HIGHGATE and MONTGOMERY, VT -- The biggest concert we've ever done is over; my brain is toast, my feet are mush, and I can't stop smiling. In 78 hours the Field Days site went from a bare field to a dual-stage major concert site, to a bare field again. All with volunteer help. Everyone who helped out took home a host of wonderful images; in no particular order, here are some of mine.
Floodstock, the concert, took place in Highgate, Vermont, August 24, 1997
The National Guard lashed 4 flatbed trailers together for the main stage, leveled them with blocks and jacks, then built an extension out of Field Days' bleachers.
The Friday afternoon phone call from Grover: "We can power the sound or the lights, not both." While we searched frantically for a 120 KVA generator (rarely available at the local home center) and tried redesigning the sound, Skip Snyder and his Swanton Village Electric team quietly found us enough juice.
Pediatrician Dan Larrow lopped the ends of the staging with his chain saw.
We ran short of volunteers around 5 pm, so a whole gang simply stayed over and worked a double shift.
April Wine's Myles Goodwyn hit the first chord and the lights in the production trailer browned out. The lights danced with the beat for the rest of the show.
Tech guys slept in hammocks strung under the trailer-stage through some of the loudest sets.
Jesse Potts bragged to me that he had never sounded so good. Jesse, I was in the crowd. The tech guys for each stage had a little friendly competition going and everybody sounded great!
Rebuilding the fence Monday afternoon with Highgate Town officials and friends.
The April Wine setup on stage included a canvas enclosure to hide the drum set until their show started. I was backstage for the 8084 set, watching April Wine drummer Jerry Mercer in his private tent play along with 8084 drummer Scott Belisle.
THE MECHANICS OF A BIG CONCERTFLOODSTOCK took about 23 days to organize, probably a record for a concert with two stages, a world class headliner, and 17 other exceptional entertainers.
Literally hundreds of volunteers, organizations, and businesses came together to create a concert site that rivaled any ever seen in Highgate. The initial organizers met weekly. We applied for and received a public assembly permit, AOT permissions, and created a plan to shut down the airport in the the event of problems. There were no problems.
FLOODSTOCK was a family event, so Marilyn Gerlach of Scampers set up a kids' corral with toys, activities, and volunteers to keep the kids happy. We also had a splendid hospitality area for the handicapped and for folks who needed a place to sit down and relax in the shade, thanks to Ray Tanguay and his merry band.
More people have asked how we got nearly 700 custom tee shirts so quickly; here's that story.
AAC vice-chair Natalie LaRocque-Bouchard designed the FLOODSTOCK logo and e-mailed it to Dick for the website, for posters, and for other publicity. Barry T. Chouinard of Northfield offered as many shirts as we wanted for the cause. The shirts were stored in bins in his converted mill building in Northfield; all we had to do was come down, count them, and truck them home. Larry White and Jana Ward volunteered. They drove to Montpelier Thursday afternoon to deliver the AOT contract and to pick up the shirts. They didn't know about counting them, so Jana retaliated by picking an extra EXTRA large flourescent orange shirt for Dick. Unfortunatley, a traffic incident delayed them as they approached home with the load. John Grant at Grizzly Graphix finally received the shirts late Thursday evening and printed them Friday morning. We gave away shirts to almost 400 volunteers, community groups and band members, and sold the rest on Sunday.
Most of the back stage folks signed the orange shirt while Dick wore it all day Sunday.
The Trout River pummeled Montgomery, a small town on the eastern border of Franklin County. Our friends and neighbors there lost houses, clothing, furniture, food, cars ...
Fortunately, no lives were lost in Franklin County.
Local water supplies are still tainted, flooded septic systems have polluted lawns and wells, and the residents are still digging themselves out by hand.
We expect about $7.5 million in Federal aid. That takes care of roads and bridges. It doesn't help the individual homeowners and renters who lost everything.
All Floodstock ticket revenues go to the Montgomery Flood Fund. The attendance and donations are shown in the Floodstock FAQ.
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Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460
Last Updated August 30, 1997