Michigan’s Woodstock: The Goose Lake Festival
August 7, 2013
The massive Goose Lake International Music Festival took place August 7-9, 1970 near Jackson. Seeking Michigan’s feature Michigan’s Woodstock relates:
Performers included Rod Stewart and Faces, Jethro Tull, Chicago, Ten Years After, Mountain, the Flying Burrito Brothers and prominent Michigan acts such as Bob Seeger, Mitch Ryder, the Stooges, and the MC5. Approximately two hundred thousand people attended.
It began with a man named Richard Songer. In 1970, Songer was thirty-five and the owner of Portland Construction Company, a successful business in Southfield, Michigan. He purchased 350 acres near Goose Lake, located outside Jackson.
Songer intended to turn his Goose Lake property into a permanent park and live music venue. He hired people to pave parking lots and build large concrete rest rooms. A permanent revolving stage was built. As a band performed on one side of the stage, another band would be behind them, preparing to go on. When the first band finished, the stage would turn, and the second band would immediately appear.
You can read on for more and here’s several more links:
- Goose Lake Memories in the Metro Times is a great in-depth look at the festival and why it remains an obscure footnote in rock history.
- This Goose Lake Overview at mLive includes a Goose Lake Festival Poster
- Great set of photos from Goose Lake by Don Hanover on Flickr
- Another set of Flickr photos from Goose Lake by Steve Edwards
- Walking around at Goose Lake Festival (video)
- Goose Lake Festival Overflight (video)
Photo caption: A crowded parking area at the Goose Lake International Music Festival, 1970. Photo from State Police records, RG 90-240, housed in the Archives of Michigan