable. Camped out with a BUNCH of friends from Columbia, MO. Outdoor venues are great and I loved the set up of this one. Funny, it rained but so fun that I don’t think of that when I remember the whole trip. I remember the horse “guards” who would let us sneak thru the fence short cut…always thought I’d like that job…haha

          • See also, Family Tree, a.k.a. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils. vinyl artists,
            the next ‘one’ area-wise was at the fairgrounds in Columbia. Ozark Music Festival created by
            Reid Shaw.

      • Liza Jane Thompson Pfleiger says:

        I keep seeing your name. I had some Jarvis neighbors in Columbia, MO. Are you related? Yes I still have the hippie heart. Am currently recovering from a liver transplant but hope to go on walk-about next year. Connecting with tons of friends around the country. Am going to look up Keith Mathis who reportedly has pics.

        • Zan Jarvis says:

          No Jarvis kin in Columbia MO. But a few, apparently, escaped over here into Arkansas according to the family tree. Might have wandered up that way. Some got down to Texas, I know.

          • Liza Jane Thompson Pfleiger says:

            The Jarvis I remember was Joan who would be around 60 ish. Her dad was a Dr. It sure was a memorable time camping, dancing, strolling the upper circle. Loved the way they used felled trees for some seating. Since that time have lived in CA, FL, and OR. CA saw hundreds of concerts at San Diego Sports Arena for miniscule $. Oh, to relive those days!!!

    • Patricia says:

      Linda, I can’t believe I found your comments on this! Remember Vaughn getting lost there? It was so scary. Momma made us leave. I wanted to stay with you. I thought it was so cool.

  28. http://shilohmuseum.org/wordpress/ozark-mountain-folk-fair/
    i saved the email from a couple of years ago, with info you desired. june 7, 2013

    • Liza Jane Thompson Pfleiger says:

      Amazing. I’m in the Left lower corner with. The guy with the mustache, blonde hair is Tom Rhodes from Jeff City, MO and I’m on his left, looking at picture. What a find for me. thanks.

  29. luke block says:

    A friend of ours gave us tickets and we were really excited about going. I lived, and still do, down in south Madison County. At that time, I was totally green and kept getting our 2 wheel drive truck stuck in our garden. I don’t know why I was always surprised, but our neighbor would bring his tractor over and pull me out. Well, that weekend he was gone and those tickets never did get used, bummer!

  30. Rob(by) K. says:

    I was 17 at the time, and I was there with some friends .. we drove down from KC .. I still have my ticket stub, and the memories oh the memories of a beautiful beautiful time.

  31. Dede Hughes says:

    I was living at a commune called “lost dog farm” near Eureka Springs and we got word that there was going to be a big festival so Mark Cashion and I went to work for the festival setting up. We worked the event as well and could not believe the numbers of people that showed up. I ran into practically every person I knew from OKC at the time. It was a great weekend. WE were suddenly thinking man this is what the people who put on woodstock felt like when their expectations where overwhelmed by the massive numbers of people. There was not a hostess cup cake, a bag of chips or a twinky on a store shelf for miles and miles !!

  32. Richard Cleveland says:

    Yes, I was there with a friend of mine. True, there was a lot of drink and other substances being passed around, so my memories are kind of broken up; however, I definitely remember watching the Dirt Band and John Hartford. And if my memory serves me well, Flatt and Scruggs were billed to play, but instead the Earl Scruggs Review showed up in one of their early performances.

  33. Patrick Minx says:

    I came to see John Lee Hooker and Leo Kottke. They were awesome. We snuck in by hiking through the woods. It was cold and rainy. Miserable camping. Great fun at 18.

  34. Anne Maassen says:

    I was there with two of my girlfriends. We were 18. We drove from St. Louis in my VW bug to the site, hauled our tent and gear to a great spot at the fork of two trails where we could watch all the young men walk by. The day started great, but we woke up floating in our tent because of the torrential rain. We resolved to go to our car to get out of the rain, but when we reached the parking field, we found so many cars had come in after we got there that we could not locate the car. We wondered around for some time and finally found the car. We went in to town where we were stopped by the local constable. He kindly directed us to the Crescent Hotel. We got the last room and it only had one king bed for $18. Towels and a dry bed were good enough for us. We got up the next day, washed our clothes at the local laundry, went and got our gear and headed home. We did have the opportunity to watch some of the talent, but I remember very little of it. The seating was so crowded it was impossible for us to find seats together so what we saw of it was standing at the top of the hill. We had a cassette of Garcia, and I cannot hear Sugaree without vivid and fond memories of that weekend.

    Supe Granda mentions this festival in his book, ‘It Shined’. One part I found quite funny was that the following year there was consideration of having a second festival. Upon inspection of the site, it was found that at the front of the stage was an large overgrowth of watermelon vines and marijuana plants, which may have discouraged a repeat of the event. I am kind of paraphrasing here, as it has been some time since I read the book.

  35. Kathi Grant says:

    I have some pictures that I would love to share from the Ozark Mountain Folk Fair. It was an amazing event in spite of the rain and mud.
    Is therea way to share pictures

    • Susan Young says:

      Hi Kathi,

      There’s not a way to share pictures via a reply to this blog. Are you on Facebook? If so, you could scan and post the photos there and then share a link to them here on this blog. Also, we (the Shiloh Museum) would sure like to copy your photos for our archives. It’s not a digital scanning process–we take a photograph of your photograph with a film camera, so we have a traditional film negative, and give your original back to you. If you’re interested in discussing this further, contact our photo archivist, Marie Demeroukas, at mdemeroukas@springdalear.gov. Thank you!

      • Zan Jarvis says:

        If you post on Facebook, please put a comment here when you post so we can search the crowd for ourselves and folks we knew back then. Will it be under your name or another?

  36. Mike O'Dat says:

    Was there one day. Only.Vivid memories of the Daredevils opening with “Chicken Train” with the mouthbow.WOW..have heard them twice since and spoken with Larry Lee-great fellow..I began banjo lessons in 1974 because of that festival and have played 43 years since..TX all

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Current day month ye@r *