Archives Treasure #3: 1971 Satsop rock festival photos

Archives Treasure #3: 1971 Satsop rock festival photos


Part of the crowd enjoying the music at Satsop (Photos courtesy of Washington State Archives)

New York state had Woodstock. And Washington had Satsop.

A four-day rock festival held during Labor Day weekend of 1971 was held at a 77-acre farm near the small town of Satsop in Grays Harbor County. Officially called the Satsop Riverfair and Tin Cup Races, the music festival was inspired by Woodstock, which was held two years earlier.

The Satsop festival drew 60,000 people. Several music acts performed, including the Youngbloods, Eric Burdon, Spencer Davis and the Steve Miller Band.


A view of the stage at the 1971 Satsop rock festival.

The festival drew notoriety when four people were wounded by gunshots during a conflict with a motorcycle club from Eugene, Oregon. Another 20 people were injured when a bus carrying 50 from the festival ran off a 30-foot cliff on the first day. Two others suffered minor injuries when a watermelon truck drove into the crowd.

Our State Archives has several State Patrol documents and photos related to the festival. With the 44th anniversary of Satsop just weeks away, the docs and photos are the third Archives Treasure for August.


Hundreds of the attendees at the festival.

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