Vortex I Music Festival

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Fri, 08/30/2019 - 9:00am to 10:00am


My name's Dresden, and today we'll be talking about Vortex 1, the only state-sponsored rock festival in United States history. Vortex was held in 1970, during the Vietnam War, in order to prevent violence between 50,000 anti-war demonstrators and 25,000 pro-war legionnaires.  Both groups had targeted Portland as a place of demonstration during Labor Day week. Governor Tom McCall, understanding the potential for wide-scale conflict, collaborated with long-haired hippies to find an alternative gathering for the anti-war demonstrators.  What they agreed on would result in Vortex 1: a Biodegradable Festival of Life. At its peak, 40,000 people were in attendance at this state-sponsored festival which was hosted 25 miles away from the city.  The event was a success, and no one was harmed during the demonstrations in Portland. Vortex 1 is remembered as Oregon's Woodstock, a celebration of peace and love. Interviewed are an artist who performed at the event, a writer who documented the event, an organizer who initially pitched the idea to the governor's office, and a Rainbow Family member who witnessed the naming of the Rainbow group at Vortex.


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